Monday, June 30, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 6/30/14
“Gooooaaaallll!”  (Andrés Cantor)  Cantor is the Spanish-speaking commentator who is famous for his loud, drawn-out announcement of a soccer goal being scored.  I attended a graduation ceremony for 2nd chance kids.  As each received a diploma, there were loud shouts from family members and friends.  A goal had been reached.  Perhaps there are people you know who could benefit from an encouraging word.  “Gooaall!”    ;-)  Jack 

FROM TRIHARDER:  I gave a card yesterday.  Drew in three empty check boxes:
First box, "Graduate High School"
Second box "Graduate College"
Third box, "Get off the family payroll.
I put a check mark in the first box.
====JACK:  What a great card for a graduate.  I'd like to find one like that.

FROM DEACON ROBERT:  Your word for today aligned with parts of my message yesterday which was based on the gospel of Matt. 10:34-39.  I used the US Soccer team's "losing while yet winning" as the illustration.  Focus was having a one gooooal loss in the world, turn into a win.
Loosening ourselves from the world is not a loss, but a win when we put Christ as our goal.
Your word today simply re-emphasized the message.====JACK:  When the woman at the well answered to Jesus, "Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the table," I wonder if, in a modern translation, he might respond, "Goooaaalll!"?====ROBERT:  Now that is a deep thinking translation... wow!====JACK:  I think it makes the point….GIRL, YOU GOT IT!

FROM TARMART REV:   “Gooaall!” . . . most certainly would call that a Christ-like expression along life's way!! Hopefully I'm not found being in a position of a... "goalie"!?!?====JACK:  The one who is cheered is the one who scores.  On second thought, the goalie who is a good defender is also cheered.  I guess it depends on which team you're on.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Life is surely made up of goals, and our children, "grands" and "great-grands" need models more than  critics! Bill was the first in his extended family to get a college degree,  (I did as well) and I think that influenced our four children, and 8 "grands' to realize this was an  expectation for them, all of whom have at least their BA's and most with advanced degrees!  We, as parents never dreamed of graduating "Magna Cum Laude" and Summa Cum Laude, as all but 2 of our progeny did!! GOAAAAAAAL! Indeed!   I've had the privilege of encouraging my students, and church young people, but there is always so much more to do...Goaaaaal!  Good word!!====JACK:  A phrase that I use for my grandchildren (after extending congratulations for their accomplishments) is, "Remember the poor!"  ====OAKS:  AND I'LL BET THEY DIDN'T EVEN NEED THAT REMINDER, WITH YOU AND MARY AS ROLE MODELS...THEY PICKED THAT UP ALONG THE WAY.  I SEE OUR KIDS AND GRANDKIDS HAVE A SERVANT'S HEART, BECAUSE THEY ALSO PICKED THAT UP AS THEY GREW UP. MANY HAVE HAD THE  OPPORTUNITY TO TRAVEL AND SEE HOW WEALTHY WE  ARE IN COMPARISON TO OTHER COUNTRIES, WHICH IS A LESSON, AS WELL!====JACK:  One of my "favorite" Bible stories is about the rich man and Lazarus.  Many crooked things will be made heaven.

FROM STARRY KNIGHT:  That is so nice you went to a second chance graduation ceremony!!====JACK:  2nd Chance Graduations are impressive to me, because they often are for individuals who have successfully climbed difficult mountains in their life.

FROM DMF IN MINNESOTA:  Good one.====JACK: Bob Feller said, "Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday's success or put its failures behind and start over again. That's the way life is, with a new game every day, and that's the way baseball is."   That's the way it is with trying to put out a winning Winning Words each day. ====DMF:  One of the guys I used to play baseball with said “you’re only as good as your next at bat”

Friday, June 27, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 6/27/14
“Count each separate day as a separate life.”  (Seneca)  One of my favorite C & W songs is “One Day at a Time Sweet Jesus,” written by Marijohn Wilkin.  In a way, it’s the story of her life.  She had her share of successes, but personal problems and the death of family members caused her to come to “the end of her rope.”  She came to realize that she had to live one day at a time.  Sometimes that’s what we have to do, also.    ;-)  Jack

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Sometimes? It seems that Jesus' statement applies directly here, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:34 ESV). Amen to that! If one day has its trouble, it seems bringing along yesterday's and tomorrow's problems would lead in every naturally to the "end of one's rope"! ...a good thing to remember!====JACK:  A second look at today's WWs causes me to see it in a positive way.  There's a lot of good in each day, if we look for it.  A pastor that I knew would begin his daily radio broadcast with the words..."Up, up and away.  This is God's day.  Are you going God's way?" 

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  interesting concept.====JACK:  It fits in a variety of situations.  For example, if you're facing a difficult job, attack it in stages.  One, stage, and then another...and it's done.  I guess it can apply in many of life's problem situations.   

FROM TARMART REV:  One of my many favorite sayings: "It's a brand new day, never been lived in before!!" . . . Monday, the Lord willing, will be a brand new week!!====JACK:  It's like having a new present to open each morning....Like having Christmas every day.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Glad to see you like songs like that.   I do, too.     There are so many different musical expressions that seem appropriate for the church.   Too many folks become too exclusive about one kind of music or the other.====JACK:  I appreciate the fact that the Church is not afraid to change hymnals from time to time.  The Church is people, and people change.  I wonder what the old favorites were in Bach's day?

FROM EEC IN MICHIGAN:  What's a C & W song?====JACK:  Country and Western.


FROM MOLINER JT:  AMEN to "one day at a time"====JACK:  When baseball players are asked about where they expect to finish in the standings, they often say, "We play one game at a time."  It reminds me of the poem... "The clock of life is wound but once  And no one has the power  
To tell just when the hands will stop,  At late or early hour.    Now is the only time you own;  Live, love, work, and with a will;   Place no faith in tomorrow, for  The clock may then be still."

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN:  I think we all get to some point in life where we live one day at a time,
trusting God to see us through.====JACK:  I would like to think that "all" meant all. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 6/26/14
“Charity sees the need, not the cause.”  (German Proverb)  Do you ever feel guilty hanging up on a caller asking for donations, or when you toss the mail requests for money (keeping the coins enclosed in some)?  We recognize we can’t give to all charities  without short-changing others.  A friend wears a sweatshirt with 80-10-10 printed on the front…80% for self, 10% to save, 10% for charity.  He says it works!    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  I've found myself a bit more charitable as I have gotten older . . . still hard to "let go" at times when I know the need is there to do so. 0;-/====JACK:  Since there is no such thing as Superman (or Superrev), we have to learn to prioritize (time and giving).

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  it has worked well for us over the years.  keep on truckin', Jack, and have a good day now... ====JACK:  One of the tasks of ministry has been the sowing of the seed (preaching, teaching, living); and, then, waiting for the harvest.  The result of the sowing requires patience and a faith that God will bring the seed to fruition.  I've seen it happen.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  I don’t wear sweatshirts very often, but maybe I should get one printed, 70% for self, 17% for charity and 13% savings!    It is working for my wife and myself!   I like the word today, don’t worry about the cause, but be sensitive to the need.====JACK:  Sweatshirts come in different sizes.  Yours should be labeled, Xtra-Large.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I used to feel bad about not being able to give to so many desperately needy causes, but now find I do all I can for my favorite charities, and the church,  and feel there are others who will support the ones I cannot. I like the saying today, putting the focus in the right place. We do at every age what we can....Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "When You Cease to make a contribution, you begin to die". Enough said.====JACK:  I once remember the church deacons coming to me with a problem....A man who was a tither was not paying his bills.  They wanted me to talk with him about cutting back on his church giving in order to pay what he owed to others.  I can't recall what I did.  What would you do?  WWJD?

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  I marvel at the numerous needy. guilt provoking operations there are that find me! I do, however, contribute regularly to a number of solicitors that I believe do put to intended use most of the contributions received.====JACK:  I like the biblical advice..."Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves."  I guess it can apply to our charitable giving choices, too.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 6/25/14
“Anyone who has gumption knows what it is, and anyone who hasn’t can never know what it is.”  (L.M. Montgomery)  How long since you’ve heard someone use the word, gumption?  In fact, have you ever heard of it?  Synonyms: courage, spunk, guts, imagination.  The Finns call it, Sisu!  Entrepreneureship is a BIG word around Detroit these days, with many millennials (with gumption) starting new businesses.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Wasn't their a movie with that name, "Forrest Gumption"?!?!====JACK:  I wonder if Gump was intentionally used as a short form of Gumption?  There used to be a comics character named, Andy Gump.  You've probably never heard of him.  ====REV:  Haven't heard of Andy . . . I wondered the same about the movie . . . wouldn't be surprised if the word and definition of "gumption" may have played apart in the title and theme.====JACK:  Through the magic of Google, you can go back and become acquainted with Andy Gump.  You can also see a statue erected in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, to honor him.

FROM CS IN MICHIGAN:  Yay gumption in Detroit!====JACK:  You were a Detroit cheerleader before it was the "hip" thing to do.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Another synonym might be Drive.====JACK:  It's one thing to be able to drive; it something else to "know" how to drive.

FROM HUSKER DON:  "Sisu" -- great word I learned in Finland in 1953, the year that reclassified my to be with the class of 1954.  GREAT WORD!  (Did you have a Finish background -- and learn to count to ten in Finish [takes twice as long as in English]?  Does this explain Finnish temperament or peacefulness?).  Thanks again for your words.====JACK:  No Finn in me, altho my wife traces he ancestry to the Oland Islands..  I did take a sauna once, and once was enough. 

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I think of a lot of Americans with a lot of gumption are still with us. Besides our grandchildren, I was early to the local library this morning (obviously I haven't gone there too much lately with my Nook as my excuse).  It doesn't open until 10, so there were two 10th graders there and we had a great chat about their dreams and ambitions. They go to an IB program far from the neighborhood. One wants to be a doctor, and the other an engineer.  They planned to study for ao====JACK:  I purposely have avoided Nook.  I like holding a real book in my hands.  My current favorite is "Wrigley Field, Year by Year."  BTW, What are IB and ao? 

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  I’m old enough to remember it and very occasionally use it but don’t recall where I heard it first.  My dad?  Something on TV like Andy Griffith?====JACK:  If you want to see gumption on TV these days, look at Mountain Men.  I can't imagine living as they live.

FROM CPA BOB:  How about “willing to take a risk”, along with the other synonyms.====BOB:  We've each had our risk-taking experiences.  For you, one was in starting your own business. 

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  IT'S BEEN YEARS SINCE I HEARD GUMPTION,  BUT I DO REMEMBER ANDY GUMP!  WE NEED GUMPTION TO DEAL WITH EVERY DAY, AT MY AGE! I'M TRYING TO WORK UP GUMPTION TO RELOCATE TO A SMALLER  SITUATION  AND NEARER TO MY ELDEST SON AND FAMILY, BUT IT'S MORE FUN TO  PLAY BRIDGE, READ, AND GOLF THAN IT IS TO CONDO-HUNT! OR MOVE...! :-(====JACK:  Eventually we will all be forced to relocate.  In anticipation of that, we have our cemetery "spot" reserved.  But even that is temporary, anticipating what God has prepared for us.

OM FACEBOOK LIZ:  happy to hear that detroit is recuperating. i read that the UN may help supply water there. gumption is a much-needed commodity in our beleagured country. too bad it went out of vogue the last few years...====JACK:  I can't imagine that Detroit has a water problem, with the Detroit River and many lakes in the area.  However, there is an argument over whether or not the water system should be a regional one.  There's also a problem with a number of people in the city not paying their water bills and, consequently, have their water shut off.  But opportunities are given to those customers to work out a payment plan.  But, back to your point...There is a need for more gumption in the lives of people in general.====LIZ:  the "gestalt of knitting." my friend's mom, a psychiatrist, could knit the most intricate fair isle patterned sweaters. one row at a time, she told us... if she tried to absorb the directions in toto, she'd never have had the gumption to attempt it.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Once again you brought back some memories.  My Uncle Cochran, 100% pure Scottish, used this term a lot.  However, the way he pronounced it wasn't "Gumption"  because he accent was so heavy it was hard to understand him.  When he walked into the room with his booming voice, he shook the house!  He married my Grandmother's sister...Aunt Amelia.  He was certainly a character by gumption!====JACK:  We all seem to have "characters" among our relatives.  My sister and I often amuse each other by coming up with Aunt Nell and Uncle John sayings.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 6/24/14
“Hey…Dad?  You wanna have a catch?”  (Ray Kinsella)  This is the 25th Anniv of The Field of Dreams movie.  My son and I once played catch on that field.  We each have our “dreams,” don’t we?  Maybe they’re revived by a movie, a song, a date, an old photo.  What is it that causes the past to come alive for you?  It’s interesting that Kevin Costner (Kinsella) took his son to the “field” in Dyersville, IA, this year to play catch.    ;-)  Jack

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  its also interesting that the field actually lays on two different farms and the two farmers don't get along very well.  in fact they now have two separate concession stands, if i recall correctly.  that part of the story is kind of sad.  the rest is so good!  also, the famous line is often misquoted.  its not, "if  you build it, they will come".   rather its, "if you build it, he will come", a reference as i recall to  Shoeless Joe Jackson. those early players were treated rather poorly.  today, they may be treated too well, looking at some of those multi-million dollar contracts.====JACK:  When I was in Dyersville, I only saw one concession stand.  As Jimmy Durante used to say, "Everybody wants to get into the act."  As I recall, we were the only ones on the field the day we were there.====PH:  now that i think about it, you are right.  the one stand was put there by the "other" farmer,  hoping to capitalize on the tourism.  i think the other owner chose not to "cheapen" the field with too much commercialism.  i am not totally sure of this but i think i am close.  we were there years ago and i conversation i had with on of the locals put me on to this controversy. ====JACK:  I have a coffee mug that I bought in Dyersville..."Is this Heaven?  No, It's Iowa."  If that's the case, I was born in Heaven (Des Moines).


FROM HY YO SILVER:  Absolute favorite movie (besides Cecil B DeMille's The Ten Commandments).   I've been to dyersville twice.====JACK:  As for the 10 Commandments movie, I liked the book better.  Playing catch with my son on the Field of Dreams is my all-time favorite baseball experience.====HY YO:  I, too, played catch with my dad on that field.  Cecile B. DeMille based his movie on a book?  Which one?  Awesome!  I need a copy of that (kidding).

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I'd love to hit a few balls at Wimbledon....wouldn't you?====JACK:  You should be in your glory this week, watching the Wimbledon tournament.  I wonder if there are tennis courts in heaven and, if so, how they compare to those at Wimbledon?

FROM TARMART REV:  "What is it that causes the past to come alive for you?" Being in relationship with another from that past!!====JACK:  Watching that scene in Field of Dreams when Ray Kinsella plays catch with his dad brings back all kinds of memories.  Other than that, old photographs and old hymns make the past come alive.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Oh how important it is to play a simple game of catch with your son or daughter.  So many people neglect the simple act of interaction with their children.  In this busy world of ours, children are often neglected.  The children fill in with something else not necessarily good, when they are trying to find the love they need from their parents.  We need to make sure everyone around us knows they are always matter what age, size, color, race they are.  God is loving to all of us...His children!  What a wonderful message!!!  God is Love!====JACK:  God is good.  Although my daughters weren't with me at the Field of Dreams, I played many games of catch with them, and they went on to play with high school and college teams.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Music is my trigger. It always strikes a responsive chord. ====JACK:  Yes, the Chester song is a good one.  I've sung it many times.  "Chester, have you  heard about Harry? (pat chest, point, tug earlobe, pat head)  He just got back from the Army. (thumb back, pat back, pat arm, pat chest)  I hear he knows how to wear a rose, (point to eye, tug earlobe, thumb back, touch nose, tuck an imaginary rose in your lapel)  Hip, hip! Hooray for the Army! (slap left hip, slap right hip, raise fist to the sky, pat arm, pat chest)  Chester, have you  heard about Harry?  (pat chest, point, tug earlobe, pat head)  He just got back from the Army. (thumb back, pat back, pat arm, pat chest)  He knows he  need not face defeat, (thumb back, touch nose, thumb back, pat knee, pat face, pat feet)  Hip, hip! Hooray for the Army! (slap left hip, slap right hip, raise fist to the sky, pat arm, pat chest)"

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My  word, has it been 25 years??!  They fly by, don't they?!  Many seem to have first hand memories of that field, which I don't, but loved the movie. Our all time favorite movie was A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS.  The 6 Academy Award 1966 movie about Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield) who  refused to sanction Henry the 8th's divorce from Anne Boleyne...and was brought to trial, found guilty of treason, and beheaded. He was a terrific inspiration to Bill in ministry to stand for your beliefs and ideals. During his first heart attack recovery, I finally secured a copy from Hollywood for quite a price, (gift from church members) and we  all watched it, and  again in 2002 when he was ill with the brain tumor. !  We still occasionally watch it!    Photographs  certainly keep the past in mind, as well as reminiscing with old friends and family!  The internet is great to connect with the past, as well!!====JACK:  I suppose you know the children's hymn...I Sing a Song of the Saints of God.  Thomas More was one of them...and so was "your Bill."  Why don't you ask your Sunday School class how many of them consider themselves to be saints....and see what their response might be? 



Monday, June 23, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 6/23/14
“Whatever God wants, I second the motion.”  (Ashleigh Brilliant)  If has been said of A.B., “He thinks long and writes short.”  I miss his daily newspaper “Pot Shots.”  His name describes him--Brilliant.  Today’s quote is a restating of that Lord’s Prayer petition, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  When we present our prayer requests to God, it might be a good idea to conclude, “But whatever you want…”    ;-)  Jack 

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  not my will but Thine be done, as my Mother used to say.... ====JACK:   Your mom's words fit well with one of my very first Winning Words..."Virtue is learned at mother's knee.  Vice is learned at other joints."

FROM TARMART REV:  Amen, Sir!! Good post reminder for me this Monday morning!! ====JACK: There's a famous Latin phrase which I'll give to you in English..."Bidden or not bidden, God is present (even on Monday mornings)."

FROM EMT SINGS IN MICHIGAN:  I too am a fan of A..B. I have two of his books.====JACK:  I see that he's published 14 books.  So,  maybe you can drop a hint to Santa Claus.

FROM CHRISTIAN ON CAPE COD:  This is nice- I will share it with our church council!   It’s short, pithy, but thought provoking (and at times challenging)  Blessings to you this day!  (A beautiful day here on the Cape with blue skies, shining sun, and temperatures in the 60’s)====JACK:  A mother told me how difficult it was to pray "Thy will be done," when she was standing beside her son's casket.  But when she did get the words out, there was a sense of peace that came to her.

FROM LP IN PLYMOUTH:  When we present our prayer requests to God, it might be a good idea to conclude, “But whatever you want…”   I remember you teaching us that in confirmation class. Who says kids don't listen?====JACK:  As I reflect on my "60 years", teaching confirmation classes was one of the most satisfying things that I recall.  Sometimes I go to the wall where the pictures of the classes are displayed....and remember.====LP: Ha! Just the other day Grandma asked if I kept up with any of my confirmation classmates. I don't but I was surprised that without the picture in front of me, I was able to name most of them.====JACK:  I'd have a hard time doing that for my class.  There were 50.  However, their names are listed in the front of my confirmation Bible.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Maybe my "age" allows me to be a bit more philosophical, however, it is a relief to acknowledge that God has a plan and His will is the ultimate. That doesn't, I believe. preclude our working toward things to which we aspire and for which we need help and for which we pray. But it's a comfort to me knowing that I'm not alone on the path.  Don't know Ashleigh Brilliant. After "Googling" him, he's on my "to read" list.====JACK:  I don't know that philosophy is an "age" thing.  I remember being a "wonderer" in my teens.  I often saw myself standing on the balcony, looking down and wondering about what was going on as people and events marched by.  I continue to be interested in that.  Sometimes I even walk down the stairs and join the parade

Friday, June 20, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 6/20/14
“Go to everyone I send you to, and say whatever I command you.”  (Jeremiah 1:7)  The Lord has a plan for each one of us that allows space for our “free will.”  60 years ago today, I was ordained as a pastor to do as Jeremiah wrote.  Jack’s Winning Words is but a continuation of that ministry.  Since we all are creatures of God, we each have a role to play in life’s drama.  Look! God is in the front row, cheering you and me on.    ;-)  Jack 

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  To be obedient to go to everyone to whom we are sent, and to be obedient in saying what we are to say to each one of them, continues to perplex me. For this is where the applications of Faith exist. I don't always know if I am sent or if I merely prefer where I go; or if I am directed to speak, or I simply speak what is in and on my mind. I have often wondered how certain ideas have come to my mind...or how I prefer some places and people over another...but it has always been perplexing as to the divine guidance (especially with regard to, "...and lead us not into temptation..."). I have had no "burning bush" experience; nor have I been thrown off my horse and heard Jesus' voice talking to me. I have to live by Faith, and live by the urges of the Spirit in which I have Faith that even these urges are divinely inspired. It is indeed humbling for me to think that it is possible that I could be mistaken, or that I have missed so many previous opportunities and directives. It is so easy to make rationalizations and fantasies to fit into our own preferences for Christian application. Then we get to "feel good" about our obedience. But I have to hope I am obedient to my "call", and that I have Him and not my fantasies or rationalizations. I pray for direction, a clear mind, and a righteous tongue -- for us all.====JACK:  I don't know if many have "burning bush" experiences, but a lot of people see smoke signals in smoldering ashes.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  great song of the day.  sorry i'm a couple of days behind.  "go where i send shall i send thee?"====JACK:  Or..."Go tell it on the mountain..."

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 6/19/14
"Not everything needs changing.  Some things need protecting.”  (Mary Barra, GM CEO)  With so much emphasis on change these days, Barra’s words, “Some things need protecting,” deserve to be noticed.  Yes, there’s a difference of opinion of what needs to change and what needs to be protected.  The environment, the vulnerable, a value system---need protection.  But life is change.  What better changes have you seen?    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  You sound like Heraclitus.    Odd how all of those people had a handful of wisdom to pass on to us.====JACK:  I like the Heraclitus statement on change..."No one steps into the same stream twice."  Those ancients had a way with words.

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I heard someone once say that the most accurate answer to a question is, "it depends." I think this is true here too. Regarding changing and or protecting, it depends who or what is changing, and who is protecting what. The vulnerable chickens need protecting, but not by the fox! I have witnessed what seems to be righteous service to others in health services. I'd like to protect that from outside interference, but then the unrighteousness have a tendency to get into the equation. The Garden of Eden sounded like it was worthy of protection --- I suppose it is; but it is protected by keeping everyone out. That which is in this world doesn't stand a chance by that which is of the world; it will spoil innocence and exploit vulnerability. Hence, we are reminded to remain vigilant and awake -- for good reason. ====JACK:  Many people want black and white answers to religious and philosophical questions.  The "gray" appears to them as a dodge.  "It depends" recognizes the fact that what you are describing (objects or concepts) depends on where you are standing and the thought process that you are using.  I have to remind myself of that when I am discussing issues with someone.

FROM TARMART REV:  That face I see in my bathroom mirror these past 67 years!! 0;-/====JACK:  There usually comes a time when we say to that mirror, "When did I become my father?"

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  i change my underwear every day.  that's a start!====JACK:  I'd just as soon not know that detail.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  change is slow for a reason sometimes... prevents unintended consequences.====JACK:  When my mother-in-law heard of the death of her roommate in the nursing home, her response was, "Here today, gone tomorrow."  Your life circumstances (and mine) can change in the blink of an eye.  There's a hymn verse, "Change and decay in all around, I see; O Thou who changest not, abide with me."

FROM  OUTHOUSE JUDY:  True true words! Sometimes we see good change and sometimes people change things just to change them.  There is a line between the two but sometimes it's extremely fine.  Our value system and our morals system came from the Bible and Jesus' Words and they don't change even those many religions try to fit them into being politically correct.  There is a right change and a wrong change.  It's easy enough to see when reading and studying the Bible.  Too bad so many people have forgotten that lesson or choose not to remember it for convenience sake. ====JACK: I remember when a new translation of the Bible (RSV) was published...A minister had a copy of that Bible burned in front of the altar.  One person said, "If the Saint James Bible was good enough for St. Paul, it's good enough for me."

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Change very often is protection.====JACK:  To want things to remain the same is often protection, too.  Choose your poison.  I choose some of each.

FROM CPA BOB:  Medical breakthroughs:  Important strides in health maintenance, curing disease & disease prevention.====JACK:  While we celebrate the breakthroughs, we still look forward to battles yet to be won.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 6/18/14
“Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.”  (Napoleon)  Most of us don’t like the unknown, so we tend to put off making the hard decisions, resorting to over-thinking situations.  Here are some suggestions.  Set the timer…Listen to your gut…Get a 2nd opinion…Do a mental dry run…Take the leap.  God bless you in your decision making today!    ;-)  Jack 

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  A very good 'un!====JACK:  It fits a variety of circumstances, doesn't it?

FROM TARMART REV:  As you have time . . . Google "McColloch's Leap" . . . hoping it runs like this in the family!!====JACK:  Wow!  Is he a relative of your's?  Google says:  McColloch's Leap was a feat performed during a September 1777 attack by Native Americans on Fort Henry, site of present-day Wheeling, West Virginia, during the American Revolutionary War.  In September 1777, during a Native American siege on the fort, Major Samuel McColloch arrived at the fort with forty mounted men from Short Creek. The gates of the fort were thrown open to allow the men entrance. Major McColloch lingered behind to guide and protect the men. The Indians attacked, and all of the men except McColloch made it inside before they were forced to close the gates. McColloch found himself alone and surrounded by Native Americans, and he rode immediately towards the nearby hill in an attempt to escape. McColloch had earned a reputation as a very successful "borderer" (one who protected the frontier borders from the Native Americans) and was well known to both the frontiersmen and the Indians. The Indians eagerly pursued McColloch, and drove him to the summit of the hill.  As he rode along the top of the hill, he encountered another large body of Indians. He now found himself surrounded, with no path of escape. He knew that, because of his reputation and history against the Indians, he would be tortured and killed with great cruelty if he were to be captured alive. With all avenues of escape cut off, he turned and faced the precipice, and with the bridle in his left hand and his rifle in his right, he spurred his horse over the edge to an almost certain death. The hill at that location is about three hundred feet in height, and in many places is almost perpendicular.  The Indians rushed to the edge, expecting to see the Major lying dead in a crumpled heap at the bottom of the hill. To their great surprise they instead saw McColloch, still mounted on his white horse, galloping away from them.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Some people are deliberate and some people deliberate, but not all deliberate people deliberate and most all people who deliberate are deliberate. Abe Blazer. ====JACK:  I looked it up.  To de-liberate is to take free people and make them slaves again.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  Like a whole bunch... LAWB.====JACK:  I looked up LAWB, not realizing that the answer was right before me.  We do that with lots of things.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 6/17/14
“Just because you’re in the driver’s seat doesn’t mean you have to run people over.” (Sent by BullsEye)  A statistic shows that 37% of workers have been bullied.  Bullying is more than a youth problem.  It even involves the elderly.  Here are some slogans that can be put into action.  “Don’t be a bully--Be a friend!...Stop bullying—Speak up!...Enough is Enough!...Live Nice!”  Gandhi said, “Let us be the change we seek!”    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  I'll adopt this one for the day, “Don’t be a bully--Be a friend!... Enjoy your day there in West Bloomfield and I pray there be no bullies in your life to speak of!! ====JACK:  Do you see any bullying from observation post at Target or Walmart?  A mentally challenged girl was accused of stealing from a Livonia WalMart, put face down on the floor and handcuffed.  It turned out that she had a receipt for the package of hair bands that she was accused of stealing.  She had been shopping with her grandmother.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  Bill Gates remarked that, “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.”  The drivers’ seat is a big responsibility.====JACK:  We find ourselves in the "driver's seat" in various circumstances.  There's a difference between being in control and being controlling.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  This definitely has two meanings for us. First, Josh (15) has his driver's permit.  Thankfully, he is a very good driver and uses his head when he drives. Secondly, my daughter and husband were "bullied" about home-schooling their two sons.  People are getting more and more into home-schooling, but it wasn't quite popular when Kimberly started the boys schooling at home.  They even lost some "friends"...a term I use loosely.  Now, they have a bunch of great home-schooling and home-going friends.  It's important to stand up for yourself and others too, when you see someone being bullied.====JACK:  No driver ed for me...I taught myself to drive.  I wouldn't recommend it for everyone, but it worked for me.  As for home schooling...I think that Abe Lincoln was home-schooled.  It seemed to work for him.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  Bullies are generally cowards.,, call their bluff.====JACK:  It's hard to call someone's bluff when you're intimidated.  Of course it worked for David when he was bullied by Goliath.  He knew that the Lord had his back.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  can't change human nature. most people are kind.====JACK:  I learned it the other way...that we are born into and influenced by a "sin"ful world.  It is when we come into contact with the goodness of God (as exemplified by Jesus) that our lives are turned around (converted).  Of course, that's theological stuff and open for debate between those who believe it and those who don't.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "Without Courage", said  Maya Angelou, "we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous or honest"....So let's be courageous  and practice positive behavior to  ALL! Bullies, Beware!!! ====JACK:  I'm trying to recall if I was ever bullied...Maybe once in 2nd or 3rd grade.  Do you think that more emphasis is being put on it now than in the past, or is it happening more?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 6/16/14
“The fault is not in the stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”  (Shakespeare)  The movie, “The Fault in Our Stars,” gets its theme from S’s “Julius Caesar.”  Simply stated, “The events of life are dependent on our own choices.”  Some “blame” astrological signs, or even God.  Perhaps it’s a combination.  What do you think?  I lean toward the combination, with “free will” playing a major role.    ;-)  Jack

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  i hear its a good movie.====JACK:  I read the reviews of both the book and the movie.  I was surprised to see that Shakespeare was behind the plot-line.

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I was going to say, "don't get me started", ...but it's too late...
Freedom is the two-edged sword that we always carry and cannot put down; while it is Liberty that allows us to swing it. We might desire to cut down the weeds, while cutting down some roses as we draw our sword back in preparation for striking the weeds. We must be aware that our sword has two sharp edges.  Having an "ability to respond" (Responsibility) makes us accountable for our choices. The stars don't choose. The stars have no freedom nor ability to respond. The stars have no will. I have read signs that note: Freedom is not free. But indeed Freedom is free; it is our Liberty that has a cost. Liberty is not free; because it is man who has the authority to alter it.  Freedom is inherent with Life itself. Even as a prisoner, one is always free to respond within the confines of his circumstance (restriction of liberty). Just as we are free to respond within the confines of gravity, one responds to his restrictions in other ways as well. The prisoner has limited liberty, but not restricted freedom. Our freedom does not come from another man; nor does life come from man. Freedom comes from the One who provides the life one has. Even our Declaration of Independence "affirms" this as something "inalienable", because, as they recognized, freedom comes from God, who created us free. The "declaration" affirms the desire to seek out a place where one's liberty coincides with one's gift of inalienable freedom. Hence, it is only God who can alter freedom. As a result, one can never be "un free"; and as such, we will find ourselves before judgement one day, held accountable for the free choices to which we have freely responded.  As I am again reminded, words represent certain and specific concepts. Differentiating them from one another also differentiates the confusion of the mind that might have otherwise muddled them together, unwise to the value of their distinction. Babel is an easier option to choose in its stead.====JACK:  I'll cut to the chase.  The words "Free Will" simply speak to the question...Is each step of the life we lead determined by the will of God, or has God allowed to determine the direction of our life by using our own will?  It remains theoretical, but I happen to believe that Free Will is allowed within the circle of God's Will, and so we pray, "Thy will be done."  (May my will be thy will.)====RAY:  If free will is indeed free, how could it be that I am not at a fork in the road with each step taken, or even a refusal to take a step? I used the example of gravity, as in something we are unable to escape is gravity, so we exist within this context. Your example of living within the context of God's will parallels this example. I agree with you regarding the context, after all, my life and yours is by God's will alone...not ours. Still within this context, we choose in what direction we seek and upon that which we focus. It seems to me that as Jesus said, "my sheep know me (my voice) and I know my sheep" it makes good sense that we "choose" to listen and watch the Good Shepherd -- even though we don't have to do so.====JACK:  "There is no FREE lunch."  The grace of God is sometimes hard to accept.  There's got to be a catch. 

C hoosing
H im
O ver
C auses
E ver-increasing
S alvation for ones spirit, soul and body!
Just made that up one minute ago . . . you inspired that little thought from within this very Monday morning!! Thank you. ====JACK: That's very cleaver of you.  You're sharp, today!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  If we were aware of some of the ramifications of what seemed like an innocuous choice at the time, we'd all be more cautious, I suppose...but we do have, and make choices, according to the guidelines and beliefs we live by, so can't blame God or others, at least for the circumstances we have control over!  I read a quote by Sir Francis Bacon, which says, "Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a  sense of humor to console him for what he is."  Having a good bit of both of these, I liked the thought! ====JACK:  God. in his wisdom, created up all with limited knowledge.  Otherwise, what would be the need for faith?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 6/13/14
“No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.”  (Carrie Snow)  People can be fired if they’re caught napping on the job, however…there are studies which show that “power naps” can be a benefit to workers by increasing creativity, stamina and decision making, besides reducing stress.  Sara Mednick’s book, Take A Nap, claims that nap-taking is like a miracle drug.  All in favor of napping, say, “ZZZZZZ!”  ;-)  Jack 

FROM ROSE IN FRANCE:  I am currently at work at my job in France so it is just about lunch time, and I was thinking about how tired I am...this came at quite the right time...Maybe I will forward the message to my boss ;)====JACK:  I've read that everything closes down in France for lunch.  How does the workday compare with the typical one in the USA?  I've also heard that most people have a glass of wine with their meals....Even breakfast?

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Are you kidding? I LOVE naps. They are right up there with my favorites likes ice cream, or chocolate, or basted eggs in bacon grease ....only naps are good for you too! My naps require more than 20 minutes though.====JACK:  I've even seen people taking a nap in church during sermon-time.  I recall seeing a woman punch her husband in the ribs during one of those naptimes...and smiled as he suddenly woke up.  Preachers see interesting stuff from their pulpit vantage point.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I have "napped" almost every day of my life...even at Augie.... down in the stacks at Denkmann.====JACK:  The Wall Street Journal says that a Power Nap of 10 to 20 minutes gives the brain a real jolt.  No wonder you were such a success in college.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  as it is friday, the 13th, plus the full moon... nap may be safest route!====JACK: Does that mean you're an omenologist?

FROM JM IN MICHIGAN:  ZZZZZZZ! and Amen!====JACK:  Most people take their naps in the afternoon, not in the morning.  The day has just begun.====JM:  When you wake up way too early and haven't had enough sleep, 9:30 is perfect nap time!  Hee, hee!  However, I was just responding to your request, "all in favor of napping" which I am much in favor of doing.  So I said ZZZZ.
Winston Churchill is said to have taken a half hour nap every afternoon during the stressful time of WWII.  That "made one day into two", he claimed, and gave him energy to remain positive during those dark times for Great Britain.  Naps are good.

   FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Naps are my favorite destressor!!!! I lay down, close my eyes and talk with God and, before I know it, feel so much more peaceful and relaxed. A person has got to finally be still for a bit and then you really appreciate napping. Jerry and I just took the Amtrak to and from New Orleans, for our daughter's and her husband's wedding and I think one reason we did so well on the trip was because we both are used to--and don't feel guilty about-- napping. Some great WW today again!!!!====JACK:  I wonder if Psalm 46:10 should be translated, "Take a nap and know that I am God?"

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  ZZZZZZ...(I'm wondering if it was my wife that you saw punching me in the ribs as I napped while you were preaching?  BTW, no offense about your preaching.====JACK:  One of my favorite cartoons shows a pastor orating from the pulpit, with Jesus sitting in the front row....sleeping.

FROM DP IN MINNESOTA:  ZZZZZZZ...twenty minutes every day!====JACK:  20 minutes is said to be the length of a Power Nap.  No wonder you're so peppy.

FROM TARMART REV:   “ZZZZZZ!” Hopefully back together on Monday . . . have a blessed day and weekend, Jack!! 0;-)    PS . . . Story is told of a Jehovah Witness canvassing a neighborhood on a weekend, knocking on a door of a particular home . . . the man of the house opens the door, greets the gentleman wholeheartedly, immediately invites him in and to the dinning table and asks his wife to bring him a cup of coffee . . . he then asks the JW what it was he wanted to tell him? The JW, with a startled look on his face says, "Well, I don't know. I've never been this far in a home before?!?!" 0;-)) ====JACK:  I've sometimes wondered what the Church would be like if the membership would have the zeal of the JWs.  I suppose you know that there were two Simons among the disciples of Jesus, Simon Peter and Simon, the Zealot (sometimes referred to as one of the most obscure disciples).

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN:  I’m in favor of  napping!!!!  So is my dog, Baxter. He’s so energetic after his nap when I come in the evening.  Kids are so much happier after a nap.  Naps RULE!! ====JACK:  Naps rule?  Tell that to your boss.

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  I've often wondered if the nap we took in kindergarden was because the teacher was tired.====JACK:  I don't remember napping, but I do remember learning about the American Indians.  The teacher (What was her name?) used a book with many exciting illustrations.  I'd like to see that book again.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  A few years I would have laughed at this, but now I find it the absolute truth.  I used to laugh when I came home from choir and found Grandma Lenn sleeping in the chair and Kimberly playing quietly on the floor in the living room.  Earlier this week, I babysat my granddaughters and was gently awoke with a tap on my arm..."Monnie are you sleeping?"  (They call me Monnie for whatever reason.)  So, life has come full circle.  A nap is wonderful!!!====JACK:  Young  people have a difficult time imagining what it must be like to be old, but older people can easily remember what it was like to be young.  Ain't life grand?

FROM WATERFORD JAN:  I was very busy this morning and early afternoon and just now had an opportunity to read the Winning Words for today.  I agree about naps--they are very theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz====JACK:  I seldom take a nap, but today I thought I'd try one out.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'm not a napper;, but there are days, now, in my old age, when it sure is tempting; but do sit down to read a bit when I can! There is a business I read about that has a nap time in early afternoon;, but can't think which one it was. Well known!  A brief power nap for any who want it!====JACK:  Google lists ten companies that permit napping.  The list includes, Google.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 6/12/14
“I don’t think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains.”  (Anne Frank)  Anne’s words remind me of RLS’s…“The world is so full of a number of things, I ’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”  What a gift…to be able to see positives in the midst of life’s negatives.  Try doing that today in the world around you.  What is that you see?  BTW, my sister and Anne Frank were born on the same date.    ;-)  Jack 

FROM TRIHARDER:  One young girl that was able to beautifully express what was and is experienced by many, many young girls then and now.====JACK:  "Oh, the humanity" was the announcer's cry as he watched the Hindenburg Zeppelin crash and burn in 1937 with the loss of 36 lives.  The Holocaust, a few years later, took the lives of 11 million.  The cry, "Oh, the humanity," seems an inadequate expression.  It's amazing that a young girl was able to see beauty in the midst of misery.  There is beauty in this world, if we use Anne's eyes.====TH:  There was a tree just outside her window that she would look at. That tree has fallen, but there are cuttings from the tree that thrive and keep it alive.  One of those cuttings has been transplanted at the Farmington Hills Holocaust Museum.  Have you seen it?  I was present for the dedication -- an effort spurred by a close friend of mine, an artist.====JACK:  I've heard of that tree at the museum, but have not seen it...which reminds me that I should renew my museum membership.  Referring to yesterday's  Winning Words, an ordinary tree can become extraordinary, because of circumstances.

FROM TARMART REV:  I'll reflect upon this one throughout the day, “I don’t think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains.”====JACK:  As you sit there eating your popcorn, you will probably see some who are burdened with the cares of this world, physical, mental and economic.  Try to see the beauty in them.  There's a hymn which begins, "Children of the heavenly Father..."  God's loves extends to all of his creation.====REV:  "Children" of the heavenly Father . . . if more of us would simply look at ourselves as "children" (even at an age of 67, like myself) in light of our" Heavenly Father watching over us, it would keep life in a better perspective I believe . . . too many of us feel we have grown up and now have everything at hand for our lives. 0;-/

FROM MM IN FLORIDA:  Be sure to see the new movie " The fault in our stars". You will enjoy. Has a part on Anne Frank.====JACK:  Thanks for the heads up.  The movie has an intriguing title. Anne Frank is a true hero.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's so easy today to look at the world around us and wonder what happened to this world?  But I'm sure each person has a wonderful thought, or place they can go in their mind that will bring a smile.  The great big beautiful world is full to the rim with wonders both great and small.  It's so hard not see something outstanding when you think about it....and look out your window!====JACK:  This morning Mary opened the newspaper and, after looking at it for awhile said, "There's so much bad news in here."  I told her about Anne Frank's quote today in WWs and suggested hat she look for some good news.  Sure enough, there was a story about a man thanking his mom for all the good things she had done for him.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  It's called PMA.====JACK:  Looking again at today's Winning Words...and trying to read your mind...I suppose PMA refers to having a Positive Mental Attitude.  Is that something from your basketball experience?


 FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  Less TV seems to help this process….====JACK:  If you don't watch TV and don't read the newspaper, how are you aware of any bad news?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 6/11/14
“Never get so fascinated with the extraordinary that you miss the ordinary.” (Magdalen Nabb)  I read a story about a man who was at the bedside of his dying mother.  As time dragged on, he noticed a struggling fly that had fallen into a glass of water.  He watched the fly for a long time.  Meanwhile his mother had died.  The story reminds us to focus on the truly important things in life and not be distracted by the trivial.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  The experience I had a few years ago in an outside wedding came immediately back into focus . . . as I was reciting the vows for the bride and groom to exchange, the groom's father's cell phone rang . . . to our amazement, at the front there where he sat, he moves over a few open chairs and facing away from the couple and the small crowd, he begins to talk quietly as "not to disturb" the rest of us. How thoughtful!!====JACK:  At least it wasn't the groom (or the pastor).

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  As Christians know, the focus should be on pursuit of eternal life rather than the seductions of daily life.  In that respect doesn't the converse of the WW apply, dismissing the ordinary while concentrating on the extraordinary?====JACK:  You can make anything mean anything if you try hard architects explaining their work...or pastors explaining their sermons.  In the case of the illustration used, it was simply meant to say a man missed the death of his mother, because he was concentrating on the death of a fly.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Wow!!! Thanks for this, Jack.====JACK:  Some illustrations have a way of really illustrating.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Oh that is sad!====JACK:  It is sad when the wrong choices are made with regard to life's important decisions.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Well, it's kind of like "Don't sweat the small stiff!" However, small stuff can be distracting from the real issue, or it can portend the "mustard seed". I really like these admonitions.....they set the mind stirring in many both sides of a debate. ====JACK:  We can become so preoccupied with the ordinary stuff that is in front of us that we overlook worlds still waiting to be discovered in the sky and in the sea and within the earth...and even within ourselves and others.  As the old song goes, "It's a strange (interesting), strange (miraculous) world, Master Jack."

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 6/10/14
“In the future, there will be no female leaders.  There will just be leaders.”  (Sheryl Sandberg)  Sheryl is #9 on Forbes’ list of the 100 Most Powerful Women, right behind Michelle Obama, who’s right behind GM’s CEO, Mary Barra.  The glass ceiling is in the process of shattering.  There are some organizations that haven’t gotten the message, but they will.  What is leadership, after all?  BTW, guess who’s #1 on Forbes’ list.    ;-)  Jack

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  Oprah??    good morning, Jack!====JACK:  Oprah came in at #14. ====PH:  I be that person!====JACK:  I wanted you to keep on guessing, instead of resorting to Google.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  This is not a guess because I heard on a news report a few days ago that #1 on the Forbes List is Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel.====JACK:  You didn't have to guess, because your memory still works...but were you surprised at the choice?====RI:  Yes, I was surprised that she came out on top.  In this country we are accustomed to having American personalities sitting at the pinnacle.  Merkel is impressive, coming a long way rather quickly since getting her doctorate in physics in East Germany.  She got involved in politics when the Berlin wall came down, and got into the upper ranks of her party in the DDR until German unification, after which she was elected to the Bundestag of the German Parliament.  Throughout her career in party politics she has led by coalition with other parties, and she's become strong in finance issues as she deals with the European Union.  Angela Merkel is not a charmer with a pretty face, and she isn't a pushover.  She works the system (just as she did in East Germany all those years). I think she plays her cards well.  Did you know her father was a Lutheran pastor in East Germany during the oppressive years of the cold war.====JACK:  It is interesting that an respected American business magazine has put her at the top of their list of important "women" leaders.  The next step is to rate her on a list of the top leaders (period).

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  hillary?====JACK:  She comes after Christine LaGarde.

FROM PASTY PAT:  Had to look it up --- interesting!====JACK:  I thought you'd at least take a guess.  If you were to guess...

FROM JM IN MICHIGAN:  I don't know -- who?  Putin?====JACK:  The last I heard, Vladimir is Powerful , but not a woman.====JM:  My thinking says political power, undergirded by economic power, is probably the most powerful of positions, so I say it's Angela Merkel, premier/president or whatever her title in Germany and the number one player in the European Common Market and economic union.  Or, maybe it is Beyoncé, after all, who wields "pop power", has lots of money, and is, by all reports, both altruistic and a good money manager.====JACK:  I thought that more people would pick up on the thought that an increasing number of people are coming to see that leadership is non-gender related.  Reviewing the Forbes List of the 100 bears that out.  Sometimes we look at the tree and miss the forest. 

FROM KF:  Chancellor Merkel?====JACK:  I wonder if your husband might have had a different answer if I'd asked him?

FROM CPA BOB:  Hillary Clinton?  If she isn’t, I’d pick Oprah next.====JACK:  If you had guessed AM, you'd be right.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I would guess Una merkel====JACK:  Una was a movie star in the 1920s.  But, her last name is the same as Angela's.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It will be a grand world indeed, when people are chosen for their work ethic instead of their race, gender or color.  Although, I believe we have made very good strides in that direction.  Hillary Clinton?  (Don't care for her work ethic, but she sounds like the likely candidate.)====JACK:  Finally someone made reference to the point of the quote.  Good guess on the person, but it's not correct. 

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  the glass ceiling broke a long time ago. so did other ceilings, but we keep talking about sheryl & barack as if they're anomolies.====JACK:  When all women get equal pay for equal work, then I might agree with you.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 6/9/13
“You really don’t understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around, and why his parents will always wave back.”  (William Tammeus)  This is a quote that really needs no explanation.  Is there anyone who hasn’t ridden on a merry-go-round and waved?  I don’t know about you, but I like the music, too.    ;-)  Jack

FROM PH IN MINNESOTA:  the one in Como Park near the Fair Grounds is really fun but the music is also very loud!   you can hear it blocks away.  but it sure is nostalgic too.  have a good day, Jack.====JACK:  I wonder if there'll be merry-go-rounds in heaven...with softer music?

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  It was good to know that as I ventured out, away from my parents "on my horse", I could make a return trip back to see that they were still there...and I could go on another round of adventure with merry thoughts and some confidence that my parents were my stability, and just around the next, I would smile and wave!====JACK:  I found two answers as to why people wave.  1) People are attracted to movement, so waving is a way of getting attention.  In ancient times it was a way of showing...I have no weapons.  I like the first reason better.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I love to ride the Carousel at Greenfield Village.====JACK:  Are you too old to smile and wave as you go round and round?

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  i love a good carousal.  i still ride when given the chance. riding as a child was exciting for me, but also a bit scary.  the security of seeing and waving at my parents each time around proved the safety and fun of the whole situation!====JACK:  I had forgotten how scary the M-G-R must seem to children...almost as scary as the new roller coasters must seem to older adults.

FROM TARMART REV:  A midway with a "Merry-go-round" brings the "kid-out-of-me" every time!! "Hurry! Hurry! Step right up! Win a _______"====JACK:  Why not make it a goal to ride on a merry-go-round this summer?  It might keep you from becoming an old fogey.

FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA:  So true. And when they get to middle school, they don't want you to talk to them in front of their friends. ;o) Actually, our son didn't do that but I know many others that did.====JACK:  When our kids stop in for a visit, we still wave to them as they pull out of the driveway...and they wave back, just like we did on the merry-go-round.  When my mother was in her 90s she still referred to us as "the kids."

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  dad carved a full-sized carousel horse. will have to get a pic for you. it won first place at international woodcarvers' competition.====JACK:  Maybe he can store it in your house and, you can sit on it while you watch TV.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Ah, what memories; and I am not a good "rider" as I get motion sickness, but for the sake of my children and grandchildren, and now "greats"  I still ride and wave when called upon. Those horses look gigantic to a little kid! Nice to have mom, dad, or grandparent standing or riding next to therm!! Thanks for  the human nature thought today....====JACK:  Did you ever ride The Bobs at Riverview Park in Chicago?  First riders didn't have a chance to wave, because they were hanging on for dear life.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I hope the initials aren't H.C.====JACK:  As Ronald Reagan once said, "There you go again!"  But, NO, it isn't Hillary.  She is #6 .

Friday, June 06, 2014

 Jack’s Winning Words 6/6/14
“We had a great time.”  (Don Zimmer)  I was at the game in St. Paul and heard the sound when DZ was hit in the head by a baseball.  He was unconscious for 2 weeks.  The event led to baseball’s requirement for batting helmets.  Zim was married on a baseball diamond to a girl he met in 10th grade.  He loved baseball, but he loved his wife and his home even more.  You can have a great time when you understand priorities.   ;-)  Jack

  FROM THE EDUCATOR:  Wow...what an experience!====JACK:  Yes, among the many ball games I've attended, it was the most memorable.    Some experiences have a way of separating themselves from all others.

FROM TARMART REV:   . . . had a few interesting times as well when I didn't fully understand the most proper priority at the time, as well . . .====JACK:   Or, as the saying goes, "We get so soon old and so late smart."

fROM WENZEL DAN:  Wow, you were there! Thanks for not beaning me! Jeff would’ve been OK…LOL.====JACK:  Beaning you?  A Wiffle-Ball wouldn't hurt that much.

FROM JB OF EJ:  I am borrowing this one for my Friday weekly commentary!   Hope that is ok with you Jack.====JACK:  The purpose of Winning Words is to take what resonates with you and share it with others.

FROM CUBS' FAN BB:  Liked Zimmer and did not even know these stories.  Gives a whole new meaning to the ”church of baseball”.====JACK:  Zimmer is known by most people as a Yankee coach and a Cubs manager, but he was a good ballplayer, too...with an appreciation of the value of a home, too.  As with most of us, there is more to our life that most people know about.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  God bless America, her allies, & the Greatest Generation on the 70th anniversary of D-Day.====JACK:  I was wondering if & when someone would notice that there wasn't a D-Day quote today.  I intended to do so, but multiple computer problems this week distracted me.  So, "They fight not for the, lust of conquest.  They fight to end the conquest.  They fight to liberate."  (FDR 6/6/1944)  I remember the day and how we listened to the radio which gave continuing updates on the progress of the invasion.  I would have used a General Patton quote, but I thought that it might be too "salty" for you.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Gary and I just got home from Toronto and "We had a great time!"  I can't imagine how that hit would have sounded.  I don't remember Don Zimmer but I will look him up.  This quote is a great one to be the last words of someone....."I had a great I will have a better eternity!"====JACK:  I don't have to imagine, because I can still remember the sound.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  DZ would probably be surprised that the CUBS have won 3 in a row!! WOO_HOO! I think he was an excellent manager who connected with his players...and it was no secret that he always loved his home and family, and regretted separations from them. He did have a great time!====JACK: It must be difficult for those who professional baseball players to have a functional family life.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  again...sister...god-daughter...arloa and otto.. .hmmmmmmmmmmmm====JACK:  Since you're still happy, and you know it, say: AMEN!

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 6/5/14
“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.”  (Charles Kingsley)   What can you be enthusiastic about that will make you happy?  That’s something to “chew” on today.  Ask someone else that question.  ;-)  Jack

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I can be enthusiastic about the idea that the only true requirement for Happiness is choosing it. I am happy for the gift of Life; and yet while in-the-world it is full of both pain and pleasure. I have to really keep my focus to be happy while experiencing the painful parts. ====JACK:  I remember laughing so hard it hurt.  Pleasure and pain?

FROM TARMART REV:  The sun coming up and brightening the bedroom a little after 5 am this morning . . . a new day never been lived in before and awaiting my arrival!!====JACK:  Proverbs 27:1.  Enjoy today for today, for none of us knows about tomorrow.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  “…can anybody find me, SOMEBODY TO LOVE??!”  The ending of a passionate song by Queen, but it goes for love and life purpose.  I had read once (OK, more than once) that the root meaning of enthusiasm: enthusiasm (n.) c.1600, from Middle French enthousiasme (16c.) and directly from Late Latin enthusiasmus, from Greek enthousiasmos "divine inspiration," from enthousiazein "be inspired or possessed by a god, be rapt, be in ecstasy," from entheos "divinely inspired, possessed by a god," from en "in" (see en- (2)) + theos "god" (see theo-).  So literally, enthusiasm should be taken to mean “God within us.”   Right now I am heading to Starbucks, enthusiastically, to write a paper.  All the best, thanks for this thought provoking WW. ====JACK:  I learned about enthusiasm in my 1st year Greek class.  (εν Θεός)

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  Discovering what I can do for someone else – it is a matter of being out and about – and encountering a person with a need.   Responding fills a need I have and makes me happy.====JACK:  Today I heard of some children who need white shirts and dark pants/skirts for school this fall.  Right now, I'm wondering how I can help meet that need by getting others involved.


FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  What are you going to be enthusiastic about today?====JACK:  I'm trying to get my mind around a plan to get school clothes for some needy kids.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  i just spent 4 days with my great nephew otto and his family.  (genie, god-daughter emily, and sister arloa).  otto is one of the most enthusiastic and positive little 17 month old human i have had the pleasure to spend time with.  i learned much from him.  life is good!====JACK:  Since you're happy and you know it, clap your hands and show it.  (your song for the day)

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 6/4/14
“I’ll connect the dots my own way.”  (Bill Watterson)  I had to look it up.  Someone said that she was a SAHM.  I thought it was some kind of religion.  In this work, work world, some moms feel the need to explain why they are a SAHM.  Look again at today’s quote.  I miss Calvin and Hobbes, but the cartoonist wanted to do things his way.  He now paints landscapes and has drawn one cartoon picture…Petey Otterloop.    ;-)  Jack

FROM MY ATTORNEY:  Stay-at-Home-Mom?====JACK:  You knew that?

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I've lived my life that way.     Been quite content to have others do it their way, too.   However, some don't like it if you don't connect the dots their way....lot of those folks in the church hierarchy.====JACK:  One of the realities of  becoming an old poop is that the younger generation is more tolerant of how you connect the dots...or don't much care.  Continue being the kind of person you are known to be.====JOHN:  "Don't much care" is right on...and I like that....I struggle with those people who think there is only one appropriate way to worship, etc.====JACK:  At this time of life, I see myself standing on the balcony, observing what is going on below.  At an earlier time, I was involved in the "action", relatively oblivious to who was on the balcony. ====REV:  I always cared about was on the balcony.    We stand on the shoulders of giants.    Can always learn from them.====JACK:  "The Man on the Balcony" is described well in the book, "A Preface to Christian Theology" by John Mackay (Chapter 2).

FROM TARMART REV:  Sounds alright . . . as long as one stays within the margins, I guess!! ====JACK:  I think that you "strayed" outside of the margins when you took an A of G congregation and began worshipping in a Jewish synagogue.  I applaud you for that!====REV: "Toda raba!"====JACK:  Thank you! 

FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER:  CONNECTING THE DOTS IS LIKE PAINTING BY NUMBERS. IT'S SOMEBODY ELSE'S CREATION.====JACK:  The man who created "paint by numbers" is from our community.  I once heard him give a speech.  I don't know where the one who invented "connect the dots" is from.  I happen to like both of those forms of art.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I had never heard SAHM, but was one until all four of my children were in school full time. (By then the oldest was in high school!) It was probably easier to do that in my generation, but I did love teaching, once I entered the work force, and of course teachers had "summer break" right along with kids!  I like the phrase, ":People hear what they see"...hopefully we can connect our dots in our own way, but still have something to "say" to those around us. You are right, at this stage in life, we are in the balcony, looking down on the action, though still participating!====JACK:  Sometimes, when we're on the balcony, we see things that need to be done.  Then we go down the steps and try to do our part in that which needs doing.  Then, we climb the stairs to the balcony and look down again.  Oops...There's something else that needs doing.  Etc.  Going down and up those stairs can be tiring as we age.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 6/3/14
“If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.”  (Neil Gaiman)  A reader told me of  “Risk Savvy” by Gerd Gigerenzer, a book sub-titled, How To Make Good Decisions.  All of life is a risk, so we just need to know how to make better decisions about money, health, personal life.  Surprisingly, risk increases with too much information.  It’s OK to dare, but be savvy about it.  Are you a risk-er?    ;-)  Jack

  FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Much more of a risk-er if I think taking a risk serves the common good and not just myself.  What an extraordinary observation "Surprisingly, risk increases with too much information." On the one hand, I almost can't believe that but, on the other hand, maybe it just demonstrates how multi-dimensional all of reality really is and how bound up with boundaries human beings really are so that possibly there is nothing but risk and more risk and finally we have too much information not to be aware of that.====JACK:  People seeking more and more information run the danger of never getting down to business.  The saying is...Paralysis by analysis!

FROM TARMART REV:  I heard it said too with something like this: "We cannot experience something we've never experienced before until we step out and participate in that which we have never done before!?!?" A brain-teaser for sure!! ====JACK:  I remember the first time I preached a a country Iowa.  I stood in the church pulpit on a Saturday night and delivered that sermon several times,  to empty pews, but the next day it was a different experience...speaking to live people.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Tom Peters mantra is "Ready, Fire, Aim."====JACK:  Some preachers are guilty of making that mistake.  We were taught in seminary to preach from a text, i.e. to select a portion of scripture (ready); decide the relevant point that you want to make (aim); and then craft and deliver the words in such a way that they relate to where the people are in their day to day living (fire).


Monday, June 02, 2014

Jack’s Winning Words 6/214
“The Happy Book is about what makes you glad.”  (Rachel Kempster & Meg Leder)  The Happy Book is a book that you write for yourself.  One page is titled, “What makes you happy?  Maybe it’s….”  Or, “Your favorite smells, sounds, tastes…”  What are they?  Can’t you see how this can become a personal book?  It’s a good mood booster, too, and  underscores that each of us has been created by God as a special being.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  There you go again, Jack . . . stirring up an old chorus I've not thought about in a long time, "Happiness Is!" . . .  HAPPINESS IS to know the Savior, Living a life within His favor, Having a change in my behavior, Happiness is the Lord; Real joy is mine No matter if teardrops start; I’ve found the secret– It’s Jesus in my heart! Happiness is to be forgiven, Living a life that’s worth the living, Taking a trip that leads to Heaven, Happiness is the Lord!" Now I will be singing that throughout the day, remembering the old Youth for Christ times back in Wichita, Kansas in the mid-nineteen sixties.====JACK:  Or as "Peanuts" puts it, "Happiness is...Finding out you're not so dumb after all...One thing to one person and another thing to another person...A warm puppy...A sad song...Ice cream...Licking the bowl...Having a best friend...And others."

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  "Life in my view is meant to be enjoyed, it’s meant to have as much fun as you can conjure up.”  (Lewis Katz, a prominent philanthropist, speaking at Temple University's recent commencement)  Tragically, Lewis Katz and several of his friends who attended a charity fundraiser last Saturday night, died when their private jet crashed during its departure from Boston.  We should make the most of every minute of our lives because we don't know when the time runs out.====JACK:  In this connection, you might want to read (or reread) "To a Mouse" by Robert Burns...You can Google it.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  I like this. I have a version of this I’ve used for 30 years known as Journaling.  I am carrying one now with tidbits and references, titles, book ideas, article and program ideas, things that need invented, great quotations, etc.   Journaling is a great habit to get into. The major ideas in my first book came from my journals going back to 1979….P.S. buy a nice wire bound journal with a good hard cover that can be folded over or at least lay flat.  Buy a good one, you don’t want to put a million dollar idea in a 10 cent notebook.  Perhaps my children or grandchildren (my daughter is getting married in Sept) will be looking through these one day.  Life is better if you make note of the happy and meaningful parts….  Nice WW today Pastor….====JACK:  The book I was referring to is an actual book with some pages left blank on purpose.  My daughter showed me a copy, and it interested me.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It sounds like a wonderful book.  I will get one for myself and each of the kids.  I think my youngest grandson, Noah would love this book.  Kimberly home-schools and he loves the journal she has the boys work on.  She comes up with a fun or interesting topic and they write their thoughts.  The Happy Book sounds so fun. I have all of Gary's grandfather's (his mother's father) journals from when he started college to his death.  His name is Abraham Raymond Lincoln and he was a doctor.  I love to read his journal as he talked about the family and his friends and also his patients (he was a doctor).  We are very glad he left these pieces of himself behind.====JACK:  I'm sure that you will be remembered for more than your collection of outhouses...but I'm sure that there will be someone in the future who will ask, "What's an outhouse, and why would someone want to make a collection of them?"  And then someone will say, "She was a fun person.  It's too bad you didn't get to meet her."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  HADN'T HEARD OF "THE HAPPY BOOK" BUT WANT TO GET SOME FOR MY 'GRANDS" AND GREATS.====JACK:  I'm sure that they'll be "glad" to receive that gift.