Monday, March 31, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 3/31/14
“You think something wonderful is going to happen.”  (Joe DiMaggio)  A pastor had a daily radio program which began with the words, “Up and away!  This is God’s day!”    His messages tried to get people to see that they are in partnership with God and, because of this, good things will happen.  “Joltin’ Joe” wasn’t a preacher, but his quote is an  Opening Day inspiration to baseball fans looking for a season of good things .    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TS IN INDIANA: As I recall, this is a memorable day for you - opening day for the Tigers.   Sounds as if will be a good one weather wise.   Do you practice with the tailgating at home?====JACK:  I already have a bag of peanuts.  I may go to the local coney and get a hotdog (or 2) just before the game starts at 1.

FROM TARMART REV:  Oral Roberts used to always begin his weekly telecast with the song, “Something good is going to happen to you, happen to you this very day, something good is going to happen to you, Jesus of Nazareth is passing your way!” – My favorite: “It’s a brand new day, never lived in before and we have the privilege of making the best of it!!”====JACK:  You have to be careful when singing "Something good is going to happen," because life has a way of changing the lyric from good to bad.  Poor Oral found that out.  But, eventually, God has a way of turning the bad into good for those who are faithful.

 FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  happy opening day!====JACK:  Since you always like a song for the day, how about, "Take me out to the ballgame..." or, "O say, can you see...?"====MARY:  oh, it's take me out to the ball game.  the little boy thom irvin's version.
take me out to the ball game.
take me out to the crowd.
buy me some peanuts and crack-the-jack.
i don't care if i ever get back.
for it's root, root, root for the cubbies...if they don't win it's a shave!
for it's one, two, three tractors out at the old ball game...whatagame!
ahhhhh...the memory of his little voice:)====JACK:  I love it!

 FROM PH IN THE TWIN CITIES:  the MN Twins need lots of hope!!====JACK:  Didn't Joe Nathan of the Tigers and Big Papi of the Red Sox used to play for the Twins?

 FROM FLYIN' CHUCK:  Here's to a great season all around! My Cubbies open against the Pirates today! Go Cubs.====JACK:  I just heard that the Cubs lost 1 to 0 in the bottom of the 10th.  Heartbreak start.

 FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA:  Love it. ;o) Happy sunny day! Go Tigers!====JACK:  When I was a kid and a Cubs' fan, the radio broadcast would begin with this song....(You can Google it)
Let’s go!  Batter up!
We’re tak-ing the af-ter-noon off!
It’s a beau-ti-ful day for a ball game, for a ball game to-day
The fans are out to get a ticket or two
From Wal-la, Wash-ing-ton to Kal-a-ma-zoo
It’s a beau-ti-ful day for a home run,
But e-ven a tri-ple’s o-kay!
We’re gon-na cheer and boo and raise a hul-la-ba-loo
At the ball game to-day

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Good Luck to your Tigers! My Cubs are playing the Pirates; no score after 3 innings. Hope springs eternal in the human breast, so looking forward to a winning season, HAA!  ====JACK:  The Tigers did have luck, but not so with the Cubs, losing in 10.  The season is young.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Enjoy each day. The Rays have a sold out game for their opening today.  They play the Bluejays who have their spring training in Dunedin.====JACK:  The Tigers also had a sellout... over 45,000.  They faced the former Rays' pitcher, Jimmy Shields.  He is really good, but the relievers let him down.

 FROM LP IN PLYMOUTH:  What is the context for the quote? I feel like either he was explaining the enthusiasm for the day, or there is a "but" about to negate it ====JACK:  I think that Joe D spoke these words with regard to the start of the baseball season.  I wonder if they are appropriate upon the death of a faithful person entering "heaven"?  I remember the Hallelujah Chorus being sung at the close of a funeral service.

 FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  We forgot to use our lucky giant turkey wishbone!  : (  But yay Tigers!! ====JACK:  Isn't it something how we can transition from one sport to another.  "A spoonful of sugar (a Tigers win) helps the medicine (Sunday's NCAA loss) go down."

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  In case the Tigers don't make it happen, here's Something Wonderful for you:  Well, the Tigers won...but I still listened to Doris Day sing "Something Wonderful."  I didn't know that you were a fan of hers.====RI:  I really don't have any singers that are heavy favorites.  I used the rendition by Doris for her clear-as-a-bell voice and ennunciation of the lyrics.  You don't find that anymore in today's music.  I'm glad the Tigers gave you a win.  I heard on the tail end of a sports report that the Sox lost their opener...ho hum!

 FROM ED IN CALIFORNIA:  After the past very stressful months... yesterday, the day you sent out this 'joltin' joe' email Roman got a faculty job offer!  Coincidence? I think not. Good 'ole uncle Joe.====JACK:  As I've often said, "It'll work out."  A friend just told me today how that phrase has come true in his life situation.  I say it, based on years of experience. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 3/28/14
“Good times, ‘Just ‘round the corner!’ so they say.”  (W.C. Handy)  Handy, The Father of the Blues, died on this date, in 1958.  Over 25,000 attended his funeral, with another 150,000 in the streets of Harlem.  I’d guess that his most famous song, St. Louis Blues was played at the service.  W.C.’s quote is an optimistic one, not consistent with  feeling “the blues.”  But that’s life.  Bad times?  Good times are  a-comin’.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM ANONYMOUS:  Wonderful quote!!!! I've been surprised so many times, so far, with the good times that came after the bad times. The blues help me to be in the bad times and not feel so lonely and then that makes even the bad times, hoping, praying and waiting for the good times to come again, more bearable than they would be without the blues. The blues musicians sure know how to hold a person's hand, ears and comfort the heart. ====JACK:  I wonder if W.C. Handy would like "I Wanna Holy Your Hand" by thr Beatles?

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  Sounds like he was a person who was open to the whole spectrum...both good and bad.====JACK:  Maybe it's best that optimism be tempered with a bit of pessimism, or should I say, reality?  But, on the whole, I think that positive thinking is better than negativity.====JOHN:   I agree with you there but I always think it is important to say "Oh shit" when Genghis Khan appears in front of the city gates.====JACK:  Eventually time passed and GK made his appearance before "The Judge."  Time has a way of evening things out.  I read that Genghis supposedly died from falling off of a horse

 FROM TARMART REV:  "Just around the corner!" . . . "The best is yet to come!" I like those and use them a lot . . . An old one I have not used of late, "Any better, I'd be in heaven - Any worse, well!!" ====JACK:  When my wife and I were married we got a bread board  with "The best is yet to be" painted on it.====REV:  I'm sure it proved true...nothing like fresh hot bread.====JACK:  Mary's grandmother used to make bread daily for her large family.  Our breadboard has only been used for kitchen decoration.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  To all things there is a season....and this too shall pass....applies to "all things", both what we dislike and what we prefer.====JACK:  Only eternal life is eternal.  I wonder is those people who get bored with the "same old, same old" would be uncomfortable in heaven?  Or maybe there is "change" in heaven, and we just don't know it.====RAY:  It is a mystery for sure...we'll find out when we get there. But, if "eternal" is the absence of Time, how could there be change? Because change is a temporal consideration...and of our temporal brain. Maybe it is our mind alone, free from the bain's influence, that finds such clarity? It will quite an enlightening experience for sure!====JACK:  Since we've only know time, timelessness is a mystery.  There used to be a radio program called, "I Love A Mystery."  I liked that program.

 FROM EEC IN MICHIGAN:  1.I'll have to see if I can find his voice on youtube. 2. I was talking to John yesterday, and he was telling me how he'd stayed up all night studying.  He said he knew he been up a long time when your WW came through to him.====JACK:  That's funny about John.  There are other "stay up laters" who have the same experience.====EEC:  I looked up W.C. Handy on YouTube and listened to a couple of songs. (Not my type of music.)  I like Sousa better!====JACK:  Didn't you like St. Louis Blues?  The St. Louis NHL hockey team was named after that song.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  It sure helps to have a positive attitude, especially as we "enjoy" the golden years!  We've lived long enough to know neither good or bad times last forever; Handy's quote is a good one to remember, as is the decorated dish hanging in my kitchen, "Old age is not for sissies!" Ha! The golf course is looking good....!Happy Spring!====JACK:  Life is sometimes like playing golf.  Sometimes a shot where you say, "Ahhhh."  Sometimes in the rough or in a trap.  Most of the time...par.  Often a bogie (or more) and an occasional birdie.  Have you had an eagle or a hole in one?

 FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  Not a very surprising selection from a Bix Beiderbecke fan.  I just read his full history on Wikipedia, learned some things about him I didn’t know.  Thanks for the quote.====JACK: Those who don't know about Bix should YouTube him.  Great music.  If you're into whistling, YouTube Elmo Tanner and "Heartaches."

 FROM MH IN ILLINOIS:  I do enjoy your winning words.  Sometimes that's the only reason I turn on the computer in the AM.  Thanks for sharing.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 3/27/14
“If you can’t do what you want, do what you can.”  (Lois McMaster Bujold)  The Sochi Paralympics were truly inspiring.  Skiers without arms, hockey players without legs, athletes with limited vision.  If you want something badly enough, you will find a way.  I know some people who had a pastor with no arms, but he learned to use his feet when he sat the table to eat.  He was also able (somehow) to paint his house.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TARMART REV:  A few of those folk in my life as well . . . we all cried when one of our students at Bible College, with very short arms and little tiny stubs for fingers, testified how thankful he was that day that he could now button his top button on his shirt . . . a true winner in my book!!====JACK  I think of those fellows who wanted to bring their sick friend to see Jesus, but couldn't get into the house where Jesus was, because of the crowd.  They then climbed onto the top of the house, removed some of the roofing and lowered their friend down to where Jesus was.  Where there's a will, there's a way.  That's one of my favorite picturesque Bible stories.  I'm sure that it's a favorite of yours, too.====REV:  Yes . . .what we are to be about . . . "rope holders!"

 FROM CL IN SANTA BARBARA:  Jack, are you familiar with Nick Vujicic? An amazing Christian. We brought him to town a few years ago to speak to our young Christian high school, Providence Hall. ====JACK:  I seem to remember being "introduced" to him through a link (
that you sent me.  A truly inspirational individual.  It's good that your high schoolers could get to know him, too.  We need to have role models, whatever our age might be.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I stand in awe of Nick Vujicic, born with no arms and no legs, and he has become a world renown motivational  speaker and preacher with inspiring faith. His books are wonderful, and his videos. And my hat is certainly off to his beautiful wife, who saw beyond his disabilities and loved him!!  He is so thankful for his baby son, born perfect in every way. Still he feels God uses him "just the way I am" and he accepts that. (He still keeps a pr of shoes in his closet, if the time comes when his prayers  for healing materialize, he says with a wry grin..) And look at the paralympic skier with two artificial legs, who is amazing on "dancing With the Stars" this season!  What determination  in the face of such odds! It is humbling!!====JACK:  You're the 2nd one to mention Nick Vujicic as an example of one who found a way to overcome his limitations.  Truly an inspiration!

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We sat down with our grandsons to watch the Paralympics.  We thought they should see how much the athletics could do even with "disabilities".  The human spirit is wonderful.  The boys especially liked and admired the sight-impaired skiers and how they followed the seeing skiers.  That's a lot of faith and a lot of skill!====JACK:  As I watched, I was amazed at what the athletes could do, rather than watching and feeling sorry for them.

 FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Very good quote. I got a good fortune cookie the other day.  Thought I would share it with you.  "TO LOVE WHAT YOU DO AND FEEL THAT IT MATTERS---HOW COULD ANYTHING BE MORE FUN?"     I thought it was a good one.====JACK:  Your response causes me to ponder...what is good fortune, and, what is bad fortune?  Life happens.  Those are fortunate who are able to take a sow's ear and make a purse.

 FROM CS IN WISCONSIN:  We watched Prince William’s walk to the South Pole last night with wounded soldiers.  It was very inspiring what each individual learned about themselves and in the end they learned to like themselves better about learned they had to help others and work as a team.====JACK:  We didn't get our TV Magazine this week, so we missed seeing the walk.  I hope that there's a rerun.

 FROM FLAMINGURU IN ILLINOIS:  Good morning:) last night I talked about Matthew Sandford, a Yoga Teacher Who Is Paralyzed From The Chest down. His book, WAKING is a wonderful inspirational story of his journey from "living with out" to living fully. I had twisted my ankle, and used this as my lesson. We can always do something! I love your message today& every day:) thank you.====JACK:  Even a twisted ankle can come in handy when you're looking for an illustration of how something "bad" can be used for something "good."  I suppose you weren't able to get into the Lotus posture, were you?====GURU:  Surprisingly I was:) but there were things I had to modify, &that was the essence of the lessons. ..for my students and myself! I kept a chair nearby for balance.  Every time I'm sick or injured is a chance for me to learn more & pass it on! It's a beautiful life:)

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  And now Amy is on "Dancing With The Stars" and doing great! That's the kind of guts that brings tears to my eyes.====JACK:  I haven't watched Dancing Withe The Stars, even though Meryl Davis from West Bloomfield is supposed to be on it.  I'll try to see if I can get a re-run of Amy.

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  Tough to read…I know, but thought you might enjoy the food for thought.  I thoroughly enjoyed The Goldfinch, a crime/art/mystery book that was reviewed very positively by both the New Yorker and NYT.  I don’t like spoilers so did not read the entire reviews until I finished.  Folks say it’s “Dickensian”….In any case, the misfit boys grow into dicey…burdened adults after having many harrowing and difficult experiences.  Boris, the Ukranian voice, is written in a funny accent but his words toward the end got me to think about many things.  His mixed up Bible references are sure to make you smile.  If you don’t mind a long book with some dark undertones, I think you’ll find it a worthy read.  Learn lots of art history and things about refinishing furniture in the process ====JACK:  I'm always on the lookout for a good book, although long remind me too much of college reading assignments.  I especially like turnaround stories, like the mud and the lotus flower...and The Goldfinch, as you describe it.

  FROM MW IN ILLINOIS:  I too think it's inspiring to watch them.  Reminds me of my grade school days, there was a boy in my class who was born with deformed.  legs that had  to be amputated.  He got around  by sitting on a square  board with wheels, & he used two chalk  board erasers    to push himself around. Occasionally he would entertain us by getting around the room  just using his hands & doing crazy tricks. Often wondered where he is now.====JACK:  I wonder where Joe is?  I also wonder about Max.  The last I heard, he was in prison.  Life is made up up of memories. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 2/26/14
“The lotus flower blooms most beautifully from the deepest and thickest mud.”  (Buddhist Proverb)  I read this proverb in a book written by someone who experienced the tragic death of a loved one.  Nature says that there are ways in which the bad can create the good.  We are constantly looking for help to understand what is beyond our understanding.  Maybe the lotus flower is God’s way of giving us some help.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM ED DOC PAUL:  Have you been watching COSMOS?====JACK:  Do you mean the magazine, Cosmo?  Or the Carl Sagan TV program?  I've missed both.  What connection did you see?====PAUL:  There is a new COSMOS like the one of Carl Sagan.  Neil deGrasse Tyson is the expert-narrator.  It’s something to watch each week!  I love it!====JACK:  I'll have to check it out.

 FROM TARMART REV:  Learning from the lotus flower . . . blooming from where I am planted . . . as you have and do in West BLOOMFIELD!"====JACK:  Most of us "plants" have been transplanted.  I have lived in 4 states, but I have enjoyed each in its own way.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Manure makes for a blessed fertilizer doesn't it?====JACK:  "Manure" happens!  In retrospect, it can be for the good.

 FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  Maybe we should change the saying from "Let us pray" to "Lotus pray"..mmm ====JACK:  When praying your prayers, perhaps you should use yoga's "lotus position."

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "LIVE IN EACH SEASON AS IT PASSES; BREATHE THE AIR, DRINK THE DRINK, TASTE THE FRUIT, AND ALIGN YOURSELF TO THE INFLUENCE OF THE EARTH" (Henry David Thoreau) Live in the NOW,, and make the most of it; We who profess a faith, should remind ourselves daily that He IS IN CHARGE, including our destiny in Eternity...Amen? ====JACK:  Destiny....How much is His will, and how much is Our will?

 FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Romans 8:28 has been such a support in trying times for me.   " And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."====JACK:  Often, in difficult circumstances, I find myself saying, "It'll work out."  And, in time, it seems to happen.  Romans 8:28 is a good verse.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  He also gave us mud!  He knew we would need the mud to get the flower. ====JACK:  I'm waiting to see the "flower" that will come out of the mud in Washington. 

 FROM JK IN CALIFORNIA:  Thanks for this******====JACK:  God has a way of leaving "Post-It" notes for us.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 3/25/14
“My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with.”   (Oprah Winfrey)  The Bible describes heaven as having gates of pearl and streets of gold, a very beautiful place.  I see heaven as beyond imagination…but if I did imagine, I would not be surprised to see a lot of people in the line with a sign stating: ”Questions answered here.”  What is it that you expect to experience when you cross over?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM BRIAN:  Sweet Peace!====JACK:  What a nice expression...and hope!  Graco makes an infant soothing swing which is called, "Sweetpeace."  Perhaps your hope of Sweet Peace includes sitting in a swing and feeling soothed.

 FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  In heaven, there would be no television.====JACK:  Probably no I-Phones, either.  Just harp music?

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  God====JACK:  How do you suppose we will recognize him/her? ====JOHN:  How could we not?====JACK:  With God, all things are possible.  So, be ready for some surprises.====JOHN:  Just be ready for whatever The Lord presuppose would be beyond stupidity

 FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  i think i might have to bake myself a potato tonight.  they do look kind of fluffy, like angel clouds.  yummmmmmmmmmm.====JACK:  I prefer mashed potatoes and gravy...and a couple of friends.

 FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  a huge family reunion with lots of good food and fellowship with no particular awareness of time or space...====JACK:  Will the food include lutefisk?====PH:  only for those with an official Norweigan passport and/or birth certificate...

 FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA:  I just saw that there is a movie being released on the book, "Heaven is for Real." Also very curious to see Russell Crowe play Noah. Wonder how Hollywood will do that? ====JACK:  Did you know that there are many ark stories, in the writings of various religions?  Many theologians consider them to be allegorical, while others consider the ark story to be taken literally.  What do you think?

 FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA:  I feel an enveloping sense of peace, rest, and security.   This interpretation may have been 'colored' by the tumultuous year that I've just been through. If I were feeling more peppy and adventurous, I'd probably add 'lots of opportunities to do good things for others'. ====JACK:  Many times our theological beliefs are dependent upon what is going on in our day to day living.

 FROM TARMART REV:  It will be definitely like “Heaven!" . . . how's that for a copout, Jack?!?! "What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed]” (I Corinthians 2:9 Amplified Bible). ====JACK:  I once had a church member who "died" on the operating table.  She told me what it was like to be on the doorstep of heaven.  What do you think of those near-death experiences?====REV: Very real for those who experience them...I try to enjoy their experience with them...not too keen of holding their view as factual as some are found contradicting another's. If I ever have one I will be sure I share it with you as well.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  With Oprah, it's probably half-baked.====JACK:  There was a movie, "One Foot In Heaven."  You seem to imply that Oprah might get half-way in...but not all the way.

 FROM DP IN MINNESOTA:  I think we will be "Spirits"...none of the human stuff...? ?   ?   ?      ? ====JACK:  We seem to be reading from the same book, the same page and the same paragraph.

 FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  I'm with Oprah w/the "heaven on earth" experience. As for what I anticipate when(and if) I cross's God's plan. But if I had a choice, I'd like to be one of those who fly effortlessly from person to person and place to place (like in Crouching Tigers and Hidden Dragon)...doing "You're an angel" things....the unexpected, needed.....rather than just eternally smiling benignly (as is oft portrayed)...but God's pleasure....I'll take heaven in any form...(as opposed to...) ====JACK:  You're right.  Our heavenly thoughts are colored by our earthy experiences.  It's hard to express the inexpressible, or to put the infinite into a finite container.

 FROM CS IN WISCONSIN:  Notice how the old woman is gazing back at the life that she is leaving...then passes through the veil of death into the open arms of the Savior.  The "Come Unto Me" bronze sculpture took more than a year to make its first appearance.  Unveiled in the 2000, the original life-sized bronze monument stands in the grand foyer of the Spilsbury Mortuary in St. George Utah   It has become a scenic attraction, in addition to a comfort to countless families at a most tender time of their lives.
It portrays the spiritual journey from mortality to immortality: an aged woman's body, returning to its prime, and back to the arms of our Savior.  Death is not the end. We all have an eternal destiny, as "Come Unto Me" portrays."For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on
Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life."  John 3:16    (KJV)====JACK:  That certainly is a piece of art which would appeal to the "heaven" beliefs of many people.


 FROM MOLINER JT:  Old friendships renewed.====JACK:  I hope that it might be different from the experience when old high school classmates get together, and the question is often asked, "Now, who are you?"

 FROM CWR IN MICHIGAN:   Lots of Rum Raisin Ice Cream ====JACK:  Evidently, you intend to be in a place where the ice cream won't melt.

 FROM MK IN MICHIGAN:  Peace like I have never known, Love beyond my human possibility…..and hopefully my Crowley Cat!====JACK:  I have a book with the title, "Will my dog go to heaven?"  If dogs go to heaven, I suppose there's room for cats, too.

 FROM RS IN TEXAS:  After reading a number of "near death" or "died and came back" accounts, the one consistent thing was overwhelming love. No stress, so strain, just consumed by unconditional love.  I'm all for that!   As our pastor asked recently........if Heaven is so much better than anything could possibly be on earth, and if you believed you are saved by grace and going to Heaven............then why does everyone want to live so long??  Interesting question.====JACK:  Perhaps this is why..."The world is so full of a number of things,  I ’m sure we should all be as happy as kings."  (Robert Louis Stevenson)

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Jesus' loving open-arms!  Behind Him will be my family and friends! ====JACK:  Heaven is something to be shared with a baked potato, but better.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 3/24/14
“A leader leads by example, whether he intends to or not.”  (Steve Jobs)  A poll was taken, asking whose face should be added to the Mt. Rushmore Memorial.  If you were to suggest a name, who would it be?  A President?  A woman?  An educator?  Someone said it should be Elvis.  Jobs’ quote says that it should be one who has set an example.  How about one who focuses on people, who listens, who’s open to change?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TARMART REV:  "The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone" (Psalm 118:22) . . . couldn't resist, Jack  . . . Scriptures like these just pop up into my head at times . . . even the Holocaust Center in Farmington Hills added a spot for Him on their timeline . . .  of course the Beatles were added as well as a world event of notoriety.====JACK:  Let's go in another direction.  If one of the images were to be removed, which one would it be?====REV:  Jack . . . you have once again stumped me . . . out of respect for the original purposeful intent, I would not add nor detract any of the images, and feel very strongly it is what it was intended to be . . . as for me, there is not a range of mountains faces that is long enough to be carved with those faces that have influenced my life into what it has become . . . yours would be carved out there carefully as well . . . always appreciated, never forgotten.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  The first thought that came to my mind was our frequent tendency to keep looking for idols of man because we seem to continue seeking them out, i.e., adding a face to Mount Rushmore, Hall of Fames, Celebrity tabloids, etc. It is as if we want a god of our choosing -- like the Hebrews of old who forgot that they already had one! In any case, I agree with the previous idea; let's put the face of Jesus up there. At least we could acknowledge the "Spirit" of the Law in the face of Him and the source of Righteousness, rather than the distraction of the spirit in face of the idol.====JACK:  But, what image of Jesus would be used, if, indeed, there was an actual image of Jesus?====RAY:  Any image would be fine. Use the same criteria for what image of every other person is used. It confirms the fact that it is only an image anyway -- regardless of who or what is one's god/God/Go(d) ====JACK:  I was just alluding to the fact that, while we have actual likenesses of George, Tom, Abe and Teddy, there isn't one of Jesus. ====RAY:  I know that you were, and I actually thought about your question in my initial comment. But, nonetheless, it is clear that what image we carry is of less significance than the spirit of the image, and it is a good time to make that mention. Isn't that also one of the messages in Saul's appointment of Jesse's youngest son? Man's vision of a man is different than that of God's view.

 FROM ED DOC PAUL:  Leading who, for what,  at what time?  I bet on an international stage the current Pope would be near the top.  Yet, what has he really done to back up his words about women in the Church, gay rights, and contraception?  At least his speech is inspirational.  I wonder if we are so divided as a City, State, Country or World, that looking at someone as a role model may never happen again.  Even Nelson Mandela would have a tough time today.  I fear that people will choose a “leader” that benefits their particular cause and nots someone who has almost universal agreement that benefited the vast majority.  I realize, Jack that you wrote about the U.S.  I have heard that people are pushing hard to have Ronald Reagan added to Mt. Rushmore.  Seriously???  Good example of supporting my point of view.  Personally, I vote for Superman!====JACK:  Since the current "four" are Presidents, the "fifth" might have to be a President, too.  Talk about starting a controversy...====PAUL:  This has been on the national agenda for a long time!====JACK:  The fact of the matter is...There isn't room for another image at the site.

 FROM RS IN TEXAS:  My vote would be for MLK..====JACK:  I don't think the public was given a vote on the first four.

 FROM BBC IN ILLINOIS:  Easy (to me) – Rushmore is a tribute to political figures….the only one with similar influence in my lifetime is MLK.  What did others come up with today?====JACK:  Interestingly, no one suggested a woman.  Susan B. Anthony?  Jane Addams?   Sacajawea?

 FROM WATERFORD JAN:  Leave Mount Rushmore alone.  It seems to be one of the least controversial monuments and is impressive as it is.  I'm glad there's no room for an additional subject.  I have great respect for Martin Luther King, Jr. but he already has memorials and a national day of recognition.  We need to be careful about erecting monuments of any kind until some history has determined that the currently popular hero (male or female) has truly earned a place of tribute.  Another caution:  Respect the monuments, including public buildings, that bear a name that is forgotten so that current population suggests renaming such places.  Wofford University has an interesting history and a respectable name, although not well-known.  It deserves at least an online search to read about its generous founder and its present reputation.====JACK:  I like the hymn, Abide With Me, especially the stanza...
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see—
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
As I reflect...The original intent of today's Winning Words was to emphasize qualities of leadership.  Isn't it interesting how easily we get sidetracked?  The stone faces got the attention and not the qualities of leadership on each individual.  Mea culpa!  I begged the question.

 FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  Did you know that three of the fours faces on Mt Rushmore were land surveyors?====JACK:  No, I did not know that.  Do you know why Teddy Roosevelt was chosen to be one of the four?

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "One man/woman with conviction, makes a majority" and old quote by Edmund Burke. Certainly when you are in a position of Leadership, you have influence regarding your "passion". A leader cannot be wishy-washy!  My main focus was/is Trafficking of Women and Girls, and AB Women took up the challenge and have contributed millions to that cause. I'm sure other denominations have, as well, but you have to lead by example, and put your money & time where your mouth is! Another well-known saying, "All that is necessary for Evil to triumph, is for good men(women) to do nothing"... ====JACK:  A leader leads from the front.  I read recently..."Unless you're the lead the dog, the scenery never changes."

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  I assume that it has to be an American, so Ronald Reagan gets my vote. He certainly was willing to change political parties, was willing to listen, was not afraid to make a stand and made me proud to be an American.====JACK:  Let's see...So far, 2 votes for MLK Jr, one vote each for Reagan, Pope Francis, Jesus and Superman.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Probably Ronald Reagan.  He was worthy but not perfect.====JACK:  Worthy is an interesting word.  My mother-in-law, who was a church choir director, said that music sung in church had to be "worthy."

Friday, March 21, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 3/21/14
“We can draw lessons from the past, but we cannot live in it.”  (Lyndon B. Johnson)  “The Time Paradox” is a book by two Stanford psychologists which explores how our mind influences our life and world around us.  Some live always in the past.  Some live just for the present.  Some only look to a better future.  Their conclusion:  Balance is best.  A little bit of each…Appreciate yesterday.  Enjoy today.  Plan for tomorrow.”    ;-)  Jack

 FROM ED DOC:  WISDOM!!! Thanks, Jack!====JACK:  You may have heard of the 7 cardinal sins, but did you know that there are the 4 cardinal virtues...and that wisdom is one of them?

 FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  I'm reminded of a "Charlie" cartoon:  Charlie & Lucy are on the deck of a cruise ship where many  of the passengers are sitting on deck chairs,some of them facing forward & some of them facing backward.  Lucy remarks to Charlie: "Look Charlie some of the people are looking forward to see what's ahead & others are looking backward to see what they may have missed,what type of person are you Charlie?  Do you want to see what's ahead or what you may have missed?  Charlie responds with "I'm one of those people that has difficulty unfolding the deck chair"====JACK:  Now, that's a good one.  I read a "Peanuts" rerun every day.  In today's strip, as his baseball team's manager, Charlie tries to make a decision, but is overcome by wishy-washiness.  Sometimes...Is looking at Charlie Brown like looking into a mirror?

 FROM HCC CHUCK:  Great thought but not always easy to accomplish.====JACK: the Sermon on the Mount and the Ten Commandments..

 FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  AMEN.    Probably the only thing LBJ said that I agree with!  Ha! ====JACK:  Here are some things he said that you might also agree with..."I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one's wife happy. First, let her think she's having her own way. And second, let her have it."  ...and, "You aren't learning anything when you're talking."


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 3/20/14
“If we had no Winter, Spring would not be so pleasant.”  (Anne Bradstreet)  Here in Michigan, the last time we had a winter like this one was in 1880-81.  Sometimes it takes contrast to help us see (and appreciate) more clearly.  Maybe “The Greatest Generation” benefitted from growing up in the Great Depression.  Otis Redding sings, “You don’t miss your water till your well run dry.”  This year, it’s gonna be a great spring!    ;-)  Jack

 FROM PAULELL:  As my mother use to say…”From your mouth to G’d’s ears!====JACK:  Was that used in terms of praying...or something else?

 FROM DOCTOR J IN OHIO:  For sure!====JACK:  How does Punxsutawney Phil know about the Vernal Equinox?  Did he sit in on one of your classes?====DR J:  I've sworn to secrecy on this!

 FROM TARMART REV:  We feel the same in Minnesota, Jack  . . . of course there are a few farmers worried that we didn't get enough moisture (just cold air and a little snow that it just now melting) as they had hoped for . . . but the good side of it, they keep us on our knees with something to always pray for!! ====JACK:  We've got a ditch in our front yard that's overflowing with water.  Now, if we could just figure out a way to get it to Minnesota. ====REV:  I have a pastoral friend out in California who shared they were in a devastating drought and to please pray for moisture . . . I along with you expressed a similar response . . . get all the trucks they could muster, drive to Minnesota, and we would be very happy to load them with all our snow . . . I know, Jack, then the farmers would really be upset!! 0;-/====JACK:  I once preached a sermon with the title..."Does it do any good to pray about the weather?"

FROM MP IN MICHIGAN:  "One thing I remember, Spring came on forever"   Do you know where this partial quote is found in the Township?====JACK:  If I were to guess, I'd say it's by the sculpture of the blue herons.  My 2nd guess would the outdoor library sculpture of the children.  Regardless, the Vachel Lindsay poem, The Chinese Nightengale, is so good that I'm posting the last part of it.
Then sang the bird, so strangely gay,
Fluttering, fluttering, ghostly and gray,
A vague, unravelling, final tune,
Like a long unwinding silk cocoon;
Sang as though for the soul of him
Who ironed away in that bower dim: —
   "I have forgotten
   Your dragons great,
   Merry and mad and friendly and bold.
   Dim is your proud lost palace-gate.
   I vaguely know
   There were heroes of old,
   Troubles more than the heart could hold,
   There were wolves in the woods
   Yet lambs in the fold,
   Nests in the top of the almond tree …
   The evergreen tree … and the mulberry tree …
   Life and hurry and joy forgotten,
   Years on years I but half-remember …
   Man is a torch, then ashes soon,
   May and June, then dead December,
   Dead December, then again June.
   Who shall end my dream's confusion?
   Life is a loom, weaving illusion …
   I remember, I remember
   There were ghostly veils and laces …
   In the shadowy bowery places …
   With lovers' ardent faces
   Bending to one another,
   Speaking each his part.
   They infinitely echo
   In the red cave of my heart.
   `Sweetheart, sweetheart, sweetheart,'
   They said to one another.
   They spoke, I think, of perils past.
   They spoke, I think, of peace at last.
   One thing I remember:
   Spring came on forever,
   Spring came on forever,"
   Said the Chinese nightingale.

 FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:'s here!!! I even looked in my herb garden for signs of life....nothin'.  ====JACK:  Maybe your herbs are in a different Thyme Zone.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  "Spring has sprung the grass has ris I wonder where the flowers is!?!"  Actually, I wonder when the huge pile of snow in our front yard will actually melt and I can get the last of the Christmas lights out from under the pile!====JACK:  How about your American flag?  Has it been flying during all of this unusual weather?===JUDY:  It with stood all of the storms except the last one.   We were supposed to get 4 to 7 inches but we got 12...even though the weather people didn't count it.  We also had very high winds and it cracked the pole!  No kidding.  So it's not flying right now, unfortunately.

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  The four seasons exemplify the cycles of life.  It explains why grandparents are so fulfilled by the arrival of grandchildren.====JACK:  You've inspired me to turn on Vivaldi's Four Seasons which starts with Spring.  What great music!  Spring is something more than the weather.

 FROM FM IN WISCONSIN: What a great word for a person who is so tired of winter!    Thanks! ====JACK:  I'm sure you miss those winter trips you used to take.  Were they to the Alabama gulf coast?

FROM DB IN MICHIGAN:  And we will be even happier when we have brand new roads!!! ====JACK: Would you classify that as a want or a need?  Right now I'd be happy to have the potholes filled.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Ah yes.."What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?!" (John Steinbeck) We have had a gorgeous First Day Of Spring! Almost sixty degrees, snow melted, ice gone, and sunny all day! Tomorrow even warmer! Welcome  Sweet Springtime!! Loved the Vachel Lindsay poem. His home is an historic site in Springfield, Il, and have often gone there for various poetry readings, and historic plays and talks. He was an interesting person, who took his life, finally, but left a legacy of books and poetry.====JACK:  You can send that Spring weather to us...but send the tornadoes in another direction

 FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:   Yes, I believe that the Greatest Generation benifitted by the Great Depression...along with those that followed.  A couple of "connections". From Browning's Pippa Passes...."The Year's at the Spring"....and from Solomon's Song.... "For, lo, the winter is passed, the rain (snow) is gone(Don't we wish.); The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds has come and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land." And I believe that God created prodigious minds in the arenas of art, music, literature, clergy, architecture,on and gifts to us mere mortals.====JACK:  Ernie Harwell, longtime announcer for the Detroit Tigers, would always begin the first broadcast of the season by quoting those words from the Song of Solomon.  And, as the Caymanian said a couple of days ago in Winning Words..."God is good!"

 FROM CPA BOB:  I’m sure you’ve heard about the guy who was banging his head against the wall and he was asked why he was doing that. He said, “Because it feels so good when I stop.”====JACK:  I'm waiting for it to "feel good" when I go outside in the early morning to get the newspaper.

 FROM CS IN MICHIGAN:  AMEN!  We know it will be here soon!  When I moved here from Colorado, I noticed that I had never seen people enjoy spring like Michiganders!====JACK:  Only a few states get to enjoy the dramatic change from season to season, and Michigan is certainly one of them.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 3/19/14
“You do something important with your life!”  (Joe Tedesco)  Today is St Joseph’s Day.  Have there been important Joes in your life?  “Tough guy,” Joe T, once took his granddaughter’s hand and encouraged her to make the most of her life.  A saint is one who, by word and example, challenges us to do our best.  A song says that you can meet them in church, trains, shops and at tea.  You, too, can be one to someone.    ;-)   Jack

  FROM CS IN MICHIGAN:  Thanks. I'm trying!====JACK:  In life, we are always in the process of becoming....and you're doing a good job of it.

 FROM TARMART REV:   . . . spending a lifetime and sometimes stumbling along in trying to be that person for my God, family, friends and for an enemy or two along the way . . . going for the heavenly prize, Jack!! ====JACK:  The prize is not ours to "win."  It is by the grace of God (as Martin Luther would say). ====REV:  These modern translations mess me up so often!! (I Corinthians 9:24-25 J.B. Phillips New Testament)  0;-/====JACK:  I have those verses (Do you remember how, on a racing-track, every competitor runs, but only one wins the prize? Well, you ought to run with your minds fixed on winning the prize! Every competitor in athletic events goes into serious training. Athletes will take tremendous pains—for a fading crown of leaves. But our contest is for an eternal crown that will never fade.)  boldly underlined in my copy of "Phillips."  Regarding new translations, I heard someone say, "If the King James Version of the Bible was good enough for St. Paul, it's good enough for me."

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Great statement!  We'd all like to think we have made a difference in someone's life.====JACK:  Think about the movie, "It's A Wonderful Life."  Just like George Bailey, we are an influence, more than we realize.  Think how a certain Sunday School teacher influenced you.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "To live is so startling that it leaves little time for anything else!" (Emily Dickinson)  As a daughter, sister, pastor's wife, mother, grandmother and teacher I'm sure there have been ample opportunities to be important in others' lives....only when we pass over will we truly realize how well we've handled them!! We keep living life, and keeping the Faith, until we take that eternal walk. To God be the Glory! (Hopefully!!)====JACK:  Joe's granddaughter became a wife, mother of two sons, has a masters in microbiology, and recently passed her bar exam.====OAKS:  She took her grandpa seriously!!

 FROM DM IN MICHIGAN:  You've been one to me, Joe, I mean, Jack.====JACK:  Following the theological definition of a saint....I'll accept the halo.

FROM CS IN MICHIGAN:  Thanks. You were one of those important "joes" in my life!====JACK:  We are each someone to someone.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 3/18/14
“You’d be surprised at how many unhappy people there are.  They focus too much on their wants, not their needs.”  (Cayman Islander)  An old man was commenting on how people tend to overlook the blessings they have, when compared to how little some people have.  Maybe it ‘s time to compare our wants to our needs.  More wants or more needs?  The elderly Caymanian concluded with a smile and said…“God is good!”    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TARMART REV:  God is good, in deed!!====JACK:  Smile when you say that!

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Aging clarifies just how much we truly need in order to live comfortably.  I think too many people are captivated with excess, a result of being beat over the head with advertising.  In our home now, in our advanced years, we look around at all the "stuff" we have that we don't need.  There was a time when we pondered "how can we get that" and now we wonder "what should we do with that."  The advice from Jesus is applicable: Go and sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven (Matthew 19:21).====JACK:  My mother used an expression when she thought we should get rid of something...."Ditch it!"====RI:  Driving down the highway, eyeballing the drainage trenches along the sides of the road, I've noticed that a lot of people follow your mother's suggestion.

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I am reminded of Jesus' comment about all the stuff we need and want, and what primary focus precedes even both: "Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and these things will be added unto you." With that said, it is amazing how a "want" becomes a "need" once the desire for it reaches a certain threshold -- almost blinding. It's still a want, but it's described as a need. This is just one example of our inability to be reliable to the Truth. We "need" direction with discipline. This is what Jesus provides us --- if only we follow the discipline (disciple).====JACK:  I like the words of Jesus..."Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal."  Time has a way of putting things into perspective.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yesterday as we were leaving a show-Best of Broadway-in Clearwater, a lady was complaining that the sun was not shining.  I told her that it would be out tomorrow.  I didn't mention to her that we really needed the rain.====JACK:  I like the quote..."All sunshine makes a desert."

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's funny, but my son-in-law and I just were talking about the unhappy people.  Anyway, he was talking about the people who have everything they can dream of, (Justin Bieber, Lindsay Logan, Detroit's ex-mayor Kilpatrick, and I'm sure everyone could name a hand-full.  They have looks, charm, tons of money, and yet they are be-set with one unhappy event after another.  It's really a shame.  To be content with what we have as opposed to what we want is the real issue.  God gives us what we need, not necessarily what we want.  God is good...all the time!====JACK:  There's a song from the musical, Cabaret..."Money, money, money makes the world go round!" ...until you lose the things that money can't buy.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  AHA! I'm sure she was being facetious, but smiled at Poet Kathleen Norris's quote: "Life is easier to take than you'd think; all that is necessary is to accept the impossible, do without the indispensable, and bear the intolerable." As I've mentioned previously, I have a quote from my Bill on the fridge. "Want what you have, and you'll always have what you want!" Heard it many times...:-) Many people in these hard economic times have been amazed to discover  what they could do without!====JACK:  There are many "needy" people in the world, besides those who don't have many material things.

 FROM HCC CHUCK:  AMEN to that!!!!!!!

 FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  My little granddaughters are here.  No time to think about what I need!  Ha! ====JACK:  I think of you playing your granddaughters, and this song comes to mind.
People who need people,
Are the luckiest people in the world
We're children, needing other children
And yet letting a grown-up pride
Hide all the need inside
Acting more like children than children

 FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  As empty nesters, we are seriously realizing how our needs and wants have decreased - and I have spent much of the winter getting rid of things we thought we needed but realize we do not - partially due to a mouse situation earlier in the year, and some roof leak issues .....serious repairs in the works - roof, walls, new ceiling, insulation, painting, wood floor replacement, etc.......  All I want now is my house put back together; I see this taking months.  And I really do want world peace : )====JACK:  I wonder what the mouse wants?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 3/17/14
“Many an opportunity is lost, because someone is out looking for 4-leaf clovers.”  (Unknown)  A symbol for St. Patrick’s Day is the 3-leaf clover, with a leaf for Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Finding a 4-leaf clover (1 in 10,000) is considered “good luck.”  Have you been lucky enough to find one?  What other things are said to bring good luck? …rabbit’s foot, penny on the ground, shooting star?  Do you knock on wood?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  My Aunt Mamie could find four leaf clovers all the time....while everyone with her coukd only see the three leaf ones.====JACK:  So, there really was an Auntie Mame!====JOHN:  My Dad's little sister....and she was one of the nicest persons I ever met....full of Joie de Vivre.....I just loved her.     My Dad's three sisters never married but lived with their mother at sister Joan took care of Mame and Annie when they were in their 90s....Annie lived until she was 103....My Dad and his brother both married and had children....====JACK:  Well, those 4-leaf covers seemed to work for your Auntie M.

 FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  You will probably smile at the thought of me leading the Republican float in the Naples Parade, dancing to the band in front while carrying the American Flag, throwing kisses to the ladies, salutes to the men and beads to the kids. I literally danced for 2 miles of the parade route. The Naples St. Patrick's day parade is the largest independent parade of any kind in Florida. We had about 60 floats bands etc and about 45,000 people attend. It was great fun. Michigan State U and U of M Alumni were represented with a float as were the Chicago land folks.====JACK:  Did anyone mistake you for Rush Limbaugh?====RJP:  WOW, what are you implying....... Tch Tch Tch. I am exercising my wonderful freedoms of expression while we can. I always loved a parade and have lead many over the years. It is great fun and everyone along the route applauded except a couple of democrats who showed their intolerance by giving me a bad hand signal. I simply waved and smiled.  Perhaps Rush would have also applauded as did some of my liberal friends because I was carrying the Flag. Not as a just a partisan, but an American.
It was really fun and I paid for it physically for a couple of days, but worth it. Come down next year and march with me!!!!!! We can present a bipartisan front!!!!====JACK:  I still know how to pull your chain.

 FROM TARMART REV:  I like that old treasure Scripture: "With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible."====JACK:  ...or that other old Scripture..."Where you treasure is, there is your heart, also!"

 FROM MICHIGAN LOUIE:  As our mutual friend, Ike Engelbaum, says on his daily radio program: "if it's meant to be, it's up to me."====JACK:  Yes, many opportunities do appear before us.  Some people avoid them, because they're often disguised as problems.

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Hunting 4-leaf clovers rivals stopping to smell the roses, if you want to take a relaxing break from the world's woes.  And if you find some 4-leafers you stand to gain good luck as well.  Years ago when I was still a youth, some of my nieces and nephews were visiting my parents, and we were playing on the lawn.  There was a patch of clover growing there and I said to the kids, "let's hunt for 4-leaf clovers", telling them about that source of good luck.  I'm not sure they believed such a thing but they watched as I scrutinized the clover patch.  Within just a few minutes I found 8 or 10 perfect samples, eliciting surprise and pleasure from the kids...and me too!  Of course, we've all lived happily ever after.  Happy St. Patrick's Day everybody.====JACK:  Just as each leaf of the shamrock has meaning, the 4-leaf clover has meaning, too...Faith, Hope, Love and LUCK!====RI:  I didn't know that part about the meaning of four leaves.Regarding what that brings good luck...isn't there some such thing about throwing salt over your shoulder?====JACK:  Notice in the DaVinci "Last Supper" that Judas (3rd to the left of Jesus) has knocked over the salt shaker.  Spilling salt is bad luck!  Throw some salt over your should to blind the devil who is lurking there.  Blinding the devil is good luck!  

 FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  I didn’t know that the three leafs were symbolic of the holy trinity. See you learn something new every day.  The Eastern European Jews were superstitious and believed in many things such as;  don’t whistle inside a home, don’t open an umbrella inside a home, they believed in golems and the evil eye. For good luck they would pretend to spit three times in your palm(pooh, pooh, pooh) of your hand chanting a good luck poem in Yiddish while stirring the pretend spit with a finger.. My maternal grandmother was like this.  My mother used to do this to my daughters when they were young.  Athletes are also superstitious, growing beards, not changing their socks or underwear.  Isn’t blessing someone after they sneeze a superstition?====JACK:  Saying "God bless you" when someone sneezes has an interesting background.  In ancient days it was believed that one's soul was equated with one's breath, so that when someone sneezed and the breath was exhaled, it was thought that the body was without a spirit (soul) until the next breath was taken.  It was also believed in those days that evil spirits were lurking around, waiting to enter a body at the first opportunity.  Quickly saying, "God bless you," was meant to make sure that the spirit of God got into that person before any spirit of evil.

'm always chasing rainbows,
Watching clouds drifting by,
My schemes are just like all my dreams,
Ending in the sky.
Some fellows look and find the sunshine, I always look and find the rain.
Some fellows make a winning sometime,
I never even make a gain, believe me,
I'm always chasing rainbows,
I'm watching for a little bluebird in vain.
====JACK:  Yes, seeing a rainbow is supposed to bring good luck.  Finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is even better luck.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I guess today is a good day for the Old Gaelic Blesssing:
"May those who love us, love us--
And those who don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts
May he turn their ankles
So we'll know them by their limping!"
I've found my share of 4 leaf clovers, but don't remember outstanding bursts of luck in the ensuing days or hours....But maybe that's because I've been lucky all the time! Count your blessings, name them one by one, or two by two, etc.!!  :-)====JACK:  I'll bet you can sing "Count Your Blessings" right now, without using a songbook.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We kids used to look for 4 leaf clover in our side lot.  It was huge and we used it as a baseball field.  To this day it is called "Chappel Field".  I don't knock on wood anymore....hurts too much!====JACK:  Some people knock on their head instead of a desk or table.

 FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  I do believe 'found pennies' are pennies from heaven for good luck. I also have a giant turkey wishbone I am saving for March Madness : )  I should have used it last Sunday! ====JACK:  Save that "bone."  It ain't over til it's over.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 3/14/14
“The environment is everything that isn’t me.”  (Albert Einstein)  Einstein had a way with words, as well as a way with math.  Think of the things that daily affect the way we live—everything!  The people we meet, our food and water, the air we breathe and things happening in other parts of the world.  I’m glad for a couple of WWs readers who are involved with epidemiology, checking out the things that affect our health.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM SF IN MICHIGAN:  I start every morning checking my email and WWs before I get up for the day! I usually read the quote and think about it a moment before I continue to read your message. Today I read the quote and started thinking about some health studies we learned about this week in class! ;)  And today is Pi day! For the math constant, 3.14! I hear there may be pie at our group meeting today to celebrate haha! Pie probably isn't a health food, but I think it's certainly good to put some smiles on faces after an exam this morning!====JACK:  I suppose 3.14 is π-day, because it's Albert's birthday.  I had fun picking out an Einstein quote, because there are so many good ones.  I remember when pizza was called pizza-pie.

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  When I read or hear reference to "environment" it causes me to think of global conditions, and that puts me in mind of the universe, making me realize that each of us is but a microbe in the universal scheme of things.  We humans are driven by so much banality.  Why can't we all just slow down and smell the roses, because we are heading rapidly into pushing up daisies.====JACK:    From the musical, Oklahoma, there's this song...
Poor Jud is dead…
The daisies in the dell
Will give out a different smell
Because poor Jud is underneath the ground.
Other interesting euphemisms for dying are...give up the ghost, buy the farm, kick the bucket, bite the dust.  The one that I hear more frequently....he/she passed.  I like that one.

 FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  I like this WW, Jack.  It reminds me of the marketing strategies, “If there is no cost for a product or service, YOU, are the product or service.”====JACK:  So, there really is no free lunch?  I can't remember....Did I buy, or did you, when we met at Starbucks?

 FROM  TARMART REV:  The question I face time so very often when putting out the weekly trash for collection . . . how can this earth of ours handle and house all of man's collective trash day after day and week after week . . . so much and so often . . . unbelievable!!====JACK:  Don't they use recycling bins up north in the boonies?  When I was growing up, raw garbage (food waste) was collected (no paper, glass, cans, etc) and taken to the pig farms and fed to the hogs.  We called the truck, "the salad truck."
====REV:  Rycycling is in order here everyy other week as well . . . but just the throw-away paper products each day from our homes, fast food places, stores, etc baffle my mind. 0;-/====JACK:  No feeding the hogs?

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  I think Al was wrong on that one. His environment was effected by him which in turn effected him.====JACK:  FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  I think Al was wrong on that one. His environment was effected by him which in turn effected him.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 3/13/14
“God created the world, and we created borders.”  (Sojourners Magazine)  Think of the fences built and wars fought because of borders.  Disease cares not about borders, nor does the weather.  Even the Roman Catholic Church recently ignored traditional borders and named a Latin American Pope.  4-yr-old Ben was asked by the plane attendant where he was from, and he innocently replied, “I’m an earthling.”  Aren’t we all?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  It is so true how much stock and importance we put in these arbitrarily determined distinctions.Whether it is a border of a nation, a race, a culture, a society, or even a family, we have tendencies to lose ourselves in them, as if they determine us. I prefer Ben's idea, although I would add.child-of-God before earthling.====JACK:  Who am  I to deny your comment on "child-of-God," but it does introduce a faith concept that not everyone would accept.  As I was reading the newspaper this morning I noticed how much of the "news" was defined by borders.

 FROM HY YO SILVER:  Clever.  I like that one.====JACK:  One of the issues that disturb many people about Congress is the perceived obsession with political borders

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  Wasn't Ben creating boundaries by saying he was an earthling?    Can we say we are Universelings?    Even that may be a boundary if there is more than one  universe.    "Child of God" May be the only citation free from boundaries.====JACK: You're expecting pretty much of a 4-year-old to philosophize about concepts like that.  Ultimately..."We are dust, and to du st we shall return."  Carl Sandburg's poem, GRASS, has this interesting thought..."Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo, Shovel them under and let me work-- I am the grass; I cover all.
And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
What place is this?
Where are we now?
I am the grass.
Let me work."

 FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  I enjoy playing with words & obviously you do with  your "Winning Words"'in that spirit wouldn't it be more appropriate for us to be identified as "earthlinks" instead of earthlings? ====JACK:  That's better than being called a "nudnik."

 FROM TARMART REV:  From one 'earthling to another' . . . "Keep you light shinning, Jack!!" ====JACK:  I like the concept that we are all passengers on the same spaceship called, Earth.  Does that mean that when the astronauts fly into space, they leave the spaceship for a while?===REV:  They always seem to return . . . evidently,  they haven't found anywhere or anything better as of this date.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Hannah Arendt's quote (Boston Globe) seems to fit somewhere here:"The true dividing line between people is whether they are capable of being in love with their destiny"....Is that seeing the glass half empty or half full?  We Earthlings "back in the day" had no concept of many galaxies out in endless space, as we do now, and Earthly boundaries are constantly changing, due to war and weather, so Child of God just may be appropriate, for those of us who have that belief!====JACK:  Some "religious" insist on bringing God into the boundary issue with "your god" and "my God."  Is it possible that there are no boundaries with God, even though some religious writings seem to indicate that there are?====OAKS:  CERTAINLY POSSIBLE!  WHO CAN KNOW THIS SIDE OF ETERNITY?!

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Well, it seams to me that God DID make some borders... land and sea... heaven and earth.====JACK:  You forgot male and female.

 FROM PH IN MESA:  God sees no borders, boundaries, barriers, or flags.  just his world.  would that we could do the same!====JACK:  Let's start with churches.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yes, and we have just added another to our family with our first great grandchild born March 11 in Kill Devil Hills. NC.  It is a wonderful world in which we live. The electronic era is fantastic since the pictures are sent immediately via the iphone.====JACK:  When listing place of birth, I put down Des Moines.   It will be more exciting for your grandchild to put down, Kill Devil Hills!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 3/12/14
“You have one hand, I have another.  Put them together, we have each other.”  (From a Girl Scout Song)  The GSA was founded, 3/12/1912, with 18 members.  Now there are 3.2 million.  The scout songbook contains many that I know, like…”Do Your Ears Hang Low.”  I wonder if Marion Anderson, the opera singer, ever sang that song when she was a scout?  The GSA mission: To make the world a better place.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM LP IN PLYMOUTH:  Huh.. I don't remember that one. I sure my little daisy will learn it soon enough ====JACK:  There must be room in your brain for this great song...
Do Your Ears Hang Low?
Do They Wobble to and Fro?
Can You Tie Them in a Knot?
Can You Tie Them in a Bow?
Can You Throw Them Over Your Shoulder Like a Continental Soldier?

Do Your Ears Hang Low?
Do Your Ears Hang High?
Do They Reach Up to the Sky?
Do The Droop When They're Wet?
Do They Stiffen When They're Dry?
Can You Semaphore Your Neighbor with a Minimum of Labor?

Do Your Ears Hang High?
Do Your Ears Hang Wide?
Do They Flap From Side to Side?
Do They Wave in the Breeze?
From the Slightest Little Sneeze?
Can You Soar Above the Nation with a Feeling of Elation?

Do Your Ears Hang Wide?
Do Your Ears Fall Off?
When You Give a Great Big Cough?
Do They Lie There on the Ground?
Or Bounce Up at Every Sound?
Can You Stick Them in Your Pocket Just Like Little Davy Crockett?
Do Your Ears Fall Off?

 FROM TARMART REV:  ...good cookies come from those young ladies as well . . . I've eaten my share over the years!!====JACK:  Why do they call them "Thin Mints," when they are fattening?  But they're good, aren't they?

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Wow!  3.2 million Girl Scouts...let the cookies sale begin.  Those caramel/coconut ones "make the world a better place."====JACK:  My sister was once a Girl Scout, and I sold cookies for her....going from office to office in a multi-story office building.  Together, we were the leader in sales.  For me, selling the cookies was almost as much fun as eating them.

 FROM TRIHARDER:  Light one stick afire and it will burn out.  Put two lit sticks together and they will keep each other lit.====JACK:  Who can say "No" when the little Girl Scouts come and ask if you want to buy some cookies?  Not I!====TH:  I give the money, don't take the cookies.  The local branch gets much more support that way; the cookie company none.====JACK:  I'm willing to share some of mine with you.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Loved seeing the old fun song "Do your ears hang low>"! ! Printed it out to sing with our Seniors at the St. Patrick's Day Luncheon...Corned Beef and Cabbage, of course!  But there is no bad Girl Scout Cookie; I ordered the new Cranberry-Citrus this year, but all are favorites. The interesting thing is, that Dollar General stores have most of these flavors of cookies, and they taste very much the same! We have  scout troop in our church, and they do good work. Thankful for leaders who  take that responsibility!!====JACK:  Make sure that the seniors go through the motions as they sing the song.

 FROM PH IN MESA:  have you purchased any Girl Scout cookies yet this year?   we have 5 boxes so far tho i suspect it all benefits the cookie company more than the Girl Scouts.====JACK:  I read that only 85 cents goes to the baker of the cookies, which includes the cost of packaging and transportation.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Don't forget that tomorrow is Pi Day.====JACK:  My favorite is lemon meringue...or maybe, cherry.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 3/11/14
“I enjoy planting apple trees and bringing God’s Word.”  (John Chapman)  The “real” Johnny Appleseed was John Chapman who actually did go into the frontier of his day (1774-1845) planting apple trees.  John was also a missionary.  I have an apple seed taped to my computer, reminding me that “only God can count the number of apples in that seed.”  This world is full of miracles that we take for granted.  Examples?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TARMART REV:  I would think that would be "ministering folk" like you and me, Jack...only will eternity and a revelation from God reveal the "seed receiving" people God used us to reach for His Kingdom ...we may be surprised at some we both encouraged together, unknowingly.====JACK:  I don't think I'll be too concerned with statistics on the other side of the pearly gates.====REV:  Just surprises!!

 FROM DP IN MINNESOTA:  That is powerful !====JACK:  I just came from the grocery store.  Each aisle seems to be filled with miracles.  God is good!

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Johnny Chapman was a real hero to my kids.  When we drove around the countryside, we would try find the oldest apple tree.  My kids were sure Johnny planted it.  We still teach and use the song.  My little granddaughters sing it at snack time at their church preschool.  He was a fascinating guy!====JACK:  Kids are interested in fairy tale characters, but especially interested when they learn that a "fairy tale" person turns out to be real.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  The WW brought back  a  wonderful memory of a trip to Moline in the late 1960's with all of the children and seeing a movie movie about Johnny Appleseed in the old library which used to be on Fifth Avenue and where we all spent a lot of our time growing up.  Every day seems like a miracle.====JACK:  Is the Carnegie name still over the entrance to the building?====SHIRL:  Here's an apple story....This is as good as it  gets!!!   A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago  They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night's dinner. In their rush to catch the plane home and with tickets and briefcases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples.  Apples flew everywhere.  Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly-missed boarding...ALL BUT
ONE!!!   He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned.  He told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over terminal floor.   He was glad he did. The 16-year-old girl was totally blind!  She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her; no one stopping and no one to care for her plight.   The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket.  When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, "Here, please take this $50 for the damage we did. Are you okay?  "She nodded through her tears. He continued on with, "I hope we didn't spoil your day too badly."   As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, Mister...." He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes.  She continued, "Are you Jesus?"  He stopped in mid-stride .... and he wondered. He gently went back and said, "No, I am nothing like Jesus - He is good, kind, caring, loving, and would never have bumped into your display in the first place.”  The girl gently nodded: "I only asked because I prayed for Jesus to help me gather the apples. He sent you to help me.  Thank you for hearing Jesus, Mister."   Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul:  "Are you Jesus?" 

 FROM HCC CHUCK:  The air we breathe the birth of a new creature  the sunshine a beautiful moon and star lit sky  the joy of living!!!!!!!!  we could go on and on.====JACK:  Even the winter season and the SNOW!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 3/10/14
“Might not be tonight, tomorrow, or the next day…but everything’s gonna be OK!”  (Unknown)  A recent study shows that Millennials (Gen Y) are more impatient than older generations, because they’re used to instant gratification…downloads, relationships, lines, etc.  When do we begin to understand that some things take time?  One of the truths that aging teaches about God is his patience.  Given God’s time, “It’ll be OK!”    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TARMART REV:  You often bring a song to my heart, Jack!!  Today's little chorus goes like this: "GOD ANSWERS PRAYER IN THE MORNING, God answers prayer at noon, God answers prayer in the evening, So keep your heart in tune . . . Jesus may come in the morning, Jesus may come at noon, Jesus may come in the evening, So keep your heart in tune."====JACK:  I know that song.  Your response also reminds me of the game,  Hide And Go Seek, where the person who is "IT," calls out, "Ready, or not, here I come."

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  Patience and Perseverance...a good combo.====JACK:  Spoken like a true fan of the Chicago Cubs.

 FROM DOCTOR JUDY:  I understand many Gen Y to be Indigos. And as such, they recognize that they are here for a purpose. They are impatient because they have important work to do for our society and our planet and they want to get on with it.====JACK:  If you stay awake and alert, every so often you learn, What is an Indigo Child?  The book, Understanding Life Through Color, sounds like an interesting one.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Reading Max Lucado's book, "you'll Get through This": Time and again his counsel is "You'll get through this; It won't be painless. It won't be quick. But God will use this mess for good. With God's help it will be O.K."   He draws parallels to Joseph's (and the many colored coat) life in the Bible. A very Good Read! As we have the perspective of old age, we usually come to realize that though we may struggle and suffer at times, it WILL be O.K. eventually... so hang in there!====JACK:  Schuller's book, "Tough Times Never Last.  Tough People Do," sold a lot of copies.  I bought one.====OAKS:  I TOO BOUGHT THAT BOOK WHEN WE VISITED THE CRYSTAL CATHEDRAL A FEW YEARS AGO...I GUESS IT'S BEEN QUITE A FEW YEARS, CUZ BILL'S BEEN GONE FOR 12 NOW! I LIKED HIS TITLE....====JACK:  When I was at "the cathedral," I bought the Possibility Thinkers Bible, with God's most comforting and uplifting promises highlighted in blue.  RAS autographed in for me with the words, "God loves you, and so do I."  Lately he gone through some tough times.  I hope he's gotten comfort from some of those highlighted passages.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Patience is the cure for restlessness.====JACK:  Impatience is the sign of restlessness.====PFC:  The person who is impatient will wait just as long for "it" to happen as the person who is patient. So, be patient and get you way!====JACK:  Prayer...."God give patience, and give it to me, NOW!

Friday, March 07, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 3/7/14
“Run with perseverance that race that is set before us.”  (Hebrews 12:1,2)  Starting today, the Winter Paralypics will be held in Sochi.  These games, featuring physically challenged people, are held in the same year and place as the Winter Olympics.  They’ll have most of the same events, only presented in a different way…skiing, hockey, racing, snowboarding, and curling.  150 TV hours are planned.  In Sochi, or not, we each have our personal “races” where no medals are given.  Good luck in your event!    ;-)  Jack 

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  getting pretty tired of running in circles...====JACK:  I got a new translation of the New Testament recently, called The Message Bible.  I like how the words of Jesus are put (in part) in Matthew 11:20-30....“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  At the moment mine are minor-all electronic.  My computer is very slow and my iphone drops my email even though I put it in the inbox.  I have been spending a lot of time with physical therapists lately since one grandchild has had surgery on a torn  acl and another has an elbow which is out of place.  That is why I have been so slow to respond to your WW which I enjoy each day.====JACK:  One of my favorite Bible books is Ecclesiastes, because it seems to contain much common sense, like..."The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all."  Slow and steady wins the race...or something like that.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 3/6/14
“Everyone has his burden; what counts is how you carry it.”  (Hugh McLeod)  Heavy backpacks carried by children can lead to future back pain, according to a chiropractor that I know.  Heavy purses and billfolds carried in the back pocket can also cause spinal problems.  But the quote is really about carrying mental burdens.  My friend says that mental stress can lead to physical discomfort.  A song advises, “Take your burden to the Lord, and leave it there.”  What has worked for you?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  That was the problem for you Moliners....your wallets were too heavy! ====JACK:  Yes, the original 1 %-er's....compared to our neighbors to the east. ====JOHN:  So many of my friends were poor and many have died early.  I think there is a correlation there.====JACK:  As with the current Affordable Care Act.....Caring usually has to do with..."As long as I've got mine, that's what I "care" about.  Just don't mess with mine."  That's the attitude of many, but (thankfully) not all.  I like how Warren Buffett is encouraging 1 %-ers to give of their wealth to eleemosynary causes.

 FROM TARMART REV:  “Take your burden to the Lord, and leave it there”  sounds like good advice for me today!! Here's a chorus I grew up singing often, but must admit it has been a couple of years now since singing it last . .

(v) Days are filled with sorrow and care, Hearts are lonely and drear; BURDENS ARE LIFTED AT CALVARY, Jesus is very near.
(v) Cast your care on Jesus today, Leave your worry and fear; Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Jesus is very near.
(v) Troubled soul, the Savior can see, Ev’ry heartache and tear; Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Jesus is very near.
(Chorus) Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Calvary, Calvary; Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Jesus is very near.
May your day be burdened free, Jack!!====JACK:  I'm reminded of the saying..."A certain amount of fleas is good for any dog."

 FROM MK IN MICHIGAN:  My friend Rachel says that all those burdens are just the Lord preparing us for the battle that we should embrace them!  I find that no matter my burdens I can look to the left or the right and find someone with burdens 1000 times mine in that I find peace in my own and empathy for them!   I feel sorry for people who can’t see their blessings…….   Take care! Mk  PS Are you cold enough yet? ====JACK:  There's a story of someone who stands before a pile of burdens and is allowed to choose one.  The person eventually chooses his/her own.  PS--I'd like to save up some of this "cool" for use this summer when it is too "hot."====MK:  I like that!   It’ s said he only gives us what we can handle right? ====JACK:  "Saint" Mother Teresa said, “I know God won't give me anything I can't handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much.” 

 FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  The best 1 word that's been helpful for me in dealing with life's challenges is "RECALCULATING"====JACK:  Or...On to Plan B.  Your answer is the new-fashioned one.

 FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  My wife & I are enrolled in Stephen Ministries at our church to become volunteer counselors. It's a 50 hour training before we are assigned to a care receiver.====JACK:  That program is a good one for all parties involved.  Training is essential, but having a caring heart is important, too.  As you probably know, the Stephen program has its genesis in the 6th chapter of Acts.

 FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  I just thought, why is it we always feel better after going to church on Sunday. ====JACK:  One of the things that made me feel good after church on Sunday was positive feedback from people like you.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Actually, scripture works for me--when it seems like someone has such a better situation than I, I remember that scripture says not to be jealous or covet, it is a blessing in that it tells me what I need to fight against in my own sinful nature, when I have an enemy, it reminds me that The Lord is my shepherd, He prepares a banquet for me in front of my enemies, and actually time and time again, the truthfulness of that teaching has played out in my life, miracles happen!!!!!! I lean on scripture and the people who come along to help me understand it.====JACK:  The 23rd Psalm has been a comfort to countless people in many burdensome situations.  God is good!

 FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  Jack, a very old dear friend died last Saturday – I have known him for almost 60 years – he was a member of Holy Cross, and I baptized his two daughters.  His first wife died when his girls were 7 and 5.  I walked with Miles through many circumstances – after I left Menomonee Falls he invited me back to marry him and his second wife.   Anyway we walked through many experiences.   His autobiography was entitled by him, “A Life Well Lived.    I have been asked to speak at his funeral on Saturday – and I’ll mention his book – and also your WW today, “Everyone has his burden – what counts is how you carry it.”====JACK:  One of the spirituals says, "I'm gonna lay my burdens down, down by the riverside."  That's what happens when we cross over into the Promised Land.  No more trials, Lord.

 FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I once had a stiff neck from carrying a heavy purse.  I have made it much lighter---and I don't carry it that way as much anymore.====JACK:  Once, while waiting for Mary to do shopping in the Mall, I sat and counted the number of women who carried purses over the shoulders compared to those who carried them under their arm or by a strap.  Over the shoulder won.  I noted, too, that it was a generation thing.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Henry Ford once said, "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."  So maybe bearing a few burdens eventually helps us to soar?  Bill used to say (tongue-in-cheek) when things got rough, his favorite scripture was, "AND IT CAME TO PASS..." Good to remember, on what would have been his 87th birthday today! What a guy!!====JACK:  And it came to pass....I like that one.  Joan Baez sang..."All my trials, Lord, soon will be over."
Hush little baby, don't you cry  You know your mama was born to die All my trials, Lord, soon be over
The river of Jordan is muddy and cold  Well it chills the body but not the soul  All my trials, Lord, soon be over
I've got a little book with pages three  And every page spells liberty  All my trials, Lord, soon be over
Too late, my brothers  Too late, but never mind  All my trials, Lord, soon be over
If living were a thing that money could buy  Then the rich would live and the poor would die  All my trials, Lord, soon be over
There grows a tree in Paradise  And the pilgrims call it the Tree of Life  All my trials, Lord, soon be over
Too late, my brothers  Too late, but never mind  All my trials, Lord, soon be over  All my trials, Lord, soon be over
====OAKS:  It was kind of was so hard that dying was a  blessing to look forward to, but it was true in many a slave's life, and the poverty-stricken miserable ones, tho I doubt that they  really did look forward to death..====JACK:  I've heard suffering people say. "I wish I could die," or "I want God to take me.".

FROM MW IN ILLINOIS:  For me,with the possibility of looking at a second knee replacement , (Dr. says I'm not quite ready yet), the verse in the hymn, "What a friend we have in Jesus", comes to my mind many times. "Take it to the Lord in Prayer" ====JACK:  It hasn't been that long ago when "replacement parts" weren't possible and people with bad knees or bad hips wound up in wheel chairs or on crutches.  God still works miracles.  Google the background of "What a Friend."  It's a great story.

 FROM MOLINER JT:  Another song "Take it to the Lord in Prayer" One of my favorites.====JACK:  That song also has the line..."Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care.  We should never be discouraged.  Take it to the Lord in prayer."

 FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Well, this is my simplified version of what works for me.  "Take it to the Lord in Prayer".I play a Tennessee Ernie Ford disc on my Bose (along with the classics)and he and his sing the old time hymns, which I love.(I guess I remember my mother singing them,) The simplicity of the "oldies" seem to cut to the basics. They keep ringing and ringing in my mind. "Take it to the Lord in Prayer"... an interesting and heart rending story behind its with "It is Well with My Soul"====JACK:  .The word, friend, has a variety of meanings...acquaintance, helper, Facebook reader, companion, comrade, chum and crony.  The one I like best..."One who knows you and still like you."  What a friend we have in Jesus!

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 3/5/14
“Today is Ash Wednesday, so don’t tell people that their foreheads are dirty.”  (Unknown)  People have various ways of expressing their religious beliefs.  Muslims have a special way of praying.  Our Jewish neighbor boys wear yarmulkes.  The sign of a cross, made of ashes, on the forehead of a Christian, is a reminder that life is temporary.  Together, we can all show what we believe by our good words and actions.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TARMART REV:  "Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God" (1 John 3:17-19 NLT).====JACK:  Do you have a Bible on the table beside your popcorn when you sit there at Target or Walmart?====REV:  Yes sir, I do. . . Matter-of-fact, I have a number of them that I can actually bring up right before my eyes on the small screen of my iPod . . . Very spoiled we are now days . . . The challenge is to get the Word of God hid in our iPods to be hid in our hearts, for then we will be spiritual progress. 0;-)====JACK:  I can just imagine the original "Saint" Paul going from place to place with his laptop.====REV:  Just the 10-15 located inside my iPod ready for discussion if need be . . . but no hard cover Bible . . . one in my car ready for service if need be . . . probably wouldn't serve well for a first impression at Wal-Mart or Target.

 FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I have a funny story about Ash Wednesday. On Wednesday evenings the AA group meets downstairs. We were having our Ash Wednesday service and the pastor we had then really put on the ashes heavily--he really made sure we were marked with the sign of the cross. Even though we have few people, we had enough ashes for 200 and I believe he used them all. One of our worshippers went downstairs to use the restroom and the reaction she got from an AA member also using the restroom--complete shock, like we must be members of a cult or something. It was really hilarious to us. I always leave my ashes on all day--life is temporary and good to remember it.====JACK:  I first became aware of the ashes thing when I was in high school and some of the kids had "dirty" foreheads.  Then, it was mostly a "Catholic" custom.

 FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  I have just returned from church and proudly will wear the cross on my forehead for the remainder of the day.  We have the most beautiful day here, sunny and 50.  Spring flowers are blooming, birds are singing.  God is good.====JACK:  Ashes tonight at 7:30.  Lots of snow.  No flowers or singing birds, but God is still good.

FROM TRIHARDER:  Good reminder!  I think I may have done that in the past.====JACK:  Have done what?  Said good words?  Did good things?  Wore a yarmulke?  All of them?====TH:  I may have told people that their foreheads were dirty -- out of ignorance.

 FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  A mutual friend of ours used to say he was giving up watermelon for Lent. I was never sure. I do think he made it to heaven though.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  So true,  many variations shown by "Godly" people, and I've known devout Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Shintoists, Hindus in my travels, and here at home. God looks on the heart. Ran across an interesting quote in This Week: "Saying atheism is a belief system is like saying not going skiing is a hobby." Ricky Gervais, Thankful to have a meaningful Christian Faith!====JACK:  God created people.  He didn't create religions.

 FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  When I was in high school a teacher told me to wash my face on Ash Wed. or leave her room. I left and went to the principal's office. Teacher was never punished as in those days they were in charge. Naturally I never told my parents. Interesting in view of todays situations when a 5 year old gets suspended for kissing a girl on the check. What a world.====JACK:  I wonder if you were ever sent to the principal's office for kissing a girl on the cheek.  Oh, that's right!  They didn't send kids to the principal's office for the olden days.  BTW, do you feel "obligated" to receive ashes on Ash Wed?====RJP:  No I do not, however I must confess I always felt good when I did.====JACK:  In case you've forgotten..."You are dust, and to dust you shall return."  We need reminders of that.