Jack’s Winning Words 6/28/13
“A man doesn’t have to be an angel in order to be a saint.” (Albert Schweitzer) Last Sunday the preacher asked, “How many of you expect to go to heaven?” Hands went up, but not all. How about you? Or, if someone asked if you were a saint, how would you answer? There are various definitions of the word, but I believe that a saint is one who by word, deed and thought tries to express godliness in the world to the world. ;-) Jack
FROM LP IN PLYMOUTH: "expect?" I might have hesitated. I hope. I pray. But I do not expect.
Yes, "I believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins", but I know that I daily (hourly. constantly.) fall short.====JACK: Children have ears and minds. It appears that you have used them.
FROM MICHIZONA RAY: I am sad to hear that some hands did not go up at the service. I too used to think I didn't deserve heaven, and wouldn't get there either. Now I know I was correct about not "deserving" heaven by my own hand; but still, I will confidently (by a faithfulness to the promise already given to me) enter my rightful place in heaven by Jesus' hand. Does this make me a saint? I don't know about that; but blessed...indeed. It is of little significance what title I am assigned by man here and now; it will be of no significance once Jesus welcomes me with a big smile!====JACK: I've learned to be non-judgmental toward non hand-raisers. Some might want to ask: "What do you mean by heaven? What do you mean by, expect? Are you talking to me alone, or to the whole group?" As I recall, you are a question asker.
FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: i try my best.====JACK: There's an old saying: "Do your best, and God will do the rest."
FROM SHARIN' SHARON: I think your WW today actually illustrate a paragraph I recently read in a book "Wide Welcome: How the Unsettling Presence of Newcomers Can Save the Church": "Biblical faith confesses a different God. This God is, as Martin Luther would write, 'Deus absconditus--Deus revelatus', God whose self-revelation is also hidden: 'For the work of God must be hidden and never understood, even when it happens. But it is never hidden in any other way than under that which appears contrary to our conceptions and ideas.' The church of the cross speaks of a God who is revealed in the place that reason and experience would be least likely to look: in human form in the manger and on the cross. This is a God who is compassionate--one who is 'suffering-with', an incarnate God, a God in time, a God turned toward the world in love in Jesus Christ. Thus, the marks of the church of the cross are faith, hope, and love." Ironically, this paradoxical situation in our lives, rather than being the most foolish thing we could ever believe in, turns out to be the only reality we can ever fully believe in. It's really strong, especially in Sunday's worship together. Trying to understand what is truly mysterious in your WW this morning,====JACK: Yes, the mystery of God...both hidden and revealed, both known and unknown. Life is a journey of seeking.. An answer comes, and another question presents itself. In the end, the hope is that all questions will be provided with answers.
FROM DP IN MINNESOTA: Your winning words are often the encouragement I need to get me through a situation or a day! Every day I appreciate the message even though I seldom respond via email. Anyway, I think your efforts are saintly!====JACK: I do pray daily that God will use Winning Words to be helpful. I'm glad for your affirmation that prayer is more than words.
FROM WALMART REV: On the list by faith! -Because of Him, a sinner saint saved by His grace! ====JACK: Jesus loves me, this I know.....or, as someone has put it: Jesus knows me, this I love.
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I believe whoever believes in Jesus is a saint in His congregation. Even though none of are "saints".====JACK: Are you using two definitions of "saint?"
FROM DMF IN MINNESOTA: I remember you asking a group of campers (including me) at Camp Augustana vespers to raise their hand if they thought they were a saint. Almost all, including me, did not raise their hand. You explained what a saint was, then asked the question again. Everyone raised their hand. ====JACK: Something similar happened on Sunday, as the pastor went on to explain the question. While he did not ask for another show of hands, I think that the point was well made.
FROM CS IN WISCONSIN: Maybe it also works in reverse…you can be a saint to be married to the same person for 50 years and still appear to be an angel. Tomorrow Bob and I celebrate our 50th! Hardly seems possible – the years have gone by quickly.====JACK: What's this..."appear" to be angel? In this instance, are you talking about the husband or the wife? Congratulations to a couple of saints!
FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: I'm too Scandinavian to admit out loud to anything! ====JACK: In the mind of the old Swedes, pride would keep them from raising their hand. A lot of stuff in the "new" church would never "fly" in the old church. But times change...for better or worse.
FROM SBP IN FLORIDA: Go to heaven? God/Jesus sacrificed to forgive sins. Mine, too? And they have their hands full. But as LP says,”I hope. I pray. “...and I believe====JACK: I guess I see your hand going up.
FROM TAMPA SHIRL: I think that everyone in heaven is a saint. And that is the goal and purpose of
living.====JACK:: Some words, like saint, have different meanings and meanings with different interpretations. Much misunderstanding between religious groups is because of this.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: I guess it is hard to think of ourselves as saints, though by your definition we might qualify...It makes me think of that phrase, "We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses" (or saints) But one of my key verses is John 5:24 " He who hears my words, and believes on Him who sent me, has eternal life, and shall not come into judgment but has passed from death to life!" So I do expect to pass on to Heaven, which we really know very little about! We can never be Angels, as they are a separate created entity. Albert Schweitzer was an awe-inspiring missionary and musician!! I have No doubt that he is walking the halls of Heaven!! Enjoyed these WW.====JACK: My "heavenly" thoughts have evolved. I believe that what Paul wrote to the Corinthians expresses my current thinking.....“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” I believe that, after death, it will be good for the saints...and God knows who they are.
FROM CWR IN MICHIGAN: ....a Saint? one who understands "I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me."........and not to be focused so much on Heaven, but on "Wrapping it up with some sense of active goodness here"........====JACK: I like the song, "I sing a song of the saints of god."
I sing a song of the saints of God,
patient and brave and true,
who toiled and fought and lived and died
for the Lord they loved and knew.
And one was a doctor, and one was a queen,
and one was a shepherdess on the green;
they were all of them saints of God, and I mean,
God helping, to be one too.
They loved their Lord so dear, so dear,
and his love made them strong;
and they followed the right for Jesus' sake
the whole of their good lives long.
And one was a soldier, and one was a priest,
and one was slain by a fierce wild beast;
and there's not any reason, no, not the least,
why I shouldn't be one too.
They lived not only in ages past;
there are hundreds of thousands still.
The world is bright with the joyous saints
who love to do Jesus' will.
You can meet them in school, or in lanes or at sea,
in church, or in trains or in shops or at tea,
for the saints of God are just folk like me,
and I mean to be one too.