Friday, February 27, 2015
“Starry-eyed dreaming isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” (Gabriele Oettimgen) Optimism is fine, but what if it doesn’t seem to work? G.O. has written a book, “Rethinking Positive Thinking.” In it she is saying that "wishing will not make it so.” There are obstacles when it comes to turning dreams into reality…home, work, life in general. She suggests that we set for ourselves a desired future and then work at setting a path toward achieving it. ;-) Jack
FROM HONEST JOHN: "amen" to her====JACK: People need to stop looking for shortcuts to success. "But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it." (Matthew 7:14)
FROM GOOD DEBT JON: Old bromide: "If wishes and buts were candy and nuts we'd all have a great Christmas."====JACK: So many are sucked in by the thought..."If I can only win the Mega-Lottery..." "If only...(choose your dream)". I like the picture of Rosie the riveter and what it represents.
FROM MY LAWYER: Isn't that the meaning of: "To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best"?====JACK: Some ancient monks adopted the saying...Ora et labora...work goes along with prayer. The Lord doesn't usually drop food into the bird's nest.
FROM TARMART REV: The pastor I now work under asks us to put together a dream design of what that project before us looks like . . . In his proposals and results over the 13 years together, I've often felt, “Starry-eyed dreaming isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” Perhaps he feels somewhat the same about me . . . not much of a dreamer, as hopefully one who has worked hard for this desired result and who is thoroughly enjoying the path it has brought me to.====JACK: All dreamers aren't dreaming the same dream or understanding a dream in the same way. Where is "Joseph" when we need him?
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I once read "You can be anything you want to be in America but it involves work, work, work.====JACK: My wife recalls a time in her teens when she and her sisters were complaining about being tired. Her mother responded, "Tired! What's that? Everybody's tired." That's parenting in the old style.
FROM BB IN ILLINOIS: Guess I’d have to read the book. Mom used to say ”if wishes were fishes we’d have them for dinner” but our Earl Nightengale’s, Og Mandinos etc. will confidently assert that the mind is so powerful that visualizing a positive outcome is a fundamental step toward seeing it in reality. I was doula in a labor/delivery last night and think there are some moms that coax the baby out by calling his or her name…just like calling a puppy in a positive happy tone rather than succumbing to frustration. Perhaps those with the positive attitude naturally work out the steps it takes to get from point A to attaining the goal?====JACK: First things first...How are the baby and mother doing? Was it a home delivery? Secondly, I seem to recall that your father was a fan of ZZ and the other positive writers/talkers. I chose today's quote, because I believe that words are not enough in many situations. As I've said before (quoting Edgar Guest), "I'd rather see a sermon than hear one, any day." Positive thinking needs to be followed by positive doing.
FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Work like everything depends upon you, pray like everything depends on God.====JACK: Ignatius Loyola supposedly said it this way: "Work as if everything depended on God, pray as if everything depended on you." Upon research, your's I probably more accurate.
FROM ST. PAUL IN MESA: what would Robert Schuller and Norman V. Peale say about this?? ====JACK: I'm sure that both of these proponents of "positivism" had enough real-world experiences to know that everyone has a bad day, now and then. It must have been a bad-day when Schuller realized that his Cathedral Ministry had fallen apart. None of us wants to see what we have worked to build fall into disrepair or even disappear.
FROM STARRY KNIGHT: I know that's a fact! I've worked very very hard to reach my dreams! ====JACK: Turning a dream into a reality turns into a sense of accomplishment...like the Little Train That Could...from I think I can to I know I can to I did it.
FROM IKE AT THE MIC: The great philosopher Yogi Berra once said: "The trouble with getting anything done is that there is always something you have to do before that." My "Ikeism": "Unless you have the appropriate talent & "fire in the belly" (passion) your path is doomed to frustration. To achieve a successful, joyful & balanced life you must learn how to become a pragmatic optimist.
I've always wanted to become a superstar basketball player but I'm only 5'7" & not a great athlete, so I became a happy pharmacist that likes to watch basketball & joined the Optimist Club.====JACK: In the musical, South Pacific, there's a song titled, Cockeyed Optimist. Here's one of the verses..."I could say life is just a bowl of jello And appear more intelligent and smart But I'm stuck like a dope with a thing called hope And I can't get it out of my heart Not this heart." Cockeyed optimist? It seems to you...the optimist part.
FROM SBP IN FLORIDA: Well, my initial reaction is anything but positive,,,so I’d better read her book. But I’ve spent some time today weighing the pros and cons of the issue and trying to stifle my responses. As far as Dr. Schuller is concerned , we/I am among many , many worldwide that have memories in our minds and tokens in our homes that speak to and reinforce his messages, No matter what we set our mind on as our future, the road is rough and has its twists and turns and without positive thinking we may or may not reach the “future” we aimed for,,,but one that is us!====JACK: On the face of it, the quote does seem to be negative, but upon a second look, it has a positive message. The truly optimistic person does more than recite optimistic words. He/she works at living out those words. I truly wonder how Dr. Schuller is doing these tough times in his life.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: THIS SOUNDS LIKE AN "ORIGINAL THINKER"...PROBABLY A GOOD BOOK, TELLING US TO GET OUR FEET ON THE GROUND, AND "DO" AS WELL AS "THINK POSITIVELY. I DO THINK OUR MINDS ARE A VERY POWERFUL FORCE! HELEN KELLER ONCE SAID "THE BULK OF THE WORLD'S KNOWLEDGE IS AN IMAGINARY CONSTRUCTION". SHE PROBABLY "SAW" THINGS THROUGH HER MIND MORE THAN MOST. I THINK THAT WE HAVE HARDLY BEGUN TO TAP THE ABILITIES OF THE HUMAN MIND, WHICH IS RATHER FASCINATING TO CONSIDER! MENTAL TELEPATHY IS BEING STUDIED AND SHOWS AMAZING ABILITIES....====JACK: It was the Sunday after a church family had buried their young son. They came to church and sat down. A little girl nudged her mother and whispered, "They really do believe, don't they?"
Thursday, February 26, 2015
“Among the things you can give and still keep are your word, a smile and a grateful heart.” (Zig Ziglar) This quote by Z.Z. is a proverb/riddle designed to get a message across in an entertaining way. Zigler was a master motivational speaker, famous for encouraging people to look at the bright side of life. He began as an ordinary salesman from Yazoo City, but soon discovered that it was honesty, enthusiasm and optimism that sold products. ;-) Jack
FROM EDUCATOR PAUL: I really enjoyed reading and listening to him..thanks!====JACK: I suppose you read his book, Success for Dummies.
FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: thanks. i need these words today. any suggestions for a song of the day?====JACK: There are many songs about SMILES, but I especially like this one.
There are smiles that make us happy,
There are smiles that make us blue,
There are smiles that steal away the teardrops,
As the sunbeams steal away the dew.
There are smiles that have a tender meaning,
That the eyes of love alone may see,
And the smiles that fill my life with sunshine
Are the smiles that you give to me.
====MARY: that's a good one.thanks!
FROM TARMART REV: Often found the same with our testimony of faith: It is our "honesty, enthusiasm and optimism" that sells another with that which has sold us.====JACK: Is giving testimonies still a part of the AG worship service?====REV: New day and age...most generally video taped previously, used often this way for water baptisms and for special emphasis in a Sunday sermon or theme...not very many "free mic episodes" of late.====JACK: What do you suppose is the reason for this? I can see that a "free mic" could present some problems.
FROM GOOD DEBT JON: I like this one; I met Zig in Columbus about 28 years ago. Let us hope we can all say and “live” some words that people will want to share years after our death. Zig left a legacy.====JACK: In its root meaning, the word, legacy, relates to "stuff." But as you describe it, relating to Zig, its something more valuable than the things we possess. For example, his spirit of optimism...and, relating to you, the songs you've composed and the meaning behind each of them. ====JON: Point well taken, but Legacy has to be more than stuff, people will strive only so far for stuff, memories and lives changed, that is the “stuff” of legacy, to me. I think the legacy of Carnegie (built Libraries) is much different from the legacy of Ziglar (who put books in those libraries). ====JACK: The same could be said about the church as a building. What goes on inside defines a "church." I've known of churches that have held services in bars and in funeral homes. It's still the church.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: I HAD NEVER HEARD OF ZIG ZIGLER UNTIL I READ SOME OF YOUR BLOGS. HE MUST HAVE BEEN QUITE AN INSPIRING PERSON! I JUST TURNED IN A NEWSPAPER TRIBUTE TO BILL FOR HIS 88TH B.DAY (HE'S BEEN GONE 13 YRS....) HIS PHOTO AND:. " THERE ARE SOME WHO BRING A LIGHT SO GREAT TO THE WORLD, THAT EVEN AFTER THEY HAVE GONE, THE LIGHT REMAINS." YOU TAUGHT US THAT RIGHT IS RIGHT EVEN IF EVERYONE IS AGAINST IT, AND WRONG IS WRONG, EVEN IF EVERYONE IS FOR IT. WE CONTINUE TO TRY TO WALK IN THE LIGHT YOU BROUGHT!! (Then our names, and his church"family") Hope to get Zig's book...I keep forgetting to look for it.:-(====JACK: I think that this quote by Zig could relate to Bill's life. "Outstanding people have one thing in common...an absolute sense of mission."
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.” (Camille Pissarro) Pissarro was an impressionist artist, able to see things with eyes different from the ordinary person. Monet and Renoir could do the same. Detroit has a Land Bank, staffed with people who are able to see possibilities in dilapidated houses and weeded lots. Neighborhood by neighborhood, the “impressionists” are hard at work. ;-) Jack
FROM MICHIZONA RAY: I hope they can pull it off. Detroit was such a great city so many years ago. It's a real tragedy to witness its decay. I think these "impressionists" along with the fresh eyes of youth, who know nothing of Detroit as it used to be, can generate a place of their own, and a new spirit. I hope so.====JACK: That's the point of Pissarro's quote. Somebody has to see possibilities and, then, do something about it. Too many are content to sit on the sidelines and be "naysayers." Blessed are those who say, "Yes, we can!"
FROM TARMART REV: I enjoy looking at many of their booths at the Eastern Market when visiting the Detroit area . . . "Home Grown!!" signs hanging on their post.====JACK: The Eastern Market is under the spell of the impressionists. Nothing like the ubiquitous Walmarts and Targets.
FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: the impressionists are my favorites.====JACK: "Art is in the eye of the beholder." My "eye" favorable to impressionism, too.
FROM ST. PAUL IN MESA: you are such a fan of Detroit, Jack. good for you! and yes, cities can surely be reborn after a disaster. maybe stronger and better than ever. time will tell.====JACK: Many people comment on what Detroit was like in the past. I like to envision what Detroit might be in the future. It's like it is with us. Wed can go through the photo album and see what we looked like in the past. We'll never be that way again. What's important ...What do we want to be in the future? Time will tell!
FROM TAMPA SHIRL: That is definitely happening in Tampa in dangerous and rundown places. It is amazing to see the differences from 50 years ago. Downtown 50 years ago along the Hillsborough River looked like a warzone because all of the warehouses had been knocked down. Today we have an art museum, a park, a performing arts center, etc.====JACK: Visionaries are not always accepted by a community. George Bernard Shaw was a visionary when he said,, "You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?”.
FROM JT IN MINNESOTA: I met with our Support Group of persons with memory loss and their caregivers today. One caregiver talked about small miracles every day. His spouse has severe Alzheimers and is able to do nothing. He continues to care for her at home and told about the daily miracles he experiences. Your WW spoke of that to me. ====JACK: Thanks for making the connection. Scrolling the "net", I came across this..."Hundreds of years ago a wandering scholar named Muretus lived. He was very educated but also very poor. He became very sick, and he was taken to the place where the destitute were kept. The people who cared for him did not know that he was a scholar and that he understood the scholar’s Latin. One day the doctors were discussing his case in Latin and they were saying that he was a poor creature of value to no one and that it was hopeless and unnecessary to expend care and money on attention to such a worthless human. Muretus looked up and answered in their own Latin, “Call no man worthless for whom Christ died.” Because of God’s grace like Muretus said, none of us are worthless. In fact, in God’s eyes we each have infinite value." (Catholic PalTalk)
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
“The ones who are hardest to love are usually the ones who need it the most.” (Peaceful Warrior) When my sister (a pastor’s wife) would meet up with someone who wasn’t particularly likeable, she would bake a batch of cookies and give it to that person the next time they met. It’s surprising how often the relationship changed into a more positive one. I’ve found that “angry” people usually have other issues in their life, so I try hard to give them some slack. ;-) Jack
FROM BS IN ENGLAND: Angela read a book once entitled How to love those that I don't even like. (Something like that ) Unfortunately I cannot put my hands on that book. It would be good to read!====JACK: You're up early today! Ooops! That's right. It's mid-morning in England. But, maybe that's when you get up. I tried Google, but couldn't find the book. It appears to be one that I'd love/like.====BS: No! You are the one who gets up early. I am usually up around 7 am, except when we have Cafe Church at 9.30 am once a month. Then I leave the house at 8.15 as I have a 45 minute drive to collect Enid, aged 102, and take her to church.====Tell me more about Café Church and Enid. Both sound like there's more to the story.
FROM JB AT LSTC: Thanks for this reminder, Jack. This reminds me of the old song (by Cole Porter?) “You’d Be So Easy to Love.”====JACK: One of his lesser known songs was, "Olga, Come Back to the Volga."
FROM RJP IN NAPLES: How come YOU never made ME a batch of cookies. I think it should have been a family tradition.====JACK: How about a batch of Biscottini di Vino Rossa?
FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: ♥====JACK: Ask Chester to sing the Mills Brothers song, "You Always Hurth the One You Love."
FROM TARMART REV: Good and challenging thought this morning . . . When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mark 2:17)====JACK: I like the song, "There Is a Balm In Gilead To Make the SIN-SICK whole."====REV: That one comes to my mind often as well.====JACK: Is it in the AG songbook? We have it in ours. How about the verse….
If you can’t preach like Peter,
If you can’t pray like Paul,
Just tell the love of Jesus,
And say He died for all.
FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA: This is so true and SO hard sometimes. ;o)====JACK: As an introduction to his famous chapter on LOVE (1 Corinthians 13), St. Paul writes: "I will show you a more perfect way to be followers of Jesus." (paraphrased)
FROM KF IN MICHIGAN: Your sister sounds like someone I would like (& her cookies)!====JACK: When she comes to Detroit the next time I'll introduce you to her. She might even have a batch of homemade cookies for you.
FROM TAMPA SHIRL: That happens in other circumstances, too, don't you think? When a friend or an acquaintance suddenly changes, it is very possible that something has happened to them that has nothing to do with you.====JACK: You're right! Usually there are reasons behind the way people act. Our is not to pre-judge, without trying to find out "the rest of the story."
FROM CH ON CAPE COD: I’ll have to try that sometime – what your sister did. Sounds great. And if I don’t implement it sooner, it could make a great (private) Lenten discipline!====JACK: I'll have to ask her....Did she give the cookies to make them feel guilty, or did she do it in order to mend a frayed relationship--or both?====CH: Oh, I don’t question her motives at all. I think it would be a great Lenten discipline to take on precisely because I think it’s all about mending frayed relationships, or keeping relationships from fraying. I think it’s admirable.====JACK: She really does have a good heart, so I should give her the benefit of the doubt. But, I'm still going to ask her.
Monday, February 23, 2015
“Life is supposed to feel good. What happens when it doesn’t?” (C.S. Lewis) Here are a few suggestions (from a list of 29) on how to break out of a funk: Take a cold shower…Play music—loud…Tidy up the house…Talk to a friend…Fake a laugh…Do something, anything! You might even sing along with James Brown, “I Feel So Good.” Is there some song that lifts your spirits? I like Thomas Dorsey’s, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.” ;-) Jack
FROM EDUCATOR PAUL: Good one, Jack! Psychologist in the past argued about the relationship between attitudes and behavior. Well, it is now well accepted that behavior forms attitudes. In other words, if one acts in a very specific manner long enough and other specific conditions, an attitude associated with that behavior is extremely probable. It does not work the other way. So, when the British said , "keep a stiff upper lip" they were crystallizing the attitudes of a nation!====JACK: Counsellors will note a trembling upper lip to be a sign of fear or weakness, hence, a stiff upper lip is seen as an indicator of resolve. Isn't it interesting how the body gives off its messages?
FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: Like.====JACK: I'm glad that you "feel good" about this one.
FROM HONEST JOHN: Or, if you are facing a problem, deal with it. In any case, don't forget your morning devotions...they make a difference.====JACK: What do "morning devotions" mean to you? George Beverly Shea used to sing this song..."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."
====JACK: Martin Luther used this prayer as part of his morning devotions. Morning Prayer..."I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger. Keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please you. Into your hands I commend my body and soul and all things. Let your holy angel be with me, that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen." You can order it, printed on a coffee mug ($13.99 + s&h) from CafePress.com. That mug would be great to use while doing your own morning devotions.
FROM TARMART REV: "You can have A SONG IN YOUR HEART IN THE NIGHT, After every trial, after every mile. Anyone can sing when the sun’s shining bright. But you can have a song in your heart at night."====JACK: I don't think that song is in the Lutheran Hymnal, but I like the advice that it gives.====REV: Not in our hymnal either...learned it as a small boy attending church in Kansas...probably during a VBS program one year
FROM RI IN BOSTON: If I'm in the blahs, to get back to a happy state of mind I like to take a bit of time to consider what I've accomplished in life, and most importantly concentrating on the people who supported, encouraged, and helped pave the way for me, or gave me opportunities to succeed. There are a lot of people of good will out there, and I've been fortunate over the years to have known some of them, and benefited greatly from it. That buoys me up again.====JACK: A businessman friend of mine had a folder in his desk drawer where he kept complimentary notes and letters that he had received from customers. During the down days, he'd pull out the folder and read some of what was inside.
FROM CHESTER THE GOOD: I like Sinatra's High Hopes.====JACK: Sing it Chester!
Next time you're found With your chin on the ground There's a lot to be learned So look around
Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant
Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant
Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant
FROM BLAZING OAKS: "Sing Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Gets you through the darkest day; When cares pursue ya, Hallelujah, it will shoo the blues away...Satan lies awaitin' and creatin' skies of gray, so Hallelujah! Hallelujah. etc". :-) An upbeat reminder to think (and sing) positively! I read an arresting comment in March Guidepost, "What if you woke up today with only the things that you had thanked God for yesterday? (Brad Johnson) Good to ponder, too! C.S. Lewis was a deep thinker. So thankful for his books and devotional writings.====JACK: I've heard of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus being sung as a funeral recessional hymn.====OAKS: AND IN FACT IT WAS PLAYED AND SUNG AT THE RECESSIONAL OF BILL'S FUNERAL. VERY UPBEAT AS THE FAMILY FILED OUT AMID A PACKED CONGREGATION!!====JACK: Appropriate1
FROM ST. PAUL IN MESA: I like the line: don't vorry, be hapski! (mutilated Russian)! :):)====JACK: I remember preaching a sermon, "Don't Worry, Be Happy," during the time when Bobby McFerrin's song was popular.
FROM KF IN MICHIGAN: "Precious Lord" is in my top 5 favorite hymns; ). It is very soothing. ====JACK: Sometime you might want to read the background of that hymn. It will bring the words to life. And, NO, it was not written by Tommy Dorsey, the band leader
Friday, February 20, 2015
“Next play!” (Mike Krzyzewski) A recent article in the Detroit Free Press told of how Duke bb coach “K” has a ritual of saying to his team after every play (good or bad), “Next play!” No matter what’s happened, focus on the task at hand. We all have “downers.” We need to be able to “let go,” and concentrate on the now, not the past. Success occurs (or is lost) in the brief moment of opportunity. Whatever happens, be ready to yell, “Next play! Next play!” ;-) Jack
FROM HONEST JOHN: Jimmy Howard made some key stops last night in the shoot out because he "remembered" the tendencies of the shooters. Past and future can both be aids to acting in the present.====JACK: One of the keys of the game (even the game of life) is the ability to anticipate and, then, to prepare. You might not win 100% of the time, but you'll be better than average. I'm sure you found that to be true in tennis and in debate.
FROM DMF IN THE VALLEY: One of the guys I used to play baseball with (who played some minor league ball) would say “You’re only as good as your next at bat”.====JACK: ...but what have you done for me lately? That's the trouble with success.
FROM RI IN BOSTON: We should never "let up" day after day. All of us do have "downers", and we have good moments too, but we shouldn't dwell on either of those situations. All of our activities are in play and a new hardship or opportunity may be about to happen. I know that from experience. Be vigilant, be ready.====JACK: A rubber band, always stretched to its limits, either breaks or loses its elasticity. People can be like that, too. Even Jesus, at times, went away from the crowds to rest and to pray.
FROM TARMART REV: Onward!! Jack!! If God wills, back with you on Monday!! If not, Next play!!====JACK: "Fret not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." (Proverbs 27:1)
FROM CPA BOB: As a kid, I remember often hearing “don’t cry over spilled milk”. For most of us, there are serious & not so serious things for which we’d like a “do over”, but, of course, we should know what we can’t change. Our creed says it succinctly, “forget the mistakes of the past…” ====JACK: ...and PRESS ON to the greater achievements of the future. Next Play!
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: There's always tomorrow!====JACK: As Annie sings: Just thinkin' about tomorrow Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow 'til there's none When I'm stuck with a day that's grey and lonely I just stick up my chin and grin and say, oh The sun will come out tomorrow So you gotta hang on 'til tomorrow, come what may!
Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow You're always a day away!
FROM BB IN ILLINOIS: Great one – for Lent too – we may have already erred on our Lenten discipline but, “next play”!====JACK: That's what grace is about. "You are forgiven...Next play!"
FROM BLAZING OAKS: I'VE SEEN HIM THROUGH MANY GAMES, BUT NEVER KNEW THAT...LOVE IT! THAT'S A PERFECT PERCEPTION!! WHAT A GOOD THOUGHT: I'LL KEEP THAT IN MIND FOR MY UPS AND DOWNS. YEP, LIFE GOES ON, NO MATTER WHAT!! WE HAD AN EXCELLENT PORTRAYER OF PRESIDENT LINCOLN AT OUR SENIOR LUNCHEON AT CHURCH YESTERDAY, (FRITZ KLEIN) AND AFTER HEARING AGAIN ALL THAT HE WENT THROUGH WHEN OUR COUNTRY WAS AT ITS LOWEST EBB, AND HEARING THAT LINCOLN ALWAYS SAID, "OUR COUNTRY IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT...I'M ASSURED.WE'RE GOING TO BE FINE, IN THE END..." GIVES ME HOPE FOR OUR COUNTRY TODAY. NEXT PLAY!====JACK: "This, too, shall pass," comes to mind, but I don't know who first said those words. The quote is included in a book, "A Collection of Wise Saws." Some trace it to ancient Persian poets; others to Solomon. Anon probably fits best. Coach K might have used it after a loss.
FROM SBP IN FLORIDA: Since one our daughters lives in Chapel Hill, I watched the game. It was a good game. And I can see/feel how the admonition "Next play!" Move on! Forge ahead! Positive thinking instead of rehashing the past.====JACK: Rehash is an interesting word, derived from hash, derived from a French word, meaning to chop up finely. Ergo, rehash is to chop up some more. We used to have baked hash in our home, made from leftover pot roast, potatoes and onions. I liked to turn the crank on the grinder that chopped up the items.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
“A caring heart, a listening ear…A thoughtful word, a gentle tear…Will help to relieve the heavy load…Of weary souls along life’s road.” (Dennis DeHann) Some people have a way with words…giving a message in an entertaining way. Do you have a favorite writer? For me: Carl Sandburg, Sydney J. Harris, Edgar Guest, the writers of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes...there are so many. Let’s be careful so that we don’t miss the message as we read. ;-) Jack
FROM HONEST JOHN: "are we weak and heavy laden cumbered with a load of care?" ====JACK: I like the story behind that hymn, "What a Friend," ...a son writing caring words to his ailing mother in the form of a poem.
FROM TARMART REV: "Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter and Paul" . . . I know, sounding like "a cocky Pentecostal preacher!" 0;-/====JACK: As they say on the street, "Its ok to be cocky if you're the shiznit."
FROM JE IN MICHIGAN: I really like this quote today. It's apropos for the second day of Lent, that happens to be a frigid day that is deceiving with its bright sunshine. The pace of life is sometimes daunting; I catch myself doing tasks while I talk on the phone. Sometimes I'm even proud that I watered the plants, emptied the dishwasher and completed some emails while having a phone conversation (you can't do that on FaceTime)-- that's not "a listening ear." Real listening means we stop what we're doing and think about what the other person is saying -- NOT think about how we are going to respond. To answer your question: A few of my favorite authors/books of late include: Melanie Benjamin, The Aviator's Wife, William Landay, Defending Jacob; Sue Monk Kidd, The Invention of Wings and I'm listening for the third or fourth time to Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.====JACK: With regard to "doing" things while talking on the phone (or even face to face), I came across the quote today...""You can't fake listening. It shows." (Raquel Welch)
FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: you are a good writer. like.====JACK: Thanks for the writer comment. It reminds that there's a letter that I have put off writing. It's not terribly important, but I have procrastinated. Right now I'm looking at the words posted beside my computer...JUST DO IT! ====LIZ: if you were given a book of your life, would you read ahead?====JACK: The temptation might be to take a quick peek, but I usually don't do that when reading an ordinary book. But, since the future is unknown...Que sera, sera.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: I'm a fan of Philip Yancy, and Anne LaMott, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David McCullough (sp?) and Walter Isaacson's biographies, Max Lucado, Francine Rivers, David Baldacci, Dianne Mott Davidson's clever food mysteries, and about 100 others. We used to love reading Sydney Harris's columns, and have all of his books, too! There are just so MANY good books in many different genres!!! Developing the art of listening has been a lifelong goal!! Good WW, Jack!!====JACK: I forgot to mention three "clever" authors that I like...O. Henry, Ogden Nash and Ashleigh Brilliant.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
“In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.” (Longfellow) Christopher News Notes tells of Susan Vogt and how she challenged herself to get rid of one item each day during Lent. Not only did she want to live more simply, but she also wanted to donate things to those in need. It was so successful that she decided to keep on doing it…one day…one item. What a great idea…giving up “things” for Lent. Hummm! ;-) Jack
FROM FACEBOOK LIZ; i like the modern idea of adding something positive during lent... ====JACK: Right now, I'm beginning to look around to find the first thing I can give up. How about you?====LIZ: i am working on what would be the most positive addition to add for lent, in the hopes it will become a habit...====JACK: I have a Lent Box near my computer. The first thing in it is a nice, blue windbreaker.LIZ: to give away?====JACK: To give away is to give up. It's one of the 40 things I plan to give up for Lent.====LIZ: i have decided to decide daily what my sacrifice/good deed will be. today is my day off, & i am going mall walking w/a talkative ex-coworker/friend because she needs someone to listen====JACK: What a great way to spend the first day of Lent...to "give up" time to be with someone who needs some of your time.====LIZ: gisela gave up her hair to "locks of love," where they make free wigs for kids w/cancer.====JACK: That's an excellent example of giving up something for Lent. Someone raised her right!
FROM TARMART REV: I wonder how long it would last if I would challenge myself to give up one item every day? As much as we've accumulated and as much that is stored in boxes not looked at for years, I'm sure I would not live long enough that it could be said, "That's it!!"). 0;-/====JACK: This is the first day of Lent. Enough wondering... As Nike advises..."Just Do It!"
FROM MICHIZONA RAY: The more that one can "give up", the less that one can be attached to. "Seek your treasure and you will find your heart there also." Do we treasure the things of the world...the "things" that we treasure; that we cannot "give up"? Or, do we treasure that which we "seek first" (the kingdom of God and his righteousness) so that the "things" find their place in the order of everything (and all these things shall be added unto you)? Maybe we can focus giving up what we treasure that is out of its place. Is this the nature of the Lenten theme?====JACK: Lent is what you want to make it. There's nothing in the Bible about it. The 40-day-period was meant to relate to the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness...it was meant to be a period of preparation for those who were to be baptized on the day before Easter...it was meant to cause us to have a daily reminder of the presence of God. I like your interpretation.
FROM JB AT LSTC: Thanks for this suggestion for a Lenten discipline. I hadn’t chosen one yet (and it’s Ash Wednesday!) This will be a good one for me.====JACK: What captured my attention about this idea is gives an added dimension to Lent. The focus is so often on self and introspection. These 40 days can also be a time for extrospection, looking outside of oneself to the plight of others.
FROM DP IN THE TWIN CITIES: Super idea!====JACK: I found the idea in an article about Clearing the Clutter in our homes. also in the article was this quote: "The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." (Hans Hofmann)
FROM BLAZING OAKS: Jan and Hal had a rule that when they got something new, an old item was taken out of the closet and given away....I SHOULD have followed their example....You are right, starting today! But it takes some time, culling what can be discarded. Hard to imagine one a day for the rest of my life!!====JACK: "One day at a time, Sweet Jesus!" Any worthwhile endeavor starts out with the first step. Today is the first step of the rest of your life's journey.
FROM SBP IN FLORIDA: I'm doin it!!! Certainly it will be adhered to...as opposed to some other things that have failed. And it will give me the opportunity to select judiciously those items that WILL be of use to someone else. The thought gives me a good feeling which, I know, will be experienced each day/selection. Thanks.====JACK: I put something in my Lent Box and then I thought...I can use this. OOPS! I reminded myself of the point of the box.
FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH: http://nourishingminimalism.com/2014/12/2015-in-2015-decluttering-challenge.html (get rid of 2015 things in 2015) I'm going for 2015. I'm over 500 already. I'm going to know the guys at our local Salvation Army store by name come Christmas!
For Lent I'm going to try taking on a good habit. This year (again), daily Bible reading.====JACK: Whoa! My challenge is to "give up" 40 in 40. 2015 is out of my league. Do recall the Bible edition that was divided into 365 parts, so it could be read in one year? Copies were made available for the church members. In fact, I still have a copy on my bookshelf. Oh, there it is! It's the Living Bible translation, so it's easy to read.====LBP: How about you? Any habits to break/take for lent? ====JACK: That's a good idea. Maybe by Eastertime I'll have my desk cleared off...if I take up the habit of neatness.
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: What a wonderful idea! We are definitely going to follow her example! Thanks for these good words.====JACK: How about that?...New Year's resolutions get a second chance with the beginning of Lent.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Life is like Mardi Gras. Show people your brain, and, if they like it, you’ll have more beads than you know what to do with.” (Ellen DeGeneres) Freewilly asks: “What’s the most important part of the body?” The answer is, “None! The body works as a team.” That’s the way it is (or should be) with any organization. When there’s teamwork, things get done. One of life’s frustrations is to know the value of people working together…and not seeing it. ;-) Jack
FROM MICHIZONA RAY: The "team" gains a very powerful momentum, quite often unstoppable, IF it is also of one focus. By the way, at Mardi Gras the brain isn't the focus. If it were, there wouldn't be a Mardi Gras.====JACK: You have an eagle eye. I did leave out part of Ellen's quote, but you got the point.
FROM TARMART REV: "Your head bone connected from your neck bone,
Your neck bone connected from your shoulder bone,
Your shoulder bone connected from your back bone,
Your back bone connected from your hip bone,
Your hip bone connected from your thigh bone,
Your thigh bone connected from your knee bone,
Your knee bone connected from your leg bone,
Your leg bone connected from your ankle bone,
Your ankle bone connected from your foot bone,
Your foot bone connected from your toe bone,
I hear the word of the Lord!
I hear the word of the Lord!"
====JACK: I wonder if anyone called Ezeliel by his nickname, Zeke? The Chicago White Sox once had a player named, Zeke Bonura. Do you know any Zekes?
FROM DR J IN OHIO: good one!====JACK: Speaking of good ones, have you had a paczki today?
FROM BLAZING OAKS: Your BRAIN??! Since when? HA! Mardi Gras is pretty wild and raucous. Too much for me! "Tact is the art of making your point without making an enemy." (Isaac Newton) It takes sensitivity to work well in teams, and some do not seem to have it! Good teamwork with focus and dedication is definitely the bet way to accomplish challenging goals. Two heads (3, 4, 5,?) are better than one...====JACK: I chose not to quote Ellen completely, because I didn't want my message (teamwork is important) to be sidetracked by another thought. We had pancakes for supper tonight, as we usually do on Fat Tuesday.
Monday, February 16, 2015
“We learn something from everyone who passes through our lives…Some lessons are painful, some painless…but all are priceless.” (Unknown) The first MasterCard “Priceless” commercial showed a dad and son at the ballpark. Tickets $46; food $27; autographed baseball $50; conversation with 11-yr-old son “Priceless.” Enough with the coulda, shoulda, woulda. Let’s focus in on the here and now “priceless” opportunities…before they pass us by. ;-) Jack
FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH: My daughter is fixated on Ebola. We have finally convinced her it is not going to be the cause of extinction. However, She had formed a "Good Deeds" club at school with 5 other girls and their objective now is to "stop Ebola." We had talked about having a fundraiser to help the doctors and i thought she was on board with that. Yesterday we got a book on Ebola from the library to help her get facts. She read a few chapters then called a friend to report what she learned. Then she told me: "mom, we are all going to meet at Hannah's house to do some experiments to make a medicine to cure Ebola. We are going to have to make a lot." sigh, my 7 yr old is planning a play date to cure Ebola. Priceless.====JACK: Some people are fearful of where this world is headed. Not me..as long as there are 7-yr-olds like your (priceless) daughter and her friends. ====LBP: This morning my husband reported a follow-up conversation in the car on the way to school. Verity said: "Last night mommy told me not to read about Ebola before going to sleep, so I read a chapter in the Kitten Fairy book instead." Stop, read that again. Yes, Ebola and Kitten Fairies were in the same sentence.====JACK: Another PRICELESS memory.
FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: Like.====JACK: Every day presents "priceless" opportunities. We just have to recognize them and act.
FROM TARMART REV: ...conversation with a pastoral friend, “Priceless”-- well, maybe the cost of a cup of coffee at Panera's!!====JACK: Pastoral service given by the Willmar Chaplain...Priceless!
FROM BLAZING OAKS: YES, ,THOSE ARE GOOD ADS, MAKING US THINK OF HOW SPECIAL LIFE'S MOMENTS ARE! I'M SURE WHEN WE PASS ON TO THE NEXT PHASE OF LIFE, WE WILL SEE HOW LITTLE WE REALIZED THE PRICELESS MOMENTS OF THE SHEER MIRACLE OF DAYTO-DAY LIVING IN THIS LIFE!! WE CAN'T SAVOR IT ENOUGH! THE FEEL OF WARM SUN ON OUR SKIN, THE CUDDLE OF A NICE HUG, OR WARM EMBRACE, THE FEEL OF THE SAND BEACH OR SOFT GRASS BENEATH BARE FEET...ETC. ETC. LIFE IN THESE BODIES IS PRICELESS!====JACK: For the fun of it, I Googled, "Feelings." Two lists...pleasant and unpleasant. Over 100 each. I was more inclined to concentrate on the pleasant list. There's a book...YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK.
FROM TAMPA SHIRL: And we are still learning. We definitely learn to count our blessings every day.
Friday, February 13, 2015
“I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious.” (Michael Scott in Fun Run) Today is Friday, the 13th. Does that bother you? Do you ever knock on wood, cross your fingers, wish upon a star, not step on a crack, or when someone sneezes, say….? I must admit that, at times, I’m “stitious,” just not super about it. There’s a verse from the Bible that chases away my fear. “Cast all your cares on the Lord, for he cares about you.” Friday, the 13th? So what? ;-) Jack
I think of the Seinfeld routine where he said "no one wants strength any more...it has to be super strength."====JACK: All of this "super" stuff...super-bowl, super-glue, super-man, to me, is super-sillious.
FROM FLYING "K": I'm with you Jack! Enjoy your day.====JACK: I'm not walking under any ladders.
FROM TARMART REV: Mom and Dad were married on a Friday the 13th . . . fared well with them, they had me two years later on a 27th of March, just saying!!====JACK: They should have given you the Biblical name of Asher, meaning, fortunate, blessed, happy.
FROM RI IN BOSTON: Bad things happen all the time, things that we can't control. A man I worked with years ago put it this way..."Well, it looks like Friday the 13th came on Tuesday this month." I do knock on wood, but it's when I clumsily bump into a piece of furniture. I favor the Bible as the ultimate source of my protection.====JACK: One of my favorite cartoon characters from the past is Joe Btffsplk. It always seemed to be Friday the 13th for him.
FROM IKE AT THE MIC: It's interesting that you ended your message with "so what", because that's the title of a book that I was considering writing & welcome your participation. The plot is about a tailor who is lost in a nudist camp & is titled "SOW WHAT?"====JACK: I'd suggest changing the title to, SEW WHAT? Save SOW WHAT? for a farmer's plot.
FROM GP IN MICHIGAN: Today, Friday the 13th is my birthday. My first ever date with A was in October on Friday the 13th. We had Chinese and went to see Jesus Christ, Super Star. To this day, we still celebrate October the 13th as an anniversary. Our wedding was on July 2nd and so we celebrate two anniversaries every year. We continue to have the number 13 linked to many good things.====JACK: Many people played their "lucky" number hoping to win the Powerball $1/2 billion jackpot. The buyers had a better chance at being crushed by an asteroid than in winning the pot.
FROM RS IN TEXAS: The good thing about Friday the 13th in Feb. is that it's a reminder to do something special for your loved one the next day.====JACK: The next Friday, the 13th that occurs before Valentines Day is in 2020. Be sure to make a note of it!
Thursday, February 12, 2015
“I do not like that man. I must get to know him better.” (A. Lincoln) “Homespun” is a word that describes many of the Lincoln quotes…just common sense advice. This world would be a better place if we could just get to know one another better…in religion, politics, racially, the rich and poor. Another of his quotes speaks to this: “Am I not destroying my enemies when I make them my friends?” Happy birthday, Abe! Thanks for helping us understand. ;-) Jack
FROM EDUCATOR PAUL: Sometimes....knowing someone better solidifies staying away from them.====JACK: Prejudice is a word that comes from pre-judgment which comes from forming an opinion without enough knowledge.====PAUL: Yup..I think you know what I was trying to say… ====JACK: Yup..I think you know what I was trying to say…
FROM SBP IN FLORIDA: I like the Lincoln quote. It has come to mind more than once over the years . Thanks.====JACK: Will Rogers said, "I never met a man I didn't like." Did he really mean that, or was he just kidding around?====SBP: Well,Will Rogers , as I recall, was pretty easy going.
Well, Will was easy going, as I recall. and philosophical, I assume that his demeanor was such that he made new acquaintances feel comfortable and, therefore, they were at ease in his presence. My experience is that if a person is warm and pleasant it puts me at ease with them. . Is it “the power of positive” thinking?====JACK: Personally, I'd rather be around positive people than negative ones.
FROM DR J IN OHIO: I like this!====JACK: Sometimes teachers really have to work at "liking" certain students.
FROM C IN MICHIGAN: I really like this one!====JACK: I'm sure that Lincoln had to work at this one in order make it happen. I've found that there are usually "hidden reasons" that cause people to act as they do.====C: I have typed this one up and hung it in my office…. I need constant reminders!====JACK: Another reminder...Control the things you can control.
FROM TARMART REV: “Am I not destroying my enemies when I make them my friends?” (Abraham Lincoln) -- That ones a keeper in my treasure chest of truths, Jack!!====JACK: I think we'd have a hard time running out of good Lincoln quotes in our lifetime.
FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: you've got to love 'em til they love you back. not always easy, but usually effective.====JACK: Jesus says that there's a time when you can move on..."If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet."
FROM PEACEFUL WARRIOR: The ones who are hardest to love are usually the ones who need it the most.
FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: When I was in conflict with a person, if I prayed for him my disagreement usually disappeared.====JACK: Congratulations on your way of meeting conflict. I've always liked the Lord's Prayer petition..."Thy will be done on earth..." Sometimes the change needs to happen for "both" in the midst of conflict.
FROM CHESTER THE GOOD: Some of the people like all of the people some of the time, all of the people like some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people like all of the people all of the time. Only Will Rogers. (Abe Lincoln...Adapted)====JACK: I'll bet there were some that Lincoln still didn't like, even when he got to know them better.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: What a down-to-earth homespun philosopher Abraham was (He didn't like the shortened "ABE"!) Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends..." pertinent to his life, I'm sure! Dwight Eisenhower says, "Never waste a minute thinking about people you don't like."! I'm sure neither he nor Mamie did! When you know people's stories, you at least are more tolerant of why they are the way they are, even if you choose not to be their bosom buddies! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO A. LINCOLN, A REMARKABLE PERSON AND PRESIDENT!! His life was never easy!====JACK: The words said negatively about us are often like cockleburrs (how long has it been since you've said that word?)
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Lincoln was so simple yet so very wise! He had a great sense of fairness and kindness. He wasn't perfect but he was a great man.====JACK: ...and he had a sense of humor, too.====JUDY: Yes. He also loved God but didn't like church service.====JACK: Today, he'd be classified as SBNR, Spiritual But Not Religious.
FROM SHARIN' SHARON: Actually, I also like Lincoln's two quotes in the WW words today and believe we have to strive constantly to be reconciled to others who are different from ourselves; however, I do believe also that it's not wise to always try to do that alone but need to be bolstered up by God and the faith community. Abuse and abusive situations are very real and difficult to overcome and people who have power can really enjoy exerting it over someone else and be afraid of relinquishing that power. Still goodness and love are more powerful than fear and trying to control others. Wish Lincoln's WW were easier--I personally struggle with WW like them.====JACK: There are times, too, when the struggle can make us stronger. That's what exercise is all about.
ST. PAUL IN MESA: good quotes indeed!====JACK: Lincoln was quotable, because he "knew" his audience. More preachers should be like that.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
“Don’t cry over spilt milk.” (Sophocles) 2500 years ago Sophocles was saying, “You gotta move on.” In today’s world, Joel Osteen preaches, “I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.” The past is past. A poem describes a child, sad because he’d not done well on a lesson. But the teacher gave him a second chance. “Do better now, my child.” God is like that. Did you know that today is “Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day?” ;-) Jack
FROM HONEST JOHN: Spilt milk implies to me "a little thing." Sometimes, however, we should repent of real sin that involves negative action against God and humanity....a second chance there should come only after sincere repentance. That would lead to change and a different way to approach a similar issue.====JACK: By referring to "real" sin, are you not quantifying sin? I don't suppose Sophocles was speaking about spilt milk in the "sin" sense. Using the baseball analogy, he probably was talking about major and minor errors.====JOHN: I think, biblically, that all sin is against God; therefore spilt milk is not sin. I am not sure Joel Osteen's theology lets us deal with sin as such. It is better suited to spilt milk.====JACK: I'll go along with spilt milk as "bad things that happen." I don't think that Osteen was speaking theologically with his comments. He seemed to be saying, "When bad things happen, there comes a time when we have to move on...an echo of Sophocles." I would agree with that.
FROM PEPPERMIT MARY: thanks for the info. i had a different type of day planned. this will help me in the day's journey.====JACK: I suppose there's spilled milk at the pre-school every so often. Does anyone cry, because of it?====MARY: not usually. after all, it's just spilt milk. one of our favorite books is, "it looked like spilt milk". it's a story about cloud formations.
FROM TAMPA SHIRL: No, I didn't know that. Who says that it is. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.====JACK: Anyone who wants to, can name a day. There's a form available if you've got a day in mind. National Ride Your 3-wheeled Cycle Day?
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: I love these old sayings: they are right on the mark. Forgiving my foolish actions has been one of the very hardest things for me to accomplish. Awhile back, I finally gave myself "permission" to let go of them. That's why I am grateful for today's Winning Words! Thank you.
FROM MOLINER JT: One of my favorite Days.!====JACK: What was your favorite dairy? Ours was Baker's.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
“Choice, Chance, Change. You must make the choice, to take the chance, if you want anything to change.” (Unknown) Alliteration is a literary device that captures our attention, that makes reading fun. Have you read, “Some Smug Slug?” Or shopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond? Read again today’s quote. It makes sense. We have to choose to takes chances if anything’s going to change in our life. Are changes needed? It begins with choice. ;-) Jack
FROM TARMART REV: How about, "Choice, Chance and Change develops Champions!" ?!?! ====JACK: That sounds like a winner!
FROM MICHIZONA RAY: None of us can avoid "choice"; it is a consequence of Freedom. It is a better function to stay aware of what we actually do choose. Similarly, "time", or temporality applies to all things in the realm of the world. Hence, change, like choice, is inevitable. Even that in which I maintain a level of some consistency, I experience much refinement due to change and choice. Isn't our sojourn in Life all about these functions of choice and change?====JACK: Familiar sayings make the point..."Not to decide is to decide!"..."Time and tide wait for no one!"... "My times are in Thy hand; My God, I wish them there; My life, my friends, my soul, I leave Entirely to Thy care."
FROM PC IN MICHIGAN: Once again you have come through for me Jack. Or shall I say I recognize God speaking through you. I had a 2nd interview today for a part-time job and was very nervous; I'm "older" after all and interviews don't come by easily. But I was hired and begin tomorrow...a true blessing. And I just kept reading these words today over and over.====JACK: Sometimes people expect God's voice to come booming from the sky. But God surprises, often speaking in unexpected ways. That's the way it was with the coming of Jesus, too.
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Change is hard for me but sometimes it's a necessity. I love to change things that I want to change but not so good at things I don't want to. I'm grateful for the freedom to have the choice.====JACK: Everett Dirksen (from Illinois) was criticized by his fellow GOP senators for changing his vote on a certain issue. He responded, "The only people who don't change their mind are either in the cemetery of in an insane asylum." Certain views, opinions of people, life issues...they're all subject to change, depending on circumstances and information. You're right! Change is often difficult. As the song goes...."A mule is an animal with long funny ears Kicks up at anything he hears His back is brawny but his brain is weak He's just plain stupid with a stubborn streak And by the way, if you hate to go to school You may grow up to be a mule." Did you ever sing that song...Swinging on a Star?====JUDY: Jiminey cricket was my all time favorite Disney character! I loved that song and also "when you wish upon a star." I learned how to spell Encyclopedia before I could write my name! I can sing the whole song and did when I read your reply. Thanks for the memories. Ps. My grandma used to say it was okay to change your mind because it kept it clean!===JACK: Your grandma was a wise woman.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: ON YOUR BLOG YOU QUOTED A VERSE FROM SWINGING ON A STAR AND THAT SURE BROT BACK MEMORIES OF SISTER JAN AND HER FOUR GIRLS WHO DID THAT MANY TIMES FOR MOTHER DAUGHTER BANQUETS, ETC. AND EACH GIRL TOOK A VERSE (ANIMAL). TO THIS DAY THEY CAN SING IT WORD FOR WORD WHEN THEY'RE ALL TOGETHER. LOVE THAT SONG! I THINK I READ THAT THERE HAD BEEN MORE INVENTIONS AND CHANGES IN THE PAST 100 YEARS, THAN IN ALL THE YEARS COMBINED PREVIOUSLY. IF YOU CAN'T STAND CHANGE, THIS ERA IS NOT FOR YOU! AMAZING HOW WE'VE PROGRESSED IN MOST WAYS IN OUR LIFE TIMES!!====JACK: It might be interesting to forward your response to your nieces. I'm sure it might bring back a pleasant memory to them. God had a great idea when he invented memory.
Monday, February 09, 2015
“It’s good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end.” (Ursala Le Guin) I recall these words spoken to some high school graduates …“O, the places you’ll go and the people you’ll meet. You have brains in your head and shoes on your feet.” Looking back (as most of us can do), we see the importance of the journey, the experiences, the people, the places. It’s good to have a goal…but, O, the journey! Think back… ;-) Jack
FROM HONEST JOHN: Again, how about both/and? Both the journey and the destination are important. No need to downgrade either one.====JACK: All in all, I thought that it was a pretty positive message, encouraging the graduates to look forward to meeting some interesting people and having some exciting experiences...and connecting it up to Dr. Seuss.
FROM IKE AT THE MIC: On that theme is my "IKEISM": The challenge in getting anything done is that there is always something you have to do before that. The "something" you choose & the "timing" determines your success.====JACK: Success, at times, is in not doing something...as with a recovering substance abuser.
FROM EEC: (and shoes on your feet) Journeys are interesting. I bought a plaque at the Ann Arbor Art Fair (concerning destination type journeys) that says THE BEST JOURNEY ALWAYS TAKES US HOME (made by a Wisconsin artist!)====JACK: I copied what I saw…but I agree…your correction makes more sense. I’ll change it.
FROM TARMART REV: An exceptional "Winning Words" this morning, Jack!! Thank you!! ====JACK: Oh, the places you've been, since starting out in Kansas and winding up in Minnesota. It's been a trip (the memory kind).
FROM DM IN MICHIGAN: Amen... My home Congregation celebrated 35 years this past Sunday... Seems like overnight! It was a Church Plant, and I was there almost at the start. For years having rushed toward goals achieved, I will now try to savor the journey more... Thanks for the reminder!====JACK: Congregations have lives, just as people do. A time to be born and a time... My first pastoral call was to serve three congregations. What a great experience. Each had a meaningful ministry, but they are now only memories. To come to the place where it's said, "Well done, good and faithful servant," is a worthy goal.
FROM MICHIZONA RAY: As Kierkegaard would point out, we gain insight(s) through reflection. I think this is especially true with regard to today's quote. The value of the journey is often appreciated only after one reaches, or fails to reach, the destination. Absent reflection, one might merely select a new destination...and simply wander through the desert from goal to goal.====JACK: One of the good things about aging is that you have more and more experiences to reflect on. You also have mental pictures of more and more people who have come into your life.
FROM ST. PAUL IN MESA: did you mean "shoes on your feet?" it rhymes better. :):)====JACK: I copied what a saw, but congratulations for having a proof-reader's eye.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: We've lived long enough that we've had several journeys, and several "ends". And most are pleasant and satisfying to look back on! Probably more than we expected at the beginning of our first adult journey....Love Dr. Seuss, and he is usually 'spot on" in his hilarious teaching stories, emphasizing some moral or other, or truth to ponder. Great to have so many experiences, people and places to look back and reflect on.====JACK: As I reflect...my life has been like a book, with various chapters...each different, but all of them connected. As a Seuss takeoff...O, the places I've been, and people I've met!====OAKS: Or "Oh the things I've seen and heard, many of which were completely absurd"!
FROM PRJM IN MICHIGAN: You're quoting Dr. Seuss to one of his fans! I even had a sermon series based on "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" based on the book of Acts, regarding the church then and now always being on the move in mission despite differences and obstacles. I just returned this evening from an event at Trinity Seminary on "Spiritual But Not Religious". It was a good overview of the people who are just that, how to engage them (don't talk about church!), what their stories are like (all different, though there are a handful of "categories") and how the church can fit into a world that is increasingly SBNR. You would have enjoyed it! Thanks for your Winning Words. They're always thoughtful and refreshing!====JACK: SBNR people are those on a journey, exploring various side roads. I'm comfortable with that...so long as the "destination" is kept in mind. I think that there's a book (or there should be) about The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss.
Friday, February 06, 2015
“Rough diamonds may sometimes be mistaken for worthless pebbles.” (Thomas Browne) Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas allows visitors to search for real diamonds. One of the “finds” was the Okie Dokie (over 4 carats). There are jewels in other places, too. An essay, “Acres of Diamonds” says that gems can be found in our own backyard, meaning that there are things, experiences and people of value, if we just look for them. Have you seen any? ;-) Jack
FROM HONEST JOHN: "Acres of Diamonds" was Ted Levander's favorite oration====JACK: One on my best lessons in "what not to do when giving a speech" was taught to me by Prof Levander. I got an A on the speech, but an F on the content.
FR4OM TARMART REV: My Treasure Chest of Valuable Truths is full and running over; hoping I can get to the vast majority of them to share before having to leave this old world for a better one!! I started collecting "eye-catching" statements and articles from church bulletins from many sources back in the 1970's and up to 10-15 years ago when cost for publication and mailings slowed down many in their outreach of this kind (Top 100 A/G Churches, Evangelical Free, ELCA Lutheran, Temple Kol Ami, selected radio ministry churches and other churches I heard about) . . . some from Holy Spirit Lutheran Church of West Bloomfield . . . .for me they provide a storehouse of shareable truths and treasure!!====JACK: I started collecting truisms when I was a young teen. I would cut them out from newspapers, magazines and church bulletins and put them in a cigar box. That was the start of my Winning Words ministry. Those were "the good old days," before Google.
FROM CHESTER THE GOOD: Everybody is a diamond in the rough. Some take to polishing better than others.====JACK: There's an expression..."You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear." With God's help, miracles can take place...even in the lives of people.
FROM BB IN ILLINOIS: I believe my father had Acres of Diamonds in the collection and it was a slender volume, like Og Mandino’s.====JACK: You are probably right. Mandino, Ziglar (and the like) would identify with the "positive thinking" in Russell Conwell's essay. Through the magic of Google, you can read it...and sense why it might have appealed to your father.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: I REMEMBER THAT ESSAY...BILL PREACHED ON IT, AS I IMAGINE MOST MINISTERS DID! I DON'T IMAGINE MANY WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THE "DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH' THAT WE TOOK INTO OUR HOME DURING HIS HIGH SCHOOL YEARS WOULD HAVE TURNED OUT TO BE A RESPONSIBLE HUSBAND, FATHER OF 3 DAUGHTERS, AND SERVING AT THE STATE LEVEL AS YOUTH LEADER, AND DEAN YEAR AFTER YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL BAPTIST CAMP IN SPRINGFIELD... AMAZING WHAT A STABLE HOME, AND A WISE FOSTER FATHER (BILL() CAN DO! AND A FAITH IN THE 'HEAVENLY FATHER'!====JACK: I just finished rereading Conwell's essay. It was rather lengthy, but had many good illustrations about finding things of value in "your own backyard." He was a Baptist preacher and a veteran of the Civil War.
Thursday, February 05, 2015
“Never do a wrong thing to make a friend…or to keep one.” (R.E. Lee) The choices before us in this world are not always the easy black or white. It’s the gray area that presents the most problems. A college course in “ethics” was a help to me--exploring how best to live in a world of good and evil, right and wrong. Luther’s explanation of the 10 Commandments gave me new insights. “It depends on the situation” was another. Who taught you how to choose? ;-) Jack
FROM EDUCATOR PAUL: I believe in listening and being very sensitive to "your inner being." Some people describe the feeling as "listening to your gut." It's not a bad idea. If I'm making a decision or involved in an activity and that "gut" feeling arises...I slow down, curb impulsiveness, start really thinking carefully. If that feeling doesn't go way, that's usually the sign for me to not go forward. BTW...this whole process can last for days..weeks or...less than a minute! It takes practice and very deep understanding of yourself so that you can distinguish between fear, anxiety, apprehension, immediate gratification, etc.====JACK: Take a look. You'll see that people have different guts. You'll notice that most guts change with age...physically and mentally.====PAUL and..thank goodness our guts change with age and experience..how else would we gain in perspective and knowledge? It doesn’t come free, Just getting older is not the main variable as we all know. ====JACK: What's in the gut is something like what's in the wine bottle...some of it mellows and improves with age. Some of it just turns sour...depending on how it's bottled.
FROM HONEST JOHN: Do you think Amos was a relativist in Ethics?====JACK: We each relate to the situation we find ourselves in. Amos said and did what he thought he needed to do. He's one of my Bible favorites. It took courage for him to look at those people and to say honestly and prophetically, "You fat cows of Bashan."====JOHN: Good job of avoiding the question....little wonder that you ended up as a minister and not a debate coach!!!====JACK: I will take that as a compliment.
FROM ANON: Very interesting. I am at the Chiefs' conference in Grand Rapids this week and one of the presenters yesterday spoke about how we really do not teach our children, some of whom eventually become our police officers, how to make decisions, to choose wisely and correctly among a variety of often competing issues and concerns. Did I miss seeing you in the back of the conference room?====JACK: In this world of good and evil, it's important to have good police officers to protect us from the evil. It's also important to realize that officers don't just drop out of the sky; they come from home and life situations, just like we do.
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: We had strong parents and grandparents along with Sunday school teachers. They taught us right from wrong and helped us to learn to love our friends and neighbors. We made some wrong choices but our morals were set.====JACK: That's sort of like the 10 Commandments...We follow them...not always. But they continue to be our guide to determine what is right and wrong.
FROM TARMART REV: Family, Church, Friends (both for the good experiences and the unfortunate ones.====JACK: Paul writes in Romans, "There is no one righteous, no not one." That goes for friends and family and church, too!. We are all sinners, in need of God's grace.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Do what you feel in your heart to be right---for you'll be criticized anyway".. ...We do the best we can, under the situation's circumstances. Hindsight is 100%! Just read a delightful book, "Don't Bicycle In the House Without a Helmut! by Melissa Greene Samuel, and her discovery of cultural morals, having adopted children from Ethiopia (4) and Bulgaria, as well as raising their 4 biological Jewish children. Very Interesting insights, and both humorous and profound. "Do Unto Others, as you would have others do unto you" is still a great yardstick! Judgment with compassion, always.====JACK: 21 of the world's religion have some version of the Golden Rule in their teachings. I suppose you know that Penney's was originally called, the Golden Rule store, and J.C. Penney demanded that all employees follow the Golden Rule when waiting on customers. Even the store sign had a yellow background, like a golden ruler, with J.C.Penney Company on it.
Wednesday, February 04, 2015
“No, you haven’t seen the best of me. I’m still working on my masterpiece.” (Jesse J English Singer) I’ll always remember Paul, who would come to church each Sunday with a small, gold cross in his lapel. Certain things identify us. I’ve heard of someone who wears a button reading…PBPGINFWMY. It’s not a foreign word. It means: Please Be Patient God Is Not Finished With Me Yet. Jesse J was right…I’m still working on my masterpiece. ;-) Jack
FROM DR J: ;-) me too!====JACK: Thanks for introducing me to Jesse J and the song.
FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: Like.====JACK: Sometimes songs are like mirrors.
FROM TARMART REV: Our Father still is with me, knocking ever-so-often a new chip or two off my slumped shoulders! 0;-/====JACK: I'll bet the shoppers at Target and Walmart identify you by your big smile.====REV: ...hoping they do...don't too often have much more to give than that as they walk by...enjoy those times when I get their smile back in return!====JACK: I suppose that a wave would be interpreted by some as harassment or an invasion of privacy. "Who is that kook?"
FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: i like to think that i am a work in progress.====JACK: That's what the button says. GINFWMY.."God's Is Not Finished With Me Yet."
FROM RS IN TEXAS: Perhaps we could shorten to GWIP - God Work In Progress. It's comforting to know God never gives up on us.====JACK: The first three letters (PBP) remind us, who live in the this immediate satisfaction age), the importance of being patient. HONK! HONK!
FROM CHESTER THE GOOD: I propose this button."JFTHEDYCT." Jack Freed Tops Himself Every Day. You Can Too====JACK: LOL
FROM HCC CHUCK: Aren't we all.====JACK: Yep! When he made you (and me), God threw away the mold.
FROM ST. PAUL IN MESA: Jack, if I recall you also had a wall plaque in your office that read DFTP. don't forget to pray. good words also.====JACK: Those letters stare at me from the edge of my computer desk.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: Yep! Until our days run out, we are all an unfinished "masterpieces" that God loves unconditionally..."When all else fails, love"...(author Elizabeth Lesser). Good thought to live by as well. Off to sit with a bedridden church friend, to allow her caregiver to get out... ====JACK: The picture of you sitting with a bedridden friend...a masterpiece. "I was sick and you visited me."====OAKS: I FEEL VERY FORTUNATE THAT I CAN BE THE ONE "SITTING" AND NOT THE BEDRIDDEN SHUT IN, AT ALMOST 85 YRS....SO MANY MY AGE ARE IN SAD SHAPE!
FROM DM IN MICHIGAN: Bravo!====JACK: Was it not Paul who said: "It is not I; it is God working in me."
Tuesday, February 03, 2015
“If life is supposed to feel good, what happens when it doesn’t?” (C.S. Lewis) Punxsutawney Phil says that there will be (at least) 6 more weeks of winter. BLAH! Does this time of the year give you the blahs? A link suggests 1001 ways to change your mood, and one of those ways is to eat chocolate (it contains tryptophan). A friend of mine begins each day with exercise, meditation and prayer. What works for you in changing bad into good? ;-) Jack
FROM ST. PAUL WINTERING IN MESA: move to AZ! also, is it dark or light chocolate that does the trick? just wondering...====JACK: Most of what I've read concludes that dark chocolate is healthier. I've also read that Arizona is red, red, red, compared to Minnesota's blue, blue, blue.
FROM MK IN MICHIGAN: Vodka! Kidding! All of the below work for me!!====JACK: I vote for chocolate (dark or milk) and black Twizzlers.====MK: Do you have a most favorite chocolate, I love Sanders.====JACK: I'm still trying to figure out if the new Sanders has really as good as thne old. I still like it. When Sanders still had a sandwich shop in Farmington Hills, I went there with my mother who was in her 80s at the time. She asked for a senior discount. The waitress ased for her ID to make sure she qualified. My mom was proud of that...carded in her 80s. Have you been offered a senior discount, yet?
FROM TARMART REV: Meditation, prayer and a Hershey's Milk Chocolate with Almonds Bar.====JACK: Hot popcorn with a beer (root) tastes good to me.
FROM TAMPA SHIRL: The sun shining almost every day. When we first moved to Florida, the newspaper used to be free if the sun did not shine that day.====JACK: Do you remember Hickey Bros. in Moline...and their slogan, "Your purchase free if we ever forget to Thank You?" I never was able to catch them in a slip-up.
FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: I think this is what I had told you?====JACK: I know that your faith and keeping fit is very important to you. ...This just popped into my mind. I remember that the YMCA incorporated a triangle into its logo. The sides of the triangle stood for Body, Mind, and Spirit. I think that the Hi-Y incorporated that into their by-laws. I belonged to Hi-Y. Did you?
FROM AW IN ILLINOIS: This arrived on my Blaaaaaaaaah day.====JACK: Eat some chocolate. Read the Book of Jonah. I remember in the seminary dining hall, someone would be asked to give devotions at the meal. I think it was Milton Lundeen who read the Book of Jonah. Looooong!
FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: I have a chat w/myself & God.====JACK: The Hee Haw Gospel Quartet used to sing this song...
Now let us, Have a little talk with Jesus,
Let us, tell Him all about our troubles,
He will, Hear our faintest cry,
And He will, answer by and by;
Now when you, Feel a little prayer wheel turning,
And you, know a little fire is burning.
You will, Find a little talk with Jesus makes it right.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: Most of the time I say, "Tomorrow will be better" and it usually is...I'm thankful to be blest with a positive disposition!====JACK: That's better than being like Joe Btfsplk.
Monday, February 02, 2015
“Winning isn’t everything, Charlie Brown.” “That’s true, but losing isn’t anything.” (Linus and Charlie philosophizing) Vince Lombardi didn’t say, “Winning is the only thing!” He said, “The will to win is the only thing.” So much emphasis these days is placed on winning or losing in sports or just in the everyday events of life. Today’s “Vince” might say, “The main thing is the will to succeed!” …and that can happen in winning and also in losing. ;-) Jack
ROM MICHIZONA RAY: True enough! One might even say that "winning" doesn't teach one nearly as much as losing does. I like the idea of "playing to win" because that is a part of the very game; just as "one winner" is also a part of the game.====JACK: Winning is so important that sports like hockey and football are using tie-breakers. No more "kissing your sister."
FROM HJONEST JOHN: I play to win. If I lose, I don't commit Hari Kari. Why play to lose? ====JACK: In playing competitively, do you know when to "fold 'em?" In other words, do you know when to play just for the fun of it? ...when the score is no longer important?
====JOHN: When playing competitively, I never give up. I do, however, play a lot of games "just for fun." The key is "Why am I playing this?"====JACK: I'm trying to think of games that play just for fun.
FROM TARMART REV: That's a true "Winning Word" for my day, Jack!!====JACK: I'll bet that you are a bowler who throws the ball so hard that the pins really explode when they are hit. There are some "nice" guys who have a hidden aggressive persona.
FROM BLAZING OAKS: I IMAGINE THE SEAHAWKS CAN IDENTIFY WITH THIS WW TODAY! WHAT A DYNAMIC SUPER BOWL!! AND FOR ALL THE MYRIAD AWARD "LOSERS" IN THE NEWS, ETC. I READ A RECENT QUOTE OF DENZIL WASHINGTON, "I PRAY THAT YOU ALL PUT YOUR SHOES WAY UNDER THE BED AT NIGHT, SO YOU GOTTA GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES IN THE MORNING TO FIND THEM. AND WHILE YOU'RE DOWN THERE, THANK GOD FOR GRACE AND MERCY AND UNDERSTANDING." (To a group of young acting students.) Love it! My IL Hall of FaMe Football and wrestling coach son used to emphasize the same idea: "Winning isn't everything, but wanting to win, is!" The desire and passion has to be there to be successful. My own family is very competitive playing our many card and board games!! But only in FUN!=====JACK: I enjoy playing Old Maid. I like the competition of seeing who's best at hiding the card that has the Old Maid on it. In this politically correct world, I'm surprised that no one has wanted to ban that old game.
FROM CHESTER THE GOOD: Speaking of Lombardi, he NEVER would have made that stupid last play call yesterday. Geeez! Even Gisela marveled at that. I wonder what that call cost the Seahawk players in salaries and endorsements, let alone the owners and the gamblers.====JACK: I'm glad that I didn't have a favorite in that game. I could just enjoy it for the game itself. A secondary joy was in seeing some loud-mouth players being humbled. In "your day" did the players strut around and beat on their chests after making the plays that they were supposed to make? I hope that you didn't do it.
FROM PEPPERMINT MARY: "life is not a competition." said to my children from my mouth a bazillion times as they were growing up.====JACK: "He who has ears to hear, let him hear," it says in the Bible. You spoke (a bazillion times). Did they hear?====MARY: well, they are my kids, so maybe they heard 75% of the bazillion. i fear the rest of the time i sounded like charlie brown's teacher!====JACK: Charlie's teacher has a great voice. So descriptive! I always enjoyed the kids of the church...and teaching confirmation classes. I also enjoyed being a parent.
FROM JK IN CALIFORNIA: Nice! I like this as my kids are great students, but they are SO bogged down with homework, that it makes it challenging. I always tell them to do their Best!! That's what counts.====JACK: Parental involvement is one of the keys to "winning" in the education game.