Monday, September 30, 2013

Jack’s Winning Words 9/30/13
“Sit loosely in the saddle of life.”  (Robert Louis Stevenson)  The Shaka!  Perhaps you’ve seen it.  Fold down the middle 3 fingers and extend the thumb and the pinkie   In Hawaii, it means hang      loose...relax…everything will be OK.  In the dark days of WW 2, Churchill held up 2 fingers in the form of a V.  Hang loose!  In this world where every day seems to present a new problem, someone needs to give the Shaka sign.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TARMART REV:  Seems I'm seeing more of the "middle finger" nowadays . . . I've designated that of folk unconsciously saying, "Look up! Your redemption draweth nigh!!"====JACK:  That reminds me of a time when my wife was driving and someone cut her off.  My son was in the car and said, "Mom, give him the finger."  She replied, "I would, but I don't know which one to use."  She is such  a nice person!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  As the old hymn says, "Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all our griefs away...They lie forgotten as a dream ends at the break of day..."  Most situations which seem catastrophic at the time, do sink into proportion  with time. Perspective is key, "A thousand ages in THY  sight is like an evening gone; Short as the watch that ends the night before the rising sun"  (same hymn). So "Don't Sweat The Small stuff! P.S. It's all small stuff....pretty true in the loooooooong  view!====JACK:  It's good in the short view, too.  There's an other song (I don't know whether it's in the Baptist hymnal or not)..."Slow down, baby you're going too fast   You got you hands in the air with you feet on the gas."

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Figuratively "saddle" is an expressive word.  Do we sit in the saddle of life, or are we saddled by all the material things and endless activities we believe are important?  Early native Americans on this continent were loosest of all...they avoided saddles.====JACK:  I like the Gene Autry song, "I'm back in the saddle again, back where a friend is a friend."====RI:  I know the song well.  My boyhood chums and I spent every Saturday afternoon at our local theater, and for just 5 cents admission we went to see every Gene Autry western that came along.====JACK:  I have several of those movies on videotape.  I'll send them to you, if you want to try and relive your childhood.

 FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  We did see that sign a lot last week in Hawaii!====JACK:  I read that the sign was started by a Hawaiian surfer who had those 3 middle fingers cut off in an accident.  "I'm OK!"

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Perhaps the sign of the cross would be best.====JACK:  I wonder if that's where the expression "Keep your fingers crossed" comes from?

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  The fall with all of its beauty and color helps one to be optimistic.  Even in Florida we have the rain tree which is turning yellow and red now.  Les planted one long ago beside the pool and it is a very happy tree.====JACK:  Fall is a beautiful season in Michigan.  Besides the nature part, there's college football, the baseball playoffs, and hockey begins.  Go Rays.  Beat Texas!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Jack’s Winning Words 9/27/13
“That’s just the way things go.  We meet people, get to know them, and then they get up and leave us behind.”  (From Animal Crossing: Wild World)  It’s always a sad time when a good friend moves away.  Death is like that, too.  We’ve all had separations.  How have you handled them?  I’ve come to see that many of my friends are people I’ve met because of a move.  The saying is true:  “To have a friend, be a friend.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM LS IN MICHIGAN:  So appropriate I got this this morning  ====JACK:  As I pushed the "send" key, I was wondering in anyone would relate to the message.  Evidently you did.

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  The Social Media allow one to reconnect with old has been kind of interesting...many of my friends in high school are racists, it appears...easier to relate to those folks on a long distance basis...and discuss innocuous topics.====JACK:  There's a difference between a friend and an acquaintance.  But, I appreciate interacting with people that I know.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There are always people moving in and out of our lives.  My best friend, Joannie, moved away from us when she was in 8th grade and me in 9th grade.  Her mother was a severe alcoholic and most of the time, Joannie and her sister Pat, lived with us.  She literally was in the crib with me when we were just babies.  Her mom would drink as soon as she came home from work and drink until she passed out.  Many times my parents would go over there and put out kitchen fires because she would put food on the stove and pass out.  Needless to say, Joan and Pat spend most of their lives at our house.  When she moved away, part of my heart went with her.  She moved to Colorado and I seldom hear from her.  I thank God she was across the street while we were growing up.  Unfortunately, she also started the drinking.  Once in awhile we talk but she doesn't call or answer my calls much.====JACK:  There's room on my Prayer List for people like that.  "Not even a sparrow falls to the ground, but that God is aware."

 FROM TARMART REV:  With FB and social media's as this, friends have way of cropping up once again where one can continue the friendship . . . always good to not burn bridges along the way . . . there can always be in store a move back that way sometime in the future.====JACK:  I like the proverbial thought (Proverbs 27:1)..."For you do not know what a day may bring forth."  God has a way of making life an exciting experience. 

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  SO APPROPRIATE FOR ME TODAY...I'M TRAVELING TO MOLINE FOR MY 65TH H.S. REUNION, WHICH WE HAVE EVERY FIVE YEARS.  IT WILL BE THE FIRST WITHOUT MY TWINNER, JAN, AND FOUR OTHERS FROM MY CLOSE FRIENDS' CIRCLE.  AT  MY AGE, DEATH TAKES ITS TOLL, AND LEAVES US BEHIND. BUT WE DO MAKE NEW FRIENDS WHICH ENRICH OUR LIVES, THANK GOODNESS!  AND "WHAT  A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS"!! :-)====JACK:  At reunions like that, I picture what people looked like "before," and then try to fill in the blanks.  First, try it by using a mirror.  I like the hymn, Abide With Me, especially the verse, "Change and decay in all around I see, O thou who changest not, abide with me."  

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I suppose I handle loss or separation as most likely do. I suffer. My level of suffering and its duration are most likely coupled with the depth of my friendship. The more practical question relates to how I make my new friends afterwards, knowing the suffering i will encounter when I am to lose them too! In his book Shadowlands, C.S. Lewis talks about this as he recalls his decision to marry his wife who was dying from cancer, "...the child chooses safety; the man chooses suffering"====JACK:  Most of the time I'm not conscious of making a new friend.  They just sort of evolve.  But I am conscious of losing an old friend.  I like the song that Bob Hope used to sing..."Thanks for the Memory."  I never really paid much attention to the lyrics until I Googled them today.  

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Considering our 10 changes of residence since we married, it seems we are among those who "get up and leave [others] behind."  But over those nearly 50 years there are people with whom we have continued to maintain communication to this day, and in many cases have visited them and shared experiences.  Death has caused the separation from some of those good friends.  In other cases the friendship was based on neighborliness, occupation, our children's association, etc. and when those ended the friendship gradually ended.  Sometimes we get a card or letter from "out of nowhere", originating from an obscure past friend who tracked us down and wrote to inquire how we are.  That's a pleasant surprise, and for a brief time it may rekindle the relationship.====JACK:  I'm happy for the stop at Bel Aire.  We had some good get acquainted talks there...and the friendship had continued and expanded. ====RI:  Those years were very special.  I don't think I was ever more connected to my church life than when attending HSC.  You encouraged involvement in church activities as an opportunity, not an obligation.  Despite the distance between us now, I am privileged to still have some dialog with you regularly.

 FROM JE IN MICHIGAN:  Excellent advice!====JACK:  Friendship is a 2-way street.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Down here in Tampa with Macdill Airforce Base, many of our friends and of our children's friends have moved and new ones come.  Of course, we moved from Moline, to California, to Nassau, to Ann Arbor before coming to here 50 years ago.  There are still friends all over the country.  Since our children went to Stanford,Gettysburg College, the University of Denver. Georgia  Tech, and the University of Miami Medical School, and Law School, we have met many people from all over the world who still come to visit.  Life is wonderful.====JACK:  In spite of distance and the passing of time, "It's a small world, after all....Though the mountains divide and the oceans are wide, it's a small, small world."

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  I carry all the wonderful friends that I have met over the years in my heart, but some of those that I no longer see as often  as I would like, it's wonderful to keep in contact this way! ====JACK:  John Philip Sousa wrote a march titled, Hands Across the Sea.  The inspiration for it came from the phrase... "A sudden thought strikes me, let us swear eternal friendship."  I called up the march on YouTube and thought of the distance between far, but, yet, so near.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Jack’s Winning Words 9/26/13
“There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.”  (Montaigne)  In your life, did you always get what you wanted?  I didn’t.  And there’ve been times, I’m sure, when we got some things we didn’t want.  In retrospect, today’s WWs fit for me.  The passing of time is often needed to understand how the puzzle fits together.  History works that way, too.  The final chapter often makes sense of what’s been written before.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  yep====JACK:  Have you ever watched Storage Wars on TV?  There's a bidder on there named Dave Hester.  He's always saying, "Yep," except that he pronounces it, "YUUUUP!"
====LIZ:  young friend who moved to KC found a nest of brown recluse spiders in her storage unit yesterday. better than some of the stuff they find on storage wars!====JACK:  Yuuup!  It's an interesting cast of characters who bid on that stuff.

MISS YOU.  YOUR FRIEND FOR LIFE OR AS LONG AS WE BOTH SHALL LIVE.====JACK: One day at a time.  You never know what's around the corner.  Thanks, friend!

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I wonder all the more about the things that just don't seem to make any sense to me -- no matter how long I wait for time to leave its clues. Often, I think that our tendency for "making sense" of things is more of a torment than a blessing. For example, willful deceit, the lust for power, and the self-idolatry belief that another knows better than you what is best for you; in conjunction with their matched-counterparts' foolishness, accountability avoidance, and misdirected "faith", may never achieve a level of explanation beyond the destructive fruit of its relational dance. But I remain perplexed as to why so many seem to so willingly participate in such folly. I can't imagine this will make sense some day. Why do people, who are not unintelligible, seem to choose foolishness with such welcomed exuberance and delight? I am reminded of the many stories of the prophets who warned God's people of their impending doom should they not repent of their foolish ways. It is foolish to reject their warning; and it seems that we have wax in our ears for the wisdom that echoes from the prophets. The ancient shofar tells us to "wake up". Seek first the kingdom...that we may avoid the seduction of deceit...and lead us not into the evils of temptation, but deliver the righteousness of Christ, who is alive in us. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit, and leave foolishness for the darkness from whence it came. ====JACK:  Life was made for wondering.  One of the first questions a child asks is, "Why, Daddy (Mommy)?"  If we knew all of the answers...  Oh, then we would be God.  I did a crossword puzzle this morning.  It was fun when I figured out the answers to the clues.  Done!  Except, there will be another puzzle tomorrow.  BTW, Amos is a favorite of mine.

 FROM TARMART REV:  I read that last chapter in the Bible every so often to be reminded that the best is yet to come . . . !!====JACK:  There's a country song I like:  "This world is not my home, I'm justa passin' through.  My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue."

 FROM HR IN MICHIGAN:  How many times has it been said that if I hadn’t had that really bad thing happen I would have never been here in this place to have this really good thing happen. I’ve experienced that. I appreciate that.  I am comforted by the knowledge that there is always hope thru perseverance and faith.====JACK:  Like the Pope said recently, "Don't let them steal your hope."

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Thankfully, God didn't answer all my prayers...instead He gave me what I needed.  Sometimes there are wins and sometimes there are different victories:  victories we didn't expect and sometimes they were challenges.  Life is so full of both; we should rejoice!====JACK:  It's a poor parent who gives a child everything he (she) asks for.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  The fork in the road sometimes has three tines. There's not always a right and a wrong.====JACK:  Choice was a part of creation.  Without it, we would be God-robots with no free will.  Sometimes the fork has a gazillion tines.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  There is a reason for everything, wise people say.  Sometimes it is hard to figure out.====JACK:  I just quotred a country song to Chester.  Now, here's one for you.
Farther along we’ll know more about it,  Farther along we’ll understand why;
Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine,  We’ll understand it all by and by.

 FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Well,my mantra from the onset has been"Want what you get." and as a result, I've been and/am happy. My family knows that I believe and assure them that "God never shuts a door without opening a window."....and sure enough, unexpected windows open....and we/they begin "to understand (overtime and reflection) ) how the puzzle fits together." ====JACK:  That's a pretty good philosophy to live by.  You would be a good member of our Optimist Club.  Each meeting is closed by saying The Optimist Creed, which begins:  "Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind..."  I could finish it here, but it would do you good to Google it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Jack’s Winning Words 9/25/13
“The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions.”  (Allen Glasgow)  An Alaskan road sign reads, “Choose your rut carefully, you’ll be in it for the next 200 miles.”  I suppose a cemetery could post a similar sign.  Did you know that the standard grave opening measures 7’2” x 32” x 6’ deep?  The choices we make in life affect our future, remembering that all roads (or ruts) lead to the same place.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Roman Chariots are the fathers of ruts. Railroad track widths , I believe, are still using the width of the chariot wheels.  Have a great day.====JACK:  I've read that the earliest human burial dates back 100,000 years.  The size of a modern grave relates to the standard size of a casket.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY: Well said...wherever we go, we end up in the same place...makes the "way" we get there the most Important issue! I heard it once said, "a rut is a grave with the ends knocked out". I suppose it depends on what kind of rut one is in doesn't it? After all, the righteous path is narrow! ====JACK:  I saw a list of "ugly sounding" words, and rut wasn't on the list.  I think that it should be, although I also think that all ruts aren't bad.  Thanks for good thoughts.

 FROM TARMART REV:  Another interesting thought stimulator ...the average grave opening will be measured differently I suppose in the near future as cremation is fastly becoming the burial of choice in our area anyway; however the "rut of death" remains the same.====JACK:  In our local cemetery two cremation burials are permitted in one grave site.   I read that someone had their ashes scattered at Wal Mart, because they loved shopping there.====REV:  How about at certain golf courses where they enjoyed playing...nothing is out of the realm of one's creativeness anymore.====JACK:  One woman had her husband's remains put in an hour glass.  As she turned it over she said, "He was lazy in life, but now I've got him working."

 FROM DR PL IN MICHIGAN:  Yikes! Bad dream last night????====JACK:  It's suggested that you go to bed with roses in your bedroom, if you want to have pleasant dreams.  Perhaps I heard that from our friend, Wesley Berry.

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Another difference between a rut and a grave is that you can get yourself out of a rut.  I seem to be in a kind of rut lately, and I'm afraid if I remain too long it may get comfortable .====JACK:   I was riding with a test driver at the General Motors Proving Grounds.  He showed me how to safely get out of a "rut" situation.  "Don't try to turn gradually.  Turn quickly and sharply!"  He then demonstrated it on the test track, and it worked.  Maybe that how it should be done in life, too.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Actually, I don't mind being in a rut--realizing whether I'm walking or driving, especially in the snow, I like to have a rut cleared for me, but I really want to know I'm following someone who can see ahead clearly and who knows where they're going and doesn't head off into the ditch. ====JACK:  Jesus also told them this parable: "Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a ditch? (Luke 6:39)  Be careful who it is that you blindly follow.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  A lot of Alaskan roads are just two lane ruts.  Many Alaskan town is only accessible by plane or boat.  We went on an Alaskan cruise and it was fantastic.  We also learned a lot about living in Alaska.  I love the cold weather, but you have to love it a lot to live there.  You facts about the grave openings was an eye opener to me!  Hope I'm not measured for one for many many years! ====JACK:  My mother didn't think it was fun living to 102.  Two husbands and too many friends had gone before her.  What kept her going were her children and grandchildren.  We take it, a day at a time.

 FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  The thought reflects a sullen rainy day like today. It can never be suggested that WW generated thinking in a rut. A coupla thoughts...-for some people a rut is a comfortable secure state. You know where you've been and pretty much where and how you're headed, The ruts on the Oregon Trail represented hopeful anticipation to most of those wending their way.  -a box, a hole, a container....not for me. I smile and feel (in anticipation) much like the feeling expressed in Magee's High Flight...."Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth...." And whether I am tossed into the air or the'll be exhilarating and God inspired, I'm sure.====JACK:  In the end, your spirit will soar, but what happens to the discarded body will be for someone else to decide....I think.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Jack’s Winning Words 9/24/13
“I’ve found that you’ve got to look back at the old things and see them in a new light.”  (John Coltrane)  People who are into jazz are familiar with the name, “Trane.”  His was not a perfect life, but his church officially named him a saint, because of the good that he brought into the world.  Eventually he became part of a church in NYC, which has a jazz worship service each Sunday.  Will there be jazz in heaven?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TARMART REV:  In Heaven...after some time of expressing my thanks to our Savior and greeting my family and friends...I will be at the front table or pew of a place, appreciating jazz worship!! For whatever reason, jazz has always got my attention.====JACK:  Duke Ellington composed a jazz worship service and played it in the NYC church, mentioned above.  It happens to be ELCA.====REV:  Would me interesting to be able to hear the chosen music.====JACK:  I was able to pull up on YouTube, Ellington playing "Shepherd Who Watches Over the Night Flock."  Jazz at its best!

 FROM ANI ANONYMOUS:  Jazz in heaven? Absolutely yes! It lives in the realm of the best we have to offer God.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I think there's not only jazz in heaven but there's blues in heaven. We won't feel blue but somehow we'll all still be connected to all the stuff that helped us feel connected while we were still on earth. Isn't Jesus still to be in his resurrected body with the nail marks and cut in his side in him? If he appeared to the disciples that way, also walking through walls and so forth, when we see him again face-to-face won't he be the same?====JACK:  Some provision's going to have to be made for those who prefer country and western.  In the movie, The Blues Brothers, the bar crowd threw bottles at the band members until they played, "Stand By Your Man."

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Reflection is indeed a blessing from Wisdom's gift bag. Through reflection we have the opportunity to see old things in a new light. And Jazz?...I've got to think so. When we consider the unique variations of all God's people, you have to believe that God was listening to jazz when He created us! ====JACK:  After he created, it's said that "he rested."  I wonder if he listend to Dave Brubeck's "Take Five?"

 FROM JM IN MICHIGAN: If there isn't laughter, classical and jazz music in heaven, I don't want to go there!====JACK:  It's a good thing that God's a miracle worker, because he's going to have to please a lot of people with different musical tastes.  Have you ever heard jazz played on a harp?

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  it wouldn't be heaven if there weren't jazz!====JACK:  So that's what is meant when someone says, "This is a jazzy place."  Or is it, snazzy?  What does snazzy mean?

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There are events and people in everyone's life which they would like to change or have a "do-over".  These words are special to each of us.  I know I look backwards and see everyone and   every life-changing event now is such a different light.  Each person or event has left something special.  They are viewed now in a learning experience instead of a heartbreak.  God works everything for the good and that is so true in my life.  I wouldn't change a thing and I have no "do-overs" anymore.  God is good!  All the time!====JACK:  Most of the responses so far have focused on jazz.  It's good that you have referred to Trane's words, instead of his music.  He was more than his horn, just as you are more than your outhouse collection.====JUDY: Well, truthfully, I don't care for jazz.====JACK:  I wonder how God's going to be able to please everybody?

 FROM HCC CHUCK:  will be surprised if we don't====JACK:  There'll be plenty of surprises.  Luther said that he'd be surprised to see people he didn't expect, and not to see some he did expect, and most surprising of all..that he himself is there.  That was his way of explaining God's Grace.

 FROM MOLINER JIM:  You bet there will be. We remember "Bix" with a Jazz service every summer. It lifts the soul.====JACK: Do you know how Bix got the name Bix?  That's an interesting story.  He also played for a time in Detroit for a band called, The Wolverines.  A music critic called him Jazz's Number One saint.  Another compared him to Jesus.  No wonder he lifts your soul.

FROM CHASTITY:  My Seminary roommate The Rev. Dale Lind was the Pastor to the Jazz Community  from St. Peters Lutheran Church in Manhattan, N.Y.. He also owned a Saloon.....and he is probably one of the greatest guys I've ever known.....and a friend of Coltranes.  My name for Dale was "Uncle Elmer" for Elmer Gantry and his name for me was "Chastity", not because I was, but because I dated alot at that time  ====JACK:  I Googled Dale Lind and was interested to read more about his jazz ministry and his saloon.. .

Monday, September 23, 2013

Jack’s Winning Words 9/23/13
“It’s a sad man who’s livin’ in his own skin and can’t stand the company.”  (Bruce Springsteen)  “The Boss” turns 64 today.  Many people are drawn to him by his music, but what impresses me most is his concern for the poor.  He gives a portion of every concert’s proceeds to a local food bank, remembering the hardships of his family when he was growing up.  Who is it who lives in your skin?  Are you comfortable?.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TARMART REV:  A lot of room for improvement in mine...awaken every morning often excited what God has in store for me to learn bet sometimes very humbled realizing I'm walking through  another "fine mess I've gotten myself in!"====JACK:  There's an antique store in Indiana named, Another Fine Mess.  A sign outside of a church could read, "Come in!  We will try to fix another fine mess!"

 FROM PASTY PAT:  It's only taken 70 years or so, but yes.  (The classic 'late bloomer'?!)====JACK:  Someone titled their Bucket List: "Better Late Than Never."  You can now cross off one more thing on your list.====PAT:  I'm going to do that right now!

 FROM CL IN MICHIGAN:  Loved the Springsteen reference!====JACK:  Sometimes we forget that "stars" are human beings...some more human than others.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  When I'm the most clear-mined, it is the Spirit of Jesus that lives in my skin. In those moments I am very comfortable! It is in those " other times" that my skin crawls!====JACK:  The word, in-spiration, means that the Spirit is in us.  And, sometimes, that makes us itchy.

FROM DOCTOR J:  Love the Boss!====JACK:  He's called, The Boss, because, in his younger days, he was part of a band, and it was his job to collect the money earned and distribute it among the members of the band.  The name stuck.

  FROM HCC CHUCK:  Sometimes YES   sometimes NO  thank God for GRACE.====JACK:  I've wondered...who first said, "There, but for the grace of God, go I."  I traced it back to John Bradford in 16th century England.  He's supposed to have spoken the words while imprisoned in the Tower of London, as he saw criminals being led to their execution.  He himself was burned at the stake on 7/1/1555 for being a Protestant.  Freedom of religion is a great gift.  But greater than that is God's Grace.

 FROM LEE IN MICHIGAN:  This is a good Man.    Sort of like the new Pope!!!!     & Jesus gives to the poor (:>)====JACK:  All "religious" people don't necessarily dress like religious people.

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  Give. Don't Waste. Save. Pay your bills.    Enjoy.====JACK:  You sound like a reincarnated Ben Franklin.  BTW, did you mean to omit, tithe?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Jack’s Winning Words 9/20/13
“Don’t let them steal your hope!”  (Pope Francis)  These words were sent to a drug rehab center in Argentina which was celebrating its 5th anniversary.  Stealing hope can happen in many situations.  Yes, there are times when we need to be realistic, but, more often than not, people need words of encouragement.  “Make someone happy.  Then, you’ll be happy, too.  A card, a phone call, a visit.  You won’t regret it!    ;-)  Jack

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  This new pope has also said, (paraphrased) "This church should be a home to all, not a small chapel that can hold only a small group of selected people."  By these words he restores hope to many who have lost church fellowship, and by that lose the message of God's grace and salvation. ====JACK:  I think that there is more to come from this new pope which will cause the Catholic Church to rethink infallibility.====RI:  I think you are right about that; also, if he gives due consideration to the various issues of sexual abuse that have been exposed in the church hierarchy, he may also confront the validity of priests' celibacy.====JACK:  It must be a heavy burden (infallibility) for the pope to carry when he speaks about doctrinal matters.

 FROM TARMART REV:  0;-)====JACK:  I see that you're doing your Harpo Marx impersonation this morning.

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  Con Trued said that you can't live bereft of hope.   I've thought of that often and I have come to agree with him.====JACK:  I've found that, with the passing of time, I had some teaching & learning experiences and didn't fully appreciate.====JOHN:  But you've probably had some great learning experiences, too.   They are to be treasured====JACK:  Many!

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  LAL====JACK:  Pope Francis seems to be getting more LALs than PUs.

 FROM TRIHARDER:  This Pope seems to be a Pope of the People.====JACK:  Maybe he'll come to be known as the "Pop-Pope," pop standing for populist.   BTW, the word, pope, is the Latin way of saying, papa, or father.

 FROM CL IN MICHIGAN:  Great advice for a happy life====JACK:  It's interesting to wonder what would make the people at the Argentinian rehab center happy.  I'll bet receiving a personal greeting from the Pope made them happy.  But other things, like rehab successes, would bring happiness, too.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I wasn't expecting this Pope. I'm just one teenie weenie itsy bitsy tiny miniscule little speck of a Christian who is not even a sheep in his fold but he's making me very, very happy and hopeful that we're all moving a little closer to understanding and living out God's Will on this earth and feel like my own spirituality is getting validated or something. Glad I've lived long enough to see this day. ====JACK:  You might feel itsy bitsy, but you know what Jesus said about the mustard seed.

 FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Interestingly today our daily newspaper had a front page headline and news article re Pope Francis" which I was drawn. I especially liked/agreed w/his statement that "God is in everyone's life". I find that affirming and comforting. ====JACK:  I think that some people are going to have to do some real soul searching with regard to papal infallibility.  A "human" pope will express some "human" feelings, and we're no used to that.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Jack’s Winning Words 9/19/13
“If you can't be a highway then just be a trail,  If you can't be the sun be a star; It isn't by size that you win or you fail--Be the best of whatever you are!”  (Douglas Malloch)  A recent BBC headline: “Scientists can implant false memories in mice.”  Think about that…the possibility of being able to feel like you are someone else.  Perhaps it’s best to think about how you (and I) can be the best of whatever you are.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM BEC IN MICHIGAN:  Kind of similar to the one …If you can't be a tree on the side of a hill?... be a shrub?…Or something like that.  I like this one/today's!  Yesterday's brought a tear to MY eye! ====JACK:  These are words from a longer poem which encourages the reader to just be who you are.

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  amazing & scary at the same time.  read recently that scientists can reverse down syndrome in mice w/one shot. ====JACK:  I hadn't read that about Down's Syndrome.  I remember when DS people were "sent away to a home."  Nowadays, many are mainstreamed and are proving to be an asset to their families and to the community.  With implanted memories...who are we...really?====LIZ:   the world is moving too fast for me... that memory stuff is just plain evil, in my opinion.====JACK:  Is it possible that memory implants might be a good thing in helping those afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease?  Ethical choices sometimes mean weighing the good against the bad.  Life is often like that. 

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  That's what I call Zebheimer's Disease...remembering things that never were...a lot of old people have that when they " remember" the old glory days.====JACK:  With your interest in philosophy and theology, who are we, if and when "false memories" are implanted in us?  Is there a positive side in helping people to overcome mental problems?  Do teachers and pastors (and life in general) implant memories...false or true... in us?====JOHN:  I. Just read Beetle Bailey and I couldn't help but think of you...Zero says "It should've against the law to destroy dreams with facts".   I love that and partially agree with it.====JACK:  Who determines the ethical boundaries of a nation or a person or a church?  Jesus spoke: "You have heard it said....BUT I say unto you."  Are the boundaries subject to change?  Even the funny papers of today and those of yesteryear speak to an ever changing society.

FROM TARMART REV:  Early on in my life...probably back in late high school or the first few years of college I remember saying to myself, if I could carry with me a higher position in ministry (whatever that would look like) but used that knowledge and ability in  a lower position, wouldn't that be better for the whole approach in ministry...I can still remember driving by a large looking church while in high school saying to myself that I would be happy to just be on staff in a church like that...even though I have challenged myself as I did in West Bloomfield and in a home mission work in Ohio, I must say my fulfillment has come in the earlier perspective I had that day driving by the church in Wichita, Kansas.  See what you have stirred up in my mind this early morning hour, Jack?====JACK:  Isn't it grat that you and I can still remember.  What a great gift from God is the gift of being able to recall events and people from the past.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  What you are is God' to you.  What you become is your gift to God. ====JACK:  Is it possible to give a gift to God who doesn't need anything?  Maybe it's like a parent who receives a handmade gift from a child and says, "This is the best gift ever!" 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Jack’s Winning Words 9/18/13
“Once you start keeping score, winning’s the bottom line.”  (Al McGuire)  Recently a friend of mine told me how his team lost the championship by 1 point.  Afterward he was crying in the locker room.  His father came up, and without a word, gave him a kiss on the cheek.  “It was the only time I can remember that my dad kissed me.”  Perhaps the game was lost, but maybe winning or losing a game wasn’t that important.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  You're right on these WW today too. We've been chalking up the harvest number of pounds of vegetables, fruits and herbs from our community one-acre farm that we donate to Forgotten Harvest. We get excited as the number goes up and thinking we may even beat last year's total. But I feel sad thinking about the people we're trying to help to have food and how they have to be calculating all the time their limited resources and no number probably feels good to them, maybe no change in the pocket or purse, constantly getting evaluated by all kinds of assistance workers and always "coming up short" in one way or another and how it must feel to be always compared, not qualified for this job, for that apartment, for this medical assistance program, for that class at the school, I'm sure it ain't easy being poor and asking for assistance and probably if we can just grow a tomato and give to that person without any number or evaluation on it no-how, it might be sort of a liberating tomato to eat--freedom from comparison and winning and losing.  Thanks for your WW and stimulating our thinking about life.====JACK:  We may be sympathetic toward people who have to depend on food banks.  For most of us, it's harder to be empathetic, nor having walked in their moccasins  It reminds me of the old Scottish table blessing..."Some have meat and cannot eat. Some no meat but want it. We have meat and we can eat and so the Lord be thanked."

 FROM TARMART REV:  . . . "it's how you play the game that always counts the most" . . . someone once told me.====JACK:  I didn't know that you were acquainted with Grantland Rice.  Over 60 years ago, he wrote:  “For when the One Great Scorer comes  To mark against your name,  He writes - not that you won or lost -  But HOW you played the Game."====REV: sub-consciousness brings those things to light every once in a while…It seems as though I rarely remember who said them or where I remember hearing them spoken?!?! 0;-/

 FROM TRIHARDER:  “It was the only time I can remember that my dad kissed me.”  Really? ====JACK:  Yes!  My friend told me that he can still remember the scratch of his father's whiskers...after all these years.====TRIHARDER:  I still kiss my children every time I say hello and every time I say good bye.
Your message is as much about a child remembering his only kiss from his father as it is about winning and losing.====JACK:  You captured the essence.    Parenting can be done in different ways.

 FROM PL IN MICHIGAN:  How sad... It took his son's hurt to give him a kiss!  We need more father's kissing their sons much more compared to teaching their sons on how to use a gun.====JACK:  Sad?  I don't know about that.  Maybe it was the way it was in those days.  I can't remember receiving a kiss from my dad.  He didn't teach me to use a gun, either.  But, he did play catch with me and teach me to play baseball.====PL:  That's good that you have those memories.  I think there is too much "macho" expectations to being a father..not just in the past but today, too.====JACK:  Maybe that helps explain the bellicose behavior of male-led nations in much of the world. ====PL:  Exactly!!!  Recently we saw the one act-one woman play of Golda Mier..absolutely riveting!  Isn't it interesting how we view women like her and Margaret Thatcher?====JACK:   Would Hillary be that kind of person?

 FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  That's very nice.====JACK:  I think that more than a few readers will be able to relate to this real "human interest" story.

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  Losing is only acceptable after the fact.   To go into a contest willing to lose makes no sense.   Why bother?====JACK:  I think of people who have a  interest in helping those who participate in Special Olympics.  When they run with the runners, they "win" by "losing," but not making it look too obvious.====JOHN:  I remember playing at Wimbledon...a great "memory".    I think I beat Laver there....How about you?====JACK:  Kids today get all kinds of trophies.  I got ONE, and I still treasure it....2nd Place in a YMCA ping pong tournament.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I remember one particular game that our little guys took quite a beating (very rare indeed). Afterwards, a mother came up to me and mentioned "how cute" the boys were. I remember looking at the scoreboard to see if there was a place where "cute" was acknowledged and given "points". I suppose winning or losing is really just an issue of what the game assigns points to/for. That day ---we were simply playing in the wrong game!  I remember another team I coached that never lost a game the entire year. They usually won with relative ease. I remember how I almost wished a team would beat them so that they could experience the benefits that only losing provides.One experiences a a skewed perspective of him/herself by winning or losing exclusively. ====JACK:  Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.  I think that you, basically, are a very competitive person.  It's cute, that you are who you are.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Doesn't sound like Vince Lombardi to me.====JACK: Yogi wrote a book..."I Really Didn't Say Everything I Said."  Vince could have written a similar book.  Coaches before him ised the "Winning is everything," statement.  He improved upon it by saying,   "Winning isn't everything. The will to win is the only thing."  I agree with that.====PFC:  It's hard to know who said what these days. They're not around to ask. But we know Who's on first.====JACK:  Lou died in 1959 and Bud in 1974.  They are long gone, but "Who's on First?" lives on.  Baseball's Hall of Fame has a gold record of the routine in its collection of important items related to baseball.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  You win some, you lose some. but it's how you play the game that counts.  Unfortunately, the Rays seem to be on a losing streak-as well as the Bucs.  It is much more fun to win,  of course.====JACK:  As the Cubs' fans say, "Wait until next year." 

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  LOVED THIS...I THINK MODERN-DAY FAMILIES DO MUCH MORE PARENTAL KISSING...I KNOW NY SONS AND GRANDSONS KISS THEIR CHILDREN A LOT, EVEN WHEN THEY ARE ADULTS!  SUPPOSE IT DEPENDS A BIT ON YOUR EMOTIONAL MAKE-UP THOUGH. SOME PEOPLE ARE NOT DEMONSTRATIVE AND NOT COMFORTABLE SHOWING EMOTION.====JACK:   There are several things that modern families do that are a change from the past.  More reliance upon fast food for meals is one.  I miss meatballs, mashed potatoes and gravy  and baked corn, with chocolate pudding for dessert, topped with a dab of real whipped cream.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Jack’s Winning Words 9/17/13
“Wisdom is the quality that keeps you from getting into situations where you need it.”  (Doug Larson)  The ancient Greeks considered wisdom to be a key virtue… to be able to understand situations and people and make right decisions.  The Bible also speaks of the importance of wisdom.  I particularly like the horse sense that is shown in the Book of Proverbs.  Do you have a favorite among the proverbs?  I like 9:10.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TARMART REV:  I like starting right at the top when it comes to Proverbs...1:7 always seems to get me thinking in the right direction, contemplating what I should do in certain situations. 0:-/====JACK:  "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction."  (Pr 1:7)   It seems as though you're the "first responder" each day to the "wisdom" of Winning Words.  You prove the truth in the last part of the proverb.

 FROM ED IN CALIFORNIA:  not sure i agree... will comment again post phd writing.  my favorite proverb has to be "A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day." – Proverbs 27:15 Really. For some strange reason i will always remember that one from sunday school... maybe it is because i picture some guy writing the proverbs who just got into a big fight with his wife the night before and decided to see if anyone would notice if he slipped this one in...... Kind of like in college when students slip in funny paragraphs or sentences to see if their professors actually read their papers. I have a friend who got a random, meaningless rather large dragon symbol published on her map in one of her peer reviewed academic papers. She was beyond elated! Maybe I should try this in my dissertation ;)====JACK:  Personally, i thought that today's WWs were pretty benign.  My son wanted to choose Proverbs 26:11 as his confirmation verse, but decided that another one would be more acceptable.

FROM DP IN MINNESOTA:  My favorite verses for over sixty years is Proverbs 3: 5-6.====JACK:  Your response reminds me of the of Gospel song...."Trust and obey, for there's no other way."  Have you ever sung it?====DP:  Oh yes, we sang that hymn often when I was young !====JACK:  Sing it again!
1. When we walk with the Lord 
 in the light of his word, 
 what a glory he sheds on our way! 
 While we do his good will, 
 he abides with us still, 
 and with all who will trust and obey. 
 Trust and obey, for there's no other way 
 to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. 

2. Not a burden we bear, 
 not a sorrow we share, 
 but our toil he doth richly repay; 
 not a grief or a loss, 
 not a frown or a cross, 
 but is blest if we trust and obey. 

3. But we never can prove 
 the delights of his love 
 until all on the altar we lay; 
 for the favor he shows, 
 for the joy he bestows, 
 are for them who will trust and obey. 

4. Then in fellowship sweet 
 we will sit at his feet, 
 or we'll walk by his side in the way; 
 what he says we will do, 
 where he sends we will go; 
 never fear, only trust and obey. 

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are two of my favorite books in the bible. In Proverbs one of my favorites verses is: 14:15 (the simple believes everything; but the prudent gives thought to his steps) I find this proverb so useful and applicable today. It seems that in our day critical thinking has been replaced with political correctness. In the latter, wisdom is void, while the "simple" just follow along singing the song given to them.====JACK:  As a follow up, look at 6:16-19..."There are six things the Lord hates,  seven that are detestable to him:   haughty eyes,  a lying tongue,  hands that shed innocent blood,  a heart that devises wicked schemes,  feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies
and a person who stirs up conflict in the community."  And, BTW, show 31:10 to Mary.

 FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  My favorite quote on wisdom is “Aging is inevitable,wisdom is optional” ====JACK:  Your mind seems to be filled with wise sayings.  You could say. as Jimmy Durante said: "I got a million of 'em!"

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  Thanks…I will pass this one along.====JACK:  Have you ever played the game, "Pass it on?"  Sometimes it's called, "Telephone," a game in which one person whispers a message to another, which is passed through a line of people until the last player announces the message to the entire group. Errors typically accumulate in the retellings, so the statement announced by the last player differs significantly, and often amusingly, from the one uttered by the first.  You could try that with your "Pass it on" today.

 FROM DC IN NEBRASKA:  AMEN -- 9:10====JACK:  Remember 29:11 when "The Big Red" becomes critical of poor Bo.  Our Bo (Schembechler) is an icon in Michigan.

 FROM MOLINER MH:  You sent me to the Bible for this one.  I have any number of Proverbs underlined...22:l, 22:6,20:11, (Your mother must have lived by these also.)  Thanks for "urging" me to seek out the Good Book.====JACK:  Thank you.  25:11.  For picturesque language, I like 30:18,19.

 FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  I echo Moliner MH.....this WW and the comments sent me back to Proverbs...where I had hightlighted many. I keep thinking about how printed words are heard by the "hearers"....each of us has our own experiential basis.... ====JACK:  I have underlined more of Proverbs than any other book in the Bible.  I've often used parts of Proverbs 31 for funerals of mothers/wives.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Jack’s Winning Words 9/16/13
“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”  (FDR)  The new Corvette Stingray has a 7-speed transmission which allows the car to reach 60 mph in 3.8 seconds.  Roosevelt, afflicted with polio, was able to drive his 1932 Plymouth at breakneck (non-Stingray) speeds with the Secret Service chasing him.  But, I think the quote relates to the many changes needed to deal with the Great Depression.    ;-)  Jack

   FROM TARMART REV:  ... it's hard to shut those engines down in time for the next stop light ahead when going that fast!! 0;-/ ====JACK:  I'm reminded of this part of a song..."In the back of my mind I hear my momma say  Slow down, baby you're going too fast  You got you hands in the air with you feet on the gas  You're 'bout to wreck your future running from your past  You need to slow down baby
Thinking the faster that I go  The faster that I will reach my goal  The race is not given to the swift  But to the one who endureth."====REV:  Sounds like the makings of a good 'ol country song to me!

 FROM CS IN MICHIGAN:  I think the quote has everything to do with life….I like this one a lot.  ====JACK:  There are depressions other than financial ones.  Successful people are able to move on, letting the past be the past.

 FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN:  Another spin on the idea of time---have you read Mitch Albom's "The Time Keeper"?====JACK:  No, I haven't read that book, but the synopsis looks interesting.  Time is precious, sometimes moving like a 1932 Plymouth and sometimes like a 2014 Corvette.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Actually, this WW I sort of dispute. I think there are many ways of standing still, you can stand still in an agitated and worried and fearful state of mind; you can stand still with a plan and all hopeful that something is going to happen so, when you finally move again, it will be more productive, you can stand still because you're praying and trying to listen to God, you can stand still because you're trying to be kind to someone else and give them a chance to do something important instead of your having to do everything, I figure there are about a million good uses for standing still. Maybe though I'm overthinking whatever point FDR was trying to get across.  Face-to-face with FDR, I would never have dared to have said any of this stuff because he was the President after all and he was taking care of big problems. ====JACK:  James Buchanan was called "The do nothing President."  FDR chose to do something radical to try and bring the nation out of the Depression.  These are words that you might not say, but we have to put them in the original context.  Your point is well taken.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Jack’s Winning Words 9/13/13
“No sin is so light that it may be overlooked.  No sin is so heavy that it may not be repented of.”  (Moses Ibn Ezra)  One of the days that has brought me close to my Jewish friends is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  The need for confession and repentance before G-d is “holy” for both religions.  Hank Greenberg refused to play baseball on that day, even though the Detroit Tigers were in the midst of a pennant chase.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Thank you for these WW. Hank Greenberg's actions are certainly a strong example of faith. Glad to read your blog this morning and think on these things.====JACK:  When Hank showed up at the synagogue on Yom Kippur he received a standing ovation.

 FROM HY YO SILVER:  Hank Greenberg worshipped at my synagogue: Shaarey Zedek!====JACK:  You probably weren't there to see Greenberg worship or play ball, but memories of the "good" deeds of those who have gone before us can inspire us to follow their example.

  FROM HONEST JOHN:  Don't you wonder if Hitler and Stalin have been forgiven?    My guess is "Yes" but they probably turned it away.====JACK:  People often have a hard time understanding the connection between confession and  forgiveness.  Can forgiveness be given when the Hitler or Stalin or anyone has no sense of needing to confess any wrong?====JOHN:  Exactly.   I can't see them owning up to it.   Does this then undermine Universalism?    Does lack of confession allow folks to condemn themselves?====JACK:  Ultimate judgment is the Lord's.  In that sense, we don't condemn ourselves.  But as the saying goes.  "You've made your bed.  Now, you'll have to lie in it."  Oops...I've forgotten about grace!====JOHN:  Oops we've forgotten about the New Testament.  Which makes it very clear that there are both sheep and goats.  From whence cometh the goats if Grace is irresistible?    We can't choose just one side of a paradox
====JACK:  God doesn't have to deal with paradoxes.====JOHN:  God certainly offers them to us and it is not for us to solve them

 FROM TARMART REV:  The Lord's Table presents such a favorable environment for me in this regard . . . for more years then I can remember we celebrated it every first Sunday of a month . . . now it is regulated seemingly three or four times a year . . . when missing it, I can just attend a good Lutheran church any Sunday I please!!!====JACK:  Weekly communion has not always been the practice among Lutherans.  When I was a youth we received the Lord's Supper about 4 times a year.  The theology now is that we need the assurance of forgiveness more frequently than that.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I like the idea that I can have my own Yom Kippur everyday, and often many times a day! I also like the idea that I can experience "communion" and acknowledge the "Christ in me" much more than just a few times a year! I need more forgiveness than once a year, and I need more "remembrance" of the Christ in me than just a few times a year.====JACK:  In seminary, we had a theoretical discussion..."If you were in a desert, with no water, and someone wanted to be baptized, could you use sand instead of water?"  It's not the sand or water; it's not the special day; it's not the bread and wine; it's just God and you, wherever and whenever that might be.  I read that during the Vietnam war, a soldier baptized his buddy, using his own blood.

 LS IN MICHIGAN:  I disliked working on Sunday's. God's holy day of rest.====JACK:  I liked working on Sundays, and people wanted me to do it.  God understands circumstances and knows the heart. ====LS:  I agree whole heartly!   So true, So true.====JACK:  "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy" is one of the TEN.  But how to keep it holy begs for some interpretation.  I think God cares more about the faith of a person than he does about regulations

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Jack’s Winning Words 9/12/13
“Time you enjoyed wasting was not wasted.”  (John Lennon)  I read recently about time-sweepers, fictional people who sweep up all the time that is thrown away.  Maybe you see a sweeper out of the corner of your eye.  One hangs around me.  They’re at the office, school, wherever there are people.  What they collect is taken to the dump, never to be seen again.  I enjoy wasting time looking up stuff…like, time-sweepers.    ;-)  Jack

   FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I have been learning as I continue to age, that my priorities adjust with the process of aging. What may have been "a waste of time" some years ago, is precisely the "right time" for it now. I suppose there is a "season for everything, and for everything a season".====JACK:  Or, as the saying goes..."I wish I knew then, what I know now."

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  How does one define "waste?"====JACK:  What is one man's trash is another man's treasure.  My daughter's garbage hauler is called, "Waste Management."  If wasted time is managed well, it is, ultimately, not wasted.

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  downtime is a necessity in a busy world.====JACK:  I've found that some "good" ideas have popped into my mind while I thought I was wasting time.  I guess that time is time, no matter what we may be doing.  Sometimes doing on-the-job repetitive stuff could be classified as wasted time.  Just because you're paid for that time doesn't necessarily mean that it wasn't wasted.

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  I do my best thinking in the bathtub. They say the sleeping mind goes to work on your problems overnight. Hence, the "aha" moments come morning.====JACK:  I get some ideas for Winning Words when I wake up in the middle of the night.  A friend of mine has a mind that works like that.  He keeps a recorder at his bedside and speaks the idea into the machine before he loses the thought.

 FROM TARMART REV:  Never know if the names depicted in the stories are actually true . . . I've heard some of the same stories told but having different characters named as the one being given credit for . . . however, one is told about a former President of the United States years ago that was called upon by his son to take him fishing for a day . . . the President wrote in his diary about the day being wasted and the son called it the best day of his life!!=====JACK:  I've heard preachers tell stories in sermons, making them sound like they really happened to them.  A seminary student began such a story by saying, "When I was in Persia...."  He'd never been to Persia, but was simply using a story that he had found in a book of sermons.  O be careful little mouth, what you say..." as the song goes.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Reading and traveling are my ways of wasting time.  I consider them as having a good time.====JACK:  I saw a list of 1000 ways to waste time.  Reading a book or traveling wasn't on the list, but forwarding e-mail stories to others was.====SHIRL:  I love to get forwarded emails.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:   I LOVE TO HAVE A DAY THAT I CAN JUST PIDDLE AWAY...IT'S THOROUGHLY ENJOYABLE...NO PRESSURE, NO HURRYING,   NO DEADLINE....TIME TO READ, DO CROSS WORDS,  ORGANIZE A DRAWER, ETC. EVEN DOZE OFF IN THE RECLINER!  JOHN LENNON WAS ON  TO SOMETHING WITH THIS OBSERVATION! ====JACK:  My mother-in-law was a very active person, directing several choirs, playing for weddings and funerals, giving piano lessons, etc.  She was always on the go.  There came a time when she had to go to a nursing home.  One day, while sitting there in a chair, she said to my wife, "I feel like I'm just wasting my time." 

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  You certainly find some published gems, and usually add some gems of your today's end comment.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Jack’s Winning Words 9/11/13
“What separates us from animals…is to mourn people we’ve never met.”  (David Levithan)  Last Sunday, 60 Minutes had a segment about the 9/11 Museum in NYC, set to open next year.  An interactive display will allow visitors to see pictures of each of the almost 3000 victims.  None who died are known to me, but I’m sure that I’d shed a tear, seeing their faces.  These hymn words have meaning:  “We share our mutual woes, our mutual burdens bear, and often for each other flows, the sympathizing tear.”    :-(  Jack

   FROM ED IN CALIFORNIA:  you know, one of these nights i'm going to get to bed before you send out the morning's Winning Words...====JACK:  That's what happens when we live in different time zones.  My  Grandson John is studying in Australia.  In about 4 hours it will be tomorrow there today.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I saw that report, and the pictures they plan to line the walls with, and of course you think of ALL the repercussions of those  lost  lives, in family grief, lost potential, and loss to what they would have contributed, had they lived.  It is a crushing realization!  This week a little 7 yr. old girl in  our area disappeared, and was later found dead, apparently killed by her uncle!! I shed tears for that family, who must mourn the victim and the culprit, when  the news was  broadcast.  David L. is right, tho I hadn't thought of it before.====JACK:  The Friday before Easter was, at first, not thought to be a good day.  But, with the passage of time, we see things in a wider perspective.  We still wonder (humanly), "What if....?"

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Maybe what "distinguishes" us from other animals is a better way to put it. I don't think we are separated from them at all. We are in relationship with everything. We mourn what we have lost because we know of death. We know of good and evil, light and dark, right and wrong, having and losing...maybe we should have listened and not eaten of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. If we would not know of death, how would we know of loss, or of destruction, or the like? ====JACK:  The quote is David Levithan's.  He's a noted writer/editor in his early 40s who writes for a younger adult audience.  As an older adult, I focus in on the thought about "mourning for strangers."  Why do I do that.  Perhaps it relates to what Jesus said...."Whenever you see the sick, the hungry, the naked, those in prison, you see me in disguise."  Maybe I mourn for the stranger because of that.====RAY:  My point is that mourning is a function of awareness, and by itself, it is not something meaningful beyond our own experience of it. Mourning is a responsive function of awareness; not of service. The "why" of one's mourning doesn't make any of us more or less noble. I am not righteous because I mourn for those who die, or who are sick, or who are poor  Mourning doesn't "do" anything to relieve poverty, death, or general suffering; it identifies what we know about our own preferences regarding the world in which we live -- we mourn just as much for what "could be" as we mourn for what is. My mourning is an expressive fruit of that awareness.
More importantly, charity is my best response to mourning because that actually serves another. I can only hope that our mourning leads to something fruitful like Charity, and that we don't simply feel good about the fact that we mourn for others!  In my uneducated opinion, this is what is suggested by Jesus being "in disguise" as those whom you referenced. I doubt very much that in the end of Time, all of our "mourning" will amount to a hill of beans; nor will it be greeted with much fanfare! Rather, our Charity will serve to see the Christ without any disguise, as we love one another as we have been loved by Him. This is what comes to my mind -- and precisely what I would convey to young adults if I were a notable author and editor.
Thanks again for the soulful stimulation!====JACK:  I've read that elephants mourn like us and shed tears over the dead.  They even bury their dead.  Why is that?

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  so very true...====JACK:  Or as it says in the Bible, "Yea verily."

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Interesting WW. We were just talking Monday night at Bible study about whether animals are separated from us humans a lot spiritually. When we're with them they seem so close to us. I have a close Chaldean friend and, knowing her, the grief she has for her homeland, the sorrow for the people there who are still living in such a dangerous and insecure part of the world, this after years of life now since 9/11, I've learned to mourn the whole country of Iraq and before 9/11 I guess I was more or less like an animal, hardly having the capacity of mourning the people of that country whom I'd never met. All the mourning for all the victims of violence. This morning, I am remembering all the dead all together. Thanks for the WW.====JACK:  More than 4 million people visit the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.  Why do so many "mourn" for those they do not know?

 FROM TARMART REV:  I'm reminded the same this morning of the Holocaust Center in West Bloomfield . . . always a reflective moment of solitude and broken heartedness of what man is capable of doing and the suffering that has be experienced by people who are the objects of another's scorn?!?! 0:-/ ====JACK:  I saw a picture today of a large box full of wedding rings taken from victims who died in concentration camps in WW 2.  Each one represents a family unknown to me, but I mourned, just the same.

TAMPA SHIRL:  This is a day that will live in infamy.====JACK:  FDR had a way with words.  I sort of knew the meaning of the word, but, upon looking it up, I see that it has a Latin origin and means: "grossly evil."  I see its connection with the words,  The 9/11 event is exactly that.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Jack’s Winning Words 9/10/13
“Don’t give up before the miracle happens.”  (Fannie Flagg)  I recently read Zealot, a best-seller about Jesus, the person.  It references other miracle workers in biblical times, comparing them to Jesus.  What do we pray for when we pray for a miracle?  I simply want God to know my feelings and to work his “will.”  Sometimes the “miracle” happens in a totally unexpected way.  Are you looking for a particular miracle?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  I think it is a miracle that God loves me.   After that, everything falls into place. ====JACK:  Have you heard the song, "Jesus knows me, this I love"?

 FROM TARMART REV:  "God knowing my feelings of love, adoration and deep respect for Him and to be faithful in working out His will for my life.”  I like that, Jack . . . it takes us Pentecostal preachers longer and having to preach faster to get it all in because we haven't learned to be as precise as you good Lutherans do in getting our points across.====JACK:  I like the fact that there are different "kinds" of churches.  Some people like McDonald's, some Burger King, some the London Chop House.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Today's quote and your question remind me that prayer is so often corresponded to petition. I prefer to think of my prayer as more conversational. Prayer keeps the relationship at the forefront of my consciousness; it is an ongoing manner of friendship. Prayer is a miracle in this way -- that Jesus walks with me wherever I go, even waiting for me when I forget and leave Him (sin). He is there when I return. I think this is the miracle.====JACK:  When I used to teach confirmations students about prayer, I would set an empty chair in front of a student and ask them to picture Jesus sitting there.  Now, talk with Jesus and tell him what's on your mind.  It helped develop conversational prayer.

 FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:   I simply want God to know my feelings and to work his “will.”  I once prayed that God would be merciful and take away the suffering of a person so injured that only minimal recovery could be expected. As i saw it a lifetime of suffering lay ahead for him and his family. But as you taught us so many years ago I ended the prayer with  "but I ask this only if it is your will". This person received almost perfect healing and has been well for over 7 years now. It was a true miracle in every sense of the word. I was and continue to be forever grateful (and humbled).====JACK:  I feel uncomfortable and inadequate in giving orders to God.  I know that there are "believers" who pray in a different way than I do.  Is there a right way, or a wrong one?  "thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" is good enough for me.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Like your miracle very much. I also want God to know my feelings and to work his "will". Much of the time, I'm praying for God to lead some other significant person in my life to know and understand my feelings--I'm the kind of person who takes responsibility for all kinds of things which may actually be someone else's "stuff", like I'm the cause of everything bad. That's why I identify with a guy like Luther so much--the beginning of his relationship to God and appreciate so much of what he wrote as he sorted it all out. There's a guy in our Bible study right now who is "sorting things out" and I eagerly await a miracle of faith happening as the year progresses.====JACK:  Loretta Lynn sang this song which seems to relate to your style of prayer.
Now let us have a little talk with Jesus
Let us tell him all about our troubles
He will hear our faintest cry
And we will answer by and by

 FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  Great advice. I am experiencing a lot of really welcome "minor miracles" in my life right now. Not spectacular things but things that affirm I am on the right path.====JACK:  For me, each day is an experiment, because no day is exactly the same as any that have gone before.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Pray like everything depends upon you, and live your life like everything depends upon you.  BTW what did you think about Zealot.  I have the book but haven't gotten into it yet .  Going back to yesterday, i am afraid of alligators.  One of my neighbors had one under her car in the driveway last summer, and my next door neighbor had one in her back yard this summer.  We all have fenced yards, of course.====JACK:  I saw the author of Zealot interviewed on The Daily Show.  The book is as advertised, a look at the life of Jesus historically and not necessarily though the eyes of a believer (or non-believer).  If you happen to find a gator under your car, pray....and run as fast as you can.

 FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  your whole life is a miracle.  and mine too. we are flying to Vienna on sat. to spend 12 days on a river cruise (Rhein and Danube) to end up in Amsterdam.  should be fun. ====JACK:  Do miracles really happen?  Does life really exist?  Is this all a dream?  What about hyperreality?  These are the questions that philosophers ask?  You can ponder them while on your cruise.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Thanks. I needed that.====JACK:  A slap in the face, or a pat pat on the head?.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I guess nothing scares me at the moment. Maybe I am just naive.====JACK:  How about when one of those Gulf hurricanes comes bearing down on you?  I'd be scared!

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Good message! I've prayed one prayer for years, now, with now "miracle" but haven't given up yet!   So thankful for all the miracles that HAVE happened, though, like the prayer healing for my 3rd son when he was two yrs. old. Drs could find no cause for his internal bleeding, and he was put on a strict diet, different meds, etc. and finally slated for  exploratory surgery at Children's Hospital in Chicago.  We called in friends and fellow pastors  and wives to prayer for healing, as God knew what the trouble was....! When we took him that week for his exam, the bleeding had stopped, and never returned.  He is a successful pastor today. That is just one! Never Give Up!====JACK:  Although Churchill said it during the dark days of WW 2, his words are appropriate with regard to your son's miraculous healing..."NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP!"


Monday, September 09, 2013

Jack’s Winning Words 9/9/13
“The first and great commandment is: Don’t let them scare you.”  (Elmer Davis)  I saw a list of phobias…530 of them.  Did you know that ablutophobia is the fear of bathing?  What is it that scares you?  Spiders?  Public speaking?  Heights?  One study shows the #1 fear to be the Fear of Death.  Whatever it is that scares us, there is comfort in God’s promise:  “Fear not, I am with you.  I will never leave you.”    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TARMART REV:  I'm about to face my "ablutophobia" head on this morning, Jack! Pray for me that I will become "whiter than snow." ====JACK:  Is it scarlet now?

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:   have heresyphobia. World War II and what happened with regards to the Church and society in Germany has made my heresyphobia pretty serious. However, a few years ago, at one of the SEMI WELCA meetings, did hear the first ELCA woman bishop address this fear. She said "Don't worry about heresy. God will take care of that." And guess He did with World War II being won by the Allies but oh my the suffering of so many people in the concentration camps and on the battle field. I wasn't even born then--found out about it by hearsay--but still it's taking quite a long time for me to recover from the horror of it all.  Great law/Gospel WW.====JACK:  I was recently reading some articles by some religious leaders, written prior to WW 2, promoting pacifism.  I think of that now in connection with the Syrian crisis.  It would be easier to make choices, if we could see the results ahead of time.  But, of course, that's not how life operates.

 FROM JE IN MICHIGAN:  Very good one for today. It’s seven weeks until the School Bond Election. Of course I’m doing everything I can to make sure it passes…  but there is a fear.====JACK:  There's an old saying:  "Keep going no matter what.  Control what you can and leave the rest to God."  I've read that “Success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration."  Runners have a saying that puts it this way:  "Success is 90% preparation (mental) and 10% physical."  Either way, success depends on hard work, mentally and physically.  Good luck!====JE:  I also like the saying: "Get up, dress up, show up and never give up!"

 FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  fear is false expectations appearing real and my only fear is trying to one up Jack Freed..... very frightening. ====JACK:  I'm sure you've had greater fears than that in your lifetime.  A verse from a hymna I learned in Sunday School goes like this..."No matter what may be the test,    God will take care of you!  Lean, weary one, upon His breast,    God will take care of you!"====RJP:  You challenge my thought process. I was trying to think of what fears I really had beside the simple ones of going on stage or jumping off the high dive. Truth is the only real serious fear I have is for the well being of my family.
Other than that I remember one fear I had many years ago when I did the service for you when you visited your MOM. I was afraid you would find out that I left out a part of the service. One of the ushers pointed out my error after the service....I hoped you would never know, but now OOOOPs now the cat is out of the bag and my fear has abated.====JACK:  In retrospect, our fears often lose their scariness.  You probably aren't afraid of the bogey man any longer....or are you?

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  It's a good thing to remember in all situations...I think if one follows the progression of thoughts regarding one's "fears" it will inevitably lead to the fear of death. And in that experience one's faith is the only comfort.====JACK:  Ben Franklin said:  "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."  But, since, some people don't pay taxes, the only thing certain is death.  Henry Ward Beecher's last words were these: "Now comes the mystery."

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Syria is a fearful situation, for sure.  My S.S. lesson yesterday was on the FEARS of Abraham, and God saying, "Don't be AFRAID, I am your shield, and you will be blessed!"  For sure, hindsight is 10/20 but facing forward is challenging to say the least. Albert Camus once said, "When the oppressed take up arms in the name of justice, they take a step toward Injustice..."  Violence breeds more violence, it seems.  Anyway, we try  not to be afraid, with the Lord as our shield....HE has our backs! ====JACK:  My Prayer List shows that some people are facing fears greater than Syria.  I guess that "fear" is really in the eye of the beholder.  Your advice to the Sunday School class was good.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  The number one fear is the fear of dog bites. Death is second on the list I saw. Dog bites works for me. When I was a paper boy, I had a couple of dogs on my route that scared the hell out of me.====JACK:  For me, it's acrophobia.  I get queasy, just looking at a picture showing steel workers sitting high up on a beam eating their lunch.

  FROM WATERFORD JAN:  I'm not afraid of dying, thank you Jesus, but I'm fearful that one of those many rooms in God's mansion might have one room which is ruled by spiders--especially relatives of the ones I've feared and killed.====JACK:  It's a good thing that Noah and his family weren't afraid of spiders. 

 FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  My fear is being incapacitated  and useless.  Incidentally, I picked up a book at recent sale called " 14,000  things that make me happy. The author has been making lists for the last 20 years.   It could well have been labeled,  14,000 Things I have  to be thankful to God  for.====JACK:  The fear of being incapacitated is certainly a real fear, but (as we know) it does not necessarily need to be connected with being useless.  Ironically, there are incapacitated people who are happy and useful, in their own way.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Jack’s Winning Words 9/6/13
“Age is a question of mind over matter.  If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”  (Satchel Paige)  Old Satch was probably the best pitcher in the history of baseball.  He still pitched in the majors at age 59.  Paige had several aphorisms printed on his calling cards.  One read, “Don’t look back!”  Sometimes it’s hard to let go.  You can’t get ahead if you’re continually using the rearview mirror.  Now’s the time to move on.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  I use the rear view mirrors frequently while driving.   I also try to keep focused in what is going on in front and on the sides.    In the same way history helps us a great does keeping focused on the front and sides.====JACK:  I agree that's it's good to be aware of what's going on around you while fact, it also applies to how life is lived.  You would pass any test in both areas.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  You're right about this WW. Thanks!!!!!  You and Joanne Worley are pips. ====JACK:  Jo Anne is known as a "loud-mouth."  In church she would lip-synch the hymns, so that she that she would not drown out the congregation.  J A and me...Like two pips in a pod.  .

 FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  I hope the Tigers can move on from the 20 runs scored against them on Weds!!====JACK:  Some events are unforgettable.  That game was forgettable.  Such is life!

 FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN:  You don't know how I needed that!  I have been struggling with the fact that we are in the midst of moving to Traverse City!  I know it is right, have known that we have been "lead" to this decision, and everything has fallen into place:  sale of house here, purchase of house there, etc, etc.  But I am a foot dragger, reluctant to change.  In  fact, I kept one your earlier WW about not letting your rear view mirror be larger than your windshield.  But we have so many memories made in this house:  grandkids all born here, so many family gatherings, Mother living here, etc.  But it is now too big, too much work and too expensive to keep and besides all of that Rick loves T.C., has been begging me to move, my son and family live there and I am from there--had worked at the State Mental Hospital till it closed and I moved down here.  I think that maybe the real problem is that I knew that someday I would return there as I truly love it.  But I thought it would be when I was old, and I don't think I'm old yet!!  Is this my rude awakening??====JACK:  There are certain occasions when the "aging process" seems to hit home.  The death of the last parent is one.  The move to a "retirement" place is another.  But change happens, whether we're ready for it, or not.  Many good things happened for me after "retirement."  It's OK to use that rearview mirror once in a while when you get to T.C.  Just don't forget the windshield.

 FRLM RI IN BOSTON:  Do look back!  Aging and "looking back" go together well.  When we reach a time in life that we become limited in our activities, memories of better days give a lot of solace.  It's little comfort to dwell on things that might have been, but by contrast, it's quite satisfying to mentally re-live one's accomplishments or other buoyant moments that punctuated our younger, spirited, years.  Shortly I'll be attending my high school class reunion after 60 years.  I suspect those of us still around will be celebrating our age, and we'll do a lot of looking back.====JACK:  While it's fun to look back, there's no future in it.  I'm reminded of the little old lady who had many maladies and was often in and out of the hospital.  Whenever she was there, she would go around trying to cheer up the other patients.  As she was signing in for another visit she said, "I wonder what God has for me to do this time?"  I wonder what God has for you to do at your reunion?

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  LAL.====JACK:  I hope you have a LAL day!

 ROM TARMART REV: Saw Paige pitch when I was a kid in Osawatomie, Kansas on the Potawatomie Creek, taking a bus ride to Kansas City to watch the KC Athletics play . . . all for 50 cents!====JACK:  Now, that's something for the Memory Bank!  Did they ask you to give the invocation?

 FROM TRIHARDER:  Roger Maris had an * after his hr totals when he hit 61.  In Boston, they won't let Ted Williams 502' hr shot be beaten by Big Poppy.  I've often talked about putting * next to all major league baseball players who used PEDs.   Shouldn't we also talk about records achieved when a sizeable portion of the talented population was excluded from competing? Yes, these were great athletes.   A book that I would author, if I had the writing talent, would be a book on one or more or all of the great Negro baseball players.  I love this story:  "They said Papa Bell was so fast that he hit a line drive through the pitcher's legs and the ball hit him in the ass as he was sliding into second."====JACK:  Speaking of asterisks, I like that Papa Bell story.  Part of the fun of growing up with baseball is keeping track of stats.  I have a grandson who has a mind that full of them.  Personally, records are made to be broken...but I hope that no one breaks the consecutive game hitting record of Joltin' Joe.  As an aside, I'm not a fan of instant replay.  Umpire errors are a a part of the game, just like player errors and managerial errors.  "We all sin and fall short...."  That's why there's a day like Yom Kippur. ===TH:  Yom Kippur gives us an opportunity to ask forgiveness for our sins and shortcomings, true. But if we have an opportunity to correct those shortfalls and don't isn't that compounding our error?   Armando Galaraga's perfect game is an example of a clearly blown call that could have been set right be a quick review.  Although in this case, the class of all of the actors -- Galaraga, Jim Joyce (the umpire) and everyone else, mitigated the loss of Galaraga's perfect game. But Joyce was embarrassed, even despondent over his missed call.  Doesn't Galaraga deserve an * ?   I say (but don't really mean) that I hate every sport whose outcome is determined by someone who is not a participating athlete.  It takes the "sport" out and puts in "art".  (Ice skating broils me). Most people don't want to win unfairly.   We can correct a mistake. We should do it.====JACK:  It's been said of a nit-picker, "He majors in minors."  When the ump or ref is continually 2nd-guesser, it destroys the flow of the game.  Whether one likes it or not, the official is part of the game.  After many pitches the TV shows a box indicating the location of the pitch.  "Getting it right" might mean getting rid of the home plate umpire and letting the camera make the calls.  In fact, let the camera make all of the calls.  "Kill" the umpire!  Having said that...I think that judges, juries and attorneys deserve to be 2nd-guessed.

 FROM DC IN MICHIGAN:  That was the time I knew a lot about baseball and I know he only pitched in the big leagues a very few years, because that was after Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby.  And I don't think he was the best pitcher ever, even if he was very good.====JACK:  When I was in grade school, teachers graded with E, VG, G, and P.  Fans grade ball players (and preachers) in a similar way.  But, when all's said and's like Grantland Rice once wrote:  "For when the One Great Scorer comes  To write against your name,  He marks-not that you won or lost-  But how you played the game."

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Home run!!====JACK:  The only home run that counts is the one that happens when we die.  Thomas Taylor wrote a hymn which goes this way...  "I’m but a stranger here,  Heaven is my home;   Heaven is my home;   Earth is a desert drear,  Heaven is my home;  Danger and sorrow stand  Round me on every hand;  Heaven is my fatherland,  Heaven is my home."====PFC:  Well, I'll see you at the Home.====JACK:  There's no place like home.  There's no place like home.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Old Satch had several quaint sayings...this is a familiar one, and holds the truth. I passed Meals on Wheels this week, and at 83, was older than many of the recipients I served. Made me count my blessings, again!   Looking ahead and moving on is absolutely essential. My granddaughter and fiancee will be here tomorrow for lunch and a fun visit. Interest in their futures plans and careers helps to keep one forward looking!! But the rearview mirror is good to "see" precious memories! Best of both  ====JACK:  As his career was winding down, there was a picture of Satchel in the bullpen, sitting in a rocking chair, reading a newspaper.  He always ambled (never ran) to the pitching mound.  When I walk, I usually amble. 

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  In my mind, I'm still in my twenties but my body says I'm in my 60's.  I'd rather stay in my mind's eye than my body's.  I don't mind and it don't matter.====JACK:  I wonder if Methuselah ever felt his age?

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Jack’s Winning Words 9/5/13
“Many are called, but few get up.”  (Oliver Herford)  Irving Berlin wrote a song with the words, “O, how I hate to get up in the morning.”  Does that apply to anyone you know?  Herford’s WWs speak to the truth that opportunities are before us every day--like today.  We must be ready to seize them, before they are lost, never to appear again.  “The saddest words of tongue or pen…the saddest are…what might have been.”    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TS IN INDIANA:   I have a sweatshirt which I wear on my early morning walks which has the following on the front:
             [X]   MORNING PERSON
                     (when real people get real things done)
             [   ]   NIGHT OWL
                     (sluggard of the universe)
         There is a box in front of the two items, and mine has a check in the Morning Person box.   This language is a little strong for your messages - but does have a Biblical ring to it.    I haven't been able to find another such sweat shirt, so I'm really trying to care for the one I have!====JACK:  I'm trying to figure our the Biblical ring, unless it's the verse: "Go to the ant, thou sluggard..."

 FROM TARMART REV:  "It's a brand new day, Jack, and never been lived in before!!" Hoping yours is very blessed!!====JACK:  One of our pastors in Minneapolis used to have a daily radio program.  He would begin each program by enthusiastically saying, "Up and away, for this is God's day!  Are you going God's way?"

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Don't you think the occasions of missed opportunities is truly because the one who missed them didn't understand its value? Many are called but few are chosen -- because they know not what they do? It's hard to fathom refusing a gift of peace, joy, or even eternal life while having an understanding of what one is missing.====JACK:  Someone may say, "Jump in!  The water's fine."  But you won't know until you take the plunge.  Words of encouragement are not enough.  You'll never truly be able to make a judgment, without trying it out for yourself.  That goes for church involvement, too.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN: AMEN and AMEN.====JACK:  Salespeople would generally be found in "The Amen Corner."  I suppose you've heard of the Amen Corner which some churches reserve for the more enthusiastic members who shout "Amen!" to indicate that they agree with what's going on...and to spur-on the pastor in his preaching.

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  This morning I did get up.  Have been working out at 6 am in a class on Thursday mornings.  Getting out the door at 5:40 isn’t easy for me but I feel rewarded all day long and energized as a result.  Today, we got up.====JACK:  The old saying is: "Plan your work, and work your plan."  Zig Ziglar, the motivational speaker put it this way:  "You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win." Getting up is half the battle!====BBC:  My dad always liked Zig and…Earl Nightengale.  Thanks for the positive thoughts.====JACK:  As you can see, they're still relevant and being quoted.


Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Jack’s Winning Words 9/4/13
“Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos.”  (Thich Nhat Hanh)  Back when I was a teen, I recall being taught that “the body is the Temple of God” (1 Cor 6:19); how we use it or abuse it, has a Spiritual implication. That teaching has continued to influence my thinking on health issues.  BTW, today’s quote is from a Buddhist monk, once nominated to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Remember the Jack LaLanne  Show on television those many years, Jack? . . . for some reason your post brought back his memory for me this morning . . . pulling large trucks with his bare teeth even at a ripe old age, he was!!! 0;-)   Francois Henri "Jack" LaLanne (September 26, 1914 - January 23, 2011) was an American fitness, exercise, and nutritional expert and motivational speaker who is sometimes called "the godfather of fitness" and the "first fitness superhero."====JACK:  One of the first "Jacks" who was a health nut was Jack Sprat who "could eat no fat."

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  To my mind, today's WW also includes human sexuality and being together with someone in a healthy bodily way. I'm grateful to the Church for thinking this is an important enough subject, involved in our gratitude, that theologians and not just doctors study and look to the Bible and so forth for guidance for people wishing to care for the body's healthiness.====JACK:  We are more than just a body.  The body is only a corpse, unless there is that "spirit" that gives it life.  Maybe that's what i meant by "created in the image of God."

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I'm not sure the whole cosmos would be happy if I lost some weight but I do know I would be.====JACK:  The underlying question is not about the cosmos, or self...but what is God's will for my life?  That involves a variety of issues.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Good morning.  I wrote something in the WW, and thought it was probably "too much".  Just the same, I was inspired by the quote to write something...  I'll at least share it with you:
Buddhism offers a multitude of valuable lessons for Christians through its philosophy. The Buddhist philosophy was originally developed through the way or the life of the Buddha. Buddha wasn't a "god"; as his title confirms -- merely one who was "enlightened". Hence, Buddhism isn't a theology, but a philosophy of enlightenment.   It seems all great philosophers have been blessed with the gift of enlightenment to some degree. Maybe some more than others. I'm glad that they have shared their wisdom with the rest of us. Still, Solomon, a great philosopher himself, comments that Wisdom is torment; for it seems that the "love of wisdom" simultaneously exposes one to the destruction of decit and its widespread influence on the "unwise". "Ignorance is bliss" has a bit of truth in it when considering the costs that accompany wisdom or enlightenment.  Buddhism says that "life is suffering", and it is true if one sees only the world. For myself, the philosophers have sometimes helped me to understand and better apply the teachings of Jesus the Christ --- not just a great philosopher, but the Son of God, the Source of Life itself, and the Way of eternal life.  All philosophies and theologies develop certain religious rituals that indicate a sense or need to "search" for something that is beyond the reach of the casual or normal functioning. Christianity's rituals (religion) "bind" and "connect with" the Eternal Christ (communion). The rituals of other philosophies or theologies cannot make such a claim. Their theologies are different and, as such, their religions serve a different purpose. We can be thankful when that purpose brings harmony to the world rather than dissonance. We can be most thankful for being selected as a member of the Body of Christ, and rightly, behave in like manner with Him who commanded that we love one another as we have been loved by Him who loves us.  There it is. Thank you again for instigating worthy thoughtfulness and triggering my mind to focus on that which is important to consider. "For the simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps" (Proverbs14:15) comes to mind.====JACK:  Long or short...Good thought is worth sharing.  Even though I have philosophical and theological views, I realize that we know only "in part."  To become "fully aware" is something for the future.  At least, that's what my faith says to me.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  That is all very good advice.  It must be harder in Michigan in the winter time.  We have just returned from Ann Arbor where we left 50 years ago.  Actually, the weather was OK but at times just as hot as Florida.  The MIchigan game was really hot but it was all fun.====JACK:  "Into each life some rain must fall."  That's why I enjoy the seasonal changes in Michigan.  Mark Twain wrote:  "If you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes."   I wonder if he ever visited Michigan.