Thursday, April 30, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/30/15
“Always keep your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level.”  (Max L. Forman)  I wonder if any of you recognize the name, Eustace Tilley?  He’s the snooty cartoon character with the monocle who appeared on the first cover of the New Yorker and has never gone away.  Snooty is a word that you can picture with your mind…like snob, snot, conceited and supercilious.   Use FRIEND as an acrostic to describe your idea of a friend.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Yup!!! Also the mantra of every NHL hockey player!====JACK: Thanks for the "heads up!"

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  very, very good thought.====JACK:  In my elementary school, the grading marks were:  E (excellent), VG (Very Good), G (good) and P (poor).  According to your response, today's Winning Words received a VG+.

FROM ST. PAUL IN ST. PAUL:  am wondering if snoot and snot are in any way related?  pretty gross...====JACK:  Snot comes from the snoot.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Sounds like a golf pro's advice.====JACK:  My Aunt Nell used an expression when she wanted me to behave myself..."Keep your nose clean!"

FROM CK IN WL:  Ok Jack, what in the world does " acrostic" mean. Boy oh boy, when I get to a dictionary you're in trouble!====JACK: 
F unny
R eliable
I ntriguing
E xciting
N ormal
D evoted
====CK:  Aha!! The light bulb goes on! Thanks learned something new, friend.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/29/15
“The most important trip you may take is meeting people half way.”  (Henry Boyle)  Think back to when you were a kid…Did you ever want to play with someone who always insisted in having his own way?  Not me!  I wonder if some of our lawmakers ever had friends when they were growing up?  Of course, we ought to stand up for our principles, but the good life is often a matter of compromise.  It applies to home, work, school…and even in Congress.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST. PAUL IN ST. PAUL:  oh that some in Congress would heed your words!!   Walker, Cruze, and even Rubio seem to be such entrenched ideologues.   no bend, no compromise, and such arrogance...  this will not help our government to "form a more perfect union"!====JACK:  Compromise needs to involve both sides of an issue.  Of couse, regarding some issues, there can be no compromise.  Ah..."Therin  lies the rub!"

FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  Isn't it interesting that if PRO is for & CON is against. Does that mean that the opposite to PROgress is CONgress ? mmm.====JACK:  That's a clever use of words.  Our legislators seem to have that same skill.  I read somewhere..."Never trust a man who makes a living with his mouth."  Does that apply to clergy, too?====IKE  The mouth should be looked upon as a delivery vehicle for communication, the words are fuel to connect human minds.Whether the communicator should be trusted or not depends on the morality of the person not their mouth.   
FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  AMEN!!!!===JACK:  You must believe strongly about this one.  You added 4 exclamation points.====MARLYS:  I do—you have hit the nail on the head a couple of times this week.  Thanks!

FROM TARMART REV:  Not much fun, those guys always wanting their own way . . . frustrating at times with those that can't make up their own minds, either . . . much more entertaining and insightful, learning to share and experience another's point of view.====JACK:  I think that we all want our own way.  That's why it's good to regularly pray to God..."Thy will (not my will) be done."

FROM HY YO SILVER ON CAPITOL HILL:  In the House, the "N Word" that was taboo was "Negotiate" -- the Senate is much more refined, mature, deliberative body...dare I say, it's for the adults.====JACK:  Gerrymander is a funny-sounding word, but the results of gerrymandering aren't so funny.

HOWARD BAKER (American politician and diplomat):  "The most difficult thing in any negotiation, almost, is making sure that you strip it of the emotion and deal with the facts."

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Reminds me of the old Iowa "Right Hand" law. Farmers would meet at the middle of their fence line and to the right of each farmer was his fence maintenance responsibility. I think it is still in force.====JACK:  This world operates with many unwritten laws.  Baseball has it's rule book, but many rules aren't in the book, such as...Don't throw a pitch behind the batter. 


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/28/15
“A bad attitude is like a flat tire; you can’t go anywhere until you change it.”  (Guideposts)  Have you noticed that when you smile at someone, they will smile back at you?  Leaning on the horn doesn’t usually get a smile in return.  I like the song: “Keep on the sunny side of life...It will help you every day, it will brighten all the way, if you keep on the sunny side of life.”  Try the “smile test” today and see if it works.   Most people don’t pick a sourpuss for a friend.  ;-)  Jack

FROM TRIHARDER:  ... or, you can keep on driving on that flat tire and suffer the rough ride. ====JACK:  Those who are with that "driver" must suffer along with him/her.====TRIHARDER:
Yes, Jack. I've watched it happen.

FROM TARMART REV:  A sad response to such a well thought of post this morning....but lock one's wife and dog in a car trunk for 30 minutes and see whose the most excited to see you when you open it?!?!====JACK:  If it were the wife and the cat, you'd have two sour pusses.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  We often get some sound advice in a simple analogy like the flat tire example.  Good WW to keep in mind.  I liked finding "sourpuss" in your's a word that doesn't come up much anymore, regardless that it's so descriptive.  As a kid, when I heard that, it annoyed me enough to change my attitude.====JACK:   I like some of the synonyms, too:  "bellyacher, complainer, crab, crank, croaker, crosspatch, curmudgeon, fusser, griper, grouser, growler, grumbler, grump, murmurer, mutterer, grouch, whiner."====RI:  After all these years have you changed your attitude about eggplant?  If you haven't, and you tasted Hiroko's version, you might reconsider.====JACK:  I see that you've read my comment to St. Paul about eggplant.  The Biblical St. Paul has something to say about eating food when you have questions about it (1 Corinthians 8).  If I were a guest in your home, I would gladly eat the eggplant and be ready to compliment the one who cooked it. 

FROM ST. PAUL IN ST. PAUL:  some folks look like they were weaned on a dill pickle that had been dipped in lemon juice!====JACK:  I used to look like that when my mother served fried eggplant for supper.====ST. PAUL:  we used to grow eggplant in our garden in St. Louis (Ferguson was my home town).  I never liked it either!====JACK:  Aren't words the speaking of them can bring images to mind?  Like...eggplant...Ferguson.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  One of the chapters in my book is, "Life is Reciprocity."  Have you read U Line, by George Barna? Very revealing facts by this world-class pollster.====JACK:  Your book is before me now.  I see that I have underlined your reference to the Des Moines Reciprocal Club.  Did you belong to that group?  In reference to Barna...A friend regularly sends me their reports.  They are a respected polling group, and their information is used by our nation church body.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My twin sis and I used to start off one of our programs with the song "WITH A HEY, AND A HI, AND A HO-HO-HO! (With a Hey, and a Hi, and a Ho-ho-ho-, you start of the day with a glo-ho-ho; Sing all the way as away you go, with a Hey, and a Hi and a Ho-ho-ho! Up go the blinds, and you know-ho-ho, it ain't gonna rain any mo-ho-ho, Sun's gonna shine cuz you made it so, with a Hey and a Hi and a ho-ho-ho.  While you buy the paper hum a little happy little hum; Cut a little caper, singing, "happiness here I come!"  With a Hey, and a Hi and a ho-h-ho- you smile from your head to your toe-ho-ho; wrap up your cares and away you go, with a Hey, and a Hi, a Hey and a Hi, a Hey and a Hiiii, and a Ho-Ho-Ho!   Fun to sing, and always got an upbeat response! ====JACK:  Did that song ever get recorded.  It sounds like a something that would be used on Don McNeill's Breakfast Club.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Always be an optimist.====JACK:  While I was throwing out "stuff" this week, I came across my 1972 Appointment Book.  That was the year I helped form the Optimist Club in our community, and I've been a member ever since.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  We're all in our places with bright, shiny faces.====JACK:  My 6th Grade teacher made going to school a fun experience.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/27/15
"If Plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters.”  (Claire Cook)  The alphabet wasn’t big enough for Edison.  He said that his 10,000 failures just helped him find 10,000 things that didn’t work.  Talk about persistence!  “If at first you don’t succeed…”  All of us, at times,  need encouragement to keep going on.  Things have a way of working out for those who don’t give up.  Edison’s “failed” talking doll eventually became the famous Chatty Cathy.    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Not succeeding hurts...not trying for fear of not succeeding is worse.
To me...tenacity is a virtue.  Pretty heavy on a Monday morning!====JACK:  It's healthy to begin the day with bodily exercise.  There's nothing wrong with exercising the mind, too. 

FROM TARMART REV:  ... still learning from mine, I am!!====JACK:  Humility is one of the 7 heavenly virtues.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:   Do you know Edison looked through the microscope at sugar (or salt, I can't remember which one) but it's said he was alarmed at the sharp granules and never ate it again.  I think it's one of those "Believe it not statements".     We had our bible study last night.  The largest group are teens.  We just talked about Plans B C D last night!  God is good all the time even in plan Z!====JACK:  Religion was expressed differently in Edison's than in ours.  I've read that he was Deist.  He believed in a Creator, but beyond that it was only the laws of nature that ruled the world.

FROM ST. PAUL IN ST. PAUL:  we could do without Chatty!!====JACK:  Cathy spoke eleven phrases.  I'm sure that you could agree with two of them..."I love you" and "May I have a cookie?"

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  WHAT A GOOD THOUGHT! AND WE OFTEN HAVE TO GO TO "B" OR "C' !  THIS PAST WEEKEND, I ARRIVED TO LEAD SINGING AT A 2 DAY RETREAT, TO FIND THERE WAS NO PIANO AVAILABLE, SO I PLUNKED OUT THE MELODIES ON MY GREAT=GRANDDAUGHTER'S (5) "KEYBOARD SONG-MAKER" AND EVERYONE SANG WITH GUSTO!! TURNED OUT TO BE FUN...====JACK:  Some people just know how to "make do."  I had an aunt who cooked that way.  If she didn't have the right ingredients, or the right amount, she would "make do" with what she had, and it usually turned out OK.
====OAKS:  I THINK WE ALL HAVE HAD TO 'SUBSTITUTE" AT TIMES, AND IT WAS USUALLY O.K. ! :-) AT LEAST WE WERE HUNGRY ENOUGH NOT TO BE "PICKY". ====JACK:  Picky!  Now, there's a word you don't hear much anymore.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  YOUR INSIGHT INTO MY MOOD OF THE DAY IS INCREDIBLE. THANKS FOR THE NUDGE. MY BIG HANG-UP IS IMPATIENCE. I HAVE A CARTOON FRAMED AND ON MY DESK OF A COUPLE OF VULTURES SITTTING ON A LIMB. ONE IS SAYING TO THE OTHER, "PATIENCE MY ASS. I'M GOIMG TO KILL SOMETHING!"====JACK:  Did your employees know how to stay out of the way when you were in one of your "impatient" moods?====CHESTER:  I seldom let is show. That's not how to get the best out of your people. Besides, most creative people are impatient.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/24/15
“You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.”  (George Burns)  J Lo has said that she’s beginning to notice aging in herself.  Is that when it happens…in your 40s?  I read somewhere that it’s the face.  “My face is getting older.”  I think that it’s in the mind.    Watch George Burns (on YouTube) sing, “I Wish I Was 18 Again.”  His body was 100 when he died, but I think his mind was still stuck at 18.  How old are you feeling these days?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  I ponder that some days...I like the spiritual rendition of comparing myself to eternity..."Just a spring chicken!"====JACK:  ...or, maybe an egg

FROM ST. PAUL IN ST. PAUL:  or as someone has said,  "we don't grow old, but we do get old when we stop growing."  some grain of truth in that comment.    a friend of mine used to look in the mirror each morning (in his youth) and say "stud!"   now he looks in the mirror and says "prune!" ====JACK:  As the hymns goes..."Change and decay in all around, I see."  .====ST. PAUL:  o Thou who changest not, abide with me!  went to a funeral yesterday for a good friend who died of ALS, age 58. very sad.====JACK:  ALS, what a terrible disease!  Death can be a release.  Sad, but released to be rid of the "bonds" of life on earth.  As MLK Jr said, "Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.”

FROM TRIHARDER:  I don't know if you've noticed, Jack, but I've lost some friends lately. One to an accident and another to cancer. Despite that, I'm feeling immortal. My hairline, however, defies and betrays me====JACK:  We know that all humans are mortal, but we usually set aside that idea for ourselves until the death of someone close to us (or a doctor's diagnosis) gives it reality.

 FROM MY LAWYER:  At the moment, 73.  At tomorrow's baseball practice with Jenner's team that I'm helping to coach, I'll be 35 again!!!====JACK:  I think back to age 35.  That was a good time, when I was teaching my son to play baseball.  Age 73 wasn't so bad, either...when I was watching him play baseball in the Roy Hobbs' World Series in Florida.

FROM COPPER COUNTRY BOB:  I am 16 going on 17.........even at 82.====JACK:  Some of that Finnish sisu must have rubbed off on you.

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  This is true. The body gets old and dies; but the Spirit is eternal, and it has no age. A good reason to live by the Spirit, and in the Light, is that it never grow old. I think it was Peter who talked about "wearing his body" as if it were a type of clothing. I liked that. Like old clothes we discard them; yet we remain.====JACK:  I tend to agree with you, but I seem to recall discussions in philosophy/theology classes as to whether of not the body can be separated from the soul.====RAY:  I would contend that Peter's reference of the body as a type of clothing wasn't by accident (given the possibility that the interpretation was). I think that the "veil" that separates the physical from the spiritual is very thin. The world is of time and space; and spirit is of eternity and infinity. The soul was created long before the body; for in the realm of the eternal we (soul) were created. But the soul can't be seen through mortal eyes (of the world) unless also covered by the mortal flesh (the "clothes" of the body to which Peter may be referencing). So, maybe both camps are partially accurate. Like the "invisible man", he could only be recognized when he wore his clothes (body). We, our souls, are covered by the dust of the earth. The dust is of the earth, and it belongs to the earth. Our souls are of God and belong to God. Both will return to where they belong. We will leave our clothes here, and walk by the invisible (to the physical eye) soul's body in the realm of God's eternal and infinite home.====JACK:  You remind me of being back in seminary days.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  last week i was down for the count with a virus.  i felt old.  this week i'm back to being peter pan:)  i prefer neverland!====JACK:  There's an old Gospel song..."In The Land Where We'll Never Grow Old"...I like the YouTube version by The Carter Family, because it shows the words, and you can sing along.  I know that you'd like to do that...and remember those in your family who are living in that land.

FROM PRESBY PAUL:  One of the first pastoral colleagues I met following seminary always used to say "You only grow old when you think you're too old to grow." How true!!====JACK:  I like to meet new people, new ideas, new challenges.  They have a way of rejuvenating the mind.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Ten years ago the Wii fit said I was 37, so today I guess it would be 47.====JACK:  I guess you'll have to cancel your reservation for this year's class reunion.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  My body feels old but my mind is 25!====JACK:  Be careful that you don't start acting like a 25-yr-old.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/23/15
“Don’t worry.  God is always on time.”  (Seen on Facebook)  I’ve read that, in China, it’s bad luck to give someone a clock.  The tick-tock sound is a reminder that life is passing away, sort of like the Grandfather Clock song.  But if our faith tells us that there is life beyond this one, a gift clock isn’t such a bad idea.  Today’s quote reminds us that God is always aware of our needs.  A prayer hymn says, “Our times are in thy hands; O Lord, we wish them there.”    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TARMART REV:  Reminded of an old chorus once again, "God answers prayer in the morning, God answers prayer at noon, God answers in the evening, So keep your heart in tune." ====JACK:  The 3rd stanza of that Sunday School song speaks to being aware of God's Time.  It goes, "Jesus may come in the morning...noon...evening, so keep your heart in tune."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We have a large Grandfather clock.  When Andy was little he told me he knew when I was going to die.  When I asked him how he knew, he said "When the Grandfather clock stopped!"  I liked that song and sang it a lot never knowing he was actually listening.  God's timing is always the best even when we don't understand.====JACK:  We are what we've heard and responded to. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/22/15
“To see the earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful, in the eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the earth together.”  (Archibald MacLeish)  Earth Day began in 1970, as an idea from Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson.  Google can tell you what the world was like back then, compared with what it is now.  Progress has been made, but more is needed.  During these mornings I’m glad for Rachel Carson’s book, “Silent Spring.”    ;-)  Jack  

FROM DR ERIC:  We are specks of dust traveling on a spaceship...puts things into perspective, eh?
Check this video out. It's pretty amazing to see us from so far away.
====JACK:  The expanding universe makes earth (and its people) even more insignificant, except in the eyes of G-d.

FROM TARMART REV:  Speechless . . . well posted to encourage us to reflect and ponder a reflect an act on our part. Perhaps a prayer of thankfulness to its Creator and to stop and pick up a thrown discarded or, maybe better said, disregarded piece of paper.====JACK:  Good pick up a piece of someone's trash today.  I'm going to do that.  How about you?

FROM TRIHARDER:  But the changes we have made to her in such a brief time is so sad. ====JACK:  Carson wrote her book, because she saw a problem.  Because of her book, a silent Spring was averted, and I'm able to hear and appreciate the chirping of birds as I go out to get the morning newspaper.  See a problem...Do something to alleviate it!====TRIHARDER:  Yes, we are trying. Many of us are trying. But mankind has been so destructive and, almost inexplicably, continues to eliminate species and habitat.====JACK:  I've read that recycling is now available in Detroit, but some very poor people need to choose between the $25 cost of a recycling bin and food.  I don't blame them for choosing food.  How about starting a program where people who care about "Earth Day" can contribute $25 to provide a bin for a needy family?

FROM SPARTY:  This is beautiful.====JACK:  Ray Stevens sings: 
 Everything is beautiful in it's own way.
 Like the starry summer night, or a snow-covered winter's day.
 And everybody's beautiful in their own way.
 Under God's heaven, the world's gonna find the way.
There is none so blind as he who will not see.
 We must not close our minds; we must let our thoughts be free.
 For every hour that passes by, we know the world gets a little bit older.
 It's time to realize that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  It is indeed a beautiful world.====JACK:  Of all the places in the world where you've been, which one do you consider to be the most beautiful?  Dorothy said that, for her, it was Kansas.====SHIRL:  That would be difficult.  I love the Pacific Coast Highway  from San Diego to Seaside, Oregon, the Tetons, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Copacabana and Rio, Paris, the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska.  And many more.  We are so lucky to have so many choices.  And I can't forget Hawaii, especially Maui and Hannamma Bay in Oahu.  Hanauma Bay. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/21/15
“You know you’re really stressed when you start getting on your own nerves.”  (Sent by NCD)  Each year my insurance provider asks for a health assessment, including a part which asks me to rate my stress level.  I’ve read that some stress is good for all of us.  As with much of life--All things in moderation!  But, when nerves get you down, take some deep breaths, write a thank you note, go for a walk, make a gratitude list, and don’t forget to pray.    ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  Ha! I think I've actually been there!!  However, given that you've noticed me commenting on your stress related WWs, you'll be glad to hear that I'm getting help to learn to manage my anxiety/stress. I'm still working on it, but learning to refocus my thinking and my priorities is making for a happier, much less irritable, me. :)====JACK:  Which stress is worse, that which we place on ourselves, or that which the job places on us?  Stress is stress, isn't it.  I never felt stress connected with my job.  I felt challenged.  That helped alleviate personal stress for me. ====LBP:  Well, to date the worst has been my self imposed stress. There is lots from work, kinda. I hedge because the stress of it is mostly my doing .... from placing high expectations on myself and taking on more than can be handled at once... And procrastination. As I say, with help I'm leaning to see things differently by placing "importance" measures on my to do list. ... as well as to be better at saying no. One of the best skills I've been learning is to change "I should" into "it is important to me that". Funny how lots of those "shoulds" really aren't that important.====JACK:  Good advice.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Great advice....been living that way a long time and it sure helps. ====JACK:  Is self-confidence nature or nurture?====JOHN:  Probably both...but, I think, primarily nurture.   Certainly living within God's Graciousness ought to make one confident to live boldly. ===JACK:  I'm sure that being on a debate squad helped give you confidence.  What caused you to "sign up?" ====JOHN:  I scored very very high on the College Entrance tests and had forensics experience so Prof Holcomb asked me to come out for debate.   I hadn't really intended to...thought I would probably play tennis at Augie.   It was a great break for me that Prof invited me.   It turned out to be a life changing experience.   I treasure my days at Augie because of that experience.   I had little purpose in life at that point.....wasn't really interested in much of anything...wondered why Zi was even in college. ====JACK:  I like the hymn line..."God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform."

 FROM TARMART REV:  Occasionally I will run into some confrontation when someone will say, as I will put it,  "I don't like you!" . . . my response is, "Sometimes, I don't like me either!!" 0;-/  ====JACK:  I don't think that anyone has said to me, "I don't like you."  That doesn't mean that they haven't thought it.  Everybody didn't like Jesus, either, but that didn't stop him.

FROM ST. PAUL IN ST. PAUL:  or send an email to an old friend...====JACK:  I think back to the days before e-mail.  The good old days weren't necessarily the better old days.  I'd hate to put an end to progress.

FROM JB IN CHICAGO:  This happens all the time with me, but then, I live alone. Who else’s nerves am I going to get on?  Thanks for the stress-reducers. I employ all of them.====JACK:  You're probably too young to remember, but Post Cereal came out with a substitute for coffee.  They called it, Postum.  In their advertising they used a shaky cartoon character called, Mr. Coffee Nerves.  Does coffee make you shaky?  Not me.====JB:  No, I remember Postum, although it was before I was of coffee-drinking age in my family. I drink only decaffeinated coffee and LOTS of green tea (not together). Too much caffeine makes me loopy.====JACK:  Loopy is a word that makes me smile.  I had to find out more about it....It describes a state of goofiness in someone, usually occurring after a long night of partying or any other activity, such as drinking coffee instead of green tea or Postum. 

FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA:  Yup!====JACK:  I'm not saying that this applies to you...but I read:  "Yup is a generic term of agreement issued often by a non-listening party, typically used while performing an additional important task, such as watching tv."====DONNA:  And what I meant is, lately I am getting on my own nerves. Yes, I am.====JACK:  You looked and acted just like your usual self today.    


Monday, April 20, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/20/15
“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.  Be kind—always!”  (Sent by TK)  In this day of the I-phone, the public seems obsessed to “show & know” everything.  I agree that some things should be out in the open, but there’s also a time for the closed door.  I know that the lives of many are complicated.  If someone “acts up,” it can be because other stuff is going on, so I try to give them the benefit of the doubt.  It never hurts to be kind.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TARMART REV:  I will never forget the prayer request given from the floor of our Bible college chapel service, as a young lady asked for prayer for one of the pastor's in our city who was struggling with his wife's poor health and the church's division over his ministry. He happened to be my former pastor in another city before recently taking this pastorate. I instantly thought of students attending here from all over the country, whose parents and church personally knew this pastor and his wife, calling home to tell their family and friends the bad news of which this pastor would have preferred them not knowing his personal struggles at this time. Good intention . . . poor understanding of the impact of such a request. Life went though, with him eventually resigning and moving on as well.====JACK:  Ecclesiastes 3 gives this advice..."There is a time for everything--a time to speak and a time to shut up." (Modern translation)

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  For some reason, this reminds me of the saying, "I'd rather see a good sermon than hear one any day!"====JACK:  Jesus said, "By their fruit (not their words) you shall know them."  He wasn't just talking about trees.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  You’re the best; agree withyou completely.  Not sure if you saw any news of beloved 38 year old Chicago Chef Homaro Cantu taking his life last week.  We had reservations at his place, Moto, Friday night for my 55th birthday and I recently won a cooking day in his kitchen at a fundraiser.  Took Angelique to his place for her 18th birthday to show her how creativity and collaboration can make something artistic and fun very successful.  He was a very community oriented person with a few patents, two elementary age school children and a seemingly great marriage.  No signs of impending disaster foreseen by friends or colleagues.  You are so right…. many are fighting on the inside and the rest of us have no clue.====JACK:  I also dislike political "gotcha" segments--taken out of context.  To know the whole story, you have to know the whole story...and I don't if that's possible.  Charlie Rich sang, "Behind Closed Doors."  However, I believe in true investigative reporting that has an ethical bent to it.  And, no, I hadn't heard the story about the chef.  Sad.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  This reminds me of a very popular song by Glen Campbell I think.  It was "Try a little kindness and overlook the blindness." I don't remember it all but I did like the song...the words were very good!====JACK:  "...overlook the blindness of narrow-minded people."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Truer words were never said.====JACK:  "When I was young, I admired clever people.  Now that I'm old, I admire people who are kind."  Abraham Henschel

If you see your brother standing by the road   With a heavy load from the seeds he's sowed
 And if you see your sister falling by the way   Just stop and say "You're going the wrong way"

Don't walk around the down and out   Lend a helping hand instead of doubt
 And the kindness that you show every day   Will help someone along their way

You got to try a little kindness, yes show a little kindness   Just shine your light for everyone to see
 And if you try a little kindness, then you'll overlook the blindness   

 Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

Friday, April 17, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/17/15
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”  (Steve Jobs)  God, in his wisdom, gave us free-will, allowing us to make personal decisions, for better or worse.  He gives advice as to the best choices.  He might “nudge” us from time to time; and he’s also there to offer help when things don’t go well.  I wonder if this might be an example for us to follow when we are concerned about someone who is close to us?  “Let us love as he has loved.”    ;-)  Jack 

FROM TARMART REV:  Sounds like good advice for Pentecostal and Lutheran brothers of the faith!!====JACK:  My opinion...In the past, religious groups (Christian and others) have spent too much time and effort pointing out their differences, rather than emphasizing the beliefs that they have in common. 

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  My cup runneth over (with blessings), lots of great stuff happening. ====JACK:  David wrote Ps 23:5 after the Starbucks server poured too much coffee in his cup.

FROM PASTY PAT:  Oh wow --- perfect timing --- thank you!====JACK:  God seems to know when certain things should happen.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Time seems to go faster every year.  We must use the gifts God gave now and relish each day!  That's so easy to say today because it's beautiful today.  We must find the beauty in everyday not just the sunny ones!====JACK:   Our desire for "control" even extends sometime to the desire to telling him, in our prayers, what to do.  I like the prayer request, "Thy will be done."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I figure that God has a plan for all of us.  So we have to just do the best we can every day-to be helpful and kind.  And to enjoy each day and to make the best decisions that we can.  By the way, the Steve Jobs biography is one of the best books that I have read in the last few years.  My grandchildren, though, tell me that they enjoyed his life on TV.====JACK:  God's plan for us includes giving us the freedom to make personal decisions and to ne responsible for them.  The safety net is "grace."

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/16/15
“Onto every person there is a name.”  (Hebrew poet, Zelda)  April 16 is Yom HaShoah, a day for remembering the 6 million Jews (including 1 ½ million children) who were killed during the terrible Holocaust.  Zelda reminds us that each one of those persons had a name, meaning that each one of them was important to someone…and especially to G-d.  “The Lord says (Isaiah 43:1), ‘Do not fear.  I have called you by name.’”  Remember…G-d cares about you.!   ;-)  Jack

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Very nice. I was recently in Poland. Thanks for acknowledging. ====JACK:  As Rudyard Kipling wrote..."Lest we forget.  Lest we forget."

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  never again.====JACK:  That's why we have to have reminders.  The passage of time sometimes blurs the memory.====LIZ:  the purpose of the reading of the haggadah at passover seders...

FROM TARMART REV:  I will always remember learning of their experience from the Holocaust Center there in West Bloomfield . . . visited the new location during our last trip over your way. ====JACK:  I'm a member of the museum, but I have yet to visit the new facility.  When I do, I want to see "the railroad car" and "Anne Frank's tree."  I remember going to the museum when it was in West Bloomfield and meeting it's director who was a survivor.

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  6 million is an overwhelming number, to the point that it's hard to process. However, to individualize each one... Here through a name... At the DC museum it was the room of shoes that did it for me... That drives home the reality.  Yes, in the planet of billions we each have a name. We each are loved.====JACK:  A dose of reality...Imagine if it were your child and the inhumanity of giving her/him a number.====LBP:  As I say, I cannot even process that. My mind simply forbids such horrors.

FROM ST. PAUL IN ST. PAUL:  good words for today.  thanks!====JACK: least, thought provoking.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  This is also Sue and my 38th wedding anniversary.  And also the 117th birthday of my grandmother had she lived.  She passed many years ago. But she did get to hold her great grand daughter who is now a mother herself.  That's how things move along.====JACK:  Some have pondered...How would the world be different, if those 6 million had been allowed to live?  It could be a remake of It's a Wonderful Life, over and over and over again...6 million times.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Interesting to know this; Appropriate today for many reasons, as you think of the terrible tragedy of the German pilot taking so many innocent live, and the school massacre in Africa, etc. They were all precious to family, friends, ad God, and HAD A NAME!  It is a comfort to know that God knows us completely, and yet loves us unconditionally!====JACK:  The Good Shepherd is concerned for each of sheep...6 million and many more.

FROM DC IN KANSAS:  And then there is Jack.  Right,  John?  Don (baptized "Donald," the name my Mother used when .........\====JACK:  At baptism, I was named, John, after a sponsor, my Uncle John.  Since he lived near to us, I was nicknamed in order to avoid confusion.  BTW, I was introduced to a new name today...The wife of a friend is called, Arlove. 

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Let us hope and pray that history does not repeat itself.====JACK:  What might you say to God in your prayer?

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Yes - everyone has a name - including Lennox Kaiser, our new grand-daughter born this morning.  Another of God's many children.====JACK:  A favorite hymn:
Children of the heavnly Father
 Safely in His bosom gather
 Nestling bird nor star in Heaven
 Such a refuge eer was given

God, His own doth tend and nourish
 In His holy courts they flourish
 From all evil things He spares them
 In His mighty arms He bears them

Neither life nor death shall ever
 From the Lord, His children sever
 Unto them His grace He showeth
 And their sorrows all He knoweth

Though He giveth or He taketh
 God His children neer forsaketh
 His, the loving purpose solely
 To preserve them, pure and holy

Lo, their very hairs He numbers
 And no daily care encumbers
 Them that share His evry blessing
 And His help in woes distressing

Praise the Lord in joyful numbers
 Your Protector never slumbers
 At the will of your Defender
 Evry foeman must surrender

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's so comforting to know God knows our name. We must always remember the people who died during the Holocaust!  It should be part of every school child's lessons.====JACK:  Can you believe it?  Some naysayers believe that it didn't happen, and that it was contrived on a Hollywood movie set.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/15/15
“The cemetery and the hut of the dying are my best meditation books.”  (Father Damien)  Where is it that you feel closest to God?  For me, it’s in private prayer.  For Fr Damien, it was when he was among the lepers who had been quarantined on the Hawaiian island of Moloka’i.  It was his “call from God” to minster to these people.  It takes a saint to see the face of God in the faces of society’s outcasts, the diseased and the the poor.  Where do you see God?    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I loved to go into the sanctuary in the early morning for devotions.    I felt like a monk in the Middle Ages.   Now I use my library at home.====JACK:  A nurse that I know would always stop at the hospital chapel for prayer before she would go on duty.

FROM TARMART REV:  I experience His closeness while studying or hearing of Him from the Word of God . . . hasn't always been so, but of late, say the past five or so years, the previous entertainment from television has not been a part of my life any longer and sitting, laying or while driving, listening to a sermon or teaching from the radio, CD or in the presence of good Biblical expositor causes me to appreciate God on a higher level than before this time. Maybe comes with age...whatever, it has gotten my attention at the present more so than ever before.====JACK:  I'm reminded of the little boy who asked his friend: "Why does your grandpa read his Bible so much."  The friend replied, "I think that he's studying for his finals!"  I think that you're in a position to "ace" the test.

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  My experiences of "presence" are mostly in the quiet places: the three-day silent retreats run by the Jesuits, the desert of the Southwest, and even while playing golf. For myself the conscious moments of true relationship with Jesus and me are the moments in between activity. I like to carry the same sense of presence into the activity; but much too often the functions of the activity become distractions themselves. Maintaining both requires my full and sustained attention.====JACK:  Some golfers are heard to shout, "O, God!"  Are they having a religious experience, or what?====RAY:  And I've heard even worse...and I don't think it had to do with religious stuff!====JACK:  That elderly lady on the current "That's not a Buick!" ad would probably say, "Oh, my!" if she dubbed her golf shot.

FROM ST. PAUL IN ST. PAUL:  the sad part of this story was the white man bringing his diseases to indigenous people who had no immunities for such diseases (measles, mumps, etc.)  but, of course, no one knew this at the time.  another sad example of unintended consequences...====JACK:  On NPR this morning I heard someone say that societal change (he was talking about gay marriage) happens whether we like it or not.  The American Indians found that out.  The Luddites fight a losing battle.  BTW, today is the date of Fr. Damien's death.  He died in 1889 at the age of 49, among the people he loved, sharing their disease.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  In the face of the newborn, in the face of my children and my grandchildren and in the face of the photos of my beloved ancestors.====JACK:  I like to see the many pictures saved on my computer, but I like the old photo albums with the black and white snapshots, attached with corner stickers.  ====JUDY:  We enjoy looking at the old black and white albums my family made.  They took a lot of photos, which surprised us when we went through them.  We even have photos from the first people (Danes) to come to America.  You would think they didn't have enough money for photos but somehow they had them taken.  Want to hear another fascinating family fact?!?   Our grandson Josh, who will be 16 tomorrow, goes down to Myrtle Beach with his church's youth group every year.  They just got back.  While on a walk with the group Josh stopped to thank a WW11 vet for serving and the guy recognized the dog tags Josh was wearing.  The guy asked to see the dog tags so Josh took them off and gave them to the fellow.  (The fellow was in a wheelchair).  The vet said, "I know Robert Chappel; he served on the LST with me.  Bob was a very good baker and a great gunner....he shot down 3 Japanese planes.  He was a hero."  Joshua wears my Dad's dog tags.  He was very close to my dad and misses him a lot.  What a shock!  Here the guy was on the same ship as my dad.  It's a small world!!====JACK:  That's an amazing story...and Josh sounds like an amazing young man.  Grandpa would be proud.
FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  I don't, know that I "see" God, but I see his work all around me. ====JACK:  The idea of seeing God in others is shown in Jesus' Parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:35-45)  35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.    36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.'   37 "Then these righteous ones will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?    38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing?    39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?'    40 And the King will tell them, 'I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,  you were doing it to me!'   41 "Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, 'Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his demons!    42 For I was hungry, and you didn't feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn't give me anything to drink.    43 I was a stranger, and you didn't invite me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me no clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn't visit me.'   44 "Then they will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?'    45 And he will answer, 'I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.'

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Father Damien went to the same seminary (Leuven, OUTSIDE OF Brussels) in Belgium that our beloved Father Culeman from Sacred Heart also went for his studies before coming to Moline for our  new church.  Yes. it was all very inspiring.  Our nuns here in Tampa had a member of their order who went to Molokai to help Father Damien, and she was recently beatified in Rome.====JACK:  What I remember about Father Culeman was that he flew his own airplane.  Man, that was cool!

FROM JK IN CALIFORNIA:  I've been to the island of Molokai and seen the Leper Colony..... It's on the north shore surrounded by the South Pacific and prefect weather :-)====JACK:  It's a good thing for us to remember and honor saints who visit the sick and care for Hawaii or in the slums of some city...or wherever.

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  I think that you can see the face of God in a baby-----each one a miracle. ====JACK:  An experienced midwife has seen many baby faces.  How many do you think that you've seen?====BS:  I have delivered about 100 I suppose, as I went back to orthopaedic nursing.  My sister however must has delivered 1000 or  maybe more.====JACK:  That's a lot of little faces, and each one is special!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/14/15
“The first and great commandment is this:  Don’t let them scare you.”  (Elmer Davis)  I was recently asked, “What is your favorite quote?”  I replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind and your neighbor as yourself.”  That’s the first and great commandment from Jesus’ point of view.  Elmer’s quote could also be the words of Jesus when he said, “Be not afraid…for I am with you always.”  Keep that in mind!    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TARMART REV:  "Peace be with you this day, my good friend, Jack!!"====JACK:  Peace is another onomatopoeia word.

  FROM LS IN  MICHIGAN:  Good morning.   once again you brought me the quote I needed this morning.  have a beautiful day.====JACK:  We never know how our words, yours and mine, will affect people today.  Each of us has an opportunity to make a difference to others.  Thanks for your words of encouragement.  

FROM DM IN MICHIGAN:  Thank you for the reminder.   In our daily dealings things become misconstrued in my mind, and I have a hard time seeing things straight when things get political.   So my favorite is the Serenity Prayer.  Lately I have thought on this prayer a lot.====JACK:  Did you know that the Serenity Prayer was written by Reinhold Niebuhr who was once a pastor in Detroit.  His prayer is used by Alcoholics Anonymous as a part of their 12-step program.  Niebuhr was actively involved in helping he poor and the oppressed, and for that, he was accused of being too political.  That was also an accusation against Jesus.  It's interesting that Jesus prayed, too.  

FROM RP;  Thank you.====JACK:  Just to let you know that I remind God of you and your family daily.  Of course, he needs no reminder.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Just think what the world would be like if everyone followed Jesus' statement.  It would change this world!====JACK:  He's counting on you and me to make a difference in our corner of the world.  "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Martin Luther King Jr. said, "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it." I wish the whole world could see this, and take it to heart: It seems that there is chaos everywhere in Asia and the Middle East, especially, but really there seems to be violence everywhere anymore!  A lot of it in the name of religion. So much for loving four neighbors as ourselves...! So "don't let them scare you" is a challenge, Elmer Davis!  We'll put our trust in the promise of Jesus that you quoted, Jack!!====JACK:  Each generation seems to have its fears.  But what are the fears of today compared to the fears associated with our country's Civil War?  And, some of us have experienced the fears of the Great Depression, World War 2, the Cold War.  But the comforting words of Jesus are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  "Fear not; I am with you."

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Illegitimi non carborundum.====JACK:  Is that in the King James Version of the Bible?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I love the song Be Not Afraid.====JACK:  I learned a "Be Not Afraid" song at Bible Camp.  "I will not be afraid.  I will not be afraid.  I will look upward, And travel onward, And not be afraid.  He says he will be with me.  He says he will be with me.  He goes before me, And is beside me, So I'm not afraid."

Monday, April 13, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/13/15
“Thank you, God, for this good life, and forgive us if we do not love it enough.”  (Garrison Keillor)  I met Keillor a few years ago, and I found him to be much like he is on The Prairie Home Companion.  His radio show is a mixture of humor, down-home philosophy and religious satire.  If you’re ever called upon to offer a table prayer, today’s quote would be a good one.  We tend to take for granted this good life of ours.  Let’s count our blessing…1, 2, 3 etc.    ;-)  Jack

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  The first time we heard of Garrison Keillor was in 1983. We had just moved to Geneva, Switzerland, for a few years, with a 3 week old baby and brought a radio with us. Prairie Home Companion was even over there!!!! His down-home humor and sturdy grasp of reality really helped us not to be so lonely. Appreciate his gifts to making this world a better place to live in. ====JACK:  While I like The Prairie Home Companion, I like CBC's (Canada) Vinyl Café with Stuart McLean even better.  It can be heard, Saturdays at 8;30 am, on 89.9.  Stuart's stories really make me laugh.   You can also hear the program online.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  We don't realize how good something is until it's taken away, by whatever means.  Most of us can look back on life when it was simpler and friendlier.  "Progress" has changed things, and in the process taken a lot from us.  There is so much of questionable value going on in our lives.  We better make sure we have the priorities right.====JACK:  Even in biblical days, Jesus stressed the importance of prioritizing:  "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness..."  The "simpler" times of the past often seem better, until they're examined with history's microscope.  So, it shall ever be.

FROM TARMART REV:  I saw him one day some years back walking into the Minnesota State Fair . . . my impression as well . . . a smile on his face, looking and nodding at others as he walked along . . . an interesting fellow, to say the least.  Loving life, but room for improvement, here--  ====JACK:  Would you ever expect to see him at Target or Walmart?  He might be able to get some interesting stories there, if he were to listen in at your table.====REV:  Sweet...I was surprised to see him walking along toward the State Fair's entrance...not sure why I should be surprised? Target or Walmart, now that would really be a sight to behold. I do enjoy listening to his radio broadcasts, along with his creative stories. ====REV:  I've heard a few "Pentecostal preacher or church" stories and characteristics that even put a smile on my face.====JACK:  A Pentecostal church is where people run up and hug you, and you don't even know them.

FROM CH ON CAPE COD:  I read an article some years back – an interview with Garrison Keillor.  He was asked: “You have won so many awards and accolades… at your funeral/eulogy… which do you want mentioned?”  Keillor responded, “I just want someone to read Luke 15, the parable of the Prodigal, and then say, ‘this sinner has come home.’”  I can respect that!====JACK:  He would probably choose the hymn, "Softly and Tenderly," to go along with that.  Have you picked out a hymn that you would like to have sung at your funeral?  I like, "Day By Day."====CH:  My short list includes:  “For all the Saints”  “Thine is the Glory”  “How Great Thou Art”  "Borning Cry" ====JACK:  Those are all good ones.  If the 3rd hymn is used, make sure the bulletin includes a note that the words apply to God.

FROM DP IN MINNESOTA:  Amen, amen, amen!====JACK:  Do you know the words to "Count You Many Blessings?"  If so, you can sing it now.

 FROM SPARTAN ALL-STAR:  Garrison Keillor is one of my favorite radio personalities. What a talent and what a voice!  I like his Writer's Almanac, too.====JACK:  I haven't heard of the Almanac, but that's not unusual.  I haven't heard of many things.  Back to Google.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Put me in mind of my favorite Irish blessing. "May your worst day next year be no worse than your best day last year."====JACK:  That puts in mind one of my favorite summer foods...bratwurst.  I also like liverwurst and onion sandwiches.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:   I first heard Garrison K. in Davenport, IA,  Can't remember the venue, but it was the huge auditorium where we went for symphony concerts, and you could have heard a pin drop, it was so quiet while he enthralled the audience with stories and chatting.   He really impressed me!  Hal was a great fan, and always had his Sat. and Sunday noon hour program on the radio.  I hear his noon writer's almanac and poetry  corner when it's on the car radio. i don't often listen to radio in the house!  We have his tapes and often  were regaled by his stories on long trips. He recently had a memoir about growing up in Minnesota in one of my magazine...i think The any  rate, just after having a big family celebration of my 85th yesterday, hosted by my children, grandchildren, and 'greats",  I echo his thought for today, "thank you God for  this  good life, and for the last part too!!====JACK:  I think that one of the reasons for G.K.'s popularity is his chatty style.  It's like he's talking right to you.  I think that more ministers would be better preachers if it seemed as though they were chatting with the listener.  In seminary we were taught that our preaching should "connect it up with life."  Congratulations on four-score years and five.  You've beaten the biblical odds. 

  FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  i count my blessings every day-and they are many.====JACK:  You have an attitude of gratitude.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  What a wonderful prayer and it's one that will grace our table!  We listened to Keillor on public radio, I believe.  I haven't heard him in years though.  He always made laugh.====JACK:  The Detroit NPR station used to broadcast GK, but cancelled him when the fee that was charged became too great.  He can still be heard on Ann Arbor's NPR station.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN: Keillor is right on – thanks.====JACK:  People who able to sense the feelings of others have a wonderful gift.  Do our seminaries has a course where that is taught?  Where does that sense come from?

FROM WATERFORD JAN:  I find every WW thought-inspiring, but I seldom send a response to them, which does not have any other meaning than I just didn't do it.  I appreciate most of the responses you receive.  This response is after the fact, but I hope you'll approve.  Maybe Keillor would approve, also.  "Thank you, God, for this good church, and forgive us if we do not love it enough."  The church I belong to is having a special congregational meeting this coming Sunday after worship (after a meal, of course) to share our ideas about what we think our congregation should be doing.  We are into the call process, and I don't know if this is "required" by that process, or it's just a good idea from the pastor and our Council.  We had a smooth beginning for a few years; ran into a rough patch and some families left; the rest of us worked through it and feel that we have strengthened our resolve to remain a viable congregation, thanks be to God.  Now we must prepare for an uncertain future, with "prayerful consideration".====JACK:  God doesn't always use the same measurement for success that the world uses. 

  FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:   I plan on using this tonight for the table grace at the monthly catered dinner here at the Atrium.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/10/15
“If you are looking for a friend who is faultless, you will be friendless.” (Rumi)  Rumi has been called “the most famous poet in the U.S.”  Why haven’t I heard of him?  It turns out that he is really famous as a Persian poet of the 13th century.  I’ve found that you can learn something new every day if you want to look for it.  Facebook lets us “friend” people and “unfriend” them, if we choose.  The record for FB “friends” is 8924.  How many are faultless?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  The record for Friday's faultless Facebook “friends” is 0 . . . Hopefully back with you on Monday, faults and all!!====JACK:  Have you ever "unfriended" someone?  I have.====REV:  I have a couple of "unfriend's" with those was a young lady using a discovered fake picture and story of her parents dying in an accident...was asking for a Bible at first, before a cell phone...I did send a Bible, I unfriended her thereafter. The other was a couple of "pastor/evangelists" in Kenya looking for $$$...after referring them to our General Council of the Assemblies of God Foreign Mission Office, they fell out asking after that. Get some of those ever once in awhile. 0:-/====JACK:  The computer makes it easier to "unfriend" someone.  I don't know that I've ever done it face to face.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Faultless friends are few indeed, but warm-hearted, loyal and "forever" friends are fantastic, and so appreciated in life, and those of us who have been blessed with many years, have seen the loss of many good ones! A melancholy lesson of  advancing years is the realization that you can't make old friends!  I don't do face book, so can't "friend" and "unfriend"...but "meet" new people on you WW blog, Jack!====JACK:  Through a variety of sources (Google, et al) the computer has allowed us to renew old friendships and make new ones.  Some people still have pen-pal friends.  BTW, I just saw a friendship bracelet hanging on my bulletin board.  I wish that I could remember who gave it to me.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Can you imagine getting 8924 "postings" per day?====JACK:  If I connect with 1 good friend, the day is a success.  And if not, I can sing the hymn, "What a friend "I" have in Jesus."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Just  look for the good in everyone.  I am fascinated by the people that I meet all over the world.====JACK:  I once was talking to a friend of mine who was a successful politician.  We were talking about some people were being critical of him because of his stand on a particular issue.  "They're really good people.  We just happen to disagree on certain things."  He was probably successful, in part, because he saw the good in people.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/9/15
“The truth is more important than the facts.”  (Frank Lloyd Wright)  “Just the facts ma’am,” was a line from the TV series, Dragnet.  But the facts don’t always tell the whole story.  Truth is more than that.  People sometimes tell things in a factual way, while at the same time hiding the real truth.  One of the 10 Commandments says, “You shall not bear false witness.”  Relating the facts, while withholding the truth, is “sin” in terms of God’s Law.    ;-)  Jack

FROM THE FIRST OFFICER:  I think even Sgt. Joe Friday could agree with that. Enjoy your day Jack!====JACK:  I wonder if Joe was ever promoted to lieutenant?

FROM TARMART REV:  understanding the text . . . this will throw a wrench into that smooth running machine so very often... 0;-/====JACK:  Fact: Taking the Bible literally.  Truth: Understanding what the meaning behind the words.====REV:'s the "whose understanding" of the meaning of those words that make life inserting for me...makes for the production of many Bibles, liberties of interpretation and Mar's Hill is remarkable that the Scriptures were even able to be canonized as they were...wouldn't have much of a chance nowadays, I suppose. ====JACK:  Maybe it's a good idea that the tablets of stone did not survive.  It's more important that God's Law be in us rather than in a museum.====REV:  True...I was thinking more on the lines of the Epistles . . . Not sure the apostle Paul would make today's cut.====JACK:  There'd be no need for faith, if we knew all the facts and the whole truth.

ROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  On our way to Québec and I have been thinking of your words today. You touched upon my greatest problem with "data driven" decision making, whether it has to do with schools or in other domains. The numbers may be accurate and measure what they are suppose to measure in terms of validity and reliability. they really depict the truth? Sometimes the truth is beyond the numbers!====JACK:  "And that's the truth," as Edith Ann used to say.  I wonder.  Do we really want to hear the truth, or are we content with just massaging the facts? 

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  This is a very profound WW. I believe facts are limiting but people's hearts are made for eternity. Just yesterday, in fact, read an insight in a book. The places in the Bible where it says "God hardened their hearts", I had been interpreting that that was probably a permanent condition but another person looking at that same scripture and who chooses to read it "further out" looks at it like it's a temporary condition and even more generously that the hardening of hearts can have profound and positive consequences for God's people and that ultimately goodness will prevail for everyone. My heart wanted to read this interpretation and now I'm more peaceful as a result too. Truth is more important than facts.  thanks for these WW!!!!!====JACK:  In studying the Bible, I've found that there are facts and, then, there are different versions of "the truth", depending on the interpreter, or the one who does the "splainin'" (as Ricky would say) of the facts..

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I remember one of my instructor's comments when I started a sentence with, "is a matter of fact, ..." He wrote the word "fact" with a question mark. It started me thinking about what few "facts" there actually are. Most "facts" are simply opinions -- even in the realm of science!====JACK:  I think my philosophy major in college helped me to put facts and truth into perspective, and to be suspicious of those who have all of the answers.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/8/15
“There’s a simple trick for getting along with all kinds of people.  You climb into his skin and walk around in it.”  (Atticus Finch)  The Civil Rights Movement was stirred by more than the marches.  The novel, “To Kill a Mocking Bird,” also played a role.  Do you recall Atticus who helped his children see civil rights in a new way?  His advice was wise.  When you want to understand people, you crawl into their skin.  That helps in a lot of situations.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TARMART REV:  ...seems like a spiritual identity in there somewhere, in His coming and in our identity with Him.====JACK:  "And the Word became flesh" might mean (among other things) that God decided to climb into our skin and show us how we ought to walk.

FACEBOOK LIZ:  white people are bad!!! sick of this bs...====JACK:  Is that what "To Kill a Mocking Bird" said when you read it?  How do you think a parent should go about teaching values to a child?====LIZ:  loved to kill a mockingbird. our yellow lab was named scout.  we have a biracial president who declared we are in a post-racial society upon getting elected. then he promptly stirred up hatred for the next six years.  what do you teach your parishioners about lbgt people?====JACK:  I retired before lbgt became an issue.  But, I’ve always tried to teach “the love example” of Jesus.  I can’t see him rejecting someone because of their sexual orientation.  There is soooo much that we don’t understand about the mind and how it works in directing the lives of people.  I try not to be dogmatic in things that I don’t really understand….and they are many such things.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  The problems of poor people of the world, both here in the U.S.A. and in other countries frustrate me. Why do so many people suffer from poverty. Yesterday, saw a program on PBS News Hour where a company of volunteers in Minnesota are trying to design solutions for how poor people's quality of life can be improved. The women somewhere in some country could only shell 2 lbs. of peanuts in an hour. The Minnesota inventors first tried to make a non-electric peanut butter maker but in their culture they don't enjoy eating peanuts like that. So the inventors went back to the drawing board and indeed did come up with a non-electrical machine that can shell 60 to 80 lbs. of peanuts in an hour. To me, the main thing in this story is (1) that the Minnesota inventors tried to "get inside the skin of people who don't like peanut butter and (2) that when the inventors did that they were still able to invent the machine for these poor people that would solve the problem of work and time. The best kind of work in this world seems to be sort of individualized and social at the same time.====JACK:  There are many ways to help the poor.  A WWs reader from Minnesota is a retired agriculturalist.  He has regularly gone to Africa to show people how to plant crops so that they can vastly increase their yield.  That's helping the poor.  Your church's community garden which has a food sharing aspect to it is another way of helping the poor.  Giving dollars to worthy causes is still another way.  Giving free water and free electricity to people who aren't able (or do not choose) to pay their bills may sound like kindness, but it only creates other problems and can, ultimately, do more harm than good.  Like the old saying, "It's better to teach a man to fish than to give him a fish."

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  i learned much from atticus and boo radley.  life is so much about walking around in other's skins no matter the color, the troubles, or the situation.====JACK:  Walking around with children all day could (in a way) delay the aging process...and be fun, too.

FROM DR JUDY:  Hope you heard. New book from Harper Lee due soon.====JACK:  Yes, that's an interesting story about the 88-yr-old author.  She said about her new book, Go Set a Watchman, "It's a pretty decent effort."  I wonder what the readers will say?

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/7/15
“When faced with a mountain, I will not quit! I will keep on striving until I climb over, find a pass through, tunnel underneath - or simply stay and turn the mountain into a gold mine, with God's help!”  (Robert Schuller)  There was a time in my ministry when I faced a problem that did not seem to have answer.  Schuller’s words led me to think about a new solution…and I found one.  Are looking for an answer?  With God’s help, it’ll come.  Don’t give up!    ;-)  Jack 
CORRECTION regarding yesterday’s WWs:  MLB’s logo represents no specific player…NOT Stan Musial, as I wrote.  Sorry about that!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  According to the song... "ya gotta to go through the door."  Remember the song "Rock-a my soul in the bosom of Abraham?" It seems to me, the best way to get over a problem is to go right through it.====JACK:  What a sense of satisfaction when you can say..."I did it.  It worked!"

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  There was a time when R.Schuller was a mighty effective preacher/teacher/evangelist.  I have two of his inspirational books, which I bought when visiting the Crystal Cathedral church and campus, but as the scripture goes, "This too shall pass", and he ultimately faced a formidable mountain (or more?). I hope his accomplishments comforted him in his old age and illness.  The worship service I attended there was impressive with its music, special effects and A-list guests: quite a show, but he delivered an excellent message. We keep on keeping on in our modest little corner of service and witness! And keep our sense of humor, which Dr. Schuller seemed to be blessed with as well....====JACK:  He and I had a brief conversation when I visited the Crystal Cathedral.  Our years of ministry coincided somewhat.  Since I had started two new churches, we talked about the problems and the good things about that kind of experience.  He put a personal greeting to me on the inside of The Possibility Thinkers Bible which I had just purchased.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  I to have used this quote many times in seminars , with my children and to reinforce my own needs. Thank you for reminding me.====JACK:  I think that people (like you and me) in the business of motivating people can relate to Schuller because of his unique way of getting people to listen.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  As Dr. Schuller, used to say,  "Tough times never last tough people do."====JACK:  I've sometimes wondered if he thought about that book as I've heard of his family problems, his health issues and the collapse of his ministry.

FROM TARMART REV:  How many times have you and I been refreshed and challenged by Christ's words: "Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened."====JACK:  I think of that poor woman who was persistent in asking Jesus for help...even being thankful for the "crumbs."

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  Like.====JACK:  We sometimes need someone to encourage us not to give up.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Thank you for the tribute to Dr. Robert Schuller. And please accept my apologies for lack of discretion and an over supply of contentiousness. WW is/are a blessing. ====JACK:  No apology necessary.  Your responses, and others like them, inspire me...and make getting up at 4:30 am, be something that I look forward to. 

Monday, April 06, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/6/15
“I have a darned good job, but don’t ask me what I do.”  (Stan Musial)  Musial also said, “Back in my day, we didn’t think of money as much.  We enjoyed playing the game.”  I miss that kind of attitude in baseball.  I guess that times change.  Is it only the old fogie who misses some of the past?  A new baseball season reminds us that life goes on with new hopes.  Did you know that the silhouette on Major League Baseball’s logo is that of Stan the Man?    ;-)  Jack

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  Easter greetings to you and Mary from across the pond!  Have enjoyed a busy week leading up to a joyful Easter Day.  On Palm Sunday it rained so we abandoned the walk from the village green, but processed around the church, inside, waving our palm crosses and singing.  All glory laud and honour------no donkey this year!  From Monday an evening short service of compline was said throughout the week.  Maundy Thursday the service of Chrism in Norwich Cathedral at 11am.  I love this service.  The Cathedral is filled with  robed clergy, canons, archdeacons and bishops who renew their ordination vows and collect oils that have been blessed.  These oils are taken back to their parishes for the anointing of the sick and for the signing of the cross during baptism.  A light lunch is served after the service.  That evening in our church we had a Passover meal with all the readings and rituals of the Seder. Followed by the stripping of the altar and the watch.  Good Friday an hour at the cross in our church at 11am, then several of us carried the cross and walked to the other church in our benifice.  A walk of 3 miles or so ending with an hour at the cross, finishing at 3pm with the words,  Truly this man was the son of God.  Saturday, an evening service at dusk when a fire is lit, outside the church.  Baptism vows are then renewed.  Easter Sunday the joyous rejoicing of our risen Lord.  The church filled with flower arrangements and people!  Alleluia!  Today,  a restful one.====JACK:  Thanks for giving us perspective.  Some things really are more important than the start of the baseball season.====BS:  Games are important.  They give both players and spectators lots of pleasure.  The money side of it has  got out of hand, I think.
We have 2 little leaguers playing this season,  the Sinha cousins Max and Enzo----watch out for their names!

FROM TARMART REV:  Learn something new already this week . . . when in high school and about to graduate, I thought that making $10,000 a year would be a reasonable goal to pursue . . . looked very reasonable then.====JACK:  I remember that, during the Great Depression, the father of a friend of mine had a job (that was darned good in those days).  He was a typesetter at the local newspaper.  I wonder what job a typesetter, with those skills, would have today?  I truly feel sorry for those who are jobless, without the skills that today's world wants.====REV:  Me too...definitely a world changing and challenging culture.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Are you a Cards or Cubs fan? Cards won yesterday 3-0. ====JACK:   This year, especially, I'll be a Cubs' fan.  A friend of mine, a life-long Cubbie supporter, died last year.  I'm hoping that he'll be able to see "his team" finally win the World Series from his box seat in heaven.

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Correct. That is Musial!  Happy opening day!   It's the third holiday about rebirth and renewal!====JACK:  I'll be looking for a shot of you among the opening day crowd.  The TV camera always seems to focus in on you.  I don't know if it's the seat location, or your good

FROM PASTY PAT:  Opening day --- yes! I'm in New Mexico so will have to catch the score later. ====JACK:  Whose name is on the back of the Tigers' uniform that you'll be wearing?

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  I did not know about the silhouette; thanks for the trivia.  My kids already miss the past vis a vis sports so no, not only us old fogies.  Happy Easter.====JACK:  I wonder at what age it is that we begin to look back and see the past as the past?

FROM CPA BOB:  I did not know that about Stan.  Will you be at Opening Day today?  With my occupation, being at Opening Day is just fantasy.  My kids did & now my grandchildren ask “what do you do?”  I try to explain “accounting, financial statements & tax returns”.  Maybe my response should be the same as Musial’s.  Go Tigers!====JACK:  Some people think that pastors have a pretty easy job, working just one day a week.  I had a darned good job.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Would you consider me an old foggie?  The Tiger's games were always....either the TV or radio...mostly radio because we were always in the yard playing baseball with neighborhood kids or cousins.  We had a double lot in Harper Woods on one of those long lots. 
Our side lot was big enough for a full-sized baseball field.  Many many people played baseball on that field and it is still called Chappel field.  I did not know it was Stan's silhouette!====JACK:  We sometimes played baseball with a ball, wrapped in black electrician's tape, because the cover had come off, and we didn't have enough money to buy a new ball.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Yes. It was taken from a photograph of when he struck out. ====JACK:  From what I've just read...We're both wrong.  The logo's designer said that it was not based on any player.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  After Stan passed, Willie Mays said that in all the years he knew Stan that he never heard anyone say anything bad about him.  I wonder how many of us could make that claim? ====JACK:  He's a Hall of Famer in more ways than one.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  So interesting to read BS England's account of Holy Week. Wow! sounds intense and GRAND! That is a real celebration of the Passion of Christ.  But wherever you are Easter is a Joyful Day! It certainly was here.  As to celebrating Opening Day of Baseball; The Cubs didn't make it much of a celebration, losing 3-0 to Cardinals....guess we're already thinking "Next year?"  (No not really, hope springs eternal....) Yes professional sports are really into Big money now. Boggles the mind. Bill's salary with the Bears in 1950 was $5600 for the season!. I doubt the "stars" were paid a whole lot more under Halas!====JACK:  One of the Bears' coaches advised Bill right... "Go into the ministry.  That's where the big rewards are."  (or something like that)====OAKS:  Yes, his lineman coach; "Bill, you're a great young man; Go home and marry that pretty fiancee, and have  a happy life. This is a rough life; It won't make you happy. In Ministry you'll reap a different type of rewards! You've made the roster, you proved you were good enough to do it, now think about making a life."  This was after his knee was badly injured, in the first game of the season (He played during the pre-season) & he was out for the season, and he was considering whether to come back and try  out again next Fall, or not. You're a Tiger fan, too, of course?! Is Mary?====JACK:  The whole family.  In fact, our granddaughter did an internship as the first female athletic trainer for the Tigers.  And after that, an internship with the Cubs in Mesa, where she met Soler.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  No I did not know that.  I am waiting for the first Rays game which will begin very shortly now.  They have had lots of changes this year.  They play the Orioles. You are probably rooting for the Tigers?====JACK:  I will have to apologize tomorrow, because the logo information is false.  BTW, Thanks for letting us have David Price.  Because of him, the Tigers are now 1-0.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/3/15
“We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.”  (Jonathan Swift)  Practically all of the world’s religions have some aspect of love for others among their beliefs, and, yet, so much hatred exists between religious groups.  It was like that in Jesus’s day, in the Reformation, in the Holocaust…you name it.  The words of Jesus, “Love one another,” are meant for all of us.  Concentrate on the (+) and not on the (-).    ;-)  Jack 

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  Jack, You may be familiar with this:  From Wilbur Rees:  "I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please - not enough to explode my soul  or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine.  I don't want enough of him to make me love a foreigner or pick beets with a migrant worker.  I want ecstasy, not transformation; I want the warmth of a womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack. I'd like to buy $3 worth of God, please."====JACK:  Thanks.  Is new to me...but it's part of the point that I wanted to make.  A young Imam sat next to me at yesterday's local clergy meeting.  He is one of the friendliest and kindest members of our group.  ====JON:  That actually has been my experience too with Muslims, Mohammed Gohar is my old friend of 40 years now, I trust him implicitly and we are at Ramadan feast (the end of Ramadan) most every year with our families.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL: Happy Easter to you and yours, Jack!====JACK:  Chag Sameach

FROM TARMART REV:  "+" Blessed Resurrection observance to you and your family, Jack!! Always appreciated.====JACK:  I took a second look and saw the + as a cross.

FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  Well said : )====JACK:  I was looking for a quote appropriate for Good Friday.  I think I found it.

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN:  Happy and blessed Easter.  These four days are the highlight of the entire year.====JACK:  Even though they sound similar, there's a difference between holidays and Holy days.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I firmly believe there are good people in all religions.  Unfortunately, the corrupt people are the ones to get on the news.  Today, of all days, we should focus on "Sunday's coming".  Jesus died for all of us sinners, whether we believe it or not is up to us.====JACK:  An office worker offered me a Happy Holiday greeting...and I was not offended.  Since I live in a community where many Jews are observing Passover, I understand a generic greeting.  I did use the occasion to ask, "Do you know why we use the word, "holiday?"  When she answered, "No," I said that holiday is a derivation of Holy Day.  The holidays celebrate holy days like Easter, Passover, Ramadan and Christmas."  She replied, "Thank you.  I learned something today."  Personally,I don't get bent out of shape when people try to be nice.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  On Good Friday, that is a ponderable thought....There are so many more good people than bad, in each religion, but the  extremists are what produce soul-jarring news! And the world is now so small that we hear about every terrible event immediately.  I feel so sad for the "best and brightest" in Kenya who were ruthlessly slaughtered by the Somalian extremists. Young people who could have made a significant difference in their corner of the  world! Ah well, Easter is coming....Alleluia!====JACK:  Sadder...with regard to the killing of the Kenyan students...the ones who were killed were the Christians who had been separated from the others.  Ironic that this happens during the week when we observe the suffering and death of Jesus and, finally, celebrate his resurrection, with hope for eternal life for all who die in the Lord, like the Kenyan students.  I'm glad that you noticed the connection of today's WWs with Good Friday.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/2/15
“What you learn today you’ll play in six months.”  (Music professor)  Josh Linkner wrote that a wise teacher taught him that music practiced today will be appreciated in 6 months.  There is no true instant gratification.  It’s true on the farm, the fitness center, the business world, and in relationships.  Decide today…What do you want?  Then work at it, really work at it.  Let me know how it plays out in 6 months.  Are you more fit, is the relationship better, etc?    ;-)  Jack  

FROM TARMART REV:  God word for the "equipping for greater rewards"!!====JACK:  Maybe it's my Lutheranism, but I have a hard time seeing heaven as a "reward" (like I've earned heaven for being good).  Words sometimes make things confusing.====REV:  Commutation skills have never come easy for me...I still remember having to take "Bonehead English" (the refresher course for entering Freshman college students with lacking skills in this area) while in Bible College.
I was referring to your posting this morning about our continuing to hone in our practicing skills in accomplishing an instrument, maintaining a farm or accomplishing a better attitude, etc  ...wasn't my normally heavenly minded self earlier this morning. Should have read, Good word for the "equipping for greater reward"...I didn't know the automatic spelling helper had inserted God for my intended Good until just now...
FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Time has a way of modifying a lot of things.  In the design field, automobiles, household appliances, clothing, etc. have often received negative responses when first brought into the market, but later after we've become accustomed to the new products, the former designs look so outdated.====JACK:  I'm trying to think of a design that time has not improved on.  The best that I can come up with is the pyramid.

FROM JK IN CALIFORNIA:  Correct!!!! :-) :-) :-) :-)====JACK:  I wish that I had continued with piano lessons (we had a baby grand).  Evidently I put up such a fuss when I was 5, that my mother gave in.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Probably a harder lesson today for our youngsters, as they have so much instant gratification! We learned to save our money for a future purpose, and knew it took work and lessons to master any skill...I remember my son Mark wanting me to teach him piano in high school so he could play keyboard for his friends' band; once he found how tiresome the 'baby basics" were before he could play ANYTHING he gave up and did the instant virtuoso in his makeup! To be sublime, you must do the most everything~ :-)====JACK:  While watching March Madness, I see that some players are better  than others at making free throws.  Is it a matter of skill...or practice?  I was so-so at free throws...and practice. 

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Our  grandson Joshua, plays guitar.  He has taken some old hymns and rewritten them for his guitar.  It takes him so long to work on them to get them ready for church.  I have asked him to rewrite "Peace Like A River".  I know music well but I could not rewrite a song like he does.  He works hard at it and it takes a long time.  He is patient which is a blessing.  Anything worth doing is worth waiting for.====JACK:  That little baby has grown up into a young man.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 4/1/15
“Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see, the world hath more fools in it than ever.”  (Charles Lamb)  In 1936, a Honolulu newspaper reported that remains of an ancient Viking ship had been discovered in Hawaii.  The Scandinavian name on the ship’s stern was translated to read…April Fool.  There’s a site, listing the best AF’s jokes back to the 1500s.    Every year has its share of foolishness.  Some of it is fun, but some of it isn’t.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  "No fooling?"====JACK:  Picture this....."Humanity is a parade of fools, and I am at the front of it, twirling a baton."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Have a fun day and a Happy Easter.====JACK:  Did you know that the Wednesday of Holy Week is sometimes called Spy Wednesday?====SHIRL:  So what is the history of Spy Wednesday?  I have never heard of it.  Is it something new?====JACK:  Most often it's referred to as Holy Wednesday, but it's also called Spy Wednesday, because it's the day Judas that Judas made a deal with the Sanhedrin to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My son Mark just missed playing an April  Fool's joke on me, arriving early, but missed by one day: March 31st! Just turned 61, so a long time ago!  Brings back all the little pranks my four mischief-makers  pulled on this day, like putting salt in the sugar bowl, and telling me whoppers and delightedly gushing April Fool! When I reacted...Fun of bygone days.  Seeing the quote from Charles Lamb centuries ago, brings home the fact of how ancient the "day" really is! and I suspect he'd still be right today. I'd be interested to know what a "fool's" joke would have been in the 15 and 1600's!====JACK:  I called my grandson today with a great April Fool's prank.  "Grandpa, I'd believe you, if were any day but today."  As to the origin of April Fool's Day:
The most popular theory about April Fool's Day involves the French calendar reform of the sixteenth century.  In 1564 France reformed its calendar, moving the start of the year from the end of March to January 1. Those who failed to keep up with the change, who stubbornly clung to the old calendar system and continued to celebrate the New Year during the week that fell between March 25th and April 1st, had jokes played on them. Pranksters would surreptitiously stick paper fish to their backs. The victims of this prank were thus called Poisson d'Avril, or April Fish -- which, to this day, remains the French term for April Fools. 

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Sometimes we need a little foolishness to keep our sanity. ====JACK:  BTW, I'm planning to be at the class reunion this year.  Have you set a date? ====CHESTER:  YAY! September 19th. We are working on a mailer next Week. ====JACK:  April  Fool!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Loved this quote!  I played an April Fool's joke on myself.  I went to the wrong doctor's office.  The nurse said "Hi Judy, what are you doing here."  Otherwise, I didn't play any this.====JACK:  I played a couple AF jokes, but not on my family...the years have given them wariness.

FROM DFL IN OREGON:  HEY Jack, You got me on that Swedish ship joke!  I have already used it! Happy Easter!====JACK:  Another April 1st news announcement concerned a new metal to be used in pop cans.  When the contents of the can had passed its "expired" date, the metal would sense it and change the color from red to blue.  The suspicion is that Coke planted that story when Pepsi came out with a new bright blue can.  Another April Fool story is when everyone thought that Jesus was dead and buried...and then, Easter Sunday happened.

Wha’s Up?  “Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see, the world hath more fools in it than ever.”  (Charles Lamb)  In 1936, a Honolulu newspaper reported that remains of an ancient Viking ship had been discovered in Hawaii.  The Scandinavian name on the ship’s stern was translated to read…April Fool.  There’s a site, listing the best AF’s jokes back to the 1500s.  The above is from my favorite SS teacher in Moline where I grew up.====JACK:  Some of my best memories come from the time I spent in Sunday School as a pupil and as a teacher.