Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/31/15
“Bill and I are patient optimists.”  (Melinda Gates)  Another proponent of patient optimism is Warren Buffet.  He sees the “Good Book” as a teacher of insight, wisdom and patience.  He then takes these Bible values and applies them to investing decisions.  Buffet encourages Millennials to take the long view, because time is on their side.    I remember a quote from a Regina Brett book, “Give time, time.”  Patience works in many of life situations.  “It’ll work out.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  I wish sometimes had more patience to be patient.====JACK:  I like the prayer..."God, give me patience, and give it to me now."  Sometimes it's not a joke.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Patience AND Perseverance make a good combination.====JACK: I like the biblical story of the woman who continued to plead with Jesus saying, "even the dogs will eat the crumbs thrown under the table."  Jesus commended her perseverance.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  I think you don't even have to be an optimist...with patience we will see that our concerns or expectations will work themselves out.  Sometimes it takes more time than we like because we are all in a hurry.  Shakespeare asserted a somewhat related maxim in his words "the truth will out", that sooner or later time will disclose everything.====JACK:  Jesus said, "Blessed are those have not seen and still believe."  Those are the optimists.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  The Gates are certainly to be commended for their use of wealth!  I like Andy Wimmer's quote (quit his lucrative financial advisor job to work for no salary at a hospice center in Kalighat, India):"My life is a loan from God. I will pay it back with interest...you love; you serve the brother and sister in front of you. That is how you have a happy life."  Tonight is our turn to feed the homeless, a chance to "pay it back".with patient kindness and love. A tiny ray of light offered to the world...====JACK:  There are those who would say that Bill and Melinda and Andy can afford to give, because they have so much.  This not about them (or even about the poor widow who gave two mites in the Temple offering), it's about us and what we are doing with what we have.
====OAKS:   As Bill used to quote to our congregation: "IT'S NOT WHAT YOU'D DO WITH A MILLION, IF FORTUNE SHOULD BE YOUR LOT, BUT WHAT YOU'RE DOING NOW, WITH THE BUCK AND A HALF YOU'VE GOT!"  MORE TO THE POINT FOR US....:-====JACK:  He knew what to say and how to say it, didn't he?

FROM TARMART REV:  Let's see now, I'm to be a patient patient, giving time time to work itself out!====JACK:  If you think that patience is hard for you, think of what it must be like for God... as far as you and I are concerned.

FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA:  Patience. H-m-m-m.  Do you think 20 years from now anyone will have any patience at all when we live in a world where most everything we do is based on speed and when it is slow we tend to become angry?  Road rage is a perfect example. More and more I hesitate to even use my horn when cut off in consideration of the fact that the person I am beeping at might be carrying a gun and be having a "bad day."====JACK:  When it comes to patience, I think that it would be good for each of us to reread the story of Job.  How did he do it?  I like what Job said to his friends who wanted him to curse God because of his misfortunes..."Though he slay me, yet will I trust him."  That verse is one of my favorites.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Thanks. I needed that.====JACK:  One of the reasons why I continue with Winning Words is because of responses like yours....and for what it does for me, too. 

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I wonder if Bill Gates and his wife are Christians.  I know they have used a lot of their earnings for charity.  It seems to be easy to be optimist and patient when things are going well.  We have to learn to lean on God when they aren't going well.  An optimist knows that "Sundays comin'"====JACK:  To determine whether one is a Christian or not is not always easy to do.  Words are sometimes suspect.  I like the title of the poem by Edgar Guest..."I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day."  I believe that Bill and Melinda truly care about their fellow human beings.  The world needs more people like that.====JUDY:  Good point!  It shouldn't matter if one is Christian or not, I really didn't mean it that way.  It is very true about living a true Christian life than sitting/sleeping in church.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/30/15
“Be pleasant until ten o’clock in the morning, and the rest of the day will take care of itself.”  (Elbert Hubbard)  I’ve read that each of us has a genetic clock which regulates whether we’re an early-riser, a nite-owl or a tweener.  Which are you?  Early birds have an easier time being pleasant in the morning, but the owls do better later in the day.  Be careful not to attribute your behavior only to genetics.  There’s other stuff that influences us, such as…    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  ...such as......missing my daily dose of Jack's Winning Words early in the morning!!====JACK:  Like all things of this world, there will come a time....

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Most of my family needs their sleep.  If they have to get up very early there is a small period of crabbiness.  But it doesn't last long.  The rest are early-birds.  By about 3 though is when I get tired.  After awhile, I get my energy back.  I would say I have bouts of a activity all day and night long.  (My dad and mom were early risers.  Every Saturday and Sunday they would yell upstairs..."get up, get up, it's daylight in the swamp."====JACK:  I like the "swamp" thing! 

 FROM BLAZING OAKS:  When you live alone, you don't always see or talk to anyone before 10:00 A.M. :-)  I think I must be a "tweener"  up around 8:00 unless I have a more pressing activity, and to bed by midnight, usually.  but would rather work during the day, and relax in the evenings! Or do something "pleasant"!====JACK:  My "inner alarm" goes off at 4:30 am, except on weekends when it allows me to catch another hours of zzzzs.  Is it God who programs the body and its parts, or does he relegate it to one of the angels?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/27/15
“You can’t fake listening.  It shows.”  (Raquel Welch)  Have you ever been caught pretending to be listening to someone, but not paying attention to what was being said?  I have…and it’s so embarrassing.  Here’s what good listeners will do…Try not to interrupt…Concentrate (studies show we hear about 25% of what’s being said)…Try not to “top” the speaker…Don’t leap ahead with answers…Of course, there are more hints.  How do you work at listening?    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  An interesting speaker helps!====JACK:  A homiletics professor gave this advice with regard to presenting an interesting sermon..."Take the text and connect it up with life."

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Your guidelines for "good listeners" are certainly applicable when engaged in serious conversation.  With reference to "studies show we hear about 25% of what's being said", that's often enough in the company of some speakers, because only 25% of what they say is worth hearing.  One way to work at listening is to choose to whom you'll listen.  In some social circumstances there are persons who I would choose to steer clear of (Sean Hannity, for example).
====JACK:  One of the best inventions is the TV "clicker."

FROM TARMART REV:  Back in her day . . . when Raquel Welch spoke . . . it was hard to listen!! ====JACK:  I didn't think that AG ministers knew about Raquel.====REV:  Those were the B.C. days...not really!!   Even in my old age, one of God's created women will still turn my head!

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  A most important topic. Seems to me "learning about the necessity to work at listening" comes to me over and over and over again as some people block any really authentic sharing from me of life experiences, feelings, etc. and since I then "know what it feels like" to not truly be received, more deeply understand that it's all about "doing unto others as you would have them do unto you", one way or another, I learn something about how to "try to be more hospitable to others" from each and ever single experience and they seem to be all unique so it requires paying quite a lot of attention. Jesus is my main model--I admire and respect His listening skills so much!!!!!!!====JACK:  A hymn often comes to mind when I read what people have written to me.  In this instance it's a hymn written by the old Swedish pietist , Carl Rosenius,
I have a friend, so patient, kind, forbearing,   Of all my friends this friend doth love me best;
 Though I am weak and sinful, yet when sharing   His love and mercy I am ever blest.
He is my Lord, my friend, yea, He’s my brother;   And Jesus Christ is His most blessèd name.
 He loves more tenderly than any mother;  To rest in Him is more than wealth and fame.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Every once in a while say, "I'm sorry. I didn't hear that."  And don't let your eyes glaze over.====JACK:  In the old comic strips a geezer would cup his hand to his ear and shout, "EHHH?"

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  Boy!  Did you nail me today!====JACK:  Mainly, I go around talking to myself.  Thanks for listening in.

FROM PRJM:  As a naturally shy person it is often hard to look someone in the eyes as they speak, but I try to do so because it helps me listen and it shows them I am listening.  Giving/getting feedback, such as, "do I understand this correctly?" is another way to listen well.====JACK:  Repeating what the person has said is a good tip...as long as you don't do it after every sentence.  Yes, I know you don't do that.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  As Winston Churchill observed, "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen."  A good conversationalist, and a good  listener, are both a wonderful asset in groups, dinner parties and gatherings!  Often a couple will comprise one of each, have you noticed?====JACK:  A good listener is able to say the right thing at the right time and then go back to listening. 

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  This is a problem for me.  I find myself drifting off sometimes when we are in a group and someone starts telling a story that I have heard many times.  Then I remind myself the same group has probably heard my stories too.  So I am a work in progress.  One way that helps me is to look directly at the person who is talking and try to listen like I'd never heard it before.  It helps.====JACK:  Another problem...Someone's talking to you, and you happen to see someone across the room, and you're reminded of something you need to say to them.  Like you say...keep your eyes on the person who's talking to you. 

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  I'm like you I often wonder in my thoughts when a certain friend is talking to me, the reason  being that what he is saying is so boring!  However when listening to most people I focus on their eyes.====JACK:  It's been said that eyes are the windows of the soul.  I asked my ophthalmologist about that.  I don't think that she was into philosophy, but I did give her something to think about.  BTW, what do you think about the eyes and the soul?

FROM CK IN MICHIGAN:  I'm sorry did you say something??😄====JACK:  Sorry...I was talking to someone else.

FROM LAUREN ANDERSON ON FACEBOOK:  "One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say."  (Bryant McGill)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/26/15
“Don’t let you sorrow come higher than your knees.”  (Swedish Proverb)  The custom of kneeling before a ruler is meant to show subservience.  In prayer, it is an indication of humility in the presence of God.  “There is no one I can turn to, but you…You are my only hope!”  In my youth I was influenced by Swedish piety, as expressed in today’s proverb.  Certain happenings can drive us to our knees.  But whether we kneel or stand, God knows and cares.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  At times I miss this earlier tradition found at our altars on Sunday evenings . . . to be very honest, it now feels somewhat uncomfortable and always a chore working at getting back up on my feet again. My spirit's willing, but my body has to work at it.====JACK:  We always knelt for communion in the church where I grew up.  Now, most churches have people stand.  I read that the early Christians probably stood as they participated in the Lord's Supper.  They were under persecution for practicing they religion, so they had to be able to flee at a moment's notice.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  In other words, "you can wade through it"? Zora Neale Hurston (Assoc. Press) says "There are years that ask questions, and years that answer".  A lot of truth in that...I keep remembering "And it came to pass"..:-)====JACK:  Have you ever heard the song, My God and I?
 My God and I go in the field together;
 We walk and talk as good friends should and do;
 We clasp our hands, our voices ring with laughter;
 My God and I walk through the meadow's hue.
 We clasp our hands, our voices ring with laughter;
 My God and I walk through the meadow's hue.
 My God and I will go for aye together,
 We'll walk and talk just as good friends do;
 This earth will pass, and with it common trifles,
 But God and I will go unendingly.
 This earth will pass, and with it common trifles,
 But God and I will go unendingly.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We can be very very grateful for a loving, kind and forgiving Lord.  Even when we should get on our knees and be thankful but we don't, He forgives and loves!  ====JACK:  I remember a seminary professor telling the class about the proper posture for prayer.  "Whatever enables you to be in touch with God is the right way, even if it's standing on your head."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/25/15
“People want to know how much you care before they care how much you know.”  (James F. Hind)  Some prominent people with high IQs are Geena Davis (140), Steve Martin (142) and Lisa Simpson (156).  Well-known generous people are, of course, Bill and Melinda Gates…and also Ndamukong Suh (surprised?).  You probably know people who aren’t listed as celebrities… who care and give, because that’s their nature.  They make our world a better place.    ;-)  Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  I read a great article a few months ago about Ndamukong Suh seeking business advice from Warren Buffett.  http://www.wsj.com/articles/ndamukong-suh-and-warren-buffett-the-bruiser-and-the-billionaire-1416948195  A terror on the field but all around great guy off field.====JACK:  I read recently that no Nebraska football player has given more money back to the university than has Suh.  He was also into charitable work while he played for the Lions in Detroit.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Well, those behind the wide range of solicitations I receive on a daily basis obviously don't care about what I know, my IQ, (I have to be able to read and interpret pictures.) but they want me to care enough to contribute. Much time, effort, skill at implanting a "care" (guilt feeling) is invested to achieve that. And sometimes it works. Thereby making the world a better place!?====JACK:  I try not to give out of guilt, but rather to use a reasoning process.  Some of the requests are from organizations that I personally know about; others represent causes that directly affect friends of ours.  The recycling bin gets quite a few.====SBP:  The Oak Foundation, an international philanthropic organization, whose goals are to make the world a place. They support many fields including the field of learning differences. My daughter, Stacy is the programme director for this arena. Millions of dollars are being granted to those educational facilities that care greatly about children whose learning profile is not "aligned with the expectations and teaching methodologies in mainstream school systems." Millions of dollars are being granted to those who demonstrate that they "care" and are working toward making the world a better place....starting at the very beginning of a child's experience in the learning process.====JACK:  The Oak Foundation seems worth a Google.  I'm always interested in people who are trying to make the world a better place.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  I admire him.====JACK:  Like most of us...He's a mixed bag.

FROM JB IN MICHIGAN:  Ndamukong Suh (surprised?).  yes, very surprised. I am glad to hear something good about him. I did not like him based on his behavior on the field and his goal to be a billionaire.====JACK:  One of the penalties of being famous is that many eyes are fixed on you and what you do, or don't do.  I wonder how you or I would act in the same situation?

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  FOR EVERY GIFT GIVEN, THERE IS A GIFT RECEIVED. THE GIVER IS TWICE BLESSED.====JACK:  That sounds like something a saint would say.  Congratulations!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/24/15
“The person who grabs the cat by the tail and holds the cat upside down for twenty seconds gets a hundred times more information about that experience than one who may have read about it in a book."  (Mark Twain)  I smiled when I read these words last week in an article by Rick Barger.  He was writing about how important practical experience is in the education of pastors.  It works that way in much of life.  Helpful lessons aren’t always in books.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Again, how about "both/and"?    Both reading and experience can be valuable.====JACK:  Yes, you are right.  In seminary, I appreciated the professor who had a graduate degree and who also had spent time as a parish pastor.

FROM TARMART REV:  ...carrying a few battle scars myself that proves that very thing!! ====JACK:  Have you ever sung the hymn, "We're on the battlefield for the Lord?"

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Yup...but doing the research before the experience is not a bad idea! ====JACK:  In fact, it's a good idea.  However, the "experience" that a teacher has is all of life...the home...being a student, from Kindergarten on up...disappointments and successes...interpersonal.  Of course, student teaching is a help. too.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Sort of like that when we judge people.  If you haven't walked a mile in their moccasins................Always felt that way when people would ask me about Viet Nam - when I would tell them something about it many would say "I know how you feel" or "I know what you mean."  I always felt that they couldn't, as I could never have imagined the brutality of war had I not seen it first hand.  Nothing like first hand experience or on the job training in terms of learning.====JACK:  One of your uncles served as a medic on a ship bringing back the battle wounded from WW 2.  When we asked, "What was it like?  He responded, "You wouldn't want to know," and then he was silent.
====RS:  Yup - Nothing glamorous about war.  Dumbest thing man ever nvented.====JACK:  ...not to mention the wars over religion.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  The School of Hard Knocks has more cum laude graduates than all universities combined.====JACK:  Do you remember this song?
Please teacher, teach me something   Nice teacher, teach me something
 I'm as awkward as a camel   That's not the worst

My two feet haven't met yet   But I'll be teacher's pet yet
 'Cause I'm gonna learn   To dance or burst

Nothing is impossible I have found   For when my chin is on the ground
 I pick myself up, dust myself off   Start all over again

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

Work like a soul inspired   Till the battle of the day is won
 You may be sick and tired   But you'll be a man, my son

Will you remember the famous men   Who had to fall to rise again?
 So take a deep breath   Pick yourself up, dust yourself off   Start all over again

I'll get some self assurance   If your endurance is great
 I'll learn by easy stages   If you're courageous and wait

To feel the strength I want to   I must hang on to your hand
 Maybe by the time I'm fifty   I'll get up and do a nifty

Nothing is impossible I have found   For when my chin is on the ground
 I pick myself up, dust myself off   Start all over again

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

Work like a soul inspired   Till the battle of the day is won
 You may be sick and tired   But you'll be a man, my son

Will you remember the famous men   Who had to fall to rise again?
 So take a deep breath   Pick yourself up, dust yourself off   Start all over again


FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I  like Chester the Good's comment about the school of hard knocks....What we learn from experience sure stays with us! Tho you have to have some book knowledge to try to function in your field!!   I imagine holding a cat upside down by the tail would teach you a lot in a hurry! HA!====JACK:  I've been to Galesburg many, many, many times, but never have seen the campus of (hard) Knox College.  I would like to have seen the spot where the Lincoln/Douglas debate was held.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/23/15
“Take 3 slow, mindful breaths.  Let all the tension in your body melt down into the ground.  Rest, relax and enjoy this moment.”  (Calm.com)  Calm.com is a free web app to help those to relax who don’t have time to relax.  It’s a 2 minute “gulp of fresh air”…a soothing voice, soft music, beautiful scenery.  During a storm the frightened disciples called to Jesus for help.  He didn’t say, “Go to Calm.com.”  He said, “Peace, be still,” and there was calm.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Interesting . . . an instructor at a recent Critical Incident Stress Management training demonstrated something similar. We were told to inhale, counting slowly to 6 and then exhale the same way. We do this repetitiously 4 or 5 times, pushing farther when exhaling as we progressed . . . this is to relax tension and gain newer and fresher air into our lungs . . . it would have not worked for me in my earlier years I don't think when bowling 2-3 times during the week at the local smoked filled bowling alleys.====JACK:  Now, you can take slow, mindful breaths of Target's fresh popcorn. Mmmmm!

FROM DR J IN OHIO: Namaste!====JACK: Is that how you begin your Yoga classes?====DR J:  that’s how we end it ;-)  It means: The spirit in me acknowledges and respects the spirit in you… ;-)

FROM MY LAWYER:  I do just that every time I sit in the dentist's chair.  Sort of a type of self hypnosis. It works!!!====JACK:  It's estimated that 5% to 10% of Americans are orthophobics.


FROM DR ERIC:  Sad that we need web apps to take 2 mins to breathe. Sigh.====JACK:  "Sigh" sounds like a breath.  "Sigh Sigh Sigh", and you should be relaxed.

FROM TL IN TEXAS:  You are a ROCK STAR, Jack!  Thanks for your daily injections of healing!====JACK: ...and I'm older that Mick Jagger, too!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The statement could also be labeled, stop and smell the roses!====JACK:  Or, stop and smell the "Chic Sale."

FROM EEC:  I just looked at Calm.com. What a  neat site!====JACK:  There's also a site called, Nervous.com.

FROM MOLINER JT:  One of your best. THANKS !!====JACK:  I wonder if anyone ever dared to rate the sayings of Jesus with regard to which was the best?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Laughed out loud at you telling Dr. Eric to sigh, sigh, sigh.....Enjoyed today's blogs. I'm sure it works. I often have to take a deep breath, and it IS calming!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Today was just the opposite.  There was a concert in Clearwater for the Adults at Leisure which we have gone to for years because it is at 1 pm.  Today it turned out to be a rock concert by sha na na. It was anything but calm and was certainly the first rock concert of my life.  It reminded me of my teaching days in :Long Beach, CA.  There was so much energy for 90 minutes.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/20/15
“The game of life is the game of boomerangs.  Deeds and words return to us sooner or later.”  (Florence Shinn)  The boomerang is a tool/weapon used by the Australian aborigines.  I’ve read how it works; you throw it and it comes back.  I’m still mystified.  Something else that amazes me is how being kind to others results in kindness being returned.  The way of the world is “an eye for an eye.”  Who, but God, could have dreamed up the idea of grace?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Reaping what we've sown!!====JACK:  Wheat or tares!

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  If you want to experience Christmas every day, give of yourself to other people around you.  Any gesture of good will means more than we realize.  It's amazing how the simplest effort you make can improve someone's day.  Like the rings that spread out from a pebble in the water, a good deed usually evokes more good deeds.====JACK:  Ripples...one of the beauties of nature.  Gratitude...one of the beauties of humanity.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  One of the chapters in my book is titled, "Life is Reciprocity". ====JACK:  Reciprocity...I like the sound of that word!  Another chapter is..."What have you done for me lately?"  Often, business is "quid pro quo."  Blessed are those who are nice to one another because, it's just their nature to be nice.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  What goes around comes around.====JACK:  Or as Major Bowes used to say as he spun the Amateur Hour's big wheel: "Round and round she goes, and where she stops nobody knows."

ROM BLAZING OAKS:  It does seem that way, often.  "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader." John Quincy Adams  Hopefully we have all been a leader to some, and that will return to bless us! Good WW to ponder today! ====JACK:  Have you ever tried to throw a boomerang?  It's not as easy as it looks.  On the other hand, doing a good deed is easy...and it is usually returned when least expected.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/19/15
“Rivers know this: there is no hurry.  We shall get there some day.”  (A.A. Milne)  Winnie the Pooh asks, “Why is this happening to me?”  You may know of someone who has asked the same thing.  Or, maybe it’s what you’ve been wondering.  Be patient!  Nature knows patience.  “First the blade, then the ear, then the full corn will appear.”  Some seeds, found in an ancient pyramid, were planted.  Amazingly, they grew.  Be patient!  The answers will come.    ;-)  Jack 

FROM HUMBUG:  Thanks Jack. It is a marathon and not a sprint. We must be patient, faithful, and make incremental progress every day.  Peace.====JACK:   I like the phrase, "Rome wasn't built in a day...but they were laying bricks."  Thanks for being a brick-layer.

 FROM TARMART REV:  Patiently waiting.====JACK:  Are the AGs Rapture people? ====REV:  We are...pre-tribulation most generally; however pre-millennium in our tenants of faith. When in my theology class some years ago, I took the "amillennial" view and found it most fascinating...hoping when the truth bears forth, it will presents itself better than we find lived out presently.====JACK:  We Lutherans study that pre-t and pre-m stuff in seminary, but usually leave it there.  Ask our average church member about :rapture," and you'd receive a blank stare.


FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How easy this sounds but how hard it is somedays.  Sometime it's seemed like Spring would never get here...but it is coming.  We have a saying at our house when it seems whatever we want or need is taking so long to get here...."Sundays comin'!"

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/18/15
“I see the image and likeness of God in each and every person I’ve met.”  (The Prison Angel)  Mary Clarke was an exceptional person.  She was raised as a “California Girl” in Beverly Hills.  A book, “The Prison Angel,” tells her story…married and divorced…a dream about being imprisoned…becoming a nun and devoting herself to living among the inmates of a prison in Tijuana.  Imagine you or me saying the words she spoke in today’s quote.    ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  It's actually very humanizing. Does that make sense? Maybe it's less what I am looking to see but that I am actually seeing. There are so many people everywhere - most of whom I don't know - that sometimes they become part of the scenery. Think about it. Don't you expect other shoppers at the grocery store just as much as you expect to see apples or milk? ====JACK:  Obviously, "every" cannot be taken literally, or we'd have a hard time functioning in the real world.  Realistically, Mary Clarke tried to see worth in individuals that many classified at worthless.  The message I get is this...that we need to take some time to see "God" in an unlikely person.  It can be a rewarding experience.  Let's try it today.====LBP:  Interestingly that was one key point of the sermon last Sunday at the church I attended in Miami....But now and again it is refreshing to just see all the people around me as the individuals that try are. Each trying to get through life at that moment. Call it being in the moment for a wallflower/people watcher. ====JACK:  Too many of us "watch" and never "see."  Isn't "wallflower" and interesting word?

FROM TARMART REV:  Seeing what God sees in each of us is a real gift I pray for often!! I hope others can see the images and likeness of God in me (even through my imperfections).====JACK:  As Bobby Burns wrote in To a Louse..."And would some Power the small gift give us   To see ourselves as others see us!"

FROM, MICHIZONA RAY:  I would say she got the message. Unlike the "rich man" in the parable, she did sell everything and follow Him. I better get busy myself!====JACK:  That's why Mary is called, an angel...She has a message from God.  The story of he Rich Man and Lazarus always seems to get my attention.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i do... there is good (god) in everyone.====JACK:  You have to admit that sometimes it's hard to do.====LIZ:  no. not for long anyway. this does not overlook or excuse their actions/choices. but there is good in everyone. somewhere...

FROM AN ANGEL:  Equanimity - Definition: mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, through good or bad situations. Synonyms: composure, calm, level headedness, presence of mind. Equanimity doesn't mean indifferent or apathy. It requires an open heart and leads to a deeper understanding of any situation.   I strive to attain equanimity to see the world around me and my own heart with clarity.====JACK:  I know of someone who was waited on by a bank teller who was not very polite.  The person said to the teller, "Are you having a bad day, or are you always this way?"  I think I might have stopped after the first question.====ANGEL:  Love this! Thank you!  I was thinking today that equanimity will be my life's work. It will take a lot of practice. Seeing everyone in the image and likeness of God will help my efforts. ====JACK:  Equanimity is one of those words you don't hear (or use) every day.  I like the sound of it.  I also like what it represents.

FROM ST. PAUL IN MESA:  I just finished a good book by Rob Bell entitled What we talk about when we talk about God.  I think you would find it worth reading.  it picks up on the theme of today's WW. ====JACK:  Yes, I've read the book...and recommend it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/17/15
“May neighbors respect you, troubles neglect you, the angels protect you, and Heaven accept you.”  (Irish Blessing)  St. Patrick was born in Britain, captured and made a slave by Irish pirates.  He escaped, returned to Britain, became a Christian and then a priest.  He returned to Ireland as a missionary…and the rest is the story of St. Patrick’s Day.  The Irish are also known for their blessings…to ask God’s favor to be upon certain people and occasions.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Always like these little poem/blessing.  Have a journal with irish quotes every few days so I’m going to add this one. Thanks====JACK:  When I first started saving "stuff" I used an old cigar box as a storage place.  A journal seems like a better idea.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  But does Heaven expect you?====JACK:  I think that the proprietor does.

FROM ST. PAUL IN MESA:  good one, Jack. thanks.  My great, great, grandpa came from County Cork and was likely full of blarney too!!====JACK:  So...it's inherited?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Happy St. Patty's Day.  The Irish do have a way with witty words and wonderful blessings. We always wore Orange today.====JACK:  I never could keep it straight.  Who's the green and who's the orange?

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Thank you, Jack. The Irish are a special people for their lyrics and poems.====JACK:  I was amazed to see a list of Irish writers, such as: Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, G.B. Shaw, C.S. Lewis and Oliver Goldsmith. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/16/15
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”  (Carl Sagan)  Think of the in-credible things that happened in your lifetime.  In the comics, Dick Tracy was talking into his wristwatch.  Apple has turned that make-believe into reality.  Robots, micro-chips, gene therapy, stem-cell research.  I’m no luddite.  I look forward to what lies ahead.  “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor the mind imagined, the things God has prepared for those who love him.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  We might even get to the moon one of these days! Oh! We have already? How times flies and my lack of ability to keep up with it!! The best is yet to come, I hear so often nowadays!!====JACK:  Talk of some thing incredible...How about the thought that each day we stand at the edge of this life, ready to move into one that speculated, but unknown?  Why is death called, the "grim" reaper?  Can you come up with a more positive name?====REV:  I try to share that reality and reward of our faith as much as possible . . . wouldn't have fit though yesterday morning when I was called out of church early to assist a patrolman in notifying a family and personal acquaintance their 21  year old son would not be coming home because of a fatal truck accident two miles from their farm earlier in darkened morning hours . . . I must admit, it was a very sad experience for me on the Lord's Day. 0:-/====JACK:  Maybe it's only with the passage of time, when the shock and sense of loss have moderated, that life and death and the after-life add up.

FROM DM IN MICHIGAN:  Amen to that Jack!!====JACK:  There's a Bible verse (Proverbs 27:1) which is a reminder..."Fret not about tomorrow, for you don't know what tomorrow may bring."  We often spend too much time fretting about the unknown.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  We have to believe that incredible things are still waiting to be known, as we review the incredible discoveries and accomplishments which have occurred in our short life spans!!  Technology is moving so fast. Think of those first giant computers, and now kids carry them around in their pockets!! Smart phones can do just about anything!!  My grandkids and I were enjoying one of those 3D image books, (Death at SEA), where you focus on a page of small patterns, and then move it away from your eyes slowly, and 3D scenes emerge...)  and I said to them, "Who do you suppose had the brain power to discover 3D sight abilities??!  We marvel!!  And I, like you, am sure there are marvels on "the other side" when we cross over.  But change and the unknown are always a bit "fearful"! ====JACK:  When we are faced with the unknown, the voice of Jesus is heard, "Fear not; I am with you."

FROM HCC CHUCK:  AMEN to that!!!!!!!!!!====JACK:  ...and God still has the power to create even more!

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  I wonder what Steve Jobs meant by his last words, "WOW!"?====JACK:  WOW could have meant...Way Over Wonderful!

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  I am working on a time line for 1915-2015 in celebration of Grandma's 100th birthday in a couple of weeks. It is amazing what has changed over that time. (Henry Ford Hospital is also celebrating 100 years this year)====JACK:  1915 was quite a year.  Proposal to give women the right to vote was defeated...Babe Ruth hit his first home run...The first stop sign appeared in Detroit...Frank Sinatra and your Grandma were born.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Jack's Winning Words 3/14/15
If today were a Winning Words day, I would have used a π quote….like….
“Love is like pi: natural, irrational and very important.”  (Lisa Hoffman)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/13/15
“Imprisonment of the body is bitter; imprisonment of the mind is worse.”  (Thornton Wilder – The Ides of March)  I once had a tour of Jackson State Prison.  After that experience I realized what a severe penalty it is to be sentenced to “life in prison.”  But worse than “life”, is the locking-up of one’s mind.  “The mind is a terrible thing to waste.”  Society needs to address the problem of mind-robbing sub-par schools and the problem of mind-robbing diseases.    ;-)  Jack

FROM MY LAWYER:  There's an amazing analogy of sub-par schools to sub-par homes.  The work starts there.====JACK:  Shakespeare put it this way..."Aye, there's the rub."  The home environment has much to do with the success or failure of a child in school.  Do you have the answer as to how to improve the home environment?  We have mentoring programs for children.  How about mentoring programs for the parent(s)? ====ML:  That's where you come in. It's cheaper and more effective than jail!!!====JACK:  Poverty and neighborhood environment also need to be addressed.  You and I and society and legislators need to say (more loudly than we're doing now), "Enough is enough!"  We seem to be able to solve other problems.  Maybe we'd be more motivated if it were a NIMBY situation.  Maybe we'd be more motivated if we realized that our neighborhood is bigger than we think it is.

FROM TARMART REV:  "TURN YOUR EYES UPON JESUS Look full in His Wonderful Face And the things of earth Will grow strangely dim In the light of His Glory and Grace" . . . I visited a young man all through who was sentenced for 18 1/2 years for stabbing his former fiancée before falling on the knife himself . . . she died and he lived . . . still friends today as he's out and lives here in Willmar once again . . . have never gotten anywhere yet in regards to him accepting a Christian faith, as he believes we Christians make our faith happen and that is the only depth to it . . . interesting to me, I feel liberated and he feels I'm in bondage and he feels liberated and I feel he is in bondage!?!?====JACK:  "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?  The Shadow knows."  Those were the opening words of The Shadow, the old radio program.  Let's change them to apply to your situation.  "Who know what good lurks in the heart of a man?  God knows."  You are doing your part by continuing to be a friend.  The rest is up to God.  He knows his business!

FROM DARK CHOCOLATE JUDY:  Two words --- Still Alice.  Did you see this movie? I highly recommend it. Losing one's mind through early onset Alzheizmer's.  Have a great day!  Thank you!  ====JACK:  I've read the reviews.  Who knows what goes on in the "head" of the one who has the disease?  We do know that the  many of the family and friends are distressed and hoping for a cure, or an answer as to WHY?====JUDY:  Alice was a Ph.D. Professor at Columbia and she was brilliant! At 50 she was stricken with this disease and you are right .. Her family was torn. Her husband took a job at the Mayo Clinic and essentially left her, and her youngest daughter cared for her. Her older daughter was tested for it and learned, after she had twins, that she has the gene for it.
I have a friend, that has 4-school/age children, that has the gene for it. Her mom died from it.
Prayers for A cure... Please.====JACK:  As with most problem situations, we become really concerned when they strike close to home.  It is a terrible disease, and there certainly many who are standing in the need of prayer.   

FROM ST. PAUL IN MESA:  our very conservative governor here in AZ just pushed thru a new budget cutting out something like a 100 million dollars for education.  pathetic...====JACK:  The people get the one with the most votes.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  I forgot who said thiis about solving the problem of “failing schools.”
“It’s not that we don’t know what to do, but a lack of will to do it.”  It’s not…
“Work Harder”
“Better Testing”
“Holding kids back at 3rd grade if they read below grade level”
“Better teachers”
“Better Principals”
“Better School People”
“Zero Tolerance”
“Longer school days”
On and on and on…
====JACK:  One of the "On and ons," is how to improve the "home factor" in a child's education.  Do you have a solution?  If so, many people are anxious to hear it.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I keep in touch and send pocket money to the adopted son of an African American pastor friend (both he and wife now deceased) who is in prison for life with no parole. And he had as far as I can tell a good stable home, and two caring parents...shot his pregnant (from another man) wife, and sat on the church steps waiting to be arrested. So sad, and what a terrible life. His four sons were raised by sister and mother's mom, and all had problems.  His letters are upbeat and quote scriptures....!  I read the book Still Alice, and plan to see the movie tomorrow...It is well told; Such a terrible fate, for a bright, capable, attractive woman! Hal's mother died of Alzheimers, as did his sister, but not til she was 90 (!) and Hal had some dementia when he died. Now his younger brother Russ is coping with dementia as well. Seems to often run in families. Yes, imprisonment of the mind is terrible to deal with!  Count your blessings, name them one by one!!!====JACK:  I looked it up.  Among the list of saints, there isn't one named, Marilyn.  There should be.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/12/15
“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”  (Jon Kabat-Zinn)  Perhaps it’s the loss of a job, an illness, an unexpected death, or fear of the unknown.  Life can be stressful!!!  This prayer has been a help to many people:  “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”  The old hymn, “Be not dismayed, whate’er betide, God will take care of you,” can be a comfort, too!    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Great quote....Sometimes when we can stop the waves, we shrink from it...or ignore the opportunity....e.g., we can fix the roads but the legislature lacks the guts to do it. ====JACK:  No matter what the job (task), blessed are those who get it done, without first wondering, "How's this going to benefit me?"  This applies to legislators and...even pastors.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  Like====JACK:  Do you also LIKE the song, "Surfin' USA?"====LIZ:  love the beach boys. god only knows is my fav.====JACK:  The song was voted 25 in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Regarding Kabat-Zinn's words, personally I prefer to adjust them..."You can't stop the waves, but you can stay back from the seashore."  When you're stressed from job, illness, fear, etc, there's not a serious means of converting those hardships into fun.  You need a change of perspective.  For long term relief and peace of mind, I'd take your advice and "cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you."  (1 Peter 5:7)====JACK:  Easier said than done...to look with new eyes at old things.  For some people, life looks like Detroit in ruins.  Conundrum...How to help those people see possibilities amidst that which seems impossible?  In a small way, Winning Words seeks to do that.  To speak positively when others would be negative, is another way.  That seems to be as challenging as it would be to teach you to surf. ====RI:  I got a good laugh at that last line of your response.  (Looking positively at the things around us is always evident by your commentaries in WW...kudos to you for that.  Also, your frequent expressions of enthusiasm about the potential for Detroit comes through clearly.  You are not simply a "booster", you exemplify the spirit for creating a better Detroit, and thereby a better world.  I'm proud to call you my friend.)====JACK:  Sometimes it's frustrating to see what others are unable to see.  But, then I have to realize that that's what teaching/sharing is all about.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  GOOD ONE. Seems like I have been mastering those breakers for years. But it also makes you stronger and more resilient.====JACK:  Do you remember when you learned to water ski and what a thrill it was to get up out of the water for the first time?  When we meet difficulties and are able to overcome them...that's a thrill, too.====RJP:  Bad analogy for me. I went around the lake on my bottom. took three times to get standing on the skis and I had the runs for two days. What a way to get cleaned out.   Talk about lessons learned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!====JACK:  Was there any reported fish kill?

FROM JAYHAWK DON:  Good advice for tournament time.====JACK:  The only surfing I will do is when I go from station to station when March Madness games are being played simultaneously.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Or maybe the "Senior Serenity Prayer": "God grant me the Serenity to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to meet up with the ones I do like, and the eyesight to tell the difference!"  Yes, as the WW tell  us today,  we sometimes have to adjust our sails to accommodate adverse winds. F. Scott Fitzgerald said, "Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat." I would guess he might know something about that!  Good inspiration for today, thanks! ====JACK:  When it comes to making adjustments, the retirement years present some challenging ones.  It could be called, Surfing for Seniors.  After years of "being in charge," the decision making begins to be in the hands of others.  Oh,well...when we came into this life, we were in the hands of others, too.  COWABUNGA!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Or you can try to jump over them.  You may be knocked out a few times but you'll get over some of them!====JACK:  I'm not as agile as you are.  No jumping over waves for me.  I just try to "wade" through.  That can be exciting at times.  Do you remember the hymn..."Master, the tempest is raging, the billows are tossing high etc."?  If you can't jump, wade or surf, you can always call upon the Master of the waves.  "Peace, peace, be still!"

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yes, and one day at a time.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Well, surfing (water) is not my cup of tea. I tend to head to higher ground, maintain stability, and await the recomformation of the situation....making the necessary temporary adjustments along the way. And my hymn is " What a Friend..."  While teaching, I read The Big Wave to each of my classes. The setting a fishing village on the shore of a tropical island upon which there was a mountain. The villagers were experienced in signs of underwater quakes and oncoming tsunamis. They headed up the mountain, adjusting to the situation, to the protection of Grandfather. Once the storm had passed, they returned to the newly shaped coast, rebuilt their huts with a window facing the sea.....and adjusted to the changed conformation. As I think of it now, it seems a bit allegorical. ====JACK:  I told my (confirmation) students about The Big Flood.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/11/15
“I didn’t fib!  I made a fable, like Aesop and those other guys.”  (Dennis the Menace)  Brian Williams didn’t fib; he just enhanced the story…like most of us have done at one time or other.  His problem was his high-profile job which would have us believe that what we see and hear on TV is true.  Most of us have been taught that to tell the truth is right, and to lie is wrong.  Truth- telling, as with keeping the 10 Commandments…the goal is to really try, really try!    ;-)  Jack

FROM TRIHARDER:  Funny! Reminds me of me.====JACK:  G-d must have had a reason for coming up with the Decalogue.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  brian williams is a shameless liar, has no right to keep his job. hillary clinton should be tried for treason. there are fibbers, & then there are criminals.====JACK:  So, there are gradations of sin...venial and mortal?====LIZ: of course there are gradations. mortal? that's god's call.====JACK:  The apostle Paul saw himself as the "chief of sinners," and, yet, we call him a "saint."  Which is he?  Judgment is a tricky subject.====LIZ:  the ten commandments might be a good start for clarification.  so what did st paul do? stick some extra matzoh in his robe pockets at the last supper?====JACK:  As with most of communication, words have to be explained.  For example, the commandment, "You shall not bear false witness," is explained  by Martin Luther in this way, "We are to fear and love God so that we do not betray, slander, or lie about our neighbor, but defend him, speak well of him, and explain his actions in the kindest way."  The commandments have both a negative and a positive side.  BTW, Paul never met Jesus.  He came afterward.

 FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  Sorry, but you can not identify his lying as "his problem", it is our problem when we help pay to keep a liar as a NEWS reporter on TV.  Fortunately there are many honest reporters that can take his place.====JACK:  Is there anyone who is truly honest?  Is there anyone who truly obeys the Commandments? 

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Dishonesty, whether by embellishment or fabrication, is still dishonesty. Dennis the Menace was a child whose insecurities fostered his rationale for creating a fable, lie, or embellishment for the sake of his own sense that he needed protection from that which was true. Brian Williams apparently did the same, and it is my guess that for similar reasons of insecurity, people lie. We are better to ask why being-honest is insufficient or what there is to fear by such a thing as honesty (which leads to the Truth). The Truth shall set you free from your own disillusionments about the need for others to like you, agree with you, be impressed by you, or any of the other "lies" one might believe!====JACK:  Life's goal is perfection.  There are certain measuring devices as to whether or not the goal is attained.  A "lie" is one of them.  In the end, when everything is added up...that's where grace comes into the picture.  BTW, Dennis the Menace first appeared as a comic strip on March 12, 1961.  I mistakenly sent this WW a day early.====RAY:  People seem pretty hard on Brian Williams, as if he has let them down. I suppose since I haven't placed him up on any pedestal, there is nowhere for him to fall. Nonetheless, his "sin" of exaggeration does point out his concern that his actual experience(s) weren't enough -- at least not enough for himself. It is this apparent way-of-thinking that prompted my comments. Why does one believe that who one is, what one is, what one experiences, etc., is not enough? Why do we think that what others think of us is so important that we'll lie to them in order to meet their (assumed) standard? Isn't my "faith sufficient"? Then, isn't it also true that in the same way, I must be sufficient as well? If that holds any water, wouldn't it also be the same for Dennis the Menace and Brian Williams...who need not lie either?  ....and all of this exists while we remain "imperfect"!====JACK:  I tried to make the point we are all imperfect, and that life is a striving to be better.  However, in the end, we are all in the need of grace.

FROM TARMART REV:  It stares me in the face at times, even though I have regretfully been guilty of it myself..."Beware, your sins will surely find you out!" It is a great note for proper accountability to God and oneself. 0:-/====JACK:  It's like the old story...When you point a finger at sinner, you have 3 pointing back at yourself.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  "The road not taken/or taken" has brought Brian Williams as well as the network to this juncture in the road of TV news enhancement. As I see it, the network's credibility is at stake. They have some critical actions to decide upon.
For me, lies are like flies. All over the place. Each of us is a breeding ground for them. This subject would be a fun "verbal" badminton game. Each swat of the shuttlecock asking the question, "Is .....a lie?" Like, is wearing make-up a lie?"  I thank God for His gift of forgiveness!  Another day of fun and contemplation.====JACK:  My point (whether seen or unseen) is that it's hard to be critical of others, because we have all fallen short of the ideal.  The Greek word for sin is,  ἁμαρτία, which means "not hitting the target."  It's so easy to be critical of others who miss the target, not sensing that we have missed it as well.  I liked the old TV show:  People Are Funny.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Brian Williams is living in a fantasy world and needs help. Until he gets touch with reality, I don't need his version of the news.====JACK:  I like my clicker.

FROM SJ IN MINNESOTA:  I heard a similar quote today: "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." -Winston Churchill====JACK:  Churchill had a way with words.  For example..."Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip."

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/10/15
“Too blessed to be stressed!”  (Seen on a coffee mug)  Grandson John asked if I’ve ever tried espresso coffee.  According to him, it’s served in a tiny cup and is “stronger” than a typical cup of coffee.  None of that espresso, latte, cappuccino stuff for me.  I’m satisfied with just plain old coffee.  Some studies show that coffee causes stress; others show the opposite.  I overlook the studies…and simply count my many blessings as I drink a cup of Starbuck’s Sumatra.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM CS IN MICHIGAN:  Drinking a cup of Starbucks Sumatra as I read this....😀====JACK:  Do you have a special mug, too?  How about the one that says, "Too blessed to be stressed?"

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I tried that Espresso at a Bed and Breakfast in Niagara, Ont.    it was good.   I have some every now and then.     I think it was first made by Viking interlopers to Italy....so it is Scandinavian by nature!====JACK:  Have you ever tried Swedish Egg Coffee?  Recipe:  Use a graniteware (enamel) coffee pot.  Wash egg; break it into a small bowl, reserving shell, and beat slightly. Add 1/2 cup cold water, the 1 cup ground coffee and the reserved egg shell, crushed. Mix thoroughly. Turn into coffee pot; pour on boiling water, and stir. (I remember the ladies adding the coffee/egg mixture directly to the boiling water.) Optional: The spout of the pot can be stuffed with soft paper towel to prevent escape of the fragrant aroma. Place on front of range and boil 3 minutes. If not boiled, coffee is cloudy. If boiled too long, too much tannic acid is developed. Add remaining 1/2 cup cold water; which perfects clearing. Cold water, which is heavier than hot, sinks to the bottom and carries the grounds with it. After coffee has settled, serve at once.====JOHN:  I remember that but have never tried it.   Have you actually made it?====JACK:  I've drunk it many, many times.  It's the best.

FROM TARMART REV:  Southern sweet tea year around for me, Jack!!====JACK:  Do you drink it from one of those fancy teacups...with your pinkie finger raised in the air?

FROM CZB IN NH:  I like that!====JACK:  I seem to remember that your dad got a coffee maker that ground the beans and automatically poured hot water over them.  Were you in on that gift?

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I’m with you—but Starbucks is too bitter for me!  Ha!====JACK:  Bitter?  A perfect Lenten drink for you.

FROM MY LAWYER:  I'm with you!!!====JACK:  When did you first learn to drink coffee?  I think that I was in my mid-20s.====LAWYER:  I was about eight, and living on a farm (long story for another time) with my grandfather. Early every morning I would meet at his house with several of my cousins and he would, first swear us to secrecy, then make us all coffee. The cup had about 1/4 inch of coffee and the rest hot milk!!!  But, it was coffee; and I would dunk a piece of toast in it just like I saw my Mom do. It was the worst kept secret in town.

FROM STARRY KNIGHT:  Yes! I love coffee too!====JACK:  In Wisconsin, some make coffee, using beer instead of water.  Have you tried that? ====SK:  Wow! Didn't know that.  Going to try it sometime!====JACK:  You can make it sometime for your mom.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Ah coffee.  Where would we be without coffee.  I don't need it like  most of my Danish/Swedish family, but we do love it!====JACK: Today's special brews now cost more than gasoline.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Give me a cup of Folger's anytime and use that other stuff to strip paint. I picked Folger's out of admiration of their commercials... especially the Irish Dancers one. (Haven't we discussed this before?)====JACK:  The Folgers ads have used some interesting tag lines.  The one Ilike is the Swedish lady calling it, "Fol-yers."

FROM ST. PAUL IN MESA:  I had a cup of espresso one time in a restaurant and it was strong!!  never again.   I think I can still taste it to this very day!====JACK:  Was it sort of like your first taste of wine?

 FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  sign at our vet’s office—”UNATTENDED CHILDREN WILL BE GIVEN A CUP OF ESPRESSO AND A FREE PUPPY”====JACK:  That is really funny.   Is there one about unruly spouses?

FROM MT SINGS IN TRAVERSE CITY:  I could not agree more!====JACK:  I suppose that there are many, many coffee shops in TC.  Do you have a favorite? ====EMT:  They have just built a Panera up here.  We always enjoyed them downstate.  There is a Bigby being built right near us now. I really like coffee shops.  They seem so cozy, especially in winter.  After the Bible Study downstate a bunch of us always went to a nearby coffee shop where we "really settled the problems of the world"!  I miss that that group!!====JACK:  Coziness sells, maybe more so than the coffee.  I wonder if it's also true with regard to churches?


FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA:  Simple message I really need to remember. Thanks.====JACK:  I like the Shaker Song, "Simple Gifts." 
'Tis the gift to be simple,
 'tis the gift to be free,
 'tis the gift to come down
 where we ought to be,
 and when we find ourselves in the place just right,
 'twill be in the valley of love and delight.
 When true simplicity is gained
 to bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed,
 to turn, turn, will be our delight
 till by turning, turning we come round right.

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  Starbuck's is so big here, two on city streets.  How does coffee have to cost so much in these places?====JACK:  Economics 101...Supply and demand, or whatever the customer will pay.  Starbucks was first called, Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spices.  One of their popular drinks is Teavana.  Have you ever tried that?


Monday, March 09, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/9/15
 “I am a scientist who believes in God.  My heart directs my faith; my brain directs my science.  They never compete.”  (Erin D)  Erin is one of 5 archeologists who recently discovered a fossil, dating the dawn of humankind back to almost 3 million years ago.  Erin was a member of a church I once served.  I’m glad to know a scientist who believes that faith and science can co-exist.  You don’t have to park your brain with the car when come into church.    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  most scientists do... because they see intelligent design in their work. ====JACK:  "Religion and Science" have a history of being at odds with each other...Copernicus, Galileo, Darwin, Monkey Trial, etc.  Erin is an example of how thinking people can be "both/and."
====LIZ:  was darwin an atheist? or did he just figure out some of god's science?  it is not "either/or." if one believes the bible literally, there can be no science. bible is allegorical, imho. which does not make it any less important.  off to work.====JACK:  "Atheist" is a label.  It means different things to different people.  To me, Darwin was a seeker after answers.  He may have responded negatively to some of the religion of his day, but I hesitate to "tag" him...except for "seeker."  Literalism is not only a problem when it comes to religion, it's a basic communications problem.  I've tried to explain that to you a thousand times.

FROM MM IN FLORIDA:  Very nice and informational. Thank you for these Winning Words.  How old is Erin and is she related to a Baseball a past Baseball player.====JACK:  I don't know her exact age, but I would say that she is one of the "new breed" of archeologists...and I seem to recall that she's a shirt-tail relative of Joe D.

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Science and Faith aren't mutually exclusive. This is true even if your "faith" is completely in science. The realms of the world, matter, time and space can be described and understood through scientific inquiry and expression. The realms of Life, Soul, Spirit, Breath (terms used to describe Psyche) exist where science cannot reach. What's the problem?==== JACK:  The "problem" is the response(s) which see the search for fossils as an attack on religion.====RAY:  I'm left with the same question...with a rephrasing...how does the existence of a fossil attack theology (or what some might call religion)?====JACK:  Don't ask me.  Scientific exploration is not a problem with me, although there may be some ethical questions which arise.

FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  Agree.====JACK:  One of my all-time favorite quotes is this one: 
"Though man a thinking being is defined, Few use the grand prerogative of mind. How few think justly of the thinking few! How many never think, who think they do!"  (Jane Taylor)

FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA:  Nice====JACK:  She's a nice person, too.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Thanks for the inspiration.====JACK:  I believe that the Spirit of God is active in many of the things we do...archeological digs and commenting on them, too.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Well, as far as I'm concerned, God is a scientist. "Scientists" discover things, but who put them there? ====JACK:  "What's it all about, Alfie?"  We're all trying to figure things out.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Love this quote. You've probably read "THE LANGUAGE OF GOD" by Francis S. Collins, the brilliant scientist who discovered DNA, the heredity code of life, (with his team of scientists). It is a fascinating and clearly written book for a general audience about Faith and Science. A powerful confession of Belief!!  I wish everyone could read and assimilate his book!! ====JACK:  I think that we each find our comfort zone when it comes to the compatibility of science and religion.  No matter where that might be, we have to guard against believing that we have all of the correct answers.  As Michelangelo said (when he was 87): "Ancora Imparo" (I am still learning).

Friday, March 06, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/6/15
“We think too much and feel too little.  More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.”  (Charlie Chaplin)  A recent NY Times article recommends Turner Classic Movies when you want to trade one reality for another.  I clicked on Ch 66, and there it was…The Music Man…one of my favorites.  A few weeks earlier, I clicked Ch 66, and there was Charlie Chaplin in The Tramp.  Today’s Chaplin quote comes to life in that movie.  Thank you, TCM!    ;-)  Jack

FROM ANON IN MICHIGAN:  "There's trouble in River City" seems appropriate as of late......====JACK  And, it's not because of pool, either.  BTW, What's wrong with pool?

FROM HONEST JOHN:  He said that almost 100 years ago.    Right now the reverse could well be true...we feel too much and think too little.    We need a healthy balance.====JACK:  I think too many people saw Chaplin, simply as a comic.  When he stepped out of that role and expressed his thoughts, he was criticized for doing that.  Kindness happens when people think enough to put themselves in the place of another.  

FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  On that theme, I like the quote: "Cleverness for the sake of cleverness is a waste of time, it is only valuable if a worthwhile mission is accomplished."  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could be clever enough to change the mindset of terrorists?  Unfortunately, their leaders are clever enough to recruit young people from our country to join them.  Hmmm ====JACK:  Cleverness is simply a tool.  How it's used determines whether it's good or bad.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Kindness and gentleness combined with cleverness can be a potent solace in mental or physical distress.  BTW...TCM is my favorite program for "trading one reality for another". Always check it out first even before football. Another choice in the process of  "trading one reality for another".====JACK:  I think back to the time when our choice of TV channels was one, two, or three.  If we wanted a change of scenery, we went for a walk.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/5/15
“By my definition, prayer is hanging out with God.”  (Malcolm Boyd)  Fr Boyd last Friday.  I first met him through his book, “Are You Running With Me, Jesus?”  His prayers sounded as though he were chatting with a good friend…“Here I am in church again, Jesus.  Save us from the sin of loving religion instead of you”…“I know it sounds corny, Jesus, but I’m lonely.  I’m lonely as hell.”  Will they use fancy language in heaven?  What do you think?    ;-)  Jack

  FROM HONEST JOHN:  They will speak Swedish there.====JACK:  One of my seminary professors, A.D. Mattson, told of a time when his little daughter came to him in tears.  Evidently, they'd been having a discussion about God in Sunday School.  "Papa, God's a Swede, isn't he?"

 FROM TARMART REV:  That's surely fits my understanding of, "never stop praying." (I Thessalonians 5:17 NLT).====JACK:  Those who take the reading of the Bible literally must have a problem with, "Pray without ceasing."====REV:  Not a problem in my life . . . In constant dialogue all day . . . I imagine I'm found guilty of doing most of the talking!!====JACK:  Read, Psalm 46:10!  "Be still and know that I am God."

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I think we'll use honest language.====JACK:  No need for obfuscation!

FROM PC IN MICHIGAN:  I think I'm looking for the book!====JACK:  If the library doesn't have it, you can buy it online (Half.com).

FROM MV IN MICHIGAN:  I think far too many, including myself, love religion instead of Jesus. But not just Christianity but look what’s being done in the name of religion in The Middle East. ====JACK:  Many of the world's religions espouse good moral and spiritual principles.  It's the misinterpretation of them that causes the problem...Islam, Judaism, Christianity, you name it.

FROM GP IN MICHIGAN:  I believe I may have told you that Malcolm Boyd was an acquaintance and a client of mine many years ago when we both lived in Ann Arbor.  I arranged to have him as a speaker at one of our men's retreats sponsored by our church.  He was a very interesting man. ====JACK:  Usually, when we meet up with "famous" people, we find out that they are just people.  The cover of his book (Published in 1965) shows him with a cigarette dangling out of his mouth.

FROM ST. PAUL IN MESA:  I well recall reading this small but very popular book back in my college days.  fond memories...====JACK:  Boyd was part of the mid-60s marching/protesting movement.  He was also a campus pastor at Colorado State Univ.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I think God already has it planned for me...for all of us believers.  We will communicate with him just like the disciples talked with Jesus.   Something to look forward to. ====JACK:  Since you have no preconceptions, you won't be disappointed.

FROM CH ON CAPE COD:  I think there will be simple and fancy language!  There can be great beauty, joy and playfulness in unusual words.====JACK:  I would not be surprised if there were no words at all, but an entirely new way of "understanding" between God and his souls.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/4/15
“Sometimes you need to talk to a 5-year-old so you can understand life again.”  (Sent by Lauren)  Someone gave me a book, Children’s Letters to God.  “DEAR GOD…Are you really invisible, or it a trick?...Who told you that you were God?...I think about you sometimes, even when I’m not praying….What does it mean that you’re a jealous God?  I thought you had everything.”  If you were to write a letter to God, what would you say?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  "Thank you!!"====JACK:  I like the song, "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."

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  i'd say, "thank you for children".====JACK:  What do you suppose Jesus meant when he said, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven?"====MARY:  hmmmmmmmmm...i think it means that everything we say or do should come from a pure heart.  it doesn't mean no mistakes are made.  it means that they are made naively , not maliciously.

FROM JB AT LSTC:  Oh, that is a great question! My mother has a long list of questions for God, mostly about evil in the world. She also has a well-developed sense of wonder and often says, “Good job, God!” when she sees something beautiful.====JACK:  A good idea for what's left of Lent this year...Write a one-sentence letter to God each day 9iknstead of giving up sweets).  I think your mom might be good at doing that.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'd say, "thank you for every day above ground, and for the belly laughs from reading Jack's blog on "bird poop"!  What is more refreshing than a good laugh! It's heart healthy!! I do it often....  Smiling still.====JACK:  Do you remember the picture of the laughing Jesus?  I think the artist also drew pictures for a toilet paper company. 

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How very true.  I can understand why Jesus said we must have faith like a child.  They have complete faith in God.  I love to talk with my grandchildren about God.   Or for that matter, anything they want to talk about.  Art Linkletter had the right idea when he decided to talk to children on his show.====JACK:  I suppose if you'd kept a journal of what your grandchildren talked about with you, there would be the makings of a book.

FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  I like "who told you that you were God"?====JACK:  I had fun picking out which ones to use.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/3/15
“Someday a bird will poop on you.”  (Sue Salvi & Megan Kellie)  I’ll never forget…I was on my way to Sunday School when a bird pooped on me.  I ran back home, with my sister laughing after me.  Has something like that ever happened to you?  Of course!  Bad things happen.  That’s life.  So, control what you can control.  Make the best of what you can’t.  God has a way of turning bad into good.  “Look for the silver lining!”…and look out for birds.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  Do you think when the bird pooped on you that was God's signal to you that your thoughts were inappropriate for Sunday school attendance?  Just "thinkin.."====JACK:  If God had wanted to reprimand me, I think that it would be with something more significant than bird poop.

FROM TARMART REV:  The only thing I've experienced worse was a time of a personal attack of pooping on myself when not making the restroom facility soon enough. Did what was instructed below...I made the best of what I couldn't control. 0;-/====JACK:  That's worse; in fact, I think it's the worstest!

FROM TRIHARDER:  Twice in one day. Memorable for other reasons.====JACK:  Sometimes there are messages in happenings.  Evidently you didn't get it the first time.

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN:  I laughed and laughed!  Probably ninety years ago my mother's younger sister "borrowed" without permission, her best hat, for some date.  It must have been the grandfather of your bird that was drawn to my aunt's head.  I think my mom was still irritated thirty years later!!!  Thanks for sharing!====JACK:  My step-father was a card player.  Whenever he was dealt a bad hand he would always say, "Poop on you, Josephine."  It has become a family expression when something doesn't go right.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Aren't you glad elephants can't fly?====JACK:  I think there's poem about that.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  No wonder "The Birds" was such a scary movie!   Forget the poop - they were aggressive!====JACK:  Do you remember the song, "Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it..."?

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Yes, bad things do happen.  We have to be grateful for good things.  As you said, "Look for the silver lining!"  I'm reminded of the poem
As I was looking in the sky  I saw a little bird fly by.
Then something fell into my eye...  Gee I'm glad that cows don't fly.
====JACK:  That reminds me of another childhood experience...visiting a Wisconsin farm for the first time.  They wanted to give me the experience of milking a cow.  As I sat there on the stool, the cow pooped, and some of it flew into my eye.  There was some screaming, and I was taken into the house to have my face washed.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Ah yes!  Right on the top of  my head, in my hair!! UGH!  and Bill was unloaded on during a committal service in the cemetery...new suit! My devotions today told of Clara Barton, who deliberately chose not to harbor resentments. When her friend asked, "You don't remember how he treated you?!" She replied, "No, I distinctly remember forgetting that!"  A good motto to live by: Distinctly remembering to forget our hurts and slights!====JACK:  But, there are some incidents that seem to be tattooed on the brain.

 FROM DRX:  ...A great story, Jack...Keep up the inspired work of your words...====JACK:  I have a collection of Winning Words, far greater than I'll ever be able to use.  The problem is in the choosing of which of them to use on a particular day.

FROM MK IN MICHIGAN:  The boys still remember when I bird pooped on me at the park(right on top of my head). They were all real little. They smile every time they think of it. Guess that's my sliver lining there!====JACK:  You can add my smile, too.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Too funny!  Some of the simplest happenings leave wonderful (?) memories.  We had a snooty little girl living on our street.  Her mom asked my mom if I would please walk her to school each day.  I certainly did not want to be stuck with her everyday but of course I had to obey my mom.  The first day we started off to school, with her in her new clothes and her nose stuck up in the air, when a very large bird bomb hit directly on the top of her head.  She started crying and I took her home.  I never had to walk her to school again because her mom drove her each day.  (She ended up to be a very sweet girl when she got a little older)====JACK:  Have you ever seen a birdhouse with an outhouse?

Monday, March 02, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 3/2/15
“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt.”  (Rene Descartes)  A NY Times’ Best Seller is Rob Bell’s book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God.  In the book he challenges what we think we know about God.  He must have been a fan of Descartes, who believed that every “truth” had to be challenged in order to get to the real truth.  It is in the searching that we find.        ;-)  Jack 

FROM HONEST JOHN:   Sometimes it is in the searching that we are found. ====JACK:  Somehow, I'm not surprised that you're the first to respond.  I'm grateful for our professors who assured us that there is no "sin" in searching.====JOHN:   My mother was very open minded and taught me to be so.   And then my Dad was an inventor and was always open to new ideas.

FROM TARMART REV:  Interesting dialogue between Bell and Oprah in recent times on same-sex marriages: Rob Bell was asked by Oprah when the church was going to embrace same-sex "marriage," to which he responded, "We're close," with Kristen (his wife) adding, "I think it's evolving."  Rob then explained, "Lots of people are already there. We think it's inevitable, and we're moments ... ," at which point Oprah chimed in, "Moments away from the church accepting it?"
Rob's reply: "Absolutely ... I think culture is already there, and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense. When you have in front of you flesh-and-blood people who are your brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and co-workers and neighbors, and they love each other, and they just want to go through life with someone."  I guess its time to tear some more pages out of that irrelevant Book . . . its getting more complicated all the time with whose voice are we seeking for relevancy . . . It is as if, "go with the culture, stay 'relevant,' dismiss the outdated biblical evidence and listen to our emotions."  A close friend of mine posted the following on Facebook the other day . . . "The Less Scripture I Read the More He Fills Me Up!  When I read very short sections of scripture and meditate on it for days and weeks - He seems to reveal so much more of Himself!" I do believe Bell's definitely in tune with today's culture for the relevancy of God's Word.====JACK:  WOW!  I didn't expect a sermon-long response, but your remarks only underscore how people are searching for a truth.  In my beginning search for religious truth, I tended to read the Bible literally.  Then, I was led to ask, "What does this mean?" and "In what context was this written?"  This, then, led me to ask, "How does this apply to the world in which we are now living?"  Aside from this...The story is told of someone stopping a man on the street and asking, "Have you found Jesus?"  The man responds, "What?  Is he lost again?"  The search for God and his will for us continues.====REV:  Not so much as a sermon on my part as a personal reflection of where I am with what I'm facing at this point in my spiritual walk . . . I always remember the illustration of the old gentleman homebound because of sickness, but always receiving a tape of the Sunday sermon each week. Eventually a young minister came to the church and brought the more relevant Word from the pulpit each week. One day the pastor was called to the bedside of the old gentleman who was about to die. He asked for the man's Bible to read him some Scripture which was in the drawer next to his bed. When the young pastor reached in and picked up the old man's Bible, he noticed pages torn and sometimes whole chapters rip out. "What happened to your Bible? asked the minister. "Every time you would mention in one your sermons that what was written as not relevant for today, I would rip it out." I'm just struggling on which portions to rip out and which are to stay?!?!====JACK:  Do you remember the words of the Gospel song..."We'll understand it better by and by"?  Life is a continual search...until by and by.====REV:  Yes Sir, I do...and in my selfish ways I respond, "Even though, come quickly Lord Jesus!!"

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  yikes! i am definitely an overachiever because i question everything. no wonder i am exhausted!!!====JACK:  Are you sure your name isn't Renee?  It's said that the original Rene wasn't allowed to be buried in a Catholic cemetery because of his questioning.  The place of his burial was not necessarily a sign of God's judgment.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Is it true that CS Lewis was a non believer until he began to search and verify his non belief and in fact discovered God instead????====JACK:  I think that was true about C.S.  From what I've read, that was true about Descartes, too.  I tend to be suspicious of people who seem to have all of the answers.  I'm more comfortable with "seekers."

FROM SB IN MICHIGAN:  One of my book clubs is reading Rob Bell’s book as our March selection. I heard him speak last fall at an Oprah Winfrey event at the Palace of Auburn Hills. ====JACK:  Well, after listening, what do you think?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  This brings me back to Oscar Wilde's succinct comment, "The pure and simple truth is rarely pure, and never simple"!  But who has not doubted in his life?!  And as we resolve these doubts to our satisfaction, our belief is stronger. Most of us want to "know" for ourselves...It's the nature of the beast, so to speak. We are naturally curious. Good WW from Rene!! ====JACK:  Have you ever sung the hymn, There's A Wideness In God's Mercy?  One of the stanzas has these words..."If our faith were but more simple,  We should take him at his word,  And our lives would be all sunshine  In the sweetness of our Lord."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Gary and I just started a Bible study.  It's on truth.  So many people have such unreal ideas of truth.  Even those in the Christian church.  The quote you used today was perfect.  By the way, we believe God has and is the Truth.