Friday, January 30, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 1/30/15
“To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle.”  (Walt Whitman)  Have you ever experienced a miracle?  I mean…a real miracle.  We read about them in the Bible, but what about miracles in the here and now?  Many “religious” people believe that God is still active in events that happen around us.  Whitman saw it in nature.  Some see it in an “unexplained” cure or occurrence.  Be on the look-out today for the “miraculous!”   ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I find it something of a miracle that a good guy like you can come from Moline!====JACK:  I find it miraculous that I've lived in "Detroit" over twice as long as I lived in Moline...and you keep showing up!

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Yes…our daughter-in-law being a surrogate for a college friend who lost her ability to have children.  The miracle of that birth was truly a leap of faith.====JACK:  What a miraculous gift!

FROM TARMART REV:  I know it can be explained, but just think, Jack, I'm standing in our kitchen in Willmar, MN, typing with my thumb on the face of an I-Pod and about to touch the "Send" tab and these few lines will almost instantly be seen by you 800 or so miles away...maybe not a miracle, but truly remarkable!! Hopefully in touch with you, Monday!!====JACK:  It doesn't always have to be inexplicable in order to be a miracle.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  I agree with Al Michaels - "Do you believe in miracles?  YES!"   While that night 35 years ago was pretty miraculous, I agree with Walt - just the diversity and complexity of life is truly amazing.  Even some humans have done some pretty miraculous things - recovering from "incurable" diseases, overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds (Louis Zamperini), etc.  ====JACK:  There are miracles and then there are miracles.  The meaning is in the nuance.  A miracle is still a miracle.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  For  some reason, I didn't think of Whitman as being so upbeat!  Yes we had a healing miracle at least twice, when our 3rd son was healed of internal bleeding after trying many treatments (when he was 3) we turned to prayer alone, and within a week the bleeding stopped and never returned; And Bill at 58 suffered cardiac arrest on the handball court at the 'Y', and was clinically "dead" for 45 minutes, before his breathing resumed; He had nine heart bypasses (a record in Springfield), and he made a full recovery. The Springfield doctors always referred to him as Miracle Man...! I agree with Walt; we need to be open to miracles, big and mall....====JACK: There was more to Whitman than Leaves of Grass.  I guess that's the way it is with each of us.  I wonder if he "saw" more miracles than those he saw in nature?  God has a way of showing up in unusual places and circumstances.  "Ohhhh...there he is!"  Ask your Sunday School class if they've seen God lately.  Where?  When?

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  You are right. Keep your eyes (and mind) open.====JACK:  I learned this song in Sunday School.
Open my eyes, that I may see  Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key  That shall unclasp and set me free.
Open my mind, that I may read  More of Thy love in word and deed;
What shall I fear while yet Thou dost lead?  Only for light from Thee I plead.
Silently now I wait for Thee,  Ready my God, Thy will to see,
Open my mind, illumine me,  Spirit divine!

FROM MOLINER JT:  I don't have to look far !  AMEN====JACK:  That's right.  You're a living miracle.

FROM MV IN MICHIGAN:  This isn’t exactly in the miracle category but maybe in the “meant to be” category: A friend of mine and I were discussing coincidences one day and he told me about a book called Synchronicity he was reading. We spoke about a girl his daughter was dating. We know the family. My wife and I were at a movie that same night, the room was full, there were three seats next to us and guess who walks in and sits right next to us? That family we were speaking about that morning! An interesting coincidence but not a miracle or maybe a small miracle in that there may have been a reason we needed to connect with these people. Only God knows the greater plan, right? ====JACK:  Synchronicity can simply be one of the items in God's tool box.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 1/29/15
“It’s not what we do, but also what we don’t do, for which we are accountable.”  (Moliere)  Moliere, the 17th century playwright/actor, had a way of poking fun at religious hypocrisy.  Even the church of today needs to work at being true to what God intends it to be.  “Hypocrisy” is from the Greek, meaning to “act” out, without being “real.”  Usually, people are negative toward hypocrites.  As Edgar Guest wrote: “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM JB ON THE EASTSIDE:  That is brilliant Jack.====JACK:  Moliere was the brilliant one.  Most of us just do piggy-backs on the ideas of others.  But, I'm OK with that.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  The Priest and Levites in Good Samaritan parable.====JACK:  His words (Matthew 23) could be a warning to us pastors, too.  “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel."  Are you familiar with this poem by Marguerite Wilkinson?
“I never cut my neighbor's throat;  My neighbor's gold I never stole;
I never spoiled his house and land;  But God have mercy on my soul!
For I am haunted night and day  By all the deeds I have not done;
O unattempted loveliness!  O costly valor never won!”
====JOHN:  I never prepared a sermon or a lesson without being aware that I was a messenger of the Lord and that a misguided word could be an awful thing.   I think as pastors we bear an awesome responsibility and that someday we will have to answer for it.    Thank God for His Graciousness through the Cross of Christ.====JACK:  I've tried to keep a copy of each of the sermons I've preached.  While I've tried to do my best...there have been times when I could have done a lot better.  I agree...being a pastor/preacher is a great responsibility.

   FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Jung wrote about this using "persona" as his reference. The "mask" of pretense, like an actor who pretends to be someone else, identifies the illusion of identity. The authentic person is honest and "knows himself" (to borrow the comment of Socrates), and the person who does not deceive himself is the one who "removes the beam from one's own eye" (to borrow the command of introspection by Jesus the Christ). The "real" or reality is often the illusion which is our invention that serves to cover or deny the Truth. Jung wrote, "...that there are even those who believe that are what they pretend to be". He is so right!====JACK:  We may not like the thought, but we are all hypocrites, in one way or another, "pretending to be what we are not."  We continue to struggle with that "sin," and, at the same time, hope for the truth of "grace."

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Wherever this confession comes from--is it in the Bible or did Luther compose it or who? I meditate and pray it a lot "I am in bondage to sin and cannot free myself. I have sinned against You in thought, word and deed. I have not loved You with my whole heart and I have not loved others as myself. For the sake of Your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on me and forgive me my sins." Just even keeping that alive in my mind and heart and trusting that God is constantly acting in this world and helping me to live in His reality and not some self-made and self-thought up reality that I concoct, gives me hope and courage to get up each morning and try to do my best living through each day that is allotted to me. Actually, Jesus, when he was crucified, was probably being branded the biggest hypocrite, and yet He wasn't. Thought-provoking WW again today. ====JACK: In Luther's day, monks would beat themselves with straps until they fell unconscious, hoping to drive sin out of themselves.  Thankfully the Reformation came along and re-introduced us to "grace." ====SHARON:  Thanks for your response about Luther and people needing the message about God's Grace. I'm really thinking a lot about the Catholic Church and also the Church of Christ which my husband originally started in, in our faith journey and--to be fair-- am coming more and more into believing that each faith community holds in its assembly people who are in right relationship to God and to their neighbors but--for some reason--not everyone can get it from their church--maybe because they are blinded for a time and called by God to something further on. It would be interesting--if Luther could come back to being a mortal living on the earth today--if he would be in the forefront of appreciating the current Catholic faith--as it is being taught and practiced and advocate for even adopting back into the Lutheran faith some of its practices.====JACK:  There is no perfect Church, only imperfect people gathered and searching.  But, at least, the Church (whatever denomination) is God's gift to us.  I happen to find comfort and spiritual stimulation in the ELCA and in the direction in which it seems to be moving.

FROM TARMART REV:  I like this, “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day” . . . now time to shower, drink my protein smoothie and walk out on the stage of life set before me for this day's called-for performance!!====JACK:  Which "mask" will you wear today as you sit there with your popcorn?  Only God has "super power" to see what's underneath our false faces.  One of my favorite biblical characters is the tax-collector who called out, "Be merciful to me, a sinner."====REV:  Reminded often of the good graces of God...we looked at Lot's life and handling of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19 last evening in Bible study...hard to see him as a righteous person, but in God's eyes he was (2 Peter 2:6-10)...I sure call on that same grace for my life as well.====JACK:  At first I read, "Lot's wife."  That would have made a difference.

FROM RI DIGGING OUT IN BOSTON:  Today we are enlightened by strong words and implications from three men giving us their words of wisdom.====JACK:  My step-father used to say, "Forget about yesterday,  plan a little bit for tomorrow, and live like hell today."  Sometimes, depending on who was present, he'd change "hell" to "heck."  But the truth is...the past is past, and we are living in the present.  We can learn from Moliere, but we have to live with face in the mirror.

FROM JUDY:  I had a special education director who taught us that when we were working with other teachers and we disagreed with their comments or their teaching style regarding special needs students, yet remained silent it was as if we agreed. I will always remember this. It makes me think. Sometimes I do choose to not respond when in disagreement, for a variety of reasons, but that context always is in my consciousness as a result.====JACK:  To respond or not to respond, that is the question.  "It depends."  Is it in Ecclesiastes..."There is a time to respond and a time not to respond."  To know the difference is the beginning of wisdom.

FROM TRIHARDER:  I learned very early in my career, Jack, that when a judge is arguing your position to your opponent, you sit down and shut up. In fact, that happened during a case I was involved in a year ago. The judge argued my position to my opponent, beating her up pretty well during the process. She turned to me. "I learned a long time ago that when a judge argues my position better than I can, I should just keep my mouth shut. I adopt your statement to counsel and have nothing to add. My client's not here, so I don't have to act like I'm earning my money."  She smiled and ruled in my favor.====JACK:  Have you ever heard these words?  "Zol zein shah!, Shtimm zich, Farmach dos moyl"

FROM THE CHALDEAN:  Agree.====JACK: I guess that means that we "click."

FROM ST. PAUL WINTERING IN MESA  in the rich man and Lazarus story,  the sin of the rich man was not what he did but what he didn't do!   he just never noticed the poor man sitting at his gate...JACK:  In my first parish there was a 90-yr-old shut-in who could only speak Swedish.  Whenever I would call on her, she would always ask me to tell her the story of "den rike mannen och Lasarus."  Even though I couldn't speak Swedish, I did my best to tell the story simply...and she seemed to be satisfied with that.  And, it happened every time.  But, you're right...that story fits with what Moliere was saying.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Jack, part of my prayers most every morning is to ask forgiveness for what I did do that I shouldn't have done, and for what I didn't do that I should have done. ====JACK:  I suppose you've heard of the man who wanted to ask forgiveness for the things he didn't do, but should have done.  "O Lord, forgive my falling shorts."  But seriously, I commend your morning prayers.  It's a good way to start the day.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I've often said that I think we will be judged more for our sins of omission than of commission...I imagine we all have had myriad opportunity for service, counsel, and comfort which we failed to even see as we move through life at a pretty keen rate. It brings you up short to think about it. Not to mention being held accountable for every word that proceeds out of our mouths....EGAD, as old Mr. Gump in the cartoons used to say! Enough right there to keep you humble for the rest of this life....!====JACK:  This is not to dismiss our shortcomings, but sometimes we need to be reminded of the futility of "works righteousness" (either doing enough, or not doing enough) as a way of gaining heaven.  "You gotta accent the positive, eliminate the negative.)  The negative is that we need to work at improving ourselves.  We can be better than we are.  ..The positive is that, ultimately, heaven is by the grace of God.  (Ooops!  Once a preacher, always a preacher.) 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 1/28/15
“My life isn’t perfect, but I am grateful.”  (Unknown)  Very few people (if any) can say that life has gone perfectly for them.  “Into each life some rain must fall.”  In that case, help might be found in another song, “Let a smile be your umbrella on a rainy, rainy day.”  Our attitude toward certain situations can make a big difference.  When we pray, asking God to remove burdensome problems, let’s not forget to include a prayer of thanks for the blessings that are ours.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  I just buried a good friend of many years who would often say, "It doesn't get any better than this!" in answer to the question, "How's it going today?" I commented at his funeral after using the old saying so often used at funerals:
“Imagine stepping onto a shore and finding it Heaven.
Imagine taking hold of a hand and finding it's God's hand.
Imagine breathing new air and finding its celestial.
Imagine feeling invigorated and finding its immortality.
Imagine passing from storms and tempest to an unknown calm.
Imagine waking up and finding it home.” -- "Yes, Butch!! It doesn't get any better than this!"
====JACK:  The "old" saying that you used at Butch's funeral is "new" to me.  Positive words for a positive person...

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN:  I have so many blessings .. Including your WW!! Thank you for your jolts into reality!!====JACK:  If we were to list the assets in our life and, then, the liabilities...the balance sheet for me and you and lots of others would show a more than healthy profit.

FROM MV IN MICHIGAN:  My Dad used these two phrases quite often. They remind me of him. ====JACK:  In tribute to your dad, see if there are situations in which you can "speak" these phrases today.  They're good ones.====MV:  These phrases were sung to a tune as well. They were part of songs.====JACK:  Hum me a few bars.====MV:  Joe’s, Fred’s. Tom’s! Just a few bars.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  the soul would have no rainbow, had the eye no tear.====JACK:  Imagine what it must have been like for Noah to see the rainbow.  ====MARY:  ahhhhhhhhhhhhh... ====JACK:  Translate that into Hebrew for me.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Good one.====JACK:  As events transpire today, see if there are occasions when you can say to yourself (or out loud), GOOD ONE!

FROM BLAZING oAKS:  Grateful for life, for you said in your blog, most of us show healthy profits in burdens vs blessings! Loved the funeral words of TarmartRev, too. Hadn't seen that particular "old words", and it is comforting to meditate on.  The sun is shining brightly here today. Good one!!====JACK:  I'll bet you know the words and can sing the songs..."Into each life some rain must fall" and "Let a smile be your umbrella."  Do it now!

FROM HCC CHUCK:  AMEN to that.====JACK:  Isn't it interesting how intensely we pray when things aren't perfect...and how we seem to put it in "cruise control" when the crisis has passed?

FROM ANON:   Thanks for today's WW! It came to the right place at the right time to reinforce my basic belief and practice.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 1/27/15
“There aren’t many people that you just ‘click’ with, and when you find those people, you don’t just let them go.”  (Unknown)  Why can we “hit it off” with some people and not with others?  A book by Ori & Rom Brafman, “Click, the magic of instant connections,” explores that question.  The authors write that basic personal beliefs and values are the key.  Think back over your life and recall the people who have connected with you.  What made it click?   ;-)  Jack

FROM SALESMAN LOU:  The last name of the authors is Brafman not "Barfman"!====JACK:  I think that Braf is a better way to start a day or a name than Barf.  I'll make the correction.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  You are asking that of people who know you?====JACK:  In my ministry I married girl named, Klock, to a fellow named, Click.  Somehow, they connected.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  It's the same as marriage...basic personal beliefs and core values play a key role in a marriage that "works."====JACK:  In pre-marital counselling, perhaps the discussion should begin on the subject of beliefs and values.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  If you are open minded, you can "click" with most anybody. Provided you both have that in common.====JACK:  "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything." (Abe Fanning)

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  For me, clicks occur with different people in different ways. For example, with person/persons with similar and often , different interest and pursuits... persons whose kindness and caring is received and observed' Clicks have generate a range of "connections" broadening my range of action, reaction and companionship generational, professional, social....some brief others long lasting. Interesting WW. Thank you.====JACK:  Isn't it interesting that click and clique have the same sound, but one seems positive and the other, negative.  I've tried to stay out of cliques, while working at clicking.
FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  Three “C’s” -  common commitment to Christ and dedicated service to those three C’s – when I met a person so committed, they became people with whom I really ‘hit it off’.      And when I reflect further, I am surprised how many of them attended Augustana Seminary! ====JACK:  In marriages that I've performed, it's been surprising to me that many of the couples met in bars...more than in church.  Success or failure doesn't seem to depend on where they met, but on whether or not they have a similar value system.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  I agree - looking back it's people that I respected and admired.  Someone once said - "If everyone just thought and acted like me, life would be easy."   Maybe so, but also pretty boring.  I think we need differences to challenge us to accept people even though we may not agree with everything they believe or say.  Sort of like the weather - High in Detroit today - 21,  High in Dallas today - 73.  Sorry - we will pay for it this summer when it's 73 in Detroit and 105 here.  Good for golf today, though.====JACK:  I remember performing a wedding...he had no job and she was in high school.  I had my fingers crossed.  It turned out to be a great marriage, lasting over 50 years.  There events that happen from day to day that keep me humble.

FROM QUILTING CAROL IN WISCONSIN:  Some days I think you are tuned into my wave length to a ‘T’!  Received an e-mail from our granddaughter this morning.  She was thrilled to find out after she went back to school for second semester (this last weekend) that she will be able to move out of her room/dorm and in with a new friend she’s made in another dorm.  This friend is so much more positive and friendly than K’s present roommate.  This will probably be the end of her ‘homesickness’.  She’ll be able to invite others to their room and lead a more normal life on campus.  Then I read your Winning Words this morning and how well that fit K’s situation!!!  I shared it with her when I wrote back to tell her how excited I was for her move.  I know she’s tried to make nice with her current roommate, but some people just don’t know how to share themselves with others except on their terms.  I did share with K that I’ve also learned to like some people even though our initial meetings weren’t so great.  Sometimes I’ve had to sit back and think about how the other person may see issues differently from me and be able to accept our differences.  Sometimes that works and other times I’ve had to walk away for my own well being.  Thanks again for sharing another wonderful thought for the day!====JACK:  What makes me excited is that I've been praying about K's situation.  Sometimes we need an affirmation that praying is more than just words.

FROM TARMART REV:  Some folk are just interesting . . . nor common thread . . . no interest beyond a simple greeting and short update on what is new in their lives . . . love running into them when are wherever . . . has been that way with some for many a year . . . some I can't even tell you their names, if you asked?!====JACK:  A friend (not an acquaintance) "sticketh closer than a brother (sister)."  (Proverbs 18:24)

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  For the most part they are fun to be with! Our best friends all had (or have)  a great sense of humor, in addition to good moral values, and common shared interests...Like the song in Mary Poppins, "I Love To Laugh", we all enjoy shared laughter; also shared empathy, and a quickness to offer a helping hand. Who  was it said, "I'd rather have 1,000 friends than a thousand dollars; If I got into trouble, I know each of my friends would be good for a least a buck"...! ====JACK:  If you need a buck, just call me.

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  That makes sense actually. Interesting....====JACK:  In my "business," I try to make sense where people often see non-sense.====LBP:  Hey, I never knew you were a statistician ;)====JACK:  I'm a JACK-of-all-trades, but a master of none (including statistics).

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  what used to be called chemistry can occur without one's even having to meet the other party, thanks to the internet.====JACK:  One of my former church members met as Asian girl on the internet.  Eventually they got married and, as far as I know, it's working out.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 1/26/15
“’Let’s play two!’ Ernie Banks’ words reflected his outlook on life.”  (FOX Sports)  One of my heroes died last week.  Mr. Cub is mourned by many who have admired his enthusiasm for the game of baseball and for life in general.  “Let’s play two!” are the words of a person who is willing to do more than is expected, who loves his job.  What a great attitude to have in our own life.  When asked to do something today, smile and say, “Let’s play two!”   ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Speaks for itself!! Be blessed today, Jack . . . and a blessing to another!! ====JACK:  Blessed/blessing are words, often used by reverends, that could use further explanation. ====REV:  ...but from one reverend to further explanation is needed!!====JACK:  Our "calling" is to be interpreters of the Bible and its terms.
====REV:  ...making it tough on an old Kansan wishing a friend a 'blessed day'. Blessed would be a relative term, hoping your definition would be your blessing for the day...mine might cause you a disappointment, as sitting at Walmart all afternoon greeting folk?====JACK:  I was thinking of "bless" in the biblical sense..."To call for God's favor on someone."

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Indeed, we need more Ernies for our children to look up to.  A friend who lives here in my development, Ross Mersinger, pitched for the Cubbies and knew Ernie.  Says wonderful things about him.  My brother in law who is visiting now said he slept with his Ernie Banks glove.  Keep warm. Also keep up the good work, I truly enjoy your winning words. ====JACK:  I like another name that was given to Ernie...Mr. Sunshine.  We like to be around people who have an optimistic disposition and who love their job.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Ernie Banks was what was right about baseball. What a great role model.====JACK:  It was said about Banks..."His approach to life impacted many beyond the baseball diamond."

FROM ST. PAUL WINTERING IN MESA:  or even three!====JACK:  The only triple-header played in Major League Baseball was on 10/2/1920, between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh (no lights). Ernie was born yet.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  What a neat comment on this great ball player.  Loved him, and his love for game and the Cubs.====JACK:  There aren't many ballplayers who are referred to as, "beloved"...Certainly not Ty Cobb of the Tigers.

FROM JB AT LSTC:   Thanks for your tribute.  Chicago pays tribute to our beloved Mr. Cub  ====JACK:  Thanks for the link.  I'm sure that the Wednesday Memorial in downtown Chicago will draw more fans than Wrigley Field could hold.

FROM MOLINER JT:  AMEN !!====JACK:  Another expression…Go the extra mile.   BTW, I thought that you were are a Cardinal fan.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Love his enthusiasm!====JACK:  Enthusiasm has a Greek origin, meaning to have the spirit of God within you. 

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  MY MOM WAS A DIE-HARD CUB FAN, AND LOVED (!) ERNIE BANKS...I DIDN'T FOLLOW BASEBALL MUCH THEN, BUT I KNEW ERNIE BANKS!  HE WAS SO SPECIAL, AND SO SHALL HIS MEMORY BE...AS A DIE-HARD CUBBY NOW, NONE HAS COME CLOSE TO HIS ESTEEM!  THO I'VE ADMIRED A FEW "RECENT" PLAYERS.  PROFESSIONAL PLAYERS OF ALL SPORTS HAVE SUCH AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE ROLE MODELS, AND HEROES. FEW MEASURE UP. DEREK JETER WOULD BE ONE.... ====JACK:  Once a year, Cub players would come to Moline for an exhibition game with their farm team, the Moline Plows.  One year the catchers from the 2 teams tried to catch balls thrown from the top of the 15-story LeClaire Hotel.  I was there to see it and don't remember that any of the balls were caught, but they did bounce high when they hit the street.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  The eternal optimist.====JACK:  I wonder if he ever thought that he'd be on a team that won the World Series?

FROM WORKIN MAMA IN WISCONSIN:  i wish i had read this before i went to work today- i would've said at work today "lets play five!"  I do love my job.    perhaps that is why the docs all appreciate me. tomorrow when they come  i will say "lets play only  two" today  and see if they catch on!====JACK:  It's much work can be done by someone who loves her/his work.  No wonder Ernie was named "Most Valuable Player."  You should get an MVP award, too.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 1/23/15
“Don’t let yourself forget what it’s like to be sixteen.”  (Tyler Ward)  George Burns sang, “I wish I was 18 again.”  Do you remember what it was like to be 18? or 16?  I recall it vividly, because it was a life-changing time.  Sometimes we write off the teen years, thinking that the important years come later.  Maybe they do.  But think back…What happened during those teen years that set you on the path that you were to travel?   Memory is a great gift!    ;-)  Jack 

FROM PH IN MICHIGAN:  Joan and I were talking about you tonight. It was in 1989 I first met you at BSLC for our bible study.  I was 46 ( but felt like 16).  Now with my bone marrow I am 4.  It is true I am both  71 I am 4.  By God’s grace.  You are a blessing.  Good to be up early with another follower of Christ====JACK:  God is good.  Every day (year) presents its changes.  I like the hymn...Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me Along Life's Way.

FROM EM:  I had an AP Biology teacher at WBHS that changed my life - Olga Gadzala. Encouraged me to pursue a career in medicine. She was awesome.  Do you wake up everyday at the same time and have a morning routine? I'm working on getting to a point where I wake up earlier and meditate/pray/exercise.  The challenge is that I love to stay up late and work on stuff/read/watch movies.  Not conducive to getting up at 5 am!  Hope you're well Jack. I love reading your stuff. ====JACK:  A Winning Words reader commented that some of us are larks and some are owls.  Has the medical world figured out...why?  I wake up each morning at 4:30, usually without an alarm clock.  Is that a sign of OCD?  If OG is still around, today might be the time to send her a note, thanking her for the difference she has made in your life.====EM:  I will write OG a letter today to say thanks :)====JACK:  Let me know when/if she responds.

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  At 17 I met my now husband of 15+ years. Funny looking back at how very young I was as a freshman in college!====JACK:  ...and a couple of children who will be 17 before you know it.  Parents who can remember tend to be more understanding.====LBP:  A silly side note... my office team is starting our meetings now with a new non-office discussion question. My boss just asked me to come up with Monday's question, so I sent her today's WW. We have a range of generations in the team so this will be interesting.

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I remember someone said that the answer to most all questions is, "It depends." I find that statement applicable here. There is much I regret and there is much for which I am grateful. I think the best things of our youthfulness include not only our exuberance and seemingly unending energy; but our innocent manner and hopeful perspective. I still hang on to my "youthfulness" whenever is just with much less success as I remember, and often with a lot more physical soreness.====JACK:  "It depends" is a handy response to have when people want black and white answers to questions.  It's not being evasive...It's just facing the reality that we don't live in a black and white world.  Perhaps my response is the result of my interest and study of philosophy.====RAY:  Mine, too!

FROM HONEST JOHN:  When I was sixteen, I was struggling with the thought of growing up.   Otherwise, things were going sports, forensics, academics, etc.   but I really didn't want to be an adult.    Not sure that feeling ever totally left and retirement has allowed me to triumph over "adulthood"!====JACK:  I suppose we could easily substitute sixty for sixteen, for those trying to remember what it was like preparing for retirement...apprehension or exciting anticipation?  What was it for you?====JOHN:  I only prepared financially in case I would be forced to retire for bad health....otherwise, didn't plan to retire....loved what I did.   The minute I retired, I began to enjoy it.   I am kind of an odd ball that way...and I admit it. ====JACK:  What I did not anticipate...The first 10 years of retirement were equal in "pastoral" satisfaction to any other 10-year period of ministry.

FROM TARMART REV:  Life came "alive" during those years . . . driving around over Wichita, KS like I owned the city . . . bowling with the best bowlers around that part of the country . . . more energy than I knew what to do with . . . girls started looking very attractive . . . no thought about tomorrow's, just what was happening that present day . . . wished now I had the foresight of throwing that abundant energy toward more of what I am about today . . . but truthfully would not trade those earlier experiences as they are what has made my life to be what it is today.====JACK:  I question the saying..."If I knew then what I know now."  Each period of life has its experiences which make us who we are.  At 16, I'd hate to hang around with an adult-16-yr-old who was a know-it -all.

FROM PASTOR JM:  Yes, memory is a great gift.  Just spend some time with someone you love whose memory is fading in and out due to age and disease and you'll soon appreciate the gift of memory.  And yes, the continuing support of my parents for being "in the church", at youth events and in weekly worship and learning, had a huge impact on my choice of college and the rest of my life.====JACK:  I hope that the thousands of ELCA youth who will attend the Youth Gathering in Detroit this summer will appreciate the memories that they will be making.  It would be interesting to be talk to them about it in their later adult years.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  I would not go back. For a minute.  16-18 was a time of great striving and growth, and loss.  I would rather travel back to 30.====JACK:  My father-in-law used to say, I am who I am."  We are who we are (for better or worse) because of each of the years that we have lived.  I like the concept of an omnipresent God.  "I yam whats I yam," because of the presence of God.
 All the way my Savior leads me;
 What have I to ask beside?
 Can I doubt His tender mercy,
 Who through life has been my Guide?
 Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
 Here by faith in Him to dwell!
 For I know, whate’er befall me,
 Jesus doeth all things well;
 For I know, whate’er befall me,
 Jesus doeth all things well.

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Margaret Becker, choral music teacher at MHS, selected me to be student director of our Spring concert in '48 which helped to make my decision to major in Music Ed. and Mrs Ray Honeywell, pastor's wife of Moline 1st Methodist Church inspired me to want to be a pastor's wife....Important influences at 17-18! I wrote to both in later years to share that with them. Seeing how devastating it was for my twin Jan, to lose memory due to a stroke, made me aware of how precious memory is!! Cherish those memories and your family history!====JACK:  At age 16, I lived about a block away from 1st Methodist.  If you can remember, the church had a stone ledge, maybe 10 feet off of the ground, which circled the building.  Somehow, I climbed up there, and clinging to the bricks, I walked all the way around.  I don't think I could do it today. 

FROM ST PAUL WINTERING IN MESA: and we were privileged to grow up in a very tranquil decade of the 1950s and early 1960s.====JACK:  Tranquil decades?  McCarthy Witch Hunts, Korean, Viet Nam and Cold Wars, Cuban Missile Crisis, Civil Rights Movement, Assassinations of Kennedys and M.L. King Jr, Detroit Riot.  But, yes, there was good stuff, too.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 1/22/15
“Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake it off.”  (Taylor Swift song)  Is there anyone who hasn’t seen the cop lip-syncing Taylor Swift’s song?  As is often the case, there’s more to a song than the music.  In “Shake It Off” Taylor is referring to “criticism” and how to handle it.  None of us can escape “criticism” of one sort, or another.  I like the biblical concept of “grace,” the opportunity to move on.  Imagine God singing, “Shake it off…and move on!”    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  I was rather surprised to learn that Taylor Swift's new album has sold more copies than Disney's Frozen.====JACK:  Maybe Disney should have rented a cop.

FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  On that theme I'm reminded of Emerson's poem titled "SUCCESS" in which he writes:  To learn from the criticism of true friends & endure the criticism of false friends or the saying:  None can intimidate you without your permission.====JACK:  Have you ever tried to "shake off" a burr under your saddle?  ====IKE:  I haven't but I'll check with Elvis Presley, because he used to sing: "I'M ALL SHOOK UP".  I understand he's in Kalamazoo.

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Thank God for forgiveness!====JACK:  Where would that appear in your TOP TEN things to be thankful for?====RAY:  I can't think of one higher on the list...

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I feel like we live within a state of grace that allows us to go forward even tho we might go astray every now and then.  Without that you either live in dishonesty or guilt. ====JACK:  We walk through life something like a drunken person.  God has a 1-Step program to straighten us out.  "Commit your way to the Lord!"

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  Read this one out loud over breakfast and Kiki loves the thought of God singing shake it off  to us!====JACK:  Funny things can happen when we anthropomorphize God.  Thank the Lord  for allowing us to have a sense of humor.

FROM TARMART REV:  The Biblical book of Acts certainly gives us many encounters of Christ's disciples shaking it off and moving on!! "Wiping the dust off their feet" on their way out of town!! ====JACK:  Thanks for the good reminder that it's not necessarily a sin to "shake it off" and move on.  In my experience of starting new congregations, I came to the realization that I was not going to get a positive response every time to my invitation to "join up."  I simply had to move on to the next encounter.

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN:  Taylor’s Swift’s song has the same message as the Frozen song “Let it Go.” Actually, I’ve made the “Let it Go” song my theme for this year. Sometimes it seems that everyone thinks they can do my job better than I, so I “shake, shake, shake it off” and move on.  Thanks for listening and have a great day. Drive safe if you go anywhere.====JACK:  It sounds as though you're a "mover and a shaker."

FROM HORSECHAMP:  Great song.====JACK:  I've come to appreciate songs and singers of a generation other than mine.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  That is interesting that you know all of these modern songs and singers. I am familiar with Taylor Swift but not with the song.  Life is too short to worry or to think about what other people think about you as long as you are doing good things. I remember Miss Garst telling the story about stopping to hear a bird singing in a tree. If you want to stop, just do it.====JACK:  The song is in response to how she felt when people who made fun of the way she was dancing.  When people made fun of me and call me names, I'd respond..."Sticks and stones may break my bones..."  I don't think that the words were ever set to music.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  As Sister Mary Lou Kownacki observed:"There isn't anyone you couldn't love, once you've heard their story"...Often criticism is levered due to lack of knowledge or understanding, or a coming from different cultures.  One is wise, to shake, shake, shake it off, but for most  of us, it  still rankles.  I don't know this song, but it has a  good thought! Taylor Swift seems to be a decent role model for our young girls!  Good for you being so up-to-date!  I'll look for that cop! I'm the one who hasn't seen him!!====JACK:  Re: Mary Lou's observation that there isn't anyone you couldn't love.....A pastor once preached on the topic, You Shall Love Your Neighbor!"  A man in the pew mumbled, "You haven't met my neighbor."  Let me know how you like the lip-syncing cop.  While you're at it, check out Taylor Swift on YouTube singing Shake It Off.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 1/21/15
“A lie has speed, but truth has endurance.”  (Edgar J. Mohn)  I learned the value of telling the truth as a child.  From parents (Always tell the truth), from playmates (Liar, liar, pants on fire), in church (You shall not bear false witness).  An ordered society needs to be able to take people at their word, without lie detectors and I-Phone videos.  Maybe we’d all be better off with a course (or a refresher) on basic morality.  BTW, where did you learn truth-telling?    ;-)  Jack

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Honesty isn't always preferred. Sometimes by the speaker of it, and quite often, the listener doesn't prefer it either. But, in the end, we are ripened by it.====JACK:  I'm sure you've heard of the phrase, "to be brutally honest."  There can be times when honesty is not the best policy.  However, most of the time it is the preferred policy.

FROM CS IN MICHIGAN:  It has become a habit to read your email as soon as I get up in the morning.  Good habits are just as easy to create as bad ones!====JACK:  When I was in the "preaching business," I consciously tried to give the people at least one good thought  to take home with them.  I try to do the same thing with Winning Words. 

FROM ANON:  I think I learned truth-telling most of all from my parents--they seemed to always be able to "catch me" whenever I lied to them to try to get myself out of a mess. And I expect I learned to "expect" truth-telling from my parents first of all too which, for me anyway, is the most important part of the truth-telling equation. Trust and love for each other.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I like it.====JACK:  The internet is a great tool, but, as with all tools, it has to be used carefully.  The words we use in day-to-day communication are are tools, too.  In Sunday School, we used to sing...
O be careful little mouth what you say  O be careful little mouth what you say
There's a Father up above  And He's looking down in love
So, be careful little mouth what you say
Do you remember singing that song?====GEORGE:  I do. But it was before I had your class. ====JACK:  I don't know if was your class, or not, but I did enter my Sunday School boys in a YMCA youth basketball league...and they did very well, and had lots of fun.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  Your words today have special meaning for me.====JACK: Did you ever see the Jim Carrey movie, Liar, Liar?  What would life be like if everybody could not help, but tell the truth?

FROM TRIHARDER:  ".  If it's true it will be lasting. If it's not true, it will be lasting.====JACK:  If it’s true, come out and name names and be prepared to back up what you say.  Otherwise, as my Aunt Nell used to say, “Tyst med du!”

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Um hum.  Youth pastor Bill Hybels wrote a book “Who You Are When No One’s Looking”   I recall his sermons that “character” as required in scripture demands that you act privately as you would were God watching you at all times.  So, character becomes “who you are” when no one is looking….I think about this with the new police headcams/bodycams that we are getting in Chicago. It is sad that we cannot expect integrity in conduct from those who serve us in all levels.====JACK:  One of my favorite church camp songs was..."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."  On the back of a dollar bill is a picture of the "eye of God."  Could he be watching how we spend our money?  A friend once told me that when she was growing up, her church had a big eye (representing God) painted on the wall of the church.  At times, it made her feel uneasy.  At other times it could make a person feel comforted, knowing that God sees, knows and cares.

FROM KANSAN DON:  When I got caught!====JACK:  That made me laugh....probably, because that happened to me, too.

FROM TARMART REV:  Parents, Sunday School teachers, Bible verses, consequential experiences from myself lying!!====JACK:  I think I really learned the importance of truth-telling when I came to know that God is omniscient.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Learned it at the same places you did - home, school and church.  Maybe that's why I like golf - it's one sport where the players (often) call penalties on themselves.  Doesn't happen too much in other sports.====JACK:  One thing I like about pro-golf compared to pro-othersports...The players are paid for their current performance, not for what they did, or might do.

  FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I sure agree with that one!!====JACK:  Nothing breaks a relationship more completely than one lying to/about the other.  "All the king's horses and all the king's men can't put (it) back tether again."

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  If you don't lie, you don't have to remember what you said. ====JACK:  Do you remember the song, "It's a Sin to Tell a Lie?"  It was sung by the Ink Spots and can be heard on YouTube.====CHESTER:  My dad Sang that at the Wm. Carr Minstrel Show. I'll never forget it.====JACK:  My parents were in those shows, too.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  The same as you did.====JACK:  Of course.  We are Moliners, we're from Moline.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 1/20/15
“Don’t prepare the path for the child, prepare the child for the path.”  (Anon)  Football is not only played on the gridiron.  Politicians seem to be playing the game in the classroom, as well.  Curriculum, budgeting, measuring success/failure, public/charters, federal/state...“They” say it’s for the kids, but “kids” don’t seem to be the priority.  Successes that I see come from caring parents, teachers, administrators, legislators.  Leave “football” to the jocks.    ;-)  Jack

FROM PC IN MICHIGAN: True words.....====JACK:  Sad, but true.  However, there is hope, because of people who still care.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Great thoughts today regarding  kids!====JACK:  I can't remember where I saw it...and what organization said it...KIDS ARE OUR ONLY BUSINESS!

FROM HONEST JOHN:  The key words = "kids don't seem to be the priority"====JACK:  Too often, the lips say that kids are the priority, but the brain has something else in mind.

FROM TARMART REV:  I remember a fellow student who came to Bible College because of his grandmother's desire for him to be a pastor . . . we ended up in Ohio at different cites , but close by . . . his personality never set well with those he was to pastor and eventually went into the cleaning business. We even brought him on staff for a time at the church I served as a youth pastor and helped get him a part-time job driving a Coke truck to various businesses and stocking their shelves . . . they had to let him go because he kept condemning the bar owners he supplied. I saw him two years ago in Michigan when we were visiting . . . retired now and enjoying playing roles in church dramas at Easter and Christmas.====JACK:  At what age do we stop being children?  Robert Frost's, "The Road Not Taken," seems to describe God's decision to let "the children" be responsible for choosing life's path.  There is a time when we have to accept responsibility.

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  The dirt, mud, and blood in the game of football washes off in the shower. It cannot be transferred upon the people who sit in the stands and pretend that "they won" (or lost). "Fans" don't actually play; they just sit and eat hot dogs and drink beer. The filth and lies of politics -- especially when fed to innocent children in the disguise of "education" -- won't ever wash off! That kind evil has long-lasting effects and affects to the afflicted. History class pointed-out to me that "propaganda" was a tool utilized for "educating" the children of our enemies. Maybe, it's not propaganda when we use it; it's education. I'll leave that to the politically well-educated!====JACK:  There are, players, coaches, writers...who talk a good game.  Most of us who use "the blog" are like fans in the stands.  We need to do more than stand up and cheer or boo.  But, what?

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  RIGHT ON!====JACK:  I like the college football cheer:  "AY ZIGGY ZOOMBA ZOOMBA ZOOMBA...ROLL ON."  Now, how can that be adapted for cheering on those who are working to improve the way children are being educated?====DR J:  Ay Ziggy Zoomba to you!  and yes…. cheering for educators is too often forgotten.====JACK:  Wasn't being granted tenure once regarded as kind of a cheer?

FROM TRIHARDER:  Good, caring parents not only create a good environment for their kids, they create it at school by insisting on good teachers, curricula, administrators who, in turn, want to be in those districts.====JACK:  The education of a child is a partnership.  Too many say that "poor" test scores are the fault of the child, parent, teacher, district or the politician.

FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA:  Well said Jack. I would not be a good teacher in today's world.====JACK:  You could do it, because a good teacher is able to adapt.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  If football is going to be played in the classroom, we need to move the goal posts.====JACK:  That's part of the problem.  The players involved are using different goalposts.  Everyone should agree on where the goalposts (goals) should be.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  i'm off to another day of observing children preparing their own paths.  what a gift!====JACK:  Your song for the day..."
Heigh-ho, heigh-ho   It's off to work we go
 We keep on singing all day long   Heigh-ho   Heigh-ho, heigh-ho
 Got to make your troubles go   Well, you keep on singing all day long
 Heigh-ho   Heigh-ho, heigh-ho

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  So much of success in education does depend on caring parents, and that is the major challenge today  with so many one parent homes, or grandparents raising children, or kids raising kids....a teacher can only do so much, and many dedicated teachers  go the extra mile in helping students achieve success!  I used to have a quote on my blackboard; "The most important result of all education is to make yourself do what HAS to be done, WHEN it has to be done, whether you want to do it or not!"  It helped  some of my  students 'get with the game...'====JACK:  When I was teaching confirmation students, I remember the challenges...but, most of all, I remember what a great educational opportunity it was for me, as well as the students.  I'll cherish it always.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 1/19/15
“If you can’t fly, then run; if you can’t run, then walk; if you can’t walk, then crawl; but whatever you do, keep moving forward.”  (MLK,Jr)  My mother-in-law used to say to her piano students: “The longest journey begins with a single step.”  If MLK Jr had been wearing a Fitbit on the Selma March, it would have shown 108,000 steps.  But there are still many steps to take before all inequalities are done away with.  So, let’s “Keep movin’ forward!”    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Wise words!====JACK:  Job, Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are three of my favorite books of the Bible.  They're sometimes referred to as, the Books of Wisdom. ===PAUL:  I can see why.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  The decision to enter the war in Vietnam was a disaster.   It effectively killed the civil rights movement...ended the struggle for justice and ultimately brought on the right wing backlash that still plagues us.   We need to take some steps to turn back to a way of thinking that grew up in the fifties and early sixties.   Of course, it would be a synthesis in Hegelian terms. ====JACK:  You are really an optimist, thinking that "people" can think and act rationally.  Oops!  God was an optimist, too, when he thought-up Jesus.====JOHN:  I think we can make small strides every now and then to make the world better and we can never give up that hope because God cares enuf for us to send His Son.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Actually "Keep moving forward" is what I've been encouraging my mother-in-law to do. She can't fly, run or walk but she can optimistically still breathe, actually just occurred to me right now that she can still optimistically "look forward" to something good so everyone is called to come forward with whatever strength God has given us. Martin Luther King, Jr., WW are very encouraging!!!!====JACK:  Each day presents us with a choice...Am I going to move ahead, go backward, or just march in place?  As the Drill Sgt shouts..."Forward march!"

FROM TARMART REV:  Moving on, step by step in Willmar, MN, Jack!! Or . . . as a builder would say, board by board . . . a brick layer, brick by brick . . . a draftsman, inch by inch!!====JACK:  Is the "march" remembered or observed in northern Minnesota, or is the talk about ice-fishing?  ====REV:  School dismissed, public offices closed and banks closed as well I believe.====JACK:  3 cheers for Willmar!

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  These words and others were quoted last evening at the United We walk event. It was very well done and I thought well attended.====JACK:  I've already picked out the Winning Words I want to use next year for MLK Jr Day.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  During my entire tour of duty in the USMC, I never heard the command, "Backward, March."====JACK:  There's an interesting book by Charles Hall called, "The Man Who Lived Backwards."  Think what it would be like to live your life backwards.  Tomorrow, you'd wake up to find yourself a day younger, but everyone else would be a day older.  Then, that experience happens, day after day, year after year.  Think of the complications.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  put one foot in front of the other...====JACK:  So...that's how it works!


Friday, January 16, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words  1/16/15 
“I’m thinking about how a status symbol is those cell phones clipped to their belt or purse.  I can’t afford one, so I’m wearing my garage door opener.”  (Ramblings of an old man)  What makes this “rambling” funny?  Is it because people who are “climbers” can’t see how silly they look?  Or is it about some “aging” person who tries not to age?  Jokesters are like a mirror.  They often help us to see who we are.    ;-)  Jack

FROM MM IN FLORIDA:  Very cute and very funny a real LOL====JACK:  I suppose you have an I-Phone.

FROM TARMART REV:  "The jolly ol' fat man!!" Remembering him well every morning . . . we've been parting company now for many a year from the bathroom mirror, facing a new day together!! ====JACK:  We have a group in our church called, "Healthy Luserans."  They're dedicated to having healthy eating habits, which leads to controlling weight.  No-salt popcorn, without butter.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Satirists too, they bring a lot of insight when they ridicule shallow thinking pervading our day-to-day life.  Sadly, there are so many with closed minds believing they must, by whatever means, destroy such people, like those who attacked the publishers in Denmark and France. ====JACK:  When we look at our own religion, whatever that may be, we ought to be able to say, "but the king has no clothes."  That's how reformation begins.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  "We see ourselvs as ithers see us." I forget the poets name, from junior high English class====JACK:  Bobby Burns.  When one believer (Christian, Jew, Islam, Hindu, etc.) believes that their's is on the only true belief, it's hard to see another belief objectively.  That's simply an observation.

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I remember being in line at a McDonald's, and a man had one of those "in-the-ear", hands free telephones. I remember thinking about how some "important" telephone call just might occur at any Important that it might even interrupt his order for French fries. Then I thought...would he actually have to suspend the completion of his order if he did receive a call? The entire idea of walking around with a telephone in my ear all of the time seemed like such an exaggerated level for the importance of telephones, in general; not to mention the unflattering fashion statement!====JACK:  I have a similar feeling when I happen to see people texting during the church service.  Except that it could be a commentary on the service.  Nahhhh!

FROM HONEST JOHN:  How can something that almost everyone has be a status symbol?====JACK:  Jesus said, "When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you."  He didn't seem to like ostentatiousness.

FROM TARMART REV:  That sounds familiar . . . remember the old church bulletin quips: The class meets in room 201, beyond the double doors!!=====JACK:  I don't get it!  An old jokester used to say to someone who didn't get the joke, "Why don't you hand a piece of crepe on your nose.? Your brain is dead."====REV:  I should have emphasized the "double doors" . . . weight class having to walk through double doors to meet in the classroom ====JACK:  Originally you left out "weight" in describing the class.  Now, I get it.

FROM DOCTOR JUDY:  Profound!!====JACK:  I've noticed that many of the great comedians are Jewish.  I'm sure that there's a profound reason for that.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words  1/15/15
“Without money we’d all be rich.”  (Unknown)  Squirrel pelts once served as money in Finland; copper crosses in the Congo; cheese in Italy; knives in China.  Workers in Greece were sometimes paid in salt.  The word, salary, comes from that.  Do you remember the Money song in the musical, Cabaret?  “That clinking, clanking sound makes the world go around.”  The Bible says, “The love of money is the root of evil.”  What is money to you?   ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  We don't have much money today, either.   We have a series of "statements" which indicate whether or not we dare use our credit cards.====JACK:  What do you think about using credit cards for church donations?  ...or by having donations automatically withdrawn from a bank/investment account?  A friend of mine refuses to use a check for his church giving.  He wants to see actual cash going into offering envelope.====JOHN:  I like the discipline of giving every week...and of placing something in the offering box....just who I am....I have no problem with others giving by credit card or whatever.====JACK:  Some churches provide "I Gave" cards to place in the plate, so it doesn't look like they are not giving when the offering is taken. Even Jesus and the disciples noticed what people were putting in the offering. ====JOHN:  For me the key word is "discipline".

FROM TARMART REV:  I remember our first youth pastorate just outside Akron, Ohio . . . one gentleman owned a poultry business and it wasn't unusual to find a bag of chicken breasts and a carton of eggs in our car after a church service . . . another gentleman owned a auto parts store and very seldom charged us for any parts needed for repair of our car . . . one other gentleman owned a pizza, chicken and custard stand and again we were always treated to food without payment during those three years on staff. Truly blessed in so many other ways than strictly receiving money as our reward for service and ministry.====JACK:  Most pastors are pretty well taken care of by parishioners.  When Mary and I were first married the church custodian left a bag of homegrown beets at our back door, along with instructions as how to cook them.

FROM JB IN MICHIGAN:  Money is a tool for me. It allows me to work for (help) others.
There was an old farmer who said money was like cow poop - useless until you spread it around. ====JACK:  You caught me off guard.  I've never heard you call poop "POOP" before.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Money buys us the things we need and the things we want.  God provides the necessities for eternal life..,.priceless!====JACK:  Back in the days of the Great Depression I heard my Uncle John say, "We sang the Depression Song in church today."  He was referring to the hymn, "Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy"....especially the verse....
Come ye needy, come, and welcome,
God's free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings you nigh.
Without money, without money
Come to Jesus Christ and buy.
====JUDY: === I remember my grandma talking about putting out a hankie or rag to show the guys who needed food to stop by for a meal.====JACK:  Can you imagine that happening today?  Jesus has different disguises.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Having had "just the right amount"of money to achieve in a satisfying , if not excessive, the ascending of Abraham Maslow"s hierarchy of needs and , hopefully, an adequate amount to sustain us/me until we move on. (And contributing along the way to various needful functions.) Money is a means to an end?  There are lots of humorous "Money isn't everything, but..." on Google. The one I like most I found in a cryptogram book....but I can't remember it.====JACK:  Have you heard of the Goldilocks Strategy in picking out books for kids?  It seems as tho you're using that strategy with regard to the amount of money you have.  BTW, I must have been absent the day Maslow was discussed in my psychology class.  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words  1/14/15
“Many are called, but few get up.”  (Oliver Herford)  Is there anyone in your household who needs more than a few calls to get out of bed?  Irving Berlin’s song might fit them:  “O, how I hate to get up in the morning; O, how I hate to roll out of bed.”  Many adages speak of the value of being an early riser…You’ll be healthy, wealthy and wise; you’ll see the sunrise and have more time for exercise; better grades for students.  What benefits might you add?    ;-)  Jack 

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  I'm so glad there is benefit to this!====JACK:  Some habits (like getting up for school) are hard to break.  The early hours are the best part of the day for me.  Other hours aren't so bad, either.====PAUL:  The problem  is when I can get my business done by 8:30 AM, I begin to generate new business!!!!! This senecio seems counterproductive for a retired person!  Haha  BTW... I just sent the following email to some friends of mine and I'd like to share it with you...Have you ever read something relatively simple and then you say to yourself.."I don't even know how to start a conversation about this!" We are getting a little crazy as parents and as a society!  A Florida man called police to observe him spanking his daughter to make sure he didn’t violate any law. Dale Garcia wanted to discipline his 12-year-old after she got into “a heated argument” with her sister, so he called police. “I stood by as he spanked [her] four times on her buttocks,” the officer wrote in his report. “No crime has been committed.”====JACK:  Why is it that we so often feel that we have to be doing something?  Can't we just loll?  A lot of people don't even know what that word means.  They might think that it's a misspelling of LOL.

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN:  I just read Paul’s response to your WW today. It is funny and true. The word “loll” is great and has a similar word in Italian, “passeggiata,” pronounced “pasa – jata.” It is what the Italians do in the evening -- they stroll, visit, and watch time go by in the piazza. It is common for everyone, not just retirees. We have become a 24-7 world with access to information via text messages, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, news feeds, email and the expectation is that you have read all of these every waking moment so you can converse and act, re-act and be pro-active on whatever needs immediate attention.  Paul – I know it’s a little cold to “loll” or “passeggiata” but you can “loll” around the kitchen table with a cup of coffee or something stronger with your friends in the evening. Americans should “loll” and/or “passeggiata” more and put down the electronic devices. ====JACK:  Thanks for teaching me a NEW word.  Now I know why some of my Italian friends are so "laid back."

FROM LP IN PLYMOUTH:  I am responding to this email as i procrastinate getting out of bed.====JACK:  Somehow, I can't picture your grandma (at your age) lying in bed and looking at her I-Phone.

 FROM CPA BOB:  My favorite is "the early bird  gets the worm", partly because it is more immediate.  I've been trying to explain this to my grandson, who is now nine and has always been an early riser.  It's time to explain it again.====JACK:  While you're at it, explain to him the importance of beginning to save early...and the value of compound interest.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Well, I have stopped taking morning OLLI classes because I like to sleep late. Most of my neighbors are early birds.  I say-to each his own.====JACK:  We all make choices in life.  I suppose you attend Saturday evening Mass, too.

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  I would say singing and laughing more!====JACK:  It used to be the custom for American students and their teacher to sing this song at the beginning of the school day...
Students:  Good Morning to you,
Good morning to you.
We're all in our places
With sunshiny faces,
And this is the way
To start a new day!
Teacher:  Good morning to you
Good morning to you
Our day is beginning
There's so much to do.
So good morning, good morning,
Good morning to you!

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Leaves you more time for a nap in the afternoon.====JACK:  Yes, people like you seem to doze off in your Lazy-Boy while watching TV

FROM WATERFORD JAN:  If I got up really early, I could read Winning Words right after you post them instead of hours and hours later!====JACK:  One of my readers uses Winning Words as an alarm clock.  When he hears his I-Phone beep, he says..."Time to get up.  It's Jack's Winning Words."
 ====JAN:  I have great respect for you and I love the Winning Words, but I will never be using your beeps to awaken me!!!

FROM TRIHARDER:  what I get from that is that the few do the work of many --  I tell my kids "You must do more than your share to make up for the people who do nothing."  I think they've learned. ====JACK:  The lesson that I'm currently trying to teach to those who have much is, REMEMBER THE POOR!

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  What do you think about “owls” and “larks”?  My mother was an owl, my father a lark.  I was married to a lark.  I am not one.  That said, when I rise early during lent and advent to read and reflect, I am always rewarded.  When I take an exercise class at six, my day is always filled with energy.  Hmmm.====JACK:  As far back as I can remember, I've always been a lark.  When I was in Jr Hi I used to get up in the dark and walk several miles to the dairy where the milkman was loading his truck.  I'd ride with him and help deliver milk until we reached our house.  Then, I'd hop off, eat a quick breakfast and go off to school.====BB:  What a great story.  The early bird catches the worm….which I hear is also an argument for “knowing who you are”.  i.e., if you’re a worm, best sleep in.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  If you choose, quiet time alone - perhaps for prayer or meditation - before the hustle and bustle of the day gets revved up.====JACK:  A friend of mine begins each morning by saying, "This is the day the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it."====RS:  That's how we start our worship service each Sunday -  The Pastor says, "This is the day the Lord has made"...........and the congregation responds with..."Let us rejoice and be glad in it."   And there are some days I would like to add........"and a little warmer weather would make me rejoice even more." ====JACK:  But...not too hot!

FROM PC IN MICHIGAN:  Time to spend with God before the hectic ness of the day. Time to give thanks, seek wisdom and reflect on all our blessings.....====JACK:  A friend of mine used to say, when he thought something was a good idea..."Now, that's a plan!"  Re: your response..."Now, that's a plan!"

FROM DP IN MINNESOTA:  Getting up early gives you time to enjoy winning words, play scrabble with your kids and friends and enjoy a healthy, leisurely breakfast!====JACK:  You forgot...time to read the newspaper.  We get two each morning (delivered about 5:30).  I even know the carriers by name, because sometimes I meet them at the garage door.

FROM MY LAWYER:  Less traffic on both the roads and the golf course!!!===JACK:  You must bbe in Florida.  Don't forget to turn off your turn signal as you speed along to the golf course.

FROM HONEST JOHN: I love the peacefulness of the morning hours. ====JACK:  I like this song, sung by George Beverly Shea...
Early in the morning, while the world is still
Before the daylight streaks the sky, I would know His will.
I commune with Christ my Saviour and listen carefully
To gain the strength I need to day
While praying quietly
Thank you Lord, for seeing me
Thank you Lord for knowing who I am
Thank you Lord hearing me,
It's so easy to get lost these days
In the shuffle and the noise.

Why not try to do this when you wake up in the night
Troubles race into your mind and sleep becomes a fight
Try this simple method and you soon will gain control
Sleep will quickly come again and a calm come oer your soul.
Thank you Lord, for seeing me
Thank you Lord for knowing who I am
Thank you Lord hearing me,
It's so easy to get lost these days
In the shuffle and the noise.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 1/13/15
“If you can change how people see, you can change how people think.”  (Deborah Kashdan)  “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” is the story of a lawyer who saw that his life was out of balance, and how he sought purpose and peace in the Himalayas.  What changed his thinking?  I recall the song, “What’s It All About, Alfie?”  When we come to the point where we see that this life is about more than accumulating things, maybe then, some changes take place.    ;-)  Jack

   FROM LP IN PLYMOUTH:  > more than accumulating things.... In November I came upon a website "" and her get rid of 2014 items in 2014 challenge. I jumped on board, and didn't wait for the new year to start on 2015 for 2015. I'm a 399! Lots to go but lots to get rid of too! I love that Salvation Army has a drive up donation spot. But I've been finding lots of places to share my excess stuff ... Books to library, baby gear to pregnancy clinic, magazines to volunteer services at the hospital, ... Oh to be free of this  stuff!  On Sunday two other moms helped me do a toy downsize on the nursery too. Now the toys fit on the shelves. It looks so much more inviting! One mom is taking the excess for resale. We will use the money for some updates and repairs. Yay! This decluttering has certainly changed how I see. And what I see! Ha ha!!;) ====JACK:  To get of 2015 items in, that's quite a challenge.  I don't consider myself to be a hoarder, but there's a lot of stuff that I can't bear to part a picture of me sharing a message to a group of children====LP:  I don't think I'm quite at hoarder, but I find myself needing extra motivation to let things go. I've got bags of Verity's clothes in my guest room. Andy's not going to wear them, but I was looking for someone (specific) to hand them down to. But I'm reminding myself it's OK to hand them off to charity to distribute. I don't have to find their new home. Of the 399 items I've marked off most have been kids clothes. But I got rid of about 80 old magazines.Lots of challenges ahead... but I'm excited to see what my house looks like sans 2015 extraneous things. I won't be ditching the special treasures, but maybe I don't need 40 cookbooks (and I'm guessing I've got about that many!)====JACK:  I'm sure that most of us would give more of our stuff away if we were to come face-to-face with the needy.  Sometime, read the story of Kagawa, a Japanese Christian, who literally would have no shirt on his back, because he would always see someone who needed a shirt more than he did.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Interesting. On my desk is....the life-changing magic of tidying up.....the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing.....No caps in the title.  Also, near my desk ...another book I'm reading....Mark 10:25 and Mark changing emissaries equipped with little but the necessities.==== JACK:  On my desk, scattered in disorder, are scraps of paper with various Winning Words on them.  One…..real eyes realize real lies.

FROM TARMART REV:  I think about those times this morning I had this sudden urge I needed to replace something I've had for a number of years, only to forget about it for a time and realize again maybe there's not that much of a hurry to replace it after all . . . "It's still ticking!!"====JACK:  I have a watch that I got as a confirmation gift.  It no longer ticking, but I can't bear to throw it away

FROM QUILTING CAROL IN WISCONSIN:  Not only learn that life isn’t all about accumulating things nor taking what doesn’t belong to you nor killing people because they don’t believe like you or think by doing so you’ll make others believe like you!====JACK:  While throwing out stuff, we need to throw out some out-of-date ideas, too.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  People don't really change just by being told something is bad for them.  Look how many people are addicted to something:  drugs, drink, porn etc etc.  Take politics- there is nearly a zero percent of changing the way most people vote.  But they can and do change when they they see a difference made.....sometimes!===JACK:  There's a book, "Getting to YES," which is about how to influence people to adopt a new point of view.

FROM JB IN CHICAGO:  There’s a new book out called “Unretirement” about how baby boomers are working beyond retirement age but doing things they really value – and living simpler. I saw this segment on a local news program, Chicago Tonight:
Sounds interesting.====JACK:  Retirement today certainly isn't what it was like...even a few years ago.  "Old age ain't for sissies" as the saying goes.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 1/12/15
“The animals have no choice.  They cannot be anything but themselves.”  (G.K. Chesterton)  One of my Christmas gifts was a children’s book of Aesop’s Fables.  In the preface it was noted that Aesop attached human characteristics to animals in order to make a moral point that we could understand.  We don’t know that animals are moral or amoral, but the nature of the fox,  crow, mouse can be used in a fable to get an idea across.  Do you have a fav-fable?    ;-)  Jack

FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  On that theme:  The early bird may get the worm,but it's the second mouse that gets the cheese...mmm===JACK:  On that theme...Where did the expression "Cheese it," come from?  Or, the comment that something is "Cheesy?

FROM TARMART REV:  'Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby'====JACK:  That could be a good internet nickname for you.  Instead of TARMART REV, it could be TARBABY REV.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  My favorite has always been "The Ant and the Grasshopper".  That has influenced me over the years.  More recently the lesson taught in the fable has been expressed with two words on desk signs..."Plan Ahead".====JACK:  An animal's IRA.

FROM TRIHARDER:  When the albino tiger attacked the magician, Roy of Siegfried and Roy, it was said the Tiger went crazy. Chris Rock did a routine on it.  "The tiger didn't go crazy, the tiger went tiger."===JACK:  Your response causes me to think of the phrase..."They did everything humanly possibly," which leads me to the thought..."They did everything humanely possible."  My father-in-law often used to say, "We are who we are."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Al these years I thought that the book that my mother kept on her coffee table was Aesop's Fables. I just went to get it and it is a well worn Child Story Reader which contains no Aesop, but it does have many others such as the Mouse Wedding and the Onion Thief.  My favorite Aesop is the Tortoise and the Hare.====JACK:  I suppose "This Little Piggie" could be considered a fable.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 1/9/15
“Can the power of positive thinking change your life?  (Brandpoint)  This headline, above an article on positive thinking, captured my attention.  “Brandpoint” is a company that develops content for other companies , like McDonalds, Ford, Target, Microsoft.  The article stated  that positive people are more apt to find success, good health and happiness, because attitudes affect life.  Gandhi said, “What you think, you become.”  What do you think?    ;-)  Jack 

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I think positively.   It helps.   It is not my philosophy of life because it fails to take cognizance of the power of sin.   The biblical perspective is much wider.====JACK:  It's easier to think positively when things are going your way.  It's rises to another level when negative events happen in one's life.  That's when positivity is really needed.  I wonder how Robert Schuller is handling that battle?  I wish that he were able to write a book about it.====JOHN:  It is hard to think positively when you are on the cross.   Hence. My God my God why hast thou forsaken me?====JACK:  "Into your hands...." seems to be a positive.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Reminds me of a story about two friends playing golf.  Bill hits his shot in the water and says, "Darn - I knew I was going to do that."  His friend Joe says, "You need to be more positive."   Bill says, "OK - I'm positive I was going to do that."   My wife, who is a counselor, will agree 100% about how attitude affects your life.  Went to a luncheon yesterday, and one statement the speaker (a former NFL player and Navy Seal)  said was "I never have a bad day.  I have hard days, but never bad days."   Thought that was pretty good.====JACK:  Words by Gandhi and by a former football player/Navy Seal...same idea.

FROM LS:  Good morning - YES to  positive attitude - I am searching for a new career challenge and looked into Brandpoint after reading your email this am.   My work is long term care consulting .  Through the eyes of my clients and listening to their voices as the words reflect their life's lived I take in the meaning for myself to be paid forward .  I see the world in all it's miracles as a positive place. Thank you for introducing me to Brandpoint and reminding me of a miracle - everything will be delivered to you in time when you believe - and I do - testimony this am:  God Bless your work .  Over the years your directed words have touched me just when I needed the message to take in and pay forward. Every morning after I give thanks for the day I look for your message.    ( btw I am raising four beautiful daughters - and for me parenting is a lifetime continuum.  Your messages guide my day -I do not read my horoscope.  I read your words and find meaningful direction each day). Perhaps one day we can meet again in person- I would love to work w you as you foster positive attitude w your words.====JACK:  Sometimes I need to be reminded that people do read Winning Words and take them to heart.  As I sit at the computer each morning, it can become an automatic thing to hit the "send" key.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Finding WW every morning is always a treat as I start my day.  So my thanks to you...I'm looking forward to another year of your insights.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 1/8/15
“May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose.”  (Little Jimmy Dickens)  Jimmy Dickens died last week.  Thru the gift of YouTube I can still hear some of his songs, like the Bird of Paradise.  The B of P, found in New Guinea, is one of the most beautiful of all birds, the kind that you might expect to see in Heaven (Paradise).  Little (4’ 11”) Jimmy was a big hit and brought laughter when he sang for the troops in Vietnam.  I smile when I remember him.     ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  It's been years since I heard him! What fun!====JACK:  "Sleepin' at the Foot of the Bed" is another of his songs...with the line, "Cold toenails scatchin' your back."

FROM TARMART REV:  He was definitely a part of The Grand Ole Opry's uniqueness!! ====JACK:  Minnie Pearl, Cousin Oswald, The Carter Family, Roy Acuff and on and on.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  My bird of paradise is a beautiful plant out side my back door.  I am not familiar with the song.  It is cold in Tampa today=37 degrees.====JACK:  I once went to the funeral of a florist and the only flowers there were many, many Birds of Paradise.  Impressive.  YouTube the song.  37 degrees would be summer up north.

FROM IRMA J:  I saw Little Jimmy Dickens years ago at the county fair in Merrill.====JACK:  I'll be he sang the Bird of Paradise song, too.

FROM TRIHARDER:  I'm pretty sure that he took that phrase from Johnny Carson who originally stated it as "Carnak the Magnificent"  I used to watch every night -- even though I had school the next morning.====JACK:  It might have happened that way, or the other way around, or perhaps someone else originated the phrase.  Nevertheless, the thought amuses me.====TH:  Robin Williams was talking about the genesis of humor on Lipton's "Actor's Studio". He responds with his lightning wit,
Well, look at what our studies have shown. As we see the historical roots of comedy we see several Cro-Magnons looking at a group of Neanderthals saying: "How many Neanderthals does it take to light a fire? "The answer is: "None, they don't have it."====JACK:  I thought that the punch line was going to be..."Stop!  I 've heard that one before."

FROM CK IN  MICHIGAN:  My dad had a friend named Jimmy Dickens when I was young. Thnx for the memory!====JACK:  I was not always an obedient child when growing up.  Sometimes my mother would say to me..."You little dickens."

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 1/7/15
“After further review…”  (Football Referee)  I have mixed feelings about slo-mo replays to confirm or over-rule calls by game officials.  Isn’t it part of the game that players and officials make errors?  However, shouldn’t errors be corrected when they can be?  …and how about life?  Should there be a way where we could go back and correct our mistakes and finally get it right?  Or, should we just learn from our mistakes and move on, vowing to do better?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM CLRK IN MICHIGAN:  Haha! I could use that phrase about 20x a day - such irony. ====JACK:  The Great Referee in the Sky often picks up the flag and says, "You are forgiven!" 

FROM TRIHARDER:  Galarraga is Awarded His Perfect Game/No hitter by Baseball.   Bud Selig, Commissioner of Major League Baseball, said that former Detroit Tiger, Armando Gallarraga, would be awarded his perfect game pitched on June 2, 2010 against the Cleveland Indians. After recording 26 consecutive outs, Indians' Jason Donald hit a far ranging ground ball to first baseman Miguel Cabrera who threw to Galarraga covering the bag at first. It should have been the final out. ====JACK:  So, history can be rewritten.====TH:  The wrong call made Aramando Galarraga more famous than if the right call had been made-- and for the right reason:  The supreme class he showed in accepting the apology of the tearful Umpire, Jim Joyce, the 28 out no-hitter.  (Did you see my tongue-in-cheek post on Facebook dealing with this issue?)====JACK:  To me, the best part of the story is the exchange between Armando and Jim...what Scripture has in mind when it talks about repentance and forgiveness.  Most of society is unwilling to give it a try.====TH:  On the other hand, wouldn't we all love the opportunity to have a do-over for acts that ended in tragedy, words that ended causing great harm, costly judgments/opinions we made ... But, yes, mistakes are part of life.  There was an article yesterday about a man who was wrongfully imprisoned for 39 years for a murder he didn't commit. He confronted the witness against him whose false testimony convicted him.  And he forgave him.  I don't know that I could expect that kind of forgiveness from anyone.  He's a bigger man than I.====JACK:  He had 39 years to plot his revenge.  Have you heard the expression, "killing with kindness?"

FROM TARMART REV:  Learning from my mistakes and moving on, vowing to do better has served me well . . . when I don't take this good advice, I've become a chronic complainer and tired often of hearing myself complain. 0;-/====JACK:  Most of the time, we're pretty good at hiding our mistakes from others....but there's a reason why one of the symbols for God is a BIG eye.

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I guess one of things that makes "regret" what it is, is that we can't take it back, undo, redo, un-say, or "un-ring the bell". Regret can be one of our best teachers, because the sting of the error stays with us. It is also a reminder of our imperfections and flaws, and it can serve heaping servings of humility.====JACK:  I remember this verse from a song...."Don't lose your confidence if you slip,  Be grateful for a pleasant trip,  And pick yourself up,  Dust yourself off,
Start all over again."

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  But pro sports isn't about's about big business.  Players and officials do make errors, but it's got to be sorted out so the "blame" goes where it belongs...wouldn't want to distort the records.  Woe upon us if the players' stats are faulted, their records blemished.  Regarding "life", we are able to go back and correct some of our mistakes, but for the most part we should simply admit we're imperfect, and armed with that knowledge dedicate ourselves to improving as we move forward.====JACK:  When I worked on the drafting table, I always had a well-worn eraser nearby.

FROM MY LAWYER:  A timeless question!====JACK:  I remember this saying..." Most people think that forgiveness is a good idea, until they have something to forgive."

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Agree that the reviews and re-reviews slow down the game.  Theoretically, the mistakes “even out” unless there is blatant favoritism by a ref or ump and that’s unlikely.  As for getting it right and correcting our mistakes, I prefer your choice “B” moving on and vowing to do better. 
Your question made a rap lyric come to mind – “everything I’m not, makes me everything I am” by Kanye West (almost a decade ago) when he lost his mother.  If you can get past the profanity, he makes several philosophical arguments in these songs and the piano line is pretty.  I recall some quote about how indecision eventually becomes your decision.  In the same way, I think our mistakes, rough spots, struggles can define us as much as our strengths and successes, no? 
FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Agree that the reviews and re-reviews slow down the game.  Theoretically, the mistakes “even out” unless there is blatant favoritism by a ref or ump and that’s unlikely.  As for getting it right and correcting our mistakes, I prefer your choice “B” moving on and vowing to do better.  Your question made a rap lyric come to mind – “everything I’m not, makes me everything I am” by Kanye West (almost a decade ago) when he lost his mother.  If you can get past the profanity, he makes several philosophical arguments in these songs and the piano line is pretty.  I recall some quote about how indecision eventually becomes your decision.  In the same way, I think our mistakes, rough spots, struggles can define us as much as our strengths and successes, no? ====JACK:  First--regarding the re-reviews...Isn't it interesting that those who make the final calls are hidden in a replay booth?  We never see them, or hear their names.  I've never heard anyone boo or criticize them.  That seems to be the result of anonymity.  It protects the officials who are on the field.  No more, "Kill the umpire!"  I like your reference to the West rap.  It fits.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Even though the Lions lost , to the sorrow of us fans, there were other missed calls during the game also.  It's hard to say if it cost us the game.  People make mistakes. Perhaps the answer is replays.  It will make the game longer but I'm not sure it will change the outlook in the long-run. We will wait and see.  As for life in general, I really don't want do-overs....I have always learned from mistakes both mine and other's errors.====JACK:  Speaking as one who has played the game, any disruptions of the "flow" make a difference.  It's not as much fun for the players or for the fans...  I happen to think that TV now drives the game.

FROM KANSAN DON:  I thought about forgiveness and forgiving.  "Better" accompanies those words.====JACK:  I seem to remember being taught in seminary that you can't forgive without the other person asking for forgiveness.  As an aside, the "Peace Greeting" in worship seems to have evolved into something different from what it was intended to be.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Instant Replay is an insult to any good referee. In real life, correcting one mistake changes the rest of your life. I've too many good things to want that. ====JACK:  Refs and umps have to make split-second decisions without the benefit with slo-mo (over and over again).  I don't think we give them enough credit for the good job that they do.

FROM DMF IN MINNESOTA:  I like this one.====JACK:  Often life happens where we have to choose and choose right now, without second chances.  It's amazing that we do as well as we do.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Move on and learn from past experience.====JACK:  Learn!  "Aye, there's the rub."

FROM DOCTOR JUDY:  WISDOM!!!====JACK:  Yes...Learn and move on.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  The question requires some contemplation, for me. How does murder fit in? Moving on and trying to do beneficial deeds for others...a possibility. I , for one, am so thankful that God has forgiven my sins. To carry the burden of accumulated sins hampers a person' ability to move on and do for others. Complex question!====JACK:  Murder was one of creation's first problems, following taking the advice of a snake.

 FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Not because the ruling went in favor of the Cowboys (personally I hope Green Bay wins this Sunday), but I guess I would vote to get it right if possible and without reviewing every play and turning it into a 4-5 hour game.  Learning from the mistakes is good too.  As another look back - upon further review the Cowboys linebacker grabbed the Lions player jersey before the pass was thrown, so the correct call should have been defensive holding, a five yard penalty and first down Lions.  Perhaps part of the learning experience is moving on after you've been wronged.  There was a great story recently - here's the link -  The best thing about this story is that Mr. Jackson met with the person who lied and imprisoned him - and forgave him.  Reminded me of Louis Zamperini and The Bird from Unbroken.  Loving your enemies seems to be one of the hardest things in life.====JACK:  It's often been said, but not by God, "I'll never forgive you."