Friday, October 31, 2014
“Mama, is that the bogeyman?” (…said a child, looking at me.) It was dusk and as I passed a mother and little boy on the sidewalk I heard him ask his mom if I were the bogeyman. There are things that frighten, even adults…Ebola, financial situations, what-ifs, global-warming, a doctor visit, a dental appt. There’s a documented list of over 500 phobias. Acrophobia is on my list. How about you? There are 4 words on American currency that might help. ;-) Jack
FROM TRIHARDER: It brings up something that bothers me very much -- not necessarily related to you as the "bogeyman". I hate the depiction of ugly/unattractive as "evil" and good looking as "good." Kids learn from an early age that the ugly guy/woman, the scary looking guy in the cartoon, in the movie is the villain. We know in life that that is just not true. A person afflicted with an illness, a disease, a condition is often bent, distorted and disfigured. In addition to having to face the difficulties of their conditions, how those poor people must feel.====JACK: Are you inferring that I'm "ugly?" I took the little boy's question to relate to how tall I seemed to be when I approached them in the dark. But apart from that, I do understand the point you were trying to make.====TH: No! That's why I pointed out that it was NOT related to you as the bogeyman. More to the point, What does the bogeyman look like? Wouldn't he get more results if he was a good looking person to attract and steal kids? Evil would be more successful if it was physically attractive.====JACK: Bogeyman is one of those words like, Santa Claus, which changes its interpretation when we move from childhood to adulthood...but not always. Some adults never outgrow childish concepts.
Someone commented the other day about even beatutiful women can make a man miserable. My counter was, "Yes, but they make 'miserable' a little more tolerable." We do put a lot of premium on beauty. I am not innocent of that concept.
FROM RI IN BOSTON: The phobia thing can get absurd...for instance "phobophobia"...the fear of fear. According to Martin Luther we should "fear, love, and trust in God above all things." ====JACK: I'm sure that if I were to read though the entire list of phobias I'd find some more that apply to me...even though I'd like to think that I trust in God. "I believe; help my unbelief."
FROM TARMART REV: I was certainly trusting you were alright these past days in not seeing your posts . . . you might say I was beginning to have a phobia about the matter?!?! So nice to see you back.====JACK: Just because people missed receiving Winning Words for a couple of days, some thought that I was sick or had died. A positive thinker might have thought that I was taking a vacation. Maybe it's age-related. The answer...It was computer related, and (hopefully) that's solved.
FROM QUILTING CAROL: How could any child look at you and think of a bogeyman????? Or were you dressed up for Halloween?====JACK: Each mind pictures for itself what a Bogeyman looks like. I guess I appeared like that to the little boy. What does Bogeyman look like to you?
FROM JE IN MICHIGAN: In God we trust!!!! Happy Halloween!====JACK: Is it just a slogan? I guess it's for each of us to answer.====JE: No it is not just a slogan, it is my personal belief. ====JACK: You're not the only one.
FROM CHESTER THE GOOD: Freedophobia _ the fear of losing Winning Words.====JACK: Do you remember the cartoon that began THERE'S NO NEED TO FEAR...UNDERDOG IS HERE.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: You have a fear of heights? Many do! I forget why, but I accessed that list of phobias once, and was AMAZED at the number that came up! Venustraphobia is a fear of beautiful women (an actual phobia!) and how about Ecclesiophobia=a fear of church or going to church, which we once dealt with in a person, (!) and there are many who have claustrophobia...fear of small enclosed places...You wonder how all of these developed...some rather recently, like the fear of cell phones!! Enuff said!====JACK: Speaking of the latest...Ebolaphobia...and Fox News' Obamaphobia.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
“A cat may go to a monastery, but she still remains a cat.” (Ethiopian Proverb) Evangelist Billy Sunday used to say, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you an automobile.” Think of the organizations to which you may belong. Are you a member in name only, or are you active (whatever that may mean)? “Do you take an active part To help the work along? Or are you satisfied To only just belong?” ;-) Jack
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
“God is not afraid of new things.” (Pope Francis) There’s a line from a popular song…”Slow down baby, you’re going too fast.” Some of the Catholic Cardinals are singing that to the Pope. Scientists tell us of new worlds being formed at an astounding speed. It seems as though God is truly not afraid of new things. A good leader will be a fearless, with a keen sense of direction. It doesn’t hurt to have a thick skin and a sense of humor, also. ;-) Jack
FROM SHARIN' SHARON: Enjoyed reading your WW this morning. Also received Richard Rohr's meditation--both very thought-provoking. Pastor Kolbo, from Trinity Ev. Lutheran (ELCA) on Long Island, NY, where I became a member once told me he didn't mind having a Pope, wasn't against that, what Pastor Kolbo minded was people telling him he had to believe the "Pope was infallible." Actually, when the Pope says things like "God isn't afraid of new things." can't see how anyone could dispute that but when the Church becomes aware of the new things the Pope is talking about--well guess there's the rub. Realizing the Pope is a person, I sort of like Pastor Kolbo's trying to "face the truth in his own spirituality" that it's OK to respect having a Pope and the good that having a Pope can do for the Church and also at the same time navigating the truth that no person living on this earth is probably ever capable of "being infallible". Actually, it seems like we're all responding now to the new Pope and the newness of the Catholic Church. I'm sort of amazed and wondering how this situation even came into being--when the Pope was elected, don't think anyone had a clue and now the horse is out of the barn and people are having to get our overalls off and relate to each other less stereotypically, become less "old-fashioned" and thinking of the Church as "stuck in time" or something and not able to change much. Well, have thunk some this morning, ====JACK: The trouble with designating someone as "infallible" is when you disagree with that person. That's the trouble with "laws", too. They're OK, so long as you agree with them. Some people even have trouble seeing God as infallible, too.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
“I knocked and knocked---Sorry I missed you! ..Opportunity” (Sign on a door) I saw this in WUMO, a new comic strip in our newspaper. There’s an intriguing web-site called, Opportunity Knocks.org. Its goal is to match job-seekers and employers…sort of a business eHarmony. Thomas Edison once said that many people miss opportunities, because they’re dressed in overalls. Do you know what overalls are and what they represent? ;-) Jack
FROM SBP IN FLORIDA: Well, to me they represent several things. From when our society was more agrarian.....hard work from early morning until the last of the day's chores were tended to. And clean ones after church on Sunday. Dirty and worn ones meant a struggle for prosperity or a giving up . For kids a general work and freedom to play and explore. To me, they are symbols of a "time "pretty much taken over by "jeans". To me, "dress" clothes were for church and burials. Times have changed , and my recollections are from the "old school". Interesting question in today's WW. ====JACK: Sometimes called, coveralls, because they were extra-large in order to be worn to cover the good clothing. They could get dirty, and you'd just take them off without needing to change clothes. A popular brand was made in Wisconsin...Oshkosh, B'Gosh.
Monday, October 27, 2014
“It ain’t over ‘til it’s over!” (Yogi Berra) After the Detroit Lions’ kicker missed the game-winning field goal, I abruptly left the room and went to my computer. A minute or two later, daughter Jeanne yelled, “Dad you’d better turn in your Optimist pin!” On a penalty there was a re-kick which was good. There are times when even optimists give up too soon. So, hang in there! Life has its surprises. The WW 2 poster advised: “Keep calm and carry on!” ;-) Jack
FROM HY YO SILVER: Precisely my theme with the election. It might be too late at night but you are welcome to join us on Nov 4th after 9 pm at the MGM Grand to (hopefully) celebrate our victory! ==JACK: You are right in holding off on a celebration until "it's over." I remember the Chicago Tribune headline announcing..."DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN!" That was the year when I first voted.
FROM HONEST JOHN: I wonder how many U of M fans are optimists right now?====JACK: One of today's societal problems is that the success or failure of sports' teams is being used to define a university. When the University of Chicago pulled out of the Big Ten in 1946, President Robert Maynard Hutchins said, "The need of a university is to focus on academics rather than on athletics." Of course the Chicago Maroons weren't doing too well on the gridiron at that time, either.
FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: even eternal optimists have an occasional limit:)====JACK: Your song for the day?....Choose from among these: Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'; Blue Skies; You'll Never Walk Alone.
FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA: I turned the TV off as well. ;o)====JACK: The Optimist Creed begins, "Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind..." You and I have to work on that.
FROM RI IN BOSTON: "Giving up too soon" is emblematic of our characteristic impatience. I am dismayed when I read of suicides by persons who have just given up hope and don't know where to turn. Would that we were all like Job, the upright man of the Old Testament, who carried on despite a list of calamities and lived on to prosper.====JACK: Job and his buddies discussed the possibility of giving up, even criticizing the referee ("Curse God, and die."). Job had the final word..."Though he slay me, yet will I trust him." If there are saints in the Old Testament, Job is surely one of them.
FROM DP IN MINNESOTA: How cool was that!====JACK: Not cool at all! I missed the exciting end of the game...and had to hear about it...Seeeeee Dad!
FROM BS IN ENGLAND: The Detroit Lions won last evening at Wembley Stadium 22 21 against the Atlanta Falcons. American football is very popular here, the stadium was full.====JACK: Now, if the Premier Soccer League would just expand with a team in "the States."
FROM BLAZING OAKS: HA! I THOUGHT OF YOU, WHEN I SAW THAT SCORE, A WIN BY ONE POINT. OF COURSE AS A BEAR FAN I'D TAKE THAT ANY DAY. BEING A BEAR FAN IS AKIN TO BEING A CUB FAN RIGHT NOW! THE ILLINI ALSO WON AT THE END OF THE 4TH QUARTER. THAT WAS EXCITING!! LIFE IS FULL OF SURPRISES...WE NEED TO REMEMBER TO NEVER COUNT A POSSIBILITY "OUT"! WHICH REMINDS ME OF A QUOTE THAT I RECENTLY READ: "IF SOMETHING CANNOT GO ON FOREVER, IT WILL STOP." (Economist Herbert Stein in Fortune mag.) Made me smile...====JACK: My favorite "season" was 1984 when the Detroit Tigers went wire to wire, winning the World Series, with never being behind in and of the standings. The newspaper poster after the last game reads...Gr-r-reat! I'm looking at it now, and it still makes me feel great.
FROM RS IN TEXAS: Gotta love Yogi. One of the best ones from him was "This game is 90% mental and the other half is physical." Go figure.====JACK: Did you know that Yogi's name was really Larry?
FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: Clem ALWAYS left the game early to "avoid the rush" and many times he missed the winning touchdown!! Ha!====JACK: I've done that a few times, too. Does that indicate a Type-A personality?
Friday, October 24, 2014
“Life isn’t long enough for love and art.” (W. Somerset Maugham) Detroit’s bankruptcy has caused some creditors to say, “Sell your van Gogh from the Detroit Institute of Arts and pay us.” Other voices say, “How can you sell something that’s priceless? What’s the value of something that’s invaluable?” It’s like putting a price-tag on true love. Oscar Wilde wrote: “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” He was so right! ;-) Jack
FROM PAUL IN ST. PAUL: good stuff today, Jack! thanks. i have used the O. W. quote in several stewardship sermons.====JACK: Speaking of value...You probably remember (and have used)...
The Touch of the Masters Hand (Myra Brooks Welch)
Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
thought it scarcely worth his while to waste much time on the old violin,
but held it up with a smile; "What am I bidden, good folks," he cried,
"Who'll start the bidding for me?" "A dollar, a dollar"; then two!" "Only
two? Two dollars, and who'll make it three? Three dollars, once; three
dollars twice; going for three.." But no, from the room, far back, a
gray-haired man came forward and picked up the bow; Then, wiping the dust
from the old violin, and tightening the loose strings, he played a melody
pure and sweet as caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer, with a voice that was quiet and low,
said; "What am I bid for the old violin?" And he held it up with the bow.
A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two? Two thousand! And who'll make
it three? Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice, and going and
gone," said he. The people cheered, but some of them cried, "We do not
quite understnad what changed its worth." Swift came the reply: "The touch
of a master's hand."
And many a man with life out of tune, and battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd, much like the old violin, A
"mess of pottage," a glass of wine; a game - and he travels on. "He is
going" once, and "going twice, He's going and almost gone." But the Master
comes, and the foolish crowd never can quite understand the worth of a soul
and the change that's wrought by the touch of the Master's hand.
FROM SHARIN' SHARON: This is sad, when some people don't treasure cultural things and the museums where these cultural things are and which bring diverse peoples together to share in enjoyment of seeing them. Felt the same way when I heard on the news that so many museums in Iraq were being looted and robbed of their ancient and cultural things. Humans, in our generation, can be so short-sighted, maybe because some of us just think of money and don't value culture. ====JACK: The first church I served when I became a pastor has closed. It has now become a museum for the community's Historical Society. My wife's grandfather was chairman of the building committee. It was in that place where I preached my first sermon, where we were married and where our 3 children were baptized. When I think of the memories...I recall the song, "They Can't Take That Away From Me." Priceless!
FROM RI IN BOSTON: Maugham had it right. In an entire lifetime man can't exhaust the desire for loving, nor suppress the trove of ideas revealed in art. Ironically, so much of it is accessible and free for our pleasure, but generally our propensity for doing something "useful" takes precedence. ====JACK: There's more "art" outside of museums than there is inside of them. The trees in our front yard are just one example.====RI: Today's WW was enlightening in itself, so I appreciated the bonus poem The Touch of the Master's Hand.====JACK: Isn't it a thing of beauty, how the mind works? A few words, a few sounds...then situations and opinions change.====RI: I like to think I participated in a bit of that "art", but Someone mightier than I gets the glory.
FROM IKE AT THE MIC: In my opinion: No human being knows everything & every one knows something. Just thinkin...====JACK: Google is for those who don't know everything.
FROM RS IN TEXAS: Maybe the Mastercard commercials have the right tag line - "Whatever it is ...........priceless". It would be interesting to take a poll to see what people believe is priceless. ====JACK: Let's start the poll with you. What do you think is priceless? For me...The way the body works is priceless. Even the most expensive care can't keep it alive when it wants to quit functioning.====RS: I agree with that - stem call and future bionics notwithstanding. Time with family comes to mind for me -especially family that we don't see every day. Watching the kids and grand-kids grow is something I never get tired of.====JACK: Medical breakthroughs are not meant to give eternal life, but to ease some of our aches and pains. Many of us are living on with "fake" parts...my knee and the new lenses in my eyes.
FROM TARMART REV: Very impressed with Belle Isle as our son drove us around . . . the state seems to have taken it to heart in cleaning it up a step or two . . . sure noticed the difference from last year as we drove through . . . sometimes hardships bring on newness in other areas of life. ====JACK: Sometimes scrubbing a child's dirty face can bring about a look that you didn't know was there...but it was there all the time.
FROM MY LAWYER: The sad reality, and neither of us will live long enough to see it, is that the exploding fundamentalist Muslim population in Europe will inevitably lead to the destruction of the priceless art of that continent. From the Sistine Chapel, to the Louvre Museum, classics will be destroyed because of the modesty demands of Sharia law. It's a fast moving train and the demographics are changing because of the unbalanced birth rate.====JACK: Life is sometimes like a mystery novel. Things are really puzzling, even scary, at times. A book has an author who is in control of the plot. In my opinion, so does the Book of Life. Having said that...Yes, it is a tragedy when things of worth are wantonly destroyed.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: Those two things could definitely make you want to live longer! R.W. Emerson (poet) said, Love of Beauty is taste; The creation of Beauty is art", which rings true. For me "priceless" is the love of Dad and Mom, Husband and Wife, and family members!! I've seen that Oscar Wilde quote, and it is certainly true for many folks today, but not all, by a long shot! ====JACK: Oscar was a wit, like Groucho...even Reagan. Can you think of others?
Thursday, October 23, 2014
“Monkey see--Monkey do!” (African Folklore) Boston is known for its Harvard Univ, but did you know that it’s also the home of Monkey College? A group called, Helping Hands, trains capuchin monkeys to help disabled people, similar to how seeing-eye dogs assist the blind. They can turn on light switches, the TV, the computer, turn magazine pages and even scratch an itch. It’s amazing how animals and people can work together. Now, if only…. ;-) Jack
FROM TW IN MICHIGAN: Thank you!! Today a team meeting on how we can work together. ====JACK: In various ways, we are all members of a team...starting with the home...at work...in the community...etc. How many teams are you a part of? The number is surprising when you begin to count them.
FROM IKE AT THE MIC: FYI--I've started a non-profit project titled, "PETS FOR VETS & SENIORS", with the Lee Way Foundation for that very reason.====JACK: What kinds of pets are you working with? Any monkeys? What are the details?
FROM TARMART FRED: Enough said . . .====JACK: Better done than said!
FROM BLAZING OAKS: I USED TO QUOTE THAT TO MY GRANDKIDS; "MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO, MONKEY GET IN TROUBLE, TOO!" THEY UNDERSTOOD....! I HADN'T HEARD OF THS MONKEY COLLEGE, BUT AM NOT SURPRISED. I'M NOT SURPRISED THEY CAN DO THIS, HARD AS IT IS TO IMAGINE....I RECENTLY READ THAT WE SHARE 97% DNA WITH CHIMPANZEES, AND A HIGH PERCENTAGE WITH MICE!! "WHAT IS MAN THAT THOU ART MINDFUL OF HIM???!!====JACK: There is so much that we do not understand, and, yet, we pontificate as though we "know it all."
FROM JAYHAWKER DON: Am I the first to move Harvard to Cambridge, MA?
By the way, I think the Boston area is the "University City" of America with two or maybe three dozen universities.====JACK: I call myself a Detroiter, even though I live in a suburb. I think it's the same way with Harvard and Boston...besides, for the purpose of linking Harvard and the Monkey College (which is located in Boston), I chose to relocate Harvard, knowing that some pedant might call me on it.
FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA: When I was at Harvard Business School in the 60s, I heard a story about a grad student in Cambridge who lived halfway between MIT and Harvard Yard. He bought groceries and went through the “up to six items” checkout line with more than six items. The cashier said, “Wazzamattah? You from Hahvad and can’t count, or MIT and can’t read?” ====JACK: That's the funniest one I've heard in a long time...and, BTW, I do know that Harvard is in Cambridge. I was taking poetical license. I suppose I should have written, M.I.T.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
“The main danger in this life are the people who want to change everything…or nothing.” (Nancy Astor) There are 3 synonyms for “change” that I especially like: Revision: to look at situations with new eyes. “We don’t always have to do it the same way!” Diversity: Vanilla’s OK, but try some Neapolitan, for a change. Metamorphosis: Pleasant surprises can happen with change, like the toad becoming a prince. What changes have happened in your life? ;-) Jack
FROM JIMBO IN HONG KONG: Disagree. The main danger in this life are those people who want to change God's Plans...in favor of their own "dreams".====JACK: I guess you'll have to take your disagreement up with Lady Astor in the afterlife, if you happen to be in the same place. She died in 1964.====JIMBO: Disagree again. She already knows the foolishness of her statement. I would prefer to take my disagreement up with anybody who is still alive but agrees with her. Really, is there any doubt we are all going to the same place?
FROM HONEST JOHN: Change needs to be for the better. Neapolitan stinks. How about Praline Pecan?====JACK: Maybe I should have suggested a visit to Baskin Robbins where they have 31 flavors, one for every day of the month. In their history they've tested more than 1000 flavors, including Pecan Praline.
FROM TARMART REV: It's my mirror that keeps changing, not me!! 0;-/===JACK: Maybe someone has secretly replaced it with one of those funhouse mirrors.
FROM CPA BOB: I see two broad categories: Very Personal (of course, everything is personal one way or another) and Education/Career. As I think about it, I’m surprised about the many changes that come to mind immediately. So, on the very personal front: Finding my wife, having children, seeing them get married, having grandchildren. Obviously, these are ordinary for many people, but unique for each of us. One's perspective on life can change dramatically, of course, with each major step.
Education/Career: My grandfather (mostly) & my parents enabled me to go to Michigan. Before discovering accounting in my senior year, I was pre-med, pre-law, majored in psychology and thought I might be a clinical psychologist! Among many other changes, I left secure employment to start my own accounting practice. It would be interesting to know what other people responded to your question.====JACK: There are some changes that come about because of our own decisions. And there are others that come about "accidentally." I happen to think that others occur because God opens a door or closes a window. I've experienced enough mysterious events to believe in a spiritual presence. The famous psychiatrist Carl Jung wrote, "Bidden or not bidden, God is present." I've seen those words on a plaque, written in Latin: "VOCATUS ATQUE NON VOCATUS DEUS ADERIT."
FROM JK IN CALIFORNIA: Well, needless to say, I've had some very big changes in my life. Things are going great, challenging at times for sure, but overall, I'm happier***====JACK: Burl Ives used to sing these words..."As you go through life make this your goal Watch the donut, not the hole." With all the changes that come in this life, remember to keep focused on what's important!
FROM CHESTER THE GOOD: I changed the sheets this morning. Looking forward to a good night's sleep.====JACK: Do you ever change your mind after it's been made up?
FROM SBP IN FLORIDA: I like the concept of metamorphosis....not that I've seen many toads become princes. But moving from childhood to adulthood comes to mind as does growing into life's work, profession...parenthood...retirement age....and the ever growing awareness of God's gifts and everpresent support. And I continue to be in a state of metamorphosis, I hope. Another mind and soul stretcher...WW.====JACK: I like the sound of metamorphosis. I also like the study of etymology (not entomology). In the study of Greek, we learned to break apart "common" words. like metamorphosis (meta=change and morphe=form). More than you wanted to know, I'm sure.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer.” (Harriet Tubman) One of my favorite Stephen Foster songs is Beautiful Dreamer, composed a few days before his death. I love to dream, night or day. I’ve read that, at one time, GM hired someone to do nothing but “dream,” to imagine things that would improve the company and their product. Every business, even the Church, could benefit by having dreamers. What dream do you have? ;-) Jack
FROM JE IN MICHIGAN: I dream that I’ve completed this master’s degree I’m working on. I dream that someday I will write some articles of substance for the New York Times. I dream that someday we will pass another Bond so we can build a gorgeous state-of-the-art elementary school at the site of Dublin Elementary. I hope, dream and pray I am making a difference for others. Have a great fall day Jack!!!====JACK: How about the great novel that you have in your head?
FROM DFL IN OREGON: Hey, Jack - "Keep on dreaming” is a motto I join you in affirming! And please continue your creative ministry to all of us!! Thanks!!====JACK: I don't know if it counts as dreaming...but I have a sign by my computer which reads: "What if....?"
FROM CHESTER THE GOOD: Dreaming is closely associated with creativity. Guess that's why most of the good ad folks I know are dreamers. ====JACK: I wonder who dreamed up the ad..."See the USA in your Chev-ro-let?" That was a good one...or was it because of Dinah Shore?
FROM BLAZING OAKS: MAKES ME THINK OF THE THE POP SONG "DREAM" WHICH WE USED TO SLOW DANCE TO MANY YEARS AGO...:-) AS H.D. THOREAU SAID, "WEALTH IS THE ABILITY TO FULLY EXPERIENCE LIFE", AND WE CAN'T DO THAT WITHOUT HAVING A DREAM IN MIND! I ONCE HAD A DREAM OF BEING A PASTOR'S WIFE...AMAZING!! GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS!!====JACK: God must have loved dreaming, too. There are so many dream-related stories in the Bible. How many can you think of?
BTW, If I would ever have asked Bill, "Did you ever see a dream walking?" He would have replied. "The time I saw Marilyn walking down the aisle the day we were married."
FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: why bother waking up if you can't dream?====JACK: Which "DREAM" song would you choose as your song of the day?
FROM TARMART REV: Mine just came true...a trip back east...a visit with a dear pastoral friend...and to back home safe, sound and a good nights rest behind me!====JACK: I'm glad some of my weird dreams remain as dreams. But they are entertaining. It's like watching a short movie.
ROM EDUCATOR PAUL: Back from Québec! Are there any words to describe this grandchildren phenomena? I try, but fail miserably! Unfortunately, in my business, dreamers are ridiculed. In fact, A famous educator once wrote.."a vision without an action plan is just a dream." We(high productive societies) are mostly interested in results. Dreamers are ridiculed as bring frivolous. Guess what???? How many dreamers do you know? As dreamers become less valued, their willingness to share decreases.====JACK: Joseph was ridiculed by his brothers because of his dreams, and surely you remember how that story turned out.
FROM IKE AT THE MIC: My dream is to have peace on earth & help everyone become self-sufficient.====JACK: Perhaps we can all sing that song..."Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me."====IKE: Singing is great, but "doing" is critical. I'm a strong believer in the poem:
Give me the courage to change things that should be changed Give me the strength to endure things that cannot be changed But, above all the wisdom to know the difference=====JACK: Wisdom is so important when it comes to the decisions we make.
Monday, October 20, 2014
“When God created Autumn, was he trying to tell us something?” (Wally Armbruster) The months Sept, Oct, Nov are collectively called by several names: Autumn, Fall and Indian Summer. When I was growing up, at the beginning of Autumn, the Chicago Tribune front page would feature a cartoon and article called, Injun Summer. Injun Summer - John T. McCutcheon www.tkinter.smig.net/Chicago/InjunSummer/ Political correctness ended that in 1992. But, Chief Wahoo continues to be around. ;-) Jack
FROM HONEST JOHN: That Injun Summer Picture was one of my favorites. That is where PC just went too far.====JACK: It's a pictures of a boy with his grandpa...just imagining things. PCers miss the point.
FROM PAUL IN SAINT PAUL: funny how that all now seems so racist and yet in our earlier years no one thought a thing about it being racist. or at the least a misrepresentation of a native people. ====JACK: Who is it that defines racism? Similarly, who is it that defines sin? The dictionary or society or "the mind of the beholder?"====PAUL: i always thought that God defined sin:):) but i do admit that we humans often added to the list, like not mowing your lawn on the Sabbath, or dancing, or playing cards, or going to movies, etc. also, like many blue laws in some states...
FROM FLYING INSTRUCTOR TOM: And Jack when we are flying Piper Cherokees' - the airline pilots say, as they get lower in altitude, watch out - we are about to enter Injun Territory!!!====JACK: I hadn't heard that before. Funny Navajo, too!====TOM: Many of the small Piper Aircraft have Indian Names: Cherokee, Arrow, Navaho, Chieftain, Seneca, Archer, Warrier, Dakota, etc. So the big boys have to be careful when entering Injun Territory!!====JACK: I wonder if the company began to use Indian name for its plane when the factory was moved to Indian country in Oklahoma?
FROM SBP IN FLORIDA: I have an "essay" essay of thoughts re today's WW. But suffice to say , I really liked it. Especially your thought, "If only we could appreciate the way that God has also painted the faces of people, as He has of leaves." Thank you.
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Autumn is so very beautiful! God paints the trees with golden hues, Apple reds and glistening greens and yellows! Yes, We know what's coming.... Cold and snow but we also know Spring is coming too! Loved the Indian story.====JACK: If only we could appreciate the way that God has also painted the faces of people...as he has the leaves.====JUDY: Don't you think as we age we appreciate people more?====JACK: Yes...and no!
FROM TRIHARDER: and the Cleveland Indian and Atlanta Braves emblems.====JACK: Chief Wahoo is an abomination. At least, Atlanta's logo is just a tomahawk. However, their war chant and chopping gesture needs to "bite the dust."
FROM CK IN MICHIGAN: I read that very cartoon as a kid growing up in the NW suburbs of Chicago. Wow I forgot all about that! Thnx for the memory!====JACK: I grew up in the Quad-Cities area when Chief Blackhawk and the Sauk and Fox Indians used to hang out. I never saw any of their tepees.====CK: You know Jack that does sound familiar. I made a copy of "Ijun summer" to keep. I remember my father reading that to me as a child. Now I will read it to my boys. Thank you for bringing back a forgotten gift and memory. Means more than I can say! Thank you.;-)
FROM SBP IN FLORIDA: I have an "essay" essay of thoughts re today's WW. But suffice to say , I really liked it. Especially your thought, "If only we could appreciate the way that God has also painted the faces of people, as He has of leaves." Thank you.====JACK: People who resist change should ponder the "seasons" that God made. Each has its reason for being, apart from the others. I like something about each of them.
FROM JIMBO IN HONG KONG: Chief Wahoo ... the name itself sounds derogatory. Still, some people (and news outlets) cannot shed their childhood culture, be it good or bad; especially if they are making a profit from it. The further we stray from God, the easier it is to accept the unacceptable; especially if "everyone is doing it". So maybe Autumn is a reminder of the inevitable changes of life (and mind) and begs the question, "Are you ready?".====JACK: A sermon that I've preached more than any other is titled, "Come Before Winter." (2 Timothy 4:9-21) Paul, in prison, writes to Timothy, asking him to come to Rome and bring his books and his robe...and he reminds him to come before winter, when the ships can't sail. We don't know whether or not Timothy made it, but Paul apparently died before Spring. The sermon was meant to remind the pastor and people that there are things that need to be done, before it's too late.
FROM CHESTER THE GOOD: Boy, that brings back memories. My favorite time of the year. Thanks====JACK: I used to like the smell of burning leaves...but I'm OK with having that in the Memory Bank, because I know that the smoke would bother people with breathing problems.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: OH MY! YOU REALLY TOUCHED A MEMORY WITH THIS. HOW WELL I REMEMBER THAT PAGE APPEARING EVERY OCTOBER! DIDN' T SEEM DEGROGATORY AT ALL TO US! I LOVE THE SONG "INDIAN SUMMER", TOO! SO NOSTALGIC! MY MOM COULD RECITE THE ENTIRE POEM "HIAWATHA", A PART OF WHICH APPREARED AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE. PEOPLE DID A LOT MORE MEMORIZATIOJN BACK IN THE DAY, AND HAD ELOCUTION PROGRAMS! CASEY AT THE BAT GOT A WORKOUT! :-) HERE ON THE LAKE, AUTUMN IS SHOWING OFF ALL ITS BLAZING GLORY!! BEAUTIFUL!!====JACK: Confirmation kids used to complain when I used to give them memory work...the Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, the Creed, etc. A lady told me that she was once in the hospital, lying on a gurney, scared to death, as she was awaited her first cancer surgery. All of a sudden, out of the blue, it came to her...the things that she had memorized in confirmation class. There was a calmness.
FROM BB IN ILLINOIS: Thank you so much for the story and cartoon. I always looked forward to it and enjoyed it and did not realize it got the politically incorrect axe. Thanks again!====JACK: I wonder what stuff we consider acceptable today will be getting the politically incorrect axe at some time in the future?
Friday, October 17, 2014
“It takes a great many shovels to bury the truth.” (German Proverb) Back in the days when I first began marrying couples, the groom and bride would say to each other, “I plight thee my troth.” Strange words from the Old English---”I pledge my truth!”…I really mean it!..You can count on me! TruthTeller is an app that checks the facts of political speeches. Can you think of other circumstances in which TruthTeller might be used? ;-) Jack
FROM SHARIN' SHARON: If Truth Teller were installed on my telephone, I might not hang up on so many people but would hear them out.====JACK: Caller-ID is a step in the right direction, but it doesn't tell the whole story. A long pause generally indicates a telemarketer to me.
FROM DN IN MICHIGAN: Things have come a long way to the vows that D and R did!====JACK: The vows were appropriate and, in my opinion, a TruthTeller wasn't needed.
FROM MK IN MICHIGAN: At home I have a sign near the door we come and go from that says, Be the change in the world you want to see, above it I placed a cross, it’s funny I go for a long time without even noticing it and then someone will see it and comment on it and it reminds to me, to take notice again as well!====JACK: We all need memory-joggers once in a while. Occasionally people have asked me be the pastor as they "renew" their wedding vows. I've found that to be very meaningful.
FROM INDY GENIE: So...would you say that the married couple was now betruthed? (My spell-checked wasn't going to let me type that word:)====JACK: In counselling, I asked a couple if either of them had been married before. The man, truthfully, said, "Yes," and so we talked about that subject. It wasn't until the rehearsal night that I discovered that I should have asked a follow-up question, "How many times?"
FROM TARMART REV: Would be interesting what they would print in their search about the facts mentioned in the Bible down through the ages?!?!====JACK: Are there any specific incidences that you have in mind?
FROM HONEST JOHN: Sometimes it takes even more shovels to unbury it.====JACK: With the passage of time, what was once truth, can become fiction. As with many things, time can change truths. Notice...I didn't write....The Truth!====JOHN: Easy to say "perceived truth"====JACK: Truth is in the mind of the beholder.====JOHN: "truths" are in the mind of the beholder. TRUTH is in the mind of God
FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Raising children====JACK: I can't remember that being a problem, but time sometimes erases memories.
FROM CK IN MICHIGAN: Sadly the fact that, that app is even necessary speaks volumes.😗 Enjoy your weekend Jack. Thank you for another week of thought provoking quotes. As the foodies might say " They are a good chew".====JACK: The end of one week means the beginning of another and cooking something new to chew on. BTW, have you ever heard of a candy bar called, the Charleston Chew? It was developed in the early 1920's and name after a popular dance at the time, "The Charleston." You can watch it on YouTube. The candy bar is still available.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: I would imagine it would come in handy in police stops, interrogations, and jury trials! One of our policeman friends said it is rare to have people tell him the truth....he thinks people are chronic liars! they lie even if they don't need to! Imagine it is easy to become cynical in that type of work and situations.My mother-in-law was a stickler for the truth; she believed you only had to lie once, for that person to believe you are a liar from than on. Some truth to that! ====JACK: Perhaps you know that I am the Police Chaplain and I occasionally do ride-alongs. On the first ride we pulled someone over for a violation. The first three letters on the license plate were G-O-D.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
“You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand.” (Leonardo da Vinci) I don’t know about you, but Talk Radio turns me off. I don’t think Leonardo would listen to Talk Radio, either. He was a polymath…someone interested in many subjects…art, music, math, and on and on. He had unquenchable curiosity. If we were to simplify today’s quote, we might say, “Think before you speak.” Good advice! ;-) Jack
FROM PAUL IN ST. PAUL: my Dad used to say that talk radio was a whole lot of people who were sharing their ignorance in a very public venue...====JACK: Some of those in front of the microphones at church assemblies seem to be doing the same thing...but that's what democracy is all about. I've used the mic a few times, too, but I don't think I've ever called into a Talk Show.
FROM RI IN BOSTON: It's true that Leonardo was an amazing thinker and creator. He obviously investigated a lot of things to expand his ideas. Have you ever wondered, as I have, how Leonardo capitalized on all of it, as we would say, "made a living" from it? I know Mona Lisa didn't have the value when painted that it would yield today.====JACK: I'm thinking that most people during Leonardo's day were not as obsessed with making "a buck" as they are today. Perhaps it was because there weren't as many advertized "necessities."
FROM TARMART REV: The more I'm quiet, the more I leave them guessing as to my intelligence . . . often they will give me the benefit of any doubt, when I do!!====JACK: The problem arises when someone asks..."What do you think?"
FROM SHARIN' SHARON: Actually, when we're driving on a vacation, often we get those talk radio stations and I'm not so much bothered at what they are saying, it's the tone of voice that they say it in--to me at least their tone of voice drowns out my receptivity of their message. I have the same problem with some of my friends on Facebook who are constantly posting these things for a "cause"--too much of that and their tone of voice blocks my paying very much attention to what they are trying to say. But I don't believe in censorship so just keep allowing it and "scroll down" or, if in the car, daydream and enjoy watching the scenery with the Talk Radio as background noise. ====JACK: I don't very much humility when I "happen" to hear talk radio. I usually switch to some music, country/western or classical.
FROM RJP IN NAPLES: Talk radio can be educational and I believe Leonardo would have an open and curious mind to all sides. How about NPR or talk TV do you dislike that also?????? One can turn off a radio but must sit through a sermon even if it is boring, right??????? Sigh, What am I going to do with you..........If Michelle Obama listened to talk radio she might have learned that all of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were born in America except 8. She recently told a group of new citizens that all were born abroad like them. HMMMMM Talk radio, NPR, Talk TV. or maybe a Harvard education. Oh well on to work today. Love your emails and our opportunity to communicate. Going to the theater tonight. You would say good, Bob needs culture right?
GOD BLESS.====JACK: The fact that you bring up M.O. does indicate that you are a Talk Radio fan. Sigh. Talk TV is also a turnoff for me. I'd rather watch Honey Boo Boo. BTW..Boring Sermons???====RJP: Boring Sermons.....Present company excepted of course!!!!!!!!!! Honey Boo Boo? Please you have a greater level of intellect than that. Your reluctance to listen to or watch talk programs could be a sign of FEAR..... be careful...psychology 101. Any time you need analysis please call. I actually got past psychology 201 and through philosophy. Believe it or not my philosophy Professor was a Harvard man. Freud has nothing on me. LOL LOL LOL . Love having fun with you........====JACK: If you could bring yourself to listen to NPR, you might hear the Duck's Breath Mystery Theater, featuring Dr. Science. "He knows more than you do...He's not a real doctor...He has a Master's Degree...in Science." Don't try to mess with my mind. "I have a Bachelor's Degree...in Philosophy."
FROM BLAZING OAKS: Not many humans would have Painter, Sculptor, Architect, Musician, Mathematician, Engineer, Inventor, Anatomist, Geologist, Cartographer, Botanist and Writer, listed after their names in biographies!!! What a diverse talent, tho he did seem to have some difficulty staying with one thing and finishing the whole project! Today, he sounds a a bit like a philosopher as well! Afraid it is too common to censure what is not understood. Good WW to remember! ====JACK: Someone has called him, the prototype Renaissance Man, a gifted man of his time (14th-15th centuries)
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
“Nobody wants to follow somebody who doesn’t know where he’s going.” (Joe Namath) JFK stirred up enthusiasm among America’s youth with the line: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what can you do for your country.” Camelot began…but it didn’t last. As long as time presents “unknowns,” those elected must lead into strangeness. It happened with Moses. The followers 2nd-guessed him, too. Next month, “Vote, not for perfect leaders; vote for those you can trust.” And, offer a prayer, too. ;-) Jack.
FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA: Re: Moses, I understand Golda Meir said that while her people have always held Moses in great regard, the fact is he took 40 years to lead them to the only place within 400 miles that had no oil.====JACK: The story is not yet finished. Perhaps it will be shown that there is something in that "promised land" that is better than oil. Only time will tell. of course, that third-guessing. ====HAPPY TRAILS: I believe they have found some oil in the meantime too.====JACK: I hadn't heard that news.
FROM SHARIN' SHARON: I'm praying. I vote for people whom I believe pray also, at least in some faith. My doctor is a Muslim and I trust him.====JACK: I personally know one of the candidates running for the U.S. Senate seat, which gives me confidence in voting for him.
FROM HONEST JOHN: Obama is hated but probably not as much as Lincoln was. And why? We have left behind two ridiculous wars, made major strides in the area of renewable energy, seen the stock market soar, unemployment take a major drop, housing prices recover, construction boom. I guess if you are going to be hated, those are good reasons!====JACK: One of the good things about the presidential term-limit...You can do what you think is the right thing instead of that which might enhance your re-election. It doesn't hurt your legacy, either.
FROM PAUL IN ST. PAUL: yes, a very fervent prayer...====JACK: I've often used this petition when praying about certain things..."Not my, will, but thy will be done." During Civil War, when a pious minister told Lincoln he "hoped the Lord is on our side," the president responded, "I am not at all concerned about that.... But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord's side."
FROM FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR TOM: There is an old Russian proverb that teaches - "if you don't know where you are going, any path will take you there". I always liked this one and similar to the Joe Namath quote. Have a good day.====JACK: Or, another similar one...Even a blind mouse will stumble upon the cheese once in a while.
FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA: Question for the day - How do you know who to trust? ;o)====JACK: Trust is related to faith. Because we have faith in God, we trust him. That faith and trust is not based on complete knowledge...but we go with what we know. And, if an election doesn't turn out as we had hoped, "this, too, will pass," and there will be another election in the future.
FROM JT IN MICHIGAN: Thanks, Jack. You've made it a little easier for me to cast my ballot.
There are no perfect leaders, and the ones we can trust are not plentiful. Praying for good judgment is the way to go.====JACK: The alternative of not being given a vote is far, far worse.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: We in Illinois have had a plethora of untrustworthy "leaders", which certainly undermines one's hope in governors, senators and representatives and judges, having integrity! It is depressing to have to vote for the "lesser of two evils"! One has to keep praying for those who lead, anyway! And keep voting on the best of the options. Interesting comment on Obama not being hated as much as Pres. Lincoln....At the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, there is a Whisper Gallery, which shows the scathing criticism he and Mary had to endure throughout their presidency. I don't know how they were able to "carry on", but they persevered... and Obama will no doubt do the same. He certainly has had not cooperation in congress!!====JACK: Those who planned what our country should be had it right when they proposed a balance of powers...Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Even that would have been 2nd-guessed if "instant-news" reporters had gotten ahold of it.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) The scientist James Jeans describes the size of the earth in comparison to the universe…”The earth is a millionth part of a grain of sand out of all the sea-sand in the world.” Sometimes we might wonder how we can matter in such vastness. The Lord, who created everything, has said: “Fear not…I have called you by name. Fear not…I am with you.” Remember these words when life seems overwhelming. www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWnvmKoLWUU ;-) Jack
FROM SG IN MIKCHIGAN: Beautiful!====JACK: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." There are so many "worlds" all around us. Sometimes we have to use the microscope, and not just the telescope, to see them. "I believe in God the Father, Almighty, creator of heaven and earth."
FROM PAUL IN ST. PAUL: i also love Psalm 8: what is man that Thou art mindful of him? and yet you have created him just a little than God himself. and you have set him over all things, the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, etc. (forgive in non-inclusive language)====JACK: If the earth is as small as James Jeans describes it, think how small we must be..."and behold the birds of the air...Your heavenly Father cares for them...Shall he not also care for you?"====PAUL: or another translation: of how much greater value are you than they? peace...====JACK: At times I want to explore that thought further. As the saying goes, "God don't make no junk," so is one part of his creation better than another part, or is each part important in the total picture?
FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: I'm watching Noah, as put out by the Men's Network, for about 8 weeks. It proves the Bible is correct concerning creation.====JACK: If you have "proof," does that take away the need for "faith?" Or, do you still have to have faith in the proof?====GEORGE: "Proof" increases my faith. I enjoy following creation science. BTW, have you ever been to the Creation Science Museum, across the river from Cincinnati?====JACK: I guess I'm among those Jesus was referring to when he said, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." Our local Methodist Church had a group go to see that museum, but it's not on my "bucket list." That comment is not meant to disparage the museum. I guess if it were in Dearborn I might pay a visit.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: I forwarded this to our small discussion group who are studying "God and the Universe", using various books and the lectures of Professor David M.Meyer of Northwestern, on DVD, "EXPERIENCING HUBBLE:Understanding the greatest images of the Universe..." The meshing of science and Christianity is an interesting challenge. This ties in with that discussion, for sure! Thanks!====JACK: ...and we're not the smallest of God's creatures, either. I think the verse, "Could we with ink the ocean fill..." says it well.
Monday, October 13, 2014
“Forgive, forget and move on!” (Front-yard sign) There are some people near us who have a fake elephant in their front yard. He holds a small hand-written sign of “Winning Words” which changes from day to day. The one about letting go of the past and moving on was a good reminder to those who passed by. Yesterday’s was a good one, too. “Believe and be blessed.” Someday I should stop in and meet the folks who live there ;-) Jack
FROM MY LAWYER: Stop and see them today. See if they need a variance for the elephant. I'm always in need of business!!!====JACK: You probably wouldn't bother if it were a donkey.
FROM JK IN MICHIGAN: I so appreciate how you pastor out of your heart for God.====JACK: I just try to come up with some thoughts which I think might be helpful for people. Thanks for letting me know that they have been helpful to you.
FROM DP IN MINNESOTA: You should meet them and tell them what you do every week day.....I am certain they would cherish your contributions!====JACK: Maybe I'll do that. I'm not shy about knocking on the door of a stranger. I did a lot of that when I was in the business of starting new churches.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: "Of the many imprisonments possible in our world, one of the worst must be to be inarticulate--to be unable to tell another person how you really feel." Roger Ebert (the late film and drama critic.) I might add, or the inability to say, "I forgive you" even it takes a bit longer to "forget"! it frees the soul...====JACK: Some time ago I had a Winning Words which mentioned the sadness associated with asking for forgiveness while standing beside a casket.
FROM JB IN MICHIGAN: I can't believe you haven't already met them. I think you said "Today is Someday" once in a sermon. Just stop in and say "hello" and thank them for their thought of the day. ====JACK: Someday the code enforcement officer will knock at their door and say that they have an illegal sign. Someday I AM going to knock at their door.====JB: Please tell me you have not added code enforcement officer to your resume.====JACK: I take it that you've had some experience with code enforcement. I'm more of a Gospel person than a Law man.
FROM SHARIN' SHARON:
there must be something in your water in your neighborhood which leads you and your neighbors to be so philosophical in a WW sense--our neighborhood only generates yard sale signs and election signs and I know full well that I wouldn't have the ability to generate a different WW every day--no how, no way--not creative in that sense but very much appreciate you folks that can. You're inspiring.
====JACK: Today, while out walking, I met two neighbors who were strangers to me. That was fun. Why do we, so often, isolate ourselves?
FROM FM IN WISCONSIN: You not only come up some real good winning words, but you are a great comedian – I bet that it is the Freed front yard that has a big fake elephant displaying a winning word five days a week. Jack, I have continued to appreciate your words every day.====JACK: Nope. We don't even have a political sign in the yard. But the elephant really captures my attention. What will tomorrow's slogan be?
Friday, October 10, 2014
“If in doubt, check it out.” (Paul Engleman) I was reading an article by a doctor in which he stressed the importance of early diagnosis of illnesses. “If in doubt, check it out.” This truism doesn’t just refer to medical situations. If you notice something out-of-the-ordinary in the behavior of a person you know, check it out. “If you see something, say something.” We’re reminded of this as we walk through the airport. Going back to the doctor’s article…Put away the excuses. Check it out. ;-) Jack
FROM HONEST JOHN: That certainly goes for specious reasoning and outlandish statements, too. ====JACK: Some of my best teachers would say, "Look it up!" Nowadays we're lazy and go to "Snopes." I wonder who checks on "Snopes" to make sure that their answers are true? Humorist Will Rogers would sometimes begin a monolog by saying, “Well, what shall I talk about? I ain’t got anything funny to say. All I know is what I read in the papers.” After that, everything was funny. It still is today.
FROM TARMART REV: I forgot to take along the two bananas left on the counter at home . . . good neighbors who are watching over the house, mail, trash, etc said they will gladly take them home with them and save us coming home to the fruit flies. Should have checked that list one more time.====JACK: I checked it out...A fruit fly can live for 50 to 60 days...During that time the female can produce several batches of eggs (500 at a time). The population of the flies could fill every nook and cranny of your house if the bananas were not removed by your good neighbors.
FROM BB IN ILLINOIS: Applies equally well to what we read/view on the internet. Be suspicious people – use snopes, FactCheck and other resources. As mom used to say, “paper doesn’t refuse ink” Wonder what the modern equivalent of that phrase should be….====JACK: "I saw it on TV!" is a common phrase. I saw a debate of TV recently. I wish that there had been something like "fact check" accompanying the dialog.
FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: My dad used to say in response to my excuses, I've got a cigar box full of excuses."====JACK: I wonder how your dad would have reacted if you had said (like Steve Martin), "Well, excuuuse me!" He probably wouldn't have laughed.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: "One has two duties--to be worried, and not to be worried". (E.M.Forster in Associated press). So one has to have the gift of discernment about when to be doubtful and double check something or someone. Certainly with the Ebola crisis, extreme caution is warranted! But hopefully those of us who have many years' experience should know when to doubt and check it out! AND do it! I missed the chance to ck. on a young Chinese woman, working in one of our best Chinese restaurants, when she sidled up to me and whispered that she was being sent to England. (I'd seen her several times in the dining room and knew her name) By the time I alerted the police to investigate, she was gone....the restaurant was closed 2 yrs. later for having illegal "trafficked" workers, so I was not imagining things! The police had kept an eye on the place and nailed them eventually. So when in doubt DO ck. it out. :-(====JACK: There's a song that we would sing at Bible camp. "He's got his eye on you, He's got his eye on you. My Lord, sittin' in the Kingdom, He's got His eye on you." Of course, one of the memorable symbols of God is a large eye.
====OAKS: My friend Sarah Reed (my daughter is named after her, she was the Senior pastor's wife when we served at Elgin 1st Baptist) said that a huge "All-seeing eye of God" was painted on the front of the sanctuary in the Presbyterian church she grew up in, and it scared her to death to think that eye was always on her, seeing everything she did! :-)
Thursday, October 09, 2014
“I don’t aim at the bull’s-eye, I aim at the center of the bull’s-eye.” (Roger Staubach) Some people aren’t satisfied with Good; they want what is Best. Staubach was like that in the Navy, in football and in life. I’ve heard it said, “Good enough is good enough.” Maybe that’s true in certain cases, but not for a true craftsman. I once knew a man who made the final check of plans before large machines were built. No detail escaped his eye. He read his Bible that way, too. ;-) Jack
FROM PLAIN FOLKS CHESTER: Measure twice, saw once.====JACK: I thought it was measure once, saw twice. No wonder I've been having problems.====CHESTER: That's an old saw. Seen on a sweatshirt: ACCURICY ACCURICY ACCURICY the three secrets to succes
FROM MICHIZONA RAY: I'm glad there are some who have the "Lasersharp" vision. It all depends on how, what, and when it is used. I think all gifts have two edges. Thank God some have wisdom!====JACK: I went skeet shooting with a church member once. He didn't miss a shot, while I didn't make a shot. Forget the bull's-eye; some people can't even find even find the target.
FROM IKE AT THE MIC: I'm a firm believer in the sayings that: "A happy wife makes for a happy life!" "Unless life is horrific, then it's terrific!"====JACK: It's one things to quote sayings like these. It's something else to live them.====IKE: You're right! I can honestly say that I walk the talk,because I endured concentration camp (horrific) & have been married for 52 years & kiss my wife daily if she's awake when I leave in the morning &most mornings we each smile at each other afterward.====JACK: Isn't it interesting....horrific and terrific have the same basic meaning when you go back to the source?
FROM TARMART REV: Loading up...checking the checked list...====JACK: You've aimed... Now, pull the trigger.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: Dear Abby had a good column once that I saved, titled "Good Enough it Not Good Enough"...in this competitive life and work, that is often true. "GOOD, BETTER BEST; NEVER LET IT REST, UNTIL THE GOOD IS BETTER, AND THE BETTER, BEST"...Can't remember if it was my teacher mom, or another wise teacher who had us memorize this but it has governed my life!====JACK: Do today's teachers use adages anymore in their instruction? A new WWs' reader would post an adage each morning on the board in front of her class.
FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I like these words about detail. I am using a phone app called Voice Aloud that “reads” documents to me while I walk. It is a great time saver and allows me to exercise and take notes as I walk. I updated the Text-to-Speech engine to a voice from Ivona called “Amy” a young woman with a British accent. It is nearly perfect, yet the machine still can’t distinguish when to say “read (red) or read (reed)” some things are best accomplished by folks like your old friend, with great attention to detail. Perhaps combining both is best, I think spell checkers, and many automated routines allow us to let our guards down. I often can do more done with technology, but still am responsible for the final work product.====JACK: I guess I'm just old fashioned. Using ear buds to listen to music, a lecture, or a book while walking would be distracting to me.
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” (Wayne Dyer) Have you ever watched a Dyer lecture on TV? His talk seems to make sense. What is it that makes you happy? Oriole fans were happy; Detroit fans were not. What makes you happy? In the movie, “The Jerk,” Steve Martin needs his dog to make him happy. But the dog growls at him and runs away. Sometimes the happiness we seek is not the happiness we need. ;-) Jack
FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: Like====JACK: Evidently you're happy when you respond...Like.
FROM CK IN MICHGAN: Funny I started reading Wayne Dyers book " I can see clearly now" recently. Yes I have seen him on PBS. The Zen Master makes it seem so simple. Maybe it really is simple??====JACK: There's a hymn verse..."If your faith were but more simple, We should take Him at His Word; And out lives would be all sunshine In the presence of the Lord." Sometimes I think that we complicate our relationship with God. God knows us and cares for us.
FROM MICHIZONA RAY: I think of "happiness" as a choice and a state of being; "being happy". Often confused, "pleasure" comes from what we "do". Pleasure comes and goes depending on the activity (like eating ice cream). Pleasure ends shortly after the bowl is emptied. Happiness is up to us and our choice to "be happy". Hence for me, nothing "makes" me happy. I can lose a game and be happy; but admittedly, it is very difficult to choose happiness when suffering is "in your face". When people extend themselves while I am suffering, I think I experience happiness at the same time for their gift they give me.====JACK: It's a matter of semantics. We each define happiness and pleasure as it affects us. Many linguists agree with you...that there is a difference. The hoi poloi probably don't see the difference. Your comments are well received.
FROM SBP IN FLORIDA: I'm with Wayne Dyer even though I have never read or seen him. To me, happiness is an adult's choice which is ,at times, greatly elevated and at others a comfortable presence. I've been with others who are determined to be unhappy .....and it works for them. Me, I don't seek to be happy, I am. I thank the Lord. And I "thank you" for the awareness raising WW. ====JACK: I can't see myself as "jumping around" happy...like a dog anticipating food. But I think an adult happiness is a feeling of "at ease"...sort of like what Robert Browning wrote: "God's in his heaven, and all's right with the world."
FROM MOLINER JT: And do not forget us Cardinal fans!====JACK: Not so fast...The Giants are waiting.
FROM TW IN MICHIGAN: So true. That is how I try to live my life. I love your quotes.
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
“Science cannot tell us why an old song can move us to tears.” (Erwin Schrödinger) A lot of what Erwin writes is beyond me, but that’s because he’s a physicist. He asks, “If you put a cat in a box with a flask of poison, will the cat be alive or dead?” It’s an illustration of… there are some things that we cannot know. But, back to old songs. “September Song” sometimes chokes me up. Is it the memories? Or the tune? There are some things that only God knows. ;-) Jack
FROM JLF IN MICHIGAN: My friend has a cat named Schrodinger. I never knew why she picked that name, now I do!====JACK: Under strange pet names I found...Purrscilla, Tru-purr, and Peanut Wigglebutt.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: Science can't tell us a lot of things having to do with the "heart", but let's face it, we tear up much easier in our old age over many sentimental things. (I've been going through boxes of photographs, cleaning out the garage...!! SOB! ) HA! Thankful that we have the capacity to feel deeply, right? Many of the old songs can make me misty-eyed! Erwin is a new name for me, which isn't too surprising, I guess, since he is a physicist.Not my usual genre...====JACK: I remember the scene from Christmas Vacation where Chevy Chase is locked in the cold attic in his pajamas. He gets teary eyed as he watches the old home movies of his children in their growing up years. That could happen to any of us. You happened to be in the garage and not the attic.
FROM TRIHARDER: "The Science of Laughter."====JACK: There is such a thing as inappropriate laughter...laughing at the wrong time at the wrong thing. A psychologist might be able to explain it.
FROM TARMART REV:
Precious memories, unseen angels, Sent from somewhere to my soul.
How they linger ever near me, And the sacred past unfolds.
Precious memories how they linger, How they ever flood my soul.
In the stillness of the midnight. Precious sacred scenes unfold.
====JACK: George Beverly Shea has a good rendition of this. At times, it can be a tear-jerker.
FROM MICHIZONA RAY: Science applies to those things of the world. That which is of the spirit isn't a "thing" at all....but the spirit can certainly affect things like the body....like the Life that enters it. Physicists call the spirit of Life: "energy". ====JACK: Could the spirit (energy) possibly come from the God-particle?========RAY: If we want to call the life spirit energy, we might as well add a God-particle to our body. I suppose it's like Jesus saying, if you don't believe in me, believe in the works I do.====JACK: The verse you quoted could use "works that I do" to mean the entire life and ministry of Jesus, and not just miracles...I know that that might be a stretch. But I see Jesus among us as God in human form, showing God's love for us and also showing us how we might express Godly love to others....the spirit of God among us and in us.
FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: september song was my mom's favorite. haunting melody. bittersweet lyrics. i can cry just thinking about it. "god only knows" is my fav beach boys song. faith is being cool with what god only knows.====JACK: YouTube is great. Within seconds we can pull up both September Song and God Only Knows and relive some memories.
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Memories of people who loved those old songs maker cry. Y dad loved "The old rugged cross". My mom loved "Amazing Grace" and Gary's mom loved "How great thou art". Those songs always make me Teary-eyed. ====JACK: I wonder if there are songs that will make our children and grandchildren teary-eyed...and what they might be.
FROM JB IN CHICAGO: Ah, “September Song” was my parents’ song. They were married on Sept. 1, 1951, and way too young to be thinking of the September of their years. They were a faithful pair to the end – my father died in 2009 and his last words to my mother were the ones he spoke to her every night, “Good night, my dear.” Yes, it brings tears to my eyes.====JACK: What a great story about those "December" words! "Good night, my dear." Talk about Precious Memories....
FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: my moving songs are "when you walk through a storm", "let there be peace on earth", and "away in a manger".====JACK: Away in a manger has two tunes. Do the words move you, or is it the tune? Children of the Heavenly Father is a good one, especially the verse..."Neither life nor death shall ever From the Lord, His children sever."
FROM IKE AT THE MIC: My favorite poem about music is: Speaks what can not be explained
Soothes the mind & gives it rest Heals the heart & makes it whole Flows from heaven to the soul
Best wishes for New Year 5775!====JACK: The earliest sounds we hear are often lullabies sung by our mother.
Monday, October 06, 2014
FROM TARMART REV: I would suppose the same would go for the one who chooses to tithe to the local church of their choice . . . how the church uses their tithe would fall on the leadership making those decisions and leaving their accountability to God alone. Their blessing is derived from their obedience to what they felt was from God in giving in such a manner??====JACK: Trust is a word that seems to be used in negative situations these days. "Don't trust....(You name it!)" That's too bad. One thing is for certain...IN GOD WE TRUST!
FROM MICHIZONA RAY: I agree about the necessity of community and the need for cooperative efforts United for a cause of righteous action. I don't mind paying taxes either...it's the manner for how they are wasted and/or misused that bothers me. If a child misuses a toy does the parent continue to provide more toys for misuse, while claiming that it is good for a child to have toys?====JACK: The rules for our "village" give us the opportunity to elect those we trust to use our taxes for what is best for us. "Waste and misuse" are a betrayal of the trust that we have placed in people we have voted for. The success of the system depends on trust. So, I continue to pay taxes. The alternative is something I do not want.
FROM PASTOR JAN: I thought I was the only one who gave thanks that I earned enough money to be a taxpayer, and for all the good things we enjoy because of those taxes. I am not always happy with the way the money is spent, but I certainly am grateful for highways and laws & personnel to protect us. Thanks for your comment!====JACK: Even the tax-rate is something that our society gives us an opportunity to vote for. You get what you ask for. There is no free lunch (water). Our society provides help for the needy, but only in ways that society wants (votes for).
FROM RI IN BOSTON: I'm with you...I also don't mind paying my taxes. Some will say, "I wouldn't mind paying taxes if they would use good judgment spending the money." Well, it takes everyone's participation to determine what "good judgment" is. Community residents have to get involved...go to town meetings, talk with your representatives, write letters to the newspapers, volunteer to serve on committees, and vote. Collectively taxpayers can accomplish a lot more for the community and more people benefit from it. Last but not least, it all culminates in civic pride. ====JACK: Often, what is missing is a willingness of the "village" members to work together after the election results are in. I guess that's reality, but some would like utopia.
FROM PAUL IN ST. PAUL: i don't mind paying my taxes as long as i believe that the $$$ is well spent. that, of course, is always the rub. but yes, we need to support our community and we do that best thru our taxes. they support so many varying programs.====JACK: Even in Jesus' day, the public did not like the tax collectors...and how the taxes were used.
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: We don't mind paying or dues but it would be nice to pay a lot less. Sometimes two can create a jungle! You should see the basement when they grandkids are here! (They do pick it all up when they leave!).====JACK: To pay a lot less might mean doing with a lot less. It's human nature, I guess, to want more and to pay less.
FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: there is a difference between paying your share, & contributing to a crooked, overgrown & inefficient government.====JACK: I take it that you voted in the elections that chose the people to be your representatives in making governmental decisions. ====LIZ: my candidates were not necessarily elected.
there are rats in both parties. & ineffective, inefficient & downright crooked people get elected. in the private sector they would be fired. but they have become absolutely emboldened of late. TERM LIMITS!====JACK: In elections, there are winners, and there are losers. In a democracy it means that those who lost an election have to endure frustration until the next election. We have term limits in Michigan, and I haven't noticed any change in...politics, as usual. You'll have an opportunity to vote again next month.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: As one wit said long ago, the only sure things in life are death and taxes...Bob Hope once commented, "I love to go to Washington, if only to be near my money!" :-) But most of us fortunate to live in the USA are happy to pay taxes... Govt. now top-heavy in Bureau's, and welfare has spread far and wide, but still we are fortunate to live here, compared to most places in the world! Good WW to remember today!====JACK: Being alone in the jungle means that we don't have to worry about taxes and mismanaged government. It just means that we have to worry about other things that are much worse.
FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:
i consider taxes as a gift that i can give do to help others and what others can do for the collective whole. it does take a village.====JACK: When I was in the "church business" I knew that I could not please everyone with my leadership, so...1) I had in mind where the church at large was headed; 2) I tried to gauge the feelings of the congregation; 3) Then, I tried to lead in the direction that I felt was the best way to go.
Friday, October 03, 2014
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, or even touched. They must be felt within the heart.” (Helen Keller) Isn’t it interesting that Helen Keller could call things “beautiful” even though she had no sight? What is it that makes something beautiful? She said that the best things can’t be seen or touched. What are these “best” things? Sometimes a blind person can help us to see. ;-) Jack
FROM HONEST JOHN: I remember visiting a blind man who told me he could see God clearly because his sight was not so crowded with all of the world's "stuff"====JACK: What a visit...and what an insight!
FROM TARMART REV: "Why do we close our eyes when we pray, cry, kiss, dream? Because the most beautiful things in life are not seen, but felt only by the heart."====JACK: Why do we sometimes close our eyes to the plight of the poor? OOPS! That's not a Winning Word. I should have written..."Let us open our eyes to the plight of the poor and needy." There's a Gospel song...
"Open mine eyes, O Lord, Open mine eyes; Into my darkened heart, Let thy light arise.
Show me myself, O Lord, Show me thyself, O Lord, Show me thy truth, O Lord, Open mine eyes."
FROM EMT SINGS IN TRAVERSE CITY: I had a very long relationship (she passed away recently) with a friend who in the course of our friendship became totally blind. What I learned from her has impacted my whole life: compassion, tenacity, humility, gratitude and those are just the beginning of her lessons to me!====JACK: I had an aunt who was blind. When her husband (my uncle) would buy a new car he would order it without a windshield wiper on her side...and ask for the cost of the wiper to be deducted from the price of the car.
FROM RI IN BOSTON: God sometimes uses his creations in unusual ways, and I think Helen Keller is one of those examples. Through loving care that she received early in her life, she conquered the fear of darkness, and by the power of her mind she somehow understood the goings-on around her and found a means of expression for what she was experiencing. She dealt with the hardship but graciously set an exceptional example for all of us. Helen is one of the great heroines of humanity.====JACK: We all owe so much to our teachers. What Helen Keller became had a lot to do with the patience and teaching ability of Anne Sullivan. (My response causes me to recall some of the teachers who shaped my life. I was very fortunate.)
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I cross-stitched this quote along with the Lord's Prayer and they hang in our house! We taught the kids/grandkids a simple song: "Johnny Appleseed's" grace. It goes "The Lord is good to me and so we thank the Lord for giving me life the things I need; the sun and the rain and the Appleseed. The Lord is good to me!" Those are some of the wonderful "unseen" things we are deeply grateful!====JACK: I just noticed....the apple seed above my computer is missing. I'll have to replace it, along with the saying..."You can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the apples in a seed."
FROM JT IN MINNESOTA: I remember teaching at Shepherd of the Lakes in Grayslake and you invited a blind girl to show the Sunday School how she could read Braille. She read, "God is Love." You don't have to have sight to incorporate that concept into living.====JACK: She had a Braille hymnal at home. I would let her know the hymns for the Sunday service. She would bring those pages to church and sing the hymns along with the congregation. She was a remarkable young lady.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: What a remarkable and inspirational person Helen was, and is! We have a blind man who comes to Wed. Bible Study, and has a terrific sense of humor. When we watch a video lecture (we're studying "The History of the Bible" he listens intently, and doesn't miss a nuance of expression of what is presented, and is a sharp mind in our discussions. His Bible is braille, of course, and he is well read, many audio books. It is humbling to see such people make the most what they do have!! I often take him to his apt. afterward, and he can discuss almost anything knowledgably.====JACK: I've sometimes heard a sighted person speak loudly to a blind person. I'm sure that your Bible study friend other examples of how people have reacted to his blindness.
FROM SBP IN FLORIDA: Today's WW seems to fit very well with my reading Hebrews.. 12.1...."let us run with endurance the race that is set before us". Certainly Helen Keller did just that..... finding beauty in the heart and senses-a gentle touch, the aroma of flowers; the sound of a favorite piece of music. a taste of her favorite cookie.......She was upbeat about her situation ....as what I want to be no matter what the limitations. Great WW. Thank you.====JACK: Now there are running races for the blind. It's kind of a team sport, because a sighted person serves as a guide. I wonder if the blind person will be permitted to "drive" the driverless cars that are now being tested.
Thursday, October 02, 2014
“Lord, you have come to the lakeshore looking neither for wealthy nor wise ones. Lord, you have searched me, and while smiling have called out my name.” (Cesareo Gabarain) These words are a translation from the hymn, Pescador de Hombres, which we sang in church last week. The words picture God coming in human form, telling us that he knows us and cares about us. YouTube the hymn! (http://youtu.be/1hxDwKlww8Y) I think you’ll like it. ;-) Jack
FROM TARMART REV: "Tongues and Interpretation" . . . I'm used to those types of presentations. ====JACK: I need a further explanation. You seem to be talking tongues.====REV: Listened to the attached song this morning...sung in one language and interpreted and sung in English as well. ...added a little "Pentecostal" humor in my reply.
FROM SBP IN FLORIDA: I love it. It's so hummable, and simple to learn. You sang it with guitar accompaniment?====JACK: Next week I begin a 4-week crash course in conversational Spanish. Afterward I hope to be able to sing that song in Spanish.
FROM CH ON CAPE COD: Been singing it for years and love it!====JACK: In Sunday School we learned the names of the disciples by singing them to the tune of Jesus Loves Me. "Jesus called them, one by one...Peter, Andrew, James and John etc."
FROM JAYHAWER DON: Thanks for bringing this message. What translation did your people use Sunday? ELW 817 is different. My Spanish is very limited, so the Pescadoers suggesting fish, which ELW also highlights.====JACK: It was #817. Our congregation is offering a Spanish As A Second Language series of classes in October. I intend to go to school again. Students at Trinity Seminary in Ohio now have to know Spanish in order to be ordained.
FROM PASTOR JAN: If you Google Gabarain's name you'll find some interesting things about him, including misinformation he chuckled about as to where he wrote this song -- in Madrid, not on the seashore. It is a beautiful hymn of both trust and prayer for a closer relationship with the Lord. Thanks for bringing it into Winning Words today!====JACK: Even with the Bible, people often miss the meaning of a text when they omit a study of the con-text. Many hymns become more beautiful when you know the story behind them.
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: It's so comforting that God knows us by name and loves us as we are!====JACK: Someone has written, "Jesus knows me, this I love."
FROM BLAZING OAKS: VERY PRETTY SONG, NICE TO HEAR IT OFFERED BI-LINGALLY, TOO. JAN AND I TOOK 3 YEARS OF SPANISH IN H.S. BUT NEVER SPOKE IT FLUENTLY....GOOD FOR YOU LEARNING A NEW LANGUAGE SO LATE IN LIFE! I HAD NEVER HEARD THE DISCIPLES SONG SET TO JESUS LOVES ME...THAT'S ANOTHER GOOD IDEA! THINGS SET TO MUSIC STAY WITH YOU!!====JACK: We learned the names of the books of the Bible set to music, too. In seminary, one of the profs gave a quiz, asking the class to name the books of the Bible. I "aced" it by singing the Sunday School song to myself.
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
“Be kind. Remember every one of you is fighting a battle. Everybody’s lonesome.” (Marion Parker) Sometimes we become so engrossed in our own problems that we forget what others are facing. I keep a simple list of names…people to pray for. God knows their needs. “Are we weak and heavy-laden, cumbered with a load of care? Take it to the Lord in prayer. Thou wilt find a solace there.” You can sing it or say it. ;-) Jack
FROM KF IN MICHIGAN: I have a list too. Pray for S...she is continuing with tests today and tomorrow.====JACK: I like what the hymn says..."Prayer is the soul's sincere desire, unuttered, or expressed."
FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: our school rules that we live by are, "be kind to everyone. be kind to everything. be kind to yourself." when someone does not follow the rules we simply ask, "was there anything kind about that?" the child most often responds appropriately.====JACK: School are for teaching, and they are especially good when teachers know what to teach.
FROM SHARIN' SHARON: It's sort of neat to think of a whole world full of people where each single one would feel free and unencumbered in just being himself/herself. Guess that would be being before the fall where Adam and Eve were the first people who hankered not to be just themselves and be someone they were not. I'm trying to be myself here at my computer and appreciate your having been yourself today at your computer. Thanks a million for the WW of encouragement for all your blog readers.====JACK: I haven't thought of it before, but I suppose that the story of Adam and Eve covering themselves with leaves is an indication of "hiding" their true self from others. Many (if not all) continue to do that.
FROM TARMART REV: Singing just before typing . . . singing it as I now prepare further for the day."====JACK: Do you know the song, In my heart there rings a melody?"
In my heart there rings a melody There rings a melody with heaven's harmony;
In my heart there rings a melody There rings a melody of love!
====REV: Sang it many, many times through the years...that is until songs and choruses I grew up on lost their place in the worship services twenty years or so past. 0;-/
FROM BLAZING OAKS: DRAWING ON MY LONG MARRIED LIFE, I USED TO COUNSEL YOUNG COUPLES THAT THE MOST IMPORTANT CHARACTERISTIC OF A GOOD MARRIAGE IS KINDNESS! I HAD OTHER THINGS ON MY ORIGINAL LIST (HA!) BUT IT TURNED OUT THAT A PARTNER'S KINDNESS WAS THE WINNER! MY PARTNER WAS KIND, EVEN WHEN I BANGED UP THE NEW CAR, OR A MYRIAD OTHER BOO-BOOS, AND IT MEANT SO MUCH!! AS THE OLD SONG GOES, "OH A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND, WE ALWAYS SEEM TO GET THE OTHER KIND...." (UNLESS WE ARE LIUCKY, OR SHOULD I SAY, BLESSED?!) I LIKE ALL THE SONGS MENTIONED IN YOUR BLOGS...WE KNOW THE SAME REPERATORY!!====JACK: WW 2 big band songs put feelings to music in some nostalgic ways.
FROM BB IN ILLINOIS: I was singing====JACK: Did you sing so-lace or sol-ace?