Friday, July 31, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/31/15
“Jesus, when all is darkness and we feel our weakness and helplessness, give us the sense of Your presence, Your love and Your joy.”  (St Ignatius of Loyola)  The Depression of the 1930s was called a depression…in part, because it really was depressing.  Pres FDR had the job of trying to give hope when there seemed to be no hope.  He’s credited with saying, “When you come to end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”  In other words…Don’t give up!    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  The variety of expressions are most interesting . . . As a young man seeking God at our church altars, especially Sunday evenings, one would be of encouragement by saying, "Hang in there, Paul!" and I could hear another encourager say, "Let it go Paul, let it go!" This morning the other phrase comes to mind when one is found at the end of their rope-- "Let go and let God!" Both edifying and meaningful expressions.====JACK:  Here are some modern expressions of encouragement...Life is tough, but so are you!...You have to fight through the bad days to get to the best days!...Don't run ahead of God!

FROM MK:  I always tell myself and others “Don’t worry He has got this” and he always does…..====JACK:  I like the hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus.  To see God as a friend, who cares and wants the best for us, puts a lot of things in perspective.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We are deeply grateful to have a rope from heaven.  One end to God and a knotted end for us.  We just have to hold on!====JACK:  That is our hope.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  A good friend who was an outstanding AB pastor, once used the illustration of Teachers of small children taking a field trip,, giving emphatic instructions, "No matter what happens, don't any of you let go of the rope!" Traveling with a teacher at the front and the rear, they were to walk with their buddy holding on to the  rope between the teachers. That  way no one got lost, left, or went astray, as they walked to a museum, park, , or wherever, sometimes on busy thoroughfares or city streets.  It was all the instruction they needed: "Hang on to the rope!" He went on to say that Christians experiencing sorrow, or hard situations, or disappointment, etc should remember that God in His promises and Presence, has provided a Love Rope for us to hold onto through Life. I never forgot the allegory.====JACK:  I see that the Church, in the truest sense of the word, throws out the preaching, teaching and ministering.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  One day at a time.====JACK:  I like the song by the same name. ====SHIRL:  In following what St. Ignatius teaches us, the main element at school is to learn to be magnanimous.====JACK:  That's a BIG word, but a good one.

FROM AM:  Wow!  You are awake early.  I watched the life of St. Ignatius on EWTN today.  Thank you for your Winning Words.====JACK:  I try to get the words out to "my congregation" before 5:30 am, which usually means that I get up at 4:30 am, M-T-W-T-F.  I like the Jesuits.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/30/15
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.  When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”  (Buddha)  Wally Long was in prison, a defeated man.  Somehow he was introduced to the idea that we can become what we think about all day long.  He began thinking about life changes he wanted to make.  The odds weren’t great, but it happened.  The story is long…but it shows the power of God to bring about change.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  (v) OH! TO BE LIKE THEE, blessed Redeemer, This is my constant longing and prayer; Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures, Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
(v) O! To be like Thee, full of compassion, Loving, forgiving, tender and kind, Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting, Seeking the wand’ring sinner to find.
(v) O! To be like Thee, lowly in spirit, Holy and harmless, patient and brave; Meekly enduring cruel reproaches, Willing to suffer, others to save.
(v) O! To be like Thee, Lord, I am coming, Now to receive th’ anointing divine, All that I am and have I am bringing, Lord, from this moment all shall be Thine.
(v) O! To be like Thee, while I am pleading, Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love, Make me a temple for Thy dwelling, Fit me for life and Heaven above.
(Chorus) O! To be like Thee, O! To be like Thee, Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art; Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness; Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
Impossibility this side of eternity, I know . . . but a little closer each day, I'm hoping for!! ====JACK:  In wonder if Wally's change had a God-dimension to it?====REV:  Wouldn't be surprised to find that God was involved in his life one way or another...I'm still intrigued about Bill and Bob in their founding of AA and its growth into what it has become today. Talk often about that "Higher Power"!====JACK:   I don't mind referring to a "Higher Power."  Whatever expresses your belief in God is OK with me.  I especially appreciate how some Jews use G-d.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  This reminds me of the 19th century Progressives who believed that education would reform the world.    It was followed by the horrors of the 20th century.    The mind is a part of the puzzle.   We need all the pieces, however, to be able to see the whole puzzle put together.====JACK:  I'm usually suspicious of simple solutions.  While black and white choices are a reality, a lot of our decisions have to be made in the gray area.  Isn't it frustrating to try to do a jigsaw puzzle when a piece is missing?

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Doesn't the Bible also say thought leads to desire, then the act, then death?====JACK:  Yes, our thoughts can lead in many directions and, therefore, can benefit from some direction.  In confirmation, I showed the students 3 pictures.  1. An eagle soaring in the sky; 2. A horse grazing in a fenced pasture; 3. A man in a cramped cellar stairway.  They I asked, "Which of these shows what the church is for you (and why)?"

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Very timely. Thanks====JACK:  God's wrist watch doesn't always read the same as ours.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We were taught to think good thoughts.  It was a simple idea but it's relevant.  Especially when it comes to faith.====JACK:  Here's a good song for the start of the day.
Father, we thank thee for the night,
And for the pleasant morning light.
For rest and food and loving care,
And all that makes the day so fair.
Help us to do the thing we should,
To be to others kind and good,
In all we do, in all we say,
To grow more loving every day.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/29/15
“Love is the greatest power, but nobody has yet discovered how to put it into a bomb.”  (Ashleigh Brilliant)  I first met A.B. by reading his Pot Shots in the newspaper.  I began clipping and saving them.  Now, I have 4 of his books.  In today’s world where there is so much news of destructive bombing, it’s a refreshing and “brilliant” idea for us to show the power of love.  “Take the offensive.  Overpower evil with good.”  (Romans 12:21)    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  I like the quote: when we replace the love of power with the power of love,  the world will be a much better place.====JACK:  What's that song.....?  It ends, "What a great world this would be."


FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  how about the love for Helen of Troy? maybe a question of agape vs. eros.====JACK:  You inspire me to dig a bit.  Meanwhile, how about the Song of Solomon?

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  Some people have a such a great spirit and happiness about them, it seems like a little happiness bomb wherever they go. Like my wife most days...====JACK:  Good words, except the penultimate qualifier..."most."  That captured my attention.====JON:  She’s human, but most would be 99.98% of the time…. She is a delight…

FROM JL:  This is a wonderful, one minute clip filmed in Glasgow Scotland. Full of wisdom, and very brief.  It's not a joke, it's not religious, it's not political. It's just... well, special.......... I think you'll agree.  It has a meaning for all of us.====JACK:  The tagline at the end of the clip explains the message...CHANGE YOUR WORDS.  CHANGE YOUR WORLD.  The blind man's sign read "I am blind.  Please help."  The young lady changed it to read:  "It's a beautiful day, but I can't see it." (or something like that).  The right words can make a difference.

FROM TARMART REV:  ...yes sir!! My directive for today and hope for tomorrow!!====JACK:  A cartoon shows God handing Moses the 10 Commandments and Moses replying, "Don't you have something that's more of a slogan?"  Jesus came up with the slogan:  "You shall love the Lord your God with all your, heart, soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself."  That's the 10 Cs in a nutshell.

FROM LS IN MICHIGAN:  Ha ha ! Wouldn't that be lovely - sprinkle stardust .....====JACK:  Look up "stardust, and you'll find a variety of definitions.  I like..."to be uncritically and unrealistically optimistic."  The world needs more stardust sprinklers.

FROM DR J:  I remember my mother saying we should bomb our enemies with food, clean water, clothing, etc... she called them "peace bombs".====JACK:  She was a woman with out-front ideas, a leader and not a follower.  Her suggestion is more than theory; it is possibility!

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  we need to ,"love em til they love us back".====JACK:  How about "love em til the cows come home?"

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  "Good friends are like quilts-they age with you, yet never lose their warmth."====JACK:  You are "bomb."  Do you remember that expression?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Ashleigh was my favorite!  I would always look for him first.  I also saved many of his Pot Shots!  I even sent them to my friends on Viet Nam during the war.  They loved to get them.  (One came back and two didn't make it!).====JACK:  I, too, lost a friend in that way.  "The Wall" is more than a's a remembering rock.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/28/15
“Enthusiasm puts a twinkle in our eyes and gives us confidence in ourselves and changes a pessimist into an optimist.”  (Found in L’s drawer)  In the study of Greek I learned that the word, enthusiasm, means to have the spirit of God in you.  Making room for God in your life will not only put a twinkle in your eye, but it will cause other changes…a mind to think his thoughts, hands and feet to do his work.  A little boy heard his stomach growl and said to his mother, “I think I hear God talking to me.”  Is your stomach growling?    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  who is "L"??====JACK:  Most of the time I post personal things anonymously, so "L" simply represents someone who happened to send me a writing about enthusiasm which she found while doing some house cleaning.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Yes. "He walks with me and He talks with me and...."====JACK:  It's a big word...anthropomorphism.  It explains what God was doing when he created Jesus.  The unknowable became knowable through the human, Jesus.  We can visualize Jesus (God) walking with us and talking with us.  We can comprehend the the incomprehensible when Jesus is put before us.  I guess that's enough theology for now.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My husband always said that enthusiasm was my greatest gift..I hope so!  It is a much needed commodity for any endeavor or personal relationship!  L's drawer contributed a winner today!===JACK:  A preacher seems to be encouraged by a few "Amens" whether they happen during the service or  afterward.  For Bill to say "Amen" to you, I'm sure, was appreciated.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/27/15
“Life is an ongoing process of choosing between safety (defense) and risk (growth).  Make the growth choice a dozen times a day.”  (Abraham Maslow)  Maslow was a famous 20th century psychologist who believed that it was more important to focus on the positive qualities of a person than to point out their negatives.  In a similar way, he said that it’s more important to make positive life choices that show growth than to “play it safe” and avoid risk.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Out of 10, 9 will take care of the negative aspects of a person . . . I like to be the 1 out of 10 who will walk along looking at the positives . . . getting burned at times, but learning a great deal about that person and sitting a little closer to their heart than the other nine. ====JACK:  One of the "burdens" of being a pastor is being looked upon as the epitome of righteousness.  The same could be said of the those who espouse living the positive life.  There's a risk, but I'll take the chance.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  "Never interrupt an enemy when he is destroying himself".   Suggests that not attacking may sometimes be a wise strategy.====JACK:  I suppose that would be a good strategy to use during political campaigns.  During your debate experience,  I'll bet you could hardly contain yourself when the opponent was using words that would ultimately destroy his/her position.  ====JOHN:  I loved those people.====JACK:  Agápe, éros,  or philía? 

 FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Interesting thought for the day; thanks for sharing.  I suppose this is another life-balance issue.  If you never go out on a limb, life can be pretty boring but also, secure. Children especially need security yet we encourage them to step out.====JACK:  I remember when we let David use the car for the first time.  He went to Detroit with a couple of friends to see a Tigers game.  Afterwards, as he got on the freeway, he noticed that the fuel gauge was below empty (I had forgotten to fill the gas tank).  He got off the freeway at the next exit and found himself in a deserted part of town.  Finally he saw a gas station on one of the streets, but didn't know how to get back on the freeway, so finally saw a familiar street name and followed it...the long and slow way home.  Meanwhile, we were waiting and waiting and imagining.  He learned a lot that night, and so did we.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  NO RISK, NO GAIN.====JACK:  In football, which is more important?  Offense or defense?====CHESTER: History shows that the team with the best offense wins more often. However, Dick Butkus helped win a lot of games. When in doubt, punt!

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs has been a guiding influence in my life. The principle of "keepin on keepin on" helps in the progress from one level to another. In my administrative days, after desegregation, when planning teacher training, Maslow's hierarchy became a source of purpose for staff with their work with pupils. Self-actualization promotes positive relationships. (And self-actualization may be realized in bits and pieces along the way.)====JACK:  I was wondering when (and who) would come up with the famous Hierarchy of Needs.  He's not the only one who's done that.  We each do our own every day when we make our choices.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I wonder if Maslow plays the stock market?!?====JACK:  My wife is a low-risk type of person.  I'm a little bit higher than the middle. 

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  LAL.===JACK:  That's better than LOL.                           

Friday, July 24, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/24/15
“Do it now!  Sometimes ‘Later’ becomes ‘Never.’”  (Seen on Facebook)  Do you remember Monday’s WWs suggestion to write a letter this week?  Sometimes we put off doing that which needs doing until it’s simply too late.  Life has a way of erasing opportunities or closing doors.  “I shoulda; I coulda.”  Maybe it’s not writing a letter; maybe it’s a life changing decision; we each have our own situation.  Procrastination often takes care of problems negatively.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  a friend of mine likes to say that we let the more urgent decisions of life crowd out the more important (and vital) decisions of life.====JACK:  I have two vital sympathy cards on my desk that should have been sent out last Monday.  Today will be the day!

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  Am just working my way through David Brook's recent book on character. Tough and challenging.  An easier read--substantive nonetheless--is the new Fareed Zakaria book, In Defense of a Liberal Education.====JACK:  I guess the operative question is..."What is the purpose of being educated?"  Today's world sees it as preparation for getting a job.  However, I've read that in the foreseeable future, current "jobs" will be phased out, to be replaced by "jobs" not even thought of yet.  I'm one who sees value in a liberal education.

I like this poem by Edgar A.  Guest.
He was going to be all that a mortal should be        Tomorrow.
No one should be kinder or braver than he        Tomorrow.
A friend who was troubled and weary he knew,  Who'd be glad of a lift and who needed it, too;
On him he would call and see what he could do        Tomorrow.

Each morning he stacked up the letters he'd write        Tomorrow.
And thought of the folks he would fill with delight        Tomorrow.
It was too bad, indeed, he was busy today,  And hadn't a minute to stop on his way;
More time he would have to give others, he'd say        Tomorrow.

The greatest of workers this man would have been        Tomorrow.
The world would have known him, had he ever seen        Tomorrow.
But the fact is he died and he faded from view,  And all that he left here when living was through
Was a mountain of things he intended to do        Tomorrow.

FROM WATERFORD JAN:  My father often recited this rhyme, author unknown.
    "When a task is once begun,
    Never leave it 'til its done.
    Be the labor, great or small,
    Do it well, or not at all."
In my father's case, he never meant that it was OK not to do the task!====JACK:  A church member told me that his father required him to memorize some poetry or saying each day and recite it at the dinner table each night.  Rainy Day by Longfellow was one that he would quote for me.
The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains,and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains,and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart, and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  On that theme,there's are several sayings that I use frequently:"Don't ever shoulda on yourself.."  "Now, backwards, is WON"====JACK:  You always seem to come with some good ones that are to the point.  Thanks

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I have learned from my children--just do it.  It is much easier than just thinking about it and putting things off. The to do list does help.====JACK:  I've got to make one of those lists!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  "The road to Heaven is paved with good intentions."====JACK:  And it's narrow, too!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/23/15
“A bone to the dog is not charity.  Charity is the bone shared with the dog when you are just as hungry as the dog.”  (Jack London)  The word charity means more than giving to the poor; it’s the practice of following the Godly example of showing kindness and love to those who need it.  Jews call it, tzedakah; Muslims refer to it as, zakat.  To the IRS, it’s 501 (c) (3).  We can’t answer every request for help, but it is a virtue to be willing to help some.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  I once wrote a piece seeking to differentiate between charity and justice.   i.e.,  giving a hungry man a meal in a soup kitchen is charity.  giving a man a job so that he can buy his own soup at the store is justice.  the church does charity quite well.  but good government is often needed to ensure justice for the poor.====JACK:  To understand that we are all some way, is to understand that we all need charity.  Some call that charity, grace.

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Nice!  FYI: the Hebrew word for charity literally means righteousness.====JACK:  You can tell that I never studied for a bar mitzvah.  I'm pleased to see that you have remembered some of what you learned at age (  ).

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  I like the Aquinas view that charity is our chance to act in God's place. As inadequate as we are at times, we are the body, hands, and feet of God...My wife said it relates widows mite, the spirit of giving from the heart not duty. She's probably right, as usual.  From Wikipedia:  In Christian theology charity, Latin caritas, is by Thomas Aquinas understood as "the friendship of man for God", which "unites us to God". He holds it as "the most excellent of the virtues".[1] Further, Aquinas holds that "the habit of charity extends not only to the love of God, but also to the love of our neighbor".[2]  Some[who?] delineate charity to mean only benevolent giving, while others, such as Roman Catholics, have multiple interrelated meanings (i.e. charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God[3]).====JACK:  With all the charity requests that we receive these days, I think that the root meaning of the word has been lost in the shuffle.  Both you and your wife have re-captured it.  The widow was putting into action what God would (and did) do.

FROM TARMART REV:  Well, then-- I will always have a bone to pick with you, John Jack Freed!!====JACK:  I don't believe it's sanitary to gnaw on the same bone.  But, I guess, if you're hungry enough, you don't care about such things.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Thanx for the WW today. It will be in today's CBS.====JACK:  It might be interesting for your Study Group to discuss what charity means to them.  Is it a religious, moral, political action?  Is need the only requirement...without asking too many questions, trying to justify the action?

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  From what we heard while we were in Canada, there are very few truly poor people there.  Not sure all the reasons why, but it seems we are moving toward a larger and larger share of our population living below the poverty level, while the super rich get richer (at least in terms of money).====JACK:  Sometimes statistics (or unsubstantiated examples) can be used to justify inaction, as we see too often in today's political arena.  Wherever there are the "truly poor," there is need.  The question is...What shall we do about it?

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Many people have a dog (or dogs) these days, and with most of them the care and love for the dogs is unbounded.  Let's hope that those same people are equally willing to share care and love for the humans around them.====JACK:  US News calls your new dog "A Money Pit," with expenses averaging $1500 a year.  Now let's take a look at what we spend each year on human charities.  That much?====RI:  You bring up a good point.  I wasn't mindful of such costs.  My neighbor did tell me he spent $2500 for his dog's cancer treatment prior to the dog's death.  ====JACK:  We each make our choices.  It’s said that when you point a finger at someone, you have 3 pointing back at you.

FROM DR JUDY:  Loved your humor on this one!====JACK:  I like my humor, wry.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Musing about today's WW. Paul, in Corinthians 1.13 used the phrase "and now abide faith, hope, and love these three; but the greatest of these is love." And in some versions the word "charity" is used in lieu of "love". So many ramifications of these two words used interchangeably. And I'm comfortable with that.====JACK:  I think that "Main Street" misses the meaning of both the etymological sense.  But, I guess the choice of words and the meaning of them is up to the user.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/22/15
“For there was never a philosopher that could endure a toothache patiently.”  (Shakespeare)  I wonder if the philosopher Zeno ever had a toothache?  He’s said to be the founder of Stoicism, a belief which says that everything is part of a grand plan, so there’s no use complaining about hardship and pain.  The modern Stoic would say, “Just deal with it!”  I happen to like the words of Jesus, “Come to me, all you are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  I've fallen in love with that Heavenly Voice as well...Jesus Christ, that is!! ====JACK:  Regarding the voice of Jesus...Do you think he was a tenor, baritone or bass?

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  a little pain goes a long or 3,000 years ago...pain is pain!====JACK:  Toothaches, caused by rotting teeth were a real problem is Shakespeare's day.  It was thought that inhaling another's bad breath could cause the plague.  No novocaine for extractions, either.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  I think “cable news TV” can be substituted for a toothache in this WW.  I can’t say I have missed it in the past 9 months I’ve ignored it.  Miss it like a toothache.====JACK: Luke Appling, who once played for the Chicago White Sox, had the  nickname, "Old Aches and Pains," because he was always complaining about something.  I agree with your complaint about cable news, particularly the political commentary segments.  We need to be careful with how we spend our time.  It's such a limited commodity.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I would definitely go with Jesus' word.  As one who has had a toothache, I would receive no comfort with Zeno's words!====JACK:  I wonder if Jesus ever had a toothache.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  HA! BILL WAS FOND OF QUOTING ZENO'S "THE MASSES ARE ASSES; THE FEW SHALL ALWAYS RULE"...HE GREATLY ENJOYED HIS PHILOSOPHY CLASSES AT AUGIE, AS YOU SEEM TO HAVE. I MISSED OUT ON THAT!====JACK:  Zeno's words help us to understand politics, even thought we might not like to face up to the seeming reality of it.  I would like to use the quote as a Winning Words someday, but I have a hard time seeing the positive message in it.  Does the word, wry, describe it?  I happen to think that courses in philosophy are needed for pastors to better understand the religion they are called to interpret.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/21/15
“Come over, friend!  Sit down here.”  (Ruth 4:1)  If you were to choose someone to come and sit beside you for a spell and just chat, who would that be?  Chances are, it’d be an old friend or some relative from your past.  Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I think that life would be more interesting if there were more face to face talkin’ and less faceless textin’.  I’m not a luddite; I just happen to like sitting down with friends and talking about stuff.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TRIHARDER:  "Set a spell, take your shoes off. Y'all come back now, here?"====JACK:  That sounds like dialog from Green Acres or The Andy Griffith Show.====TH:  Close. The closing theme from The Beverly Hillbillies. I always thought it was a back-woods Southern greeting/goodbye.====JACK:  Somehow I can't picture you as a fan of the BHs, unless it was because of Elly Mae.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I would choose Anselm...and mainly shut up and listen to him....might ask a question or two.====JACK:  What language would be used in your conversation...English, Swedish, or French?====JOHN:  I don't know if he spoke any form of English even though he was Archbishop of Canterbury....under William Rufus....I probably would have to relearn my Latin.    It would be worth it!====JACK:  I wonder how he would respond when you explained how God is thought of in today's society.====JOHN:  I think he would believe we are deluded by our own sense of self importance.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Couldn't agree more.  Texting and emailing tends to make people "faceless."  No facial expressions or body language to see.====JACK:  I've read that "texters" are candidates for hands and neck problems in the future, because of the continual use of the thumbs and the constant bending down of the neck.====RS:  I can believe that - just like so much typing led to carpal tunnel syndrome.  But the biggest loss will be people's struggles with having face to face conversations.  I've actually seen people at the same table texting each other rather than talking (and listening).  There's just so much we lose by texting and emailing - the inflections in the voice, facial expressions, hand movements.  And here I am...........emailing.  In answer to your question about who would I choose to come sit a spell and chat.........I think either my good friend John in Pennsylvania or my Dad.  My Dad and I never were close and I was too immature to understand that his alcoholism was a disease.  I think I would have liked to understand him better.  If it were someone I never met but admired from afar, I think maybe Byron Nelson or John Wooden.  They were not only successful but from what I understand had great character. Maybe some of it would rub off - I should be so lucky!====JACK:  If we were to live in the Twilight Zone, it might be possible to go back up and pick up the pieces.  Maybe there'll be such a chance in heaven.  A very interesting response from you.  Thanks for sharing.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAULbtw, what is the origin of the word luddite?====JACK:  Before I Google it…..It referred to workers who resisted the Industrial Revolution.  I think that there was a leader by the name of Ludd.  A luddite has come to mean anyone who resists technological change.  Now….I will look it up….Well, the background seems to be pretty much as I described it.

FROM TARMART REV: I've always enjoyed our Panera visits-- not many, but have always enjoyed. Felt I was missed a special part of the morning yesterday in not responding to your post . . . left Willmar for Springfield, MO at 3:30a and arrived here late afternoon at 5p . . . attending the funeral today of the former manager of Sherm Lollar Lanes which hired me all during my Bible college days, 1966-1970 and again part-time when I served as a youth pastor on staff at Calvary Temple (Assemblies of God) 1978-1980 . . . a very fine lady who lived to be 91 . . . wanted to show my respect to her family and personal friends even today. Heading out early again tomorrow morning for home.====JACK:  As I recall our Panera visits, we often talk about people and experiences that have shaped our ministry.  "Well done, good and faithful servant."

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Over the years of work and play there have been a number of people who I got to know more deeply by taking time to sit together and share conversation.  Some became longtime friends.  From personal experience I know you are a winner when it comes to "sitting down with friends and talking about stuff."  My regret is that the distance between us now prevents our doing it face to face.====JACK:  My life has been shaped by the variety of people I've met in my ministry.  I could write a book, if I had the inclination.  Suffice to say, you and your family would be mentioned prominently in that book.

FROM CS IN MICHIGAN:  Me, too. Let's talk some day.====JACK:  I haven't been to Ellen's since the place has been expanded and remodeled.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's so deeply satisfying to visit with friends!  They love us unconditionally, flaws and all!  God surely blessed us with our friends and family.====JACK:  We all know the stories which make one another laugh (and sometimes put a lump in the throat).

FROM MK IN MICHIGAN:  Me too Jack!  I for one believe my relationships are the most valuable thing I have, although I feel like I often neglect my relationships….====JACK:  I know that if I were to talk with you, I'd ask you if you are enjoying this summer weather...and, as a friend, I know what your answer would be.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  modern technology fills in the gaps. i have reconnected w/so many old friends all over the world w/fb.  i can text dad or daughter quickly, even at work, to be sure all is well.  if not for the internet, i'd not know you!!!====JACK:  I would hate to do without my computer and my cellphone, but, for me, face to face meetings are the best.  I will have to say, the daily contact with a great number of family and friends would not happen without computerized Winning Words.


FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  During a recent visit to my doctor, I asked him, "How do you determine whether or not an older person should be committed into an old age home?" "Well," he said, "we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the person to empty the bathtub."  "Oh, I  understand," I said. "A normal person would use  the bucket because it is bigger than the spoon or the  teacup." "No" he said. "A normal person would pull  the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?"====JACK:  I suppose that this is typical of the stories you tell when you and the other old friends get together for lunch.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  Yes, Jack it is wonderful for face to face conversation – I have many on my list including old Jack.  My dream is that we can drive up to the Twin Cities this summer or fall for face to face visits with a dozen folks.  The most interesting conversations that I ever had was with Lyle Schaller when I would drop in with him in his home.====JACK:  Yes, as with Lyle, it's good that you make the visit before it's too late.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/20/15
“To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.”  (Phyllis Theroux)  How long has it been since you’ve sent or received a “real” letter?  The USPS is in financial difficulty, partly because letter writing has gone out of style.  I’ll always treasure the letter my grandmother sent to me at the start of my ministry.  As the week begins, how about sending a letter to someone who’s been important in your life?  You won’t regret it.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Jack, we are in the process of cleaning out my 97 year old aunt's home as she is now in a nursing home.  we recently found a whole suit case full of letters (some censored by the Army, quite common in those days) written by my uncle, now deceased, when he was in the Pacific during WW II. he was gone 3 1/2 years.   some of them are just fascinating as Ellis was a great writer and story teller.  I am even wondering if they could comprise a book of some sort.  Letters from Okinawa.  the book would be somewhat different than Clint Eastwood's, Letters from Iwo Jima.====JACK:  "Where you heart is, there is your treasure also."  Who would have thought that a suitcase could be a treasure chest?  Like the servants in the parable...some put it to good use.  One of them just buried it.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  In cleaning out drawers, etc for my big move, we unearthed old letters of my grandma (whom I never knew, as she died before my mom married) and grandpa to my mother when she was a  young woman at DeKalb Teacher's College. They sure gave insight into everyday living in the early 1900's! I also have letters that we twins  wrote to my Grandpa that he'd kept all his  life in a bureau drawer.  A peek into the past!  I send cards and notes to our house-bound, and nursing home parishioners regularly, and our H.S. gang has had a Round Robin letter which has circulated for 60+ yrs. Started with 21 of us, now down to 8!! (Those who live the longest, suffer the losses!!) Yes, letters are a good  way to keep in touch, and also a commentary of our times! ====JACK:  I wonder what those who come after us will think when they go through what we have saved in the computer?  I wonder what invention will have replaced the computer by that time? ====BO:  When i read of Duke's research and experiments on thought transference over thousands of miles, years ago, I wondered if that would become  common practice, but not yet!  I imagine what will come in the future will astound us, or would if we were cognizent of it!!n 1950,  I remember going to a featured exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry when we were first married, iand saw robots doing house work and shiny new household inventions, most of which are commom place today! What a world!!

FROM WATERFORD JAN:  My list of birthdays I like to observe has grown so large that I decided to reduce the cost of purchasing cards.  I combined my hobby of writing with various card stock and matching envelopes and began to send personal notes with matching smiley face and star stickers.  I also enclose a fairly-new dollar bill which negates the savings from not buying the "very best" greeting cards. The response from people who receive the note and the dollar bill has offset any cost.  Some people ask me what they should do with the dollar (not all my friends are that slow-minded); some say they'll buy a lottery ticket and share any proceeds with me (that hasn't happened); some say they donated it to a food pantry or some other good deed fund; some hang on to it trying to decide how to use it wisely; some recall days when they were a child and shook their birthday cards in hopes of finding money.  The birthday people think they're lucky, but I'm the winner because of the joy I receive!====JACK:  Homemade birthday cards with a dollar enclosed is a great idea.  My mother used to enclose a $2 bill with our cards and mark the date on the bill.  I have an envelope full of them.  Maybe someday I'll spend them...but chances are, the spending will be done by my heirs.

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN:  I send cards with notes, does that count? I love sending and receiving letters, but I’ve fallen into the email and electronic messaging routine.====JACK:  For me...A real, live card in the mail (with a handwritten note) beats Facebook greetings anytime.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i have been working on a sympathy letter for a college roommate who lost her mom... complete w/monogrammed stationery!====JACK:  Henry Van Dyke wrote:  "It's not the gift, but the thought that counts."  I'm sure that your roommate will appreciate hearing from you.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Uncle mike sends us letters and we write back.  The grandkids love to get post cards.  I sent them a different animal from the Everglades. Our 5 year old granddaughter was not happy that we sent a postcard of a cougar to our Ethan, our baby grandson.  She said it scared him!====JACK:  I had an Uncle Herbert who would always send me a homemade birthday greeting.  Only, he would begin it with...HAPPY NATAL DAY.  As a kid, I had to ask, "What's a Natal Day?"

Friday, July 17, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/17/15
“Always appear to be more than you appear and never appear to be more than you are.”  (Angela Merkel)   "Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Angela!"  Forbes Magazine calls her “the most powerful woman in the world.”  She’s not only the Chancellor of Germany, but is the de-facto leader of the European Union, too.  Male, or female, leadership is difficult, and her WWs today describe what it involves.  What qualities are you looking for in “your” leader?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  ...politically speaking, "trustworthiness" of late?! 0:-/====JACK:  The quote can apply to any of us...but, specifically, it apply to a senior pastor, a spouse, a confidant, a teacher, a doctor.  You get the idea!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  not sure I understand this one, Jack.  it sounds like a contradictory statement.  perhaps its intended to be just that...====JACK:  Parse the quote and apply it to yourself.  1. There is more to you or anyone) than what people see and hear.  2. Don't pretend to be more than you really are.  When that kind of falseness is discovered, people will suspect that other things about you are not true, even though they might be.  3. This is what we want in our leaders.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Angela Merkel could easily pass for a frumpy housewife, but appears to have played her cards well politically in communist East Germany, honing her political skills while a member of the GDR parliament.  When that regime fell, and reunification of Germany took hold, Frau Merkel clearly appeared to be a strong candidate when it came time to elect a new Chancellor.  She has gone beyond that to achieve a strong position of leadership in Europe, and a formidable negotiator for the European Union.  From all appearances, she is on a democratic course, but some in power are hesitant about her, due to her early life as a supporter of socialism.  It appears Chancellor Merkel may have kept one characteristic of her political life in the former communist state:  Use caution in expressing what you are up never know how it will later be used against you. ====JACK:  I like the quote because it seems to express who she  While the past is still a part of us, we need to accept the fact that the past is past.  I believe in the possibility of redemption, or else, "my preaching is in vain."====RI:  Redemption...yes.  Moreover, change is constant, and one should be able to change one's mind.

FROM ANONYMOUS:  The leaders I look for and admire and trust seem to be people who are genuinely responsive to the needs of the most marginal in society. These leaders listen to the voices of others that many more-privileged people judge as contemptible and not worth anything to anyone yet leaders I follow find the marginal truly "the first" in the Kingdom of God and so these leaders become truly "servants" and a result is that more peace and justice blossoms from these leaders' work in society and I feel more hope and love and peace and happier too.

FROM HS IN ILINOIS:   And she is the daughter of a Lutheran Pastor from the East Zone. ====JACK:  Do you know if the GDR allowed Church practices during her growing up years?  If not, her father must have had some other job.  I'll have to research that further.  A quick scan shows that the Christians (particularly Protestants) were kept under pretty tight control.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:   I WISH WE  HAD SOME LEADERS WHO COULD NEGOTIATE, COMPROMISE, AND LISTEN TO BOTH SIDES OF AN ISSUE, THEN GET SOMETHING DONE! WE'VE NEVER BEEN SO ON OPPOSITE POLES BEFORE IN HISTORY....WITH VEHEMENT CRITICISM OF ANYTHING THE PRES. OR ONE PARTY OR THE OTHER PROMOTES!!! :-(====JACK:  I hate to say that there's "never" been  such polarization.  I celebrate the fact that women were given the right to vote, poll taxes have been eliminated, an African-American is our President.  As the old commercial once put it...."We've come a long way, baby!"

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I'm not even sure how to be more than I appear or less than I am.  I guess that's why she is the Chancellor and not me.====JACK:  We each have our niche.  Did you ever learn this song in Sunday School?
Jesus bids us shine with a clear, pure light,  Like a little candle burning in the night;
In this world of darkness, we must shine,  You in your small corner, and I in mine.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Some of the people are more than they appear all of the time, and all of the people are more than they appear some of the time, but sometimes some of the people need to just disappear.====JACK:  Do you ever watch the show, The Carbonaro Effect?  Michael can make things disappear.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  i like a leader with courage and confidence as long as it is accompanied by a big helping of humble pie and a kind spirit.====JACK:  There is actually a recipe for Humble Pie, but it's so gross that I'm not going to post it, let alone eat the stuff.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  honesty. fearlessness. one who believes in america, & isn't ashamed of her... sounds like donald trump!====JACK:  I thought you were committed to Rand Paul.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/16/15
“The old believe everything; the middle-aged suspect everything; the young know everything.”  (Oscar Wilde)  A recent study shows that people, 69 and older, tend to believe too-good-to-be-true promises.  Internet feedback shows that middle-agers are conspiracy-prone.  If it’s not “the gov’t,” it’s a religious plot, or Wall St.  And, of course, it’s nothing new that the young know everything.  Haven’t you ever been young?  But…beware of stereotypes!    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  oh yes, how we were pretty sure we knew everything at age 20! ====JACK:  Sadly, some folks, as they age, never say good-bye to their 20s.====ST PAUL:  I know a 60 year old hippie!  its all kind of pathetic!

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  What about the middle age realize that they have to learn everything? As I slowly mature from a "young" person with grand ideas -- which are surely the best most awesome ideas -- I learn how naive I am and start climbing yet another learning curve.====JACK:  Wait until you slowly mature into an "older" person...then you will really know what naiveté is.  ====LBP:  Yeah... Wasn't that a WW in the past? How much you know you don't know?====JACK:  Probably!  Sometimes, as you grow older, you tend to repeat yourself.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Interesting words.  I find myself believing little of what I read or see or hear.  I'm 64 so maybe that will change when I hit 69! Lol====JACK:  It looks like you fit the stereotype.  How about Gary?

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  beware, indeed!  (i am a conspiracist, you see. tee hee.)====JACK:  You seem to fit the profile...and ask your father is he's living his 2nd childhood.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  BOTH YESTERDAY, AND TODAY'S WW ARE ESPECIALLY GOOD! WAY BACK IN PLATO'S TIME, THERE WAS ALWAYS  A GENERATION SAYING , "THE WORLD IS GOING TO THE DOGS!"  This gives me some hope for the future that my grandkids, and "greats" will live in, as we are very adaptable when necessary. And Wily old Oscar Wilde had a way of putting things that have a ring of truth to it. I feel at 85, I'm still a bit of a skeptic, until proven otherwise.  But I do have faith that people  are predominately Good at heart!====JACK:  At this moment I am watching and listening (on my computer) to a livestream of the ELCA Detroit Youth Gathering being held at Ford Field.  30,000 youth from many parts of the USA have come to Detroit to do work projects in the neighborhoods and to celebrate their common faith and to meet new friends.  It's a real positive experience which gives me hope for the future.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/15/15
“People always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.”  (Marcel Pagnol)  Edith and Archie used to sing, “Those Were the Days,” when…Glenn Miller played…no welfare states…people seemed content…and the old LaSalle ran great.”  What do you remember about “the good old days?”  I happen to agree with Marcel.  Each age is what it is, a mix of good and bad…and we move on to the future.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV: ...couldn't wait until I got older...I guess I have arrived?!====JACK:
If you were really old you'd remember a LaSalle.

FROM JB IN THE SHORES:  You are going to be seeing this quote right back to you in my Friday commentary this week!   It’s awesome and so very true.====JACK:  I had never heard of the author, Pagnol.  In cases like that, I try to look up something about him/her.  I found that Marcel is much like most of us.  We are who we were.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How very true!  We look back with mostly rosy glasses.  The present is fraught with peril and yet with joy for the good times.  The future is scary yet hopeful.  Our families met for a week long family reunion in Grayling, Michigan.  It was a real eye opener for my older sister Valerie and I as we realized we were the oldest ones left!  We were hailed as the Matriarchs of the family.  Scary but fun too!====JACK:  The Grandfather/Grandmother Clock song becomes more and more relevant with each added birthday candle.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/14/15
“I tell you folks, all politics is applesauce.”  (Will Rogers)  It’s over a year until “the election,” and I’ve already had my fill of applesauce.  Back in the old days, “applesauce” meant nonsense or foolishness.  Some current euphemisms: big brother…born-again…politically correct…the one percent…ethnic minority.  They are code words for saying what we mean, without saying it.  Will R. also said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.”  Our world needs more like him.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Scalia used a similar phrase recently.====JACK:  It's dangerous to use a work such as, ALL.  "A lot of" might be a better choice of words.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  I happen to like our current pope. In a Q and A with reporters, this is what he had to say about his lack of comments regarding the middle class. "A: Thank you so much. It's a good correction, thanks. You are right. It's an error of mine not to think about this. I will make a comment but not to justify myself. You're right. I have to think a bit."  How unusual… a leader who Needs to think a little bit before opening their mouth.====JACK:  A lot of folks pontificate who aren't Popes.  Pope Francis is a breath of fresh air among some of the stink of this world.

FROM TARMART REV:  I can remember him back in the early fifties with his rope and yarns on TV-- went through his museum in Claremore, Oklahoma while being of grade school age. ====JACK:  I'll bet if you did rope tricks while waiting at Target and Walmart, you'd get more people stopping by to talk.  Google has a variety of sites where you can learn how to twirl the rope..

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  Not only that, but “bitter” applesauce….====JACK:  Somebody has to do the job, or we lose our democracy.====JON:  I think the problem is they (PACs) buy both sides and there is no effective election…====JACK:  I'd like to think that my vote isn't for sale.  "My country, right or wrong...It's still me country."

Monday, July 13, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/13/15
“Rainbows always appear after rains.”  (Chinese editorial)  One of my favorite songs is “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”  It has a positive message…dreams come true…troubles melt.  It was that way for Noah and his family, and it can be for us, too.  The storms of life can be scary.  The rainbow is God’s way of saying, “I am with you always.”  It’s tough to be alone; it’s tougher to feel that no one cares.  Let the rainbow be a sign for you that God cares.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  (The rainbow) makes me think of the protective hand of God ... better seen and experienced from the distance, but sometimes we are right there inn the fray.====JACK:  I wonder what went through the mind of "Noah" when he saw a rainbow?

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  BTW, when was the first rainbow made?====JACK:  Since I wasn't there at the time, I can imagine it was when God's sunlight passed through God's first raindrop.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  The rainbow has become the emblem of happiness to our 5-year old granddaughter.  She loves to draw the arch of colors, and usually puts a small one on the bottom of her little drawings, and the note cards she gives out.  The other symbol she likewise passes around is a delightful red heart.====JACK:  I wonder who first told her about rainbows and hearts and what they mean?  Aren't teaching and learning great opportunities?

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Maya Angelou said, "Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud." ====JACK:  It's said that Maya got that quote from a 19th century African-American song, "God Put a Rainbow in the Clouds."

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  that a rainbow is the sign of god's promise to us is one of my best episcopal sunday school memories.  another one: i used to check to make sure my ears weren't getting loose, because they said that is an early indication of leprosy. i still check occasionally.====JACK:  During WW 2 there was a slogan, "Loose Lips Sink Ships," meaning:  "Avoid unguarded talk about ship movements, lest a spy hear what's being said and pass it on to the enemy navy."  But, I've never heard of loose ears...except in the song, "Do your ears hang low, do they wobble to and fro."


Friday, July 10, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/10/15
“Just remember there is someone out there that is more than happy with less than what you have.”  (Unknown)  When I first read this quote, I could not help but STOP and put aside my personal complaints.  I have so much, and there are so many who have so little.  Is it that way with you?  It’s an old saying, but it’s true.  “I complained, because I had no shoes, until I saw a man who had no feet.”  There are many reasons for us to be generous with our riches.    ;-)  Jack

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  For sure!!====JACK:  I've just finished reading this morning's newspaper...which reinforces my thought of being thankful for what we have.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i don't have a job... you are welcome to share your riches w/me! ====JACK:  I don't have a "snappy" response for that...only to say that the unemployment statistics are more than numbers.  If only "we" could see the faces behind them, I think that more of an effort would be made to do something about it.  May God open a door (or a window) for you.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  If you have been blessed, then you need to be a blessing..... ====JACK:  Does blessed/blessing have meaning, other than in the religious sense?====JOHN:  Interesting question.  Not sure where you are going with it.====JACK:  What I was getting at ---"Blessing" is something connected with a religious practice.  Is there a word that the secular world might use to indicate the religious concept of blessing?

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Today's quote and your commentary are irrefutable, a nagging reminder that we often fall victim to what "we want" instead of what "we need"!   Giving a bit can help others more than we can imagine.  An apt motto seems to be, "Here and there, choose to share".====JACK:  Sometimes I see myself as sort of a nag...but, then, I'm reminded of this admonition:  "The job of the pastor is to afflict the comfortable, and to comfort the afflicted."

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  We each have keys to our own storehouse of riches available for, compassion. time, empathy, TLC, physical/mental assistance, friendship... to name a few. Our wealth abounds in many forms.

FROM ART:  Good morning, Jack.  This one strikes me as an especially good reminder.  Thanks, and keep up your good work.====JACK:  Consider these WWs as a cyber string on your finger.  ====ART:  A cyber string on my finger!! That is really creative, Jack.  I never would have thought of that expression.

FROM TARMART REV:  What little I may think I have would be like a gold mine to the vast majority in third world countries, and many here in the United States as well. I am thankful, less appreciative then I should be, I'm sure. 0:-/====JACK:  You might be interested in Googling,, which tells the story of a young lady in our community who is doing something creative to help those who are needy.====REV:  Very innovative for sure . . . similar story floating around our way about a young lady finding infectious worms getting into the feet of those from a particular third world countries . . . she comes home and starts an outreach where groups take old jeans and plastic milk containers . . . cutting them to a certain size, mailing them off to a place that makes sandals for folks there that protect them from the worms. We pulled our young teenagers and some adults to put  together a very large order to send their way.====JACK:  I am inspired by many of today's young people.  I'm satisfied that the future is in good hands.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Every day is a day to be thankful.====JACK:  Each day ought to be Thanksgiving Day.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  “Just remember there is someone out there who is more than happy with less than what you have.”====JACK:  Thanks for the reminder.  Sometime when a person is interviewed for a job, they are asked, "If you knew that you would be stranded on a desert island, and you could only take three things, what would they be?  OK, Chester, "If you knew that you would be stranded.....?"


Thursday, July 09, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/9/15
“When it’s foggy in the pulpit, it’s cloudy in the pew.”  (Cavett Robert)  C.R. taught in a one-room-school, installed gas lines, was a lawyer, a judge…and was an outstanding speaker.  He wrote books, too…”We Are in the People Business.”  He knew how to communicate.  People in sales learned from him.  I wonder if he ever shared his ideas with preachers, because they’re in the people business, too.  In fact, all of us are.  Communication is a key in this life.    ;-)  Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Yep, how we communicate with others is vital in our lives.  But how well do we communicate?  I think that's what Shakespeare was getting at when he said, "More matter with less art!"====JACK:  ...or, as one Indian said to another while interpreting a smoke signal message..."Heap big smoke, but no fire."  Some conversations are like that.

FROM TARMART REV:  ... onward, Jack...something new every morning!!====JACK:  The ideas keep coming.  The mind is a wonderful gift from God.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There's a ton of fog in most pulpits this time in our lives.  And, it shows in this world too.====JACK:   Some might be a better word for me than most.  Most is beyond my experience.  The fact remains...communication between pulpit and pew is very important.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yes, and in this amazing world in which we live, we now have the internet.  When we travel we have instant communication whether it is New Zealand, Peru, the Amazon, etc in most cases.====JACK:  The ubiquitous handheld computers are far more powerful than those that sent the astronauts into space and brought them back.  Do you have an Apple computer watch?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  WHAT A NEAT TURN OF PHRASE!  SO TRUE!  MADE ME THINK OF ONE TIME WHEN BILL HAD HAD A HORRIFICALLY BUSY WEEK, AND LITTLE TIME FOR SERMON PREPARATION, AND HE WAS  STRUGGLING IN HIS PREACHING, AND AFTER TEN MINUTES, HE ANNOUNCED THAT THE HYMNS HAD MORE OF A MESSAGE FOR THEM THIS WEEK THAN HE DID, SO HAD THEM SING "LIVING FOR JESUS", THEN ALL HELD HANDS ACROSS THE AISLES AND JOINED IN PRAYERS, AND IT TURNED OUT REALLY NEAT, AND TWO NEW FAMILIES CAME FORWARD AND JOINED THE CHURCH THAT  DAY!  GOD WORKS IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS. AND WE ALL GOT HOME EARLY FOR DINNER, TOO!:-)====JACK:  I agree that some hymns are really great sermons.  A pastor told me that he never liked "Pass Me Not O Gentle Savior," because Jesus never passes anyone by.  Personally, I like the hymn, because it was composed by Fanny Crosby, who was blind.  She could relate to the blind man who called out when he heard from the crowd that Jesus was passing by.  "Pass me not, Jesus!"  It takes a blind person to understand a blind person.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/8/15
“Friendship is a powerful healing force.”  (Dr Joel Kahn)  Dr K is a holistic cardiologist in the Detroit area.  He claims that you can maximize your health by eating the right foods (he’s a vegan), not smoking…and by developing friendships.  He quotes an African proverb:  “If you walk fast, walk alone.  If you want to walk far, walk together.  Grabbing someone’s hand and walking together through challenges may be the most powerful health tool.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM LPB IN PLYMOUTH:  I am glad to name you among my friends.====JACK:  Friendship is best when it works both ways.

FROM TARMART REV:  ...can even happen today, walking hand in hand miles apart through social media!! Maybe not the best-- but better than being without it, when it comes to family and friends! ====JACK:  Sousa wrote a march, Hands Across the Sea.  If he were alive today, he might write a new march, Hands Across the Internet.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  FRIENDSHIP & FAMILY are certainly powerful forces.  The hand of a life-mate makes the walk so much easier, and certainly missed when no longer there!  Who was it said, "If I had a choice between a million bucks or a million friends, I'd take the friends. They should each be worth a buck if I was ever in need!"          I just read a good thought, which has nothing to do with WW today, but worth passing on:"Silence is not only Golden, it is seldom misquoted". (Bob Monkhouse)====JACK:  Did you and your sister ever sing this song:
If you're ever in a jam, here I am
If you're ever in a mess, S.O.S
If you ever feel so happy you land in jail
I'm your bail

It's friendship, friendship, just a perfect blend ship
When other friendships have been forgot
Ours will still be hot

And if you're ever down a well, ring my bell
And if you're ever up a tree just phone to me
If you ever loose your teeth and you're out to dine, borrow mine

It's friendship, friendship, just a perfect blend ship
When other friendships have been forgate
Ours will still be great

If they ever black your eyes, put me wise
If they ever cook your goose, turn me loose
And if they ever put a bullet through your brain
I'll complain

It's friendship, friendship, just a perfect blend ship
When other friendships have been forgit
Ours will still be it

If you ever loose your mind, I'll be kind
And if you ever loose your shirt, I'll be hurt
If you're ever in a mill and get sawed in half
I won't laugh

It's friendship, friendship, just a perfect blend ship
When other friendships are up the crick
Ours will still be slick

A-lottle-dottle-dottle-woof-woof-woof, hep-hep-hep
A-chuck-chuck-chuck, a-dig-dig-dig
Good evening friends

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I am so grateful for my friends!  They helped me through many a rough road.====JACK:  I've heard of the death of 3 old friends this week and am reminded of this poem...
Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.
New-made friendships, like new wine,
Age will mellow and refine.
Friendships that have stood the test-
Time and change-are surely best;
Brow may wrinkle, hair grow gray;
Friendship never knows decay.
For 'mid old friends, tried and true,
Once more we our youth renew.
But old friends, alas! may die;
New friends must their place supply.
Cherish friendship in your breast-
New is good, but old is best;
Make new friends, but keep the old.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/7/15
“And now I need a bath.”  (Albert Einstein)  This quote was in the comic strip, “Get Fuzzy,” making the point that A.E., like us, said many things, but only some are worth remembering.  A researcher claims that, on average, men speak 6073 words daily, while women use 8805.  I have dozens of books full of sayings, besides other reading.  Do you have a favorite quot-er?  Einstein?  Twain?  Lincoln?  Jesus?  I remember many things said by my Aunt Nell.    ;-)  Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  My family had a lot of sayings:  "it's daylight in the swamp", "Go get the machine" (car), "Go play in the traffic", and many many more.====JACK:  "Go play in traffic?"  These days, that could get your parents arrested.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Who knew that every time we used those very words we were repeating a quote by the genius Einstein? :) Once again, WW send my mind a-churnin. Quotes/Quoters from ages past til today reflect, reinforce , introduce....thoughts. I read these days with a gel highlighter to underscore thoughts, phrases, "et cetera, et cetera, et cetera". that are meaningful to me. As for my favorite stand-by quote (outside of The Bible), "This above all to thine own self be true." Polonius to Laertes, his son, in Hamlet. Still mulling over food for thought. Thank you.====JACK:  How do you suppose came up with all of those sayings which we keep repeating?  He didn't even have access to Google.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  One of my favorites is do unto others as you would have the do unto you. ====JACK:  Almost every religion/philosophy has some form of this "rule" in its teachings.  "You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours."

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  No favorites, but I like many I see, including yours. My Dad quoted Grantland Rice when I was about 5 or 6:  "A quitter never wins, and a winner never quits." ====JACK:   No wonder his sons turned out to be such good basketball players...and life players, too!

FROM BS VISITING IN THE USA:  My Aunt Mary used to say " whatever makes you happy, that's  what I  say "  As children we would mimic her!====JACK:  For those who would mimic, there used to be this saying, "Monkey see, monkey do."  Was that (or something similar) ever used in England?

FROM SH:  "The ultimate measure of a man or woman is not where he or she stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he or she stands at times of challenge and controversy." ====JACK:  Another one that relates...."Those who don't stand for something will fall for anything."

FROM CL IN SANTA BARBARA:  “These players were born for big moments. As the pressure gets bigger, this team gets better.” - Jill Ellis====JACK:  Her USA soccer team really played well in the World Cup.  They didn't fold under the pressure.

FROM TARMART REV:  ... I'm sticking with Reverend John Freed, myself.====JACK:  I'm just the messenger, the quot-er of quot-ers.

FROM DM:  My father in law was from Alabama  he used to say “ between you me and the gatepost”  and “ god strike me dead if I’m lying”   that was the first time I ever heard those sayings and it used to make me laugh.   Although he is deceased now I remember him in those moments. ====JACK:  "God strike me dead" reminds me of "Cross my heart and hope to die."  Gruesome when taken literally!

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.
Muhammad Ali This seemed to connect to the WW.====JACK:  Prizefighters used to be known as, palookas (stupid, uncouth).  Ali, by his use of quotes, was no palooka.  Do you remember the comic strip, Joe Palooka?

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  I like this Jack.====JACK:  You're not the only one.  I got more than the usual number of responses today.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I like the thought behind Earl Weaver's quote.  I've learned soooooo much...that I once thought I didn't need to know.====JACK:  Every day is a learning experience.  Even in the church....Sunday School was a great experience, but it would be too bad if I had never graduated.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/6/15
“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would solve most of the world’s problems.”  (Gandhi)  Mike Rowe’s TV show, “Dirty Jobs,” explores work that we’d just as soon let others do…ski-lift mechanic, shark repellent tester, road kill collector.  The show’s theme song, “We Care A Lot,” is a tribute to people who care.  Gandhi did what he did, because he cared.  This world is a better place, because of people like that.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM TARMART REV:  ... as well, Mother Teresa... one of earlier missionaries in Calcutta was a Mark and Hulda Buntain...I understand they were friends of hers as well.====JACK:  There are doers who don't receive the headlines that Teresa and Gandhi have gotten, but none of them are in the business of caring because of headlines.====REV: Yes, sir...Jack and Paul would most likely be two of those...however, my father many years ago and earlier on in ministry took me to a "faith evangelist" conducting services in our hometown armory who called me out and prophesied over me that God had big things in store for me-- prosperity, fame and abundance of sorts...I never lost any sleep over waiting for its arrival... I'm sure it coming though--just around the corner!!====JACK:  Paul got headlines in the Bible, but not Jack.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  At POG I shoveled snow, mowed the grass, plunged the toilets, shingled the roof, etc, etc.   got criticized by a synod official for doing those things but our church grew and a lot of churches where the pastor was more dignified declined.   Dignity isn't perhaps so important. ====JACK:  As there were differences between the disciples of Jesus, there are differences between ministry styles.  I happen to buy into your style, and it worked for me, too. 

FROM JB IN SCS:  Great minds think alike!====JACK:  Our carrier happened to deliver the Wall Street Journal today by mistake.  It was interesting to get "a different slant" on the day's news.  I've found that "caring" is not necessarily limited by ideology.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/3/15
“What we need are patriots who express their faith in their country by working to improve it.”  (Hubert Humphrey)  One of the symbols of patriotism in our country is the American flag.  It’s sad that other flags are being used to promote issues showing a division among our nation.  I’d like to see an effort made to narrow the separations, rather than widen them.  HH authored the Civil Rights Act and helped establish the Peace Corps.  He lived his patriotism.    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i agree whole-heartedly. happy independence day!====JACK:  "Ask not what your country can do for you...."====LIZ:  a top ten quote!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  our football stadium was named for HHH but now we tore it down.====JACK:  Even when it was standing and in use, it was seldom referred to using the Humphrey name.  It was the Metrodome.  Why was that?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  iT DOES SEEM LIKE WE LACK THE LEADERSHIP WE ONCE HAD TO "GET THINGS DONE" FOR THE GOOD OF THE COUNTRY!====JACK:  I think that Gerrymandering has something to do with it...and also the influence of PACs, under the guise of "free speech."

FROM TARMART REV:  Its still printed as such, "One Nation under God . . ." I'm still flying that flag in my heart, but seeing a concerted effort of removing it . . . hopefully, by God's grace, it will remain standing.====JACK:  Ours is a beautiful flag, with rich symbolism...and displaying a positive message.

FROM CHESTER, THE GOOD:  JFK's "Ask not" quote is the most on-target EVER.====JACK:  It certainly energized a lot of people.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/2/15
“The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway.”  (Henry Boyle)  Where has bi-partisanship gone?  Some of our best legislators have thrown in the towel, because there’s no middle ground.  Maybe that’s also a cause for an almost 50% marriage failure rate.  A map for the ½-way trip…put your ego in the trunk…listen…compromise is not surrender…there are usually two sides…issues aren’t always values…be civil.  Happy trails to you!    ;-)  Jack

FROM TRIHARDER:  A key ingredient in negotiation of any kind -- legal, marital, ... verbalizing an understanding of the position of the "other side."====JACK:  Even those whose business involves "negotiating," have to involve that skill in our personal life.  Raising children is an example.====TH:  Parents don't always negotiate. More often than not, "because I said so" is sufficient. But, yes, negotiation in business is a valuable art. Scorched earth victory yields two (or more) losers.====JACK:  I'm reminded of the song, "Blowin' in the Wind"----"When will they ever learn?" 

FROM HONEST JOHN:  One of the great learnings of debating is that you see there are not only multiple sides to questions but Valid multiple sides.====JACK:  Since I'm not schooled in debate, I've often wondered....Is the purpose of the debater to win the argument at all costs, even to the extent of pushing a point that is inferior (or even untrue)? winning the only thing?====JOHN:  If you are debating the good teams, you can't get by with shenanigans....stretch the truth and live to see yourself exposed.    Therefore, we were taught by Holcomb to win by using good logic and good sources.    Fudging was for losers.====JACK:  My favorite Mackinac Island fudge is Joanne's.  BTW, do you remember when "No fudging" was called out during a game of marbles?

FROM MP IN MICHIGAN:  "issues aren't always values".............I like that.====JACK:  One of my favorite courses in college was called, American Ideals.  I learned a lot about the importance of values in the life-makeup of some of our country's best leaders.  I've been a proponent of teaching "values" to children, except............where to do it?....and whose values (mine or yours)?  Even the recent Supreme Court decisions are basically about values.====MP:  Just found today, a quote from Margaret Thatcher:  “Consensus: “The process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner: ‘I stand for consensus?”

 FROM CS IN MICHIGAN:  Really like this one - actually like your "take" on it - makes the phrase more memorable!!====JACK:  When it comes to meeting "half-way," someone has to make the first move, and the other has to respond...or else, there's a stalemate.  I'd rather be the first mover...and, if
that doesn't work, I'd try another move...and another.  I wouldn't let negativity get the best of me.

FROM TARMART REV:  Even a Lutheran and Pentecostalist can find common ground to express their faith!!====JACK:  I've even known of a Pentecostal who could find common ground with those of a faith other than Christian.  I wonder what denomination God is?

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  Thanks for sending.  I just forwarded this to several of my friends who I believe know this trip very well.  Perhaps none better than you.  With my compliments. ====JACK:  On the road to success, it's good to have some humility in the tank.  Most people I know are turned off by a Mr (or Ms) Know-it-all.  I like the word, self-effacing.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  Absolutely====JACK:  Half-way travelers sometimes have to let their absolutes ride in the backseat for awhile.

FROM CG:  I liked this!====JACK:  I can imagine that going "half-way" is part of your day-to-day business.

FROM MY LAWYER:  A farmer died leaving his 17 horses to his three sons.
When his sons opened up the Will it read:
My eldest son should get 1/2 (half) of total horses;
My middle son should be given 1/3rd (one-third) of the total horses;
My youngest son should be given 1/9th (one-ninth) of the total horses.
As it's impossible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, the three sons started to fight with each other.  So, they decided to go to a farmer friend who they considered quite smart, to see if he could work it out for them.
The farmer friend read the Will patiently, after giving due thought, he brought one of his own horses over and added it to the 17. That increased the total to 18 horses.
Now, he divided the horses according to their father's will.
Half of 18 = 9. So he gave the eldest son 9 horses.
1/3rd of 18 = 6. So he gave the middle son 6 horses.
1/9th of 18 = 2. So he gave the youngest son 2 horses.
Now add up how many horses they have: Eldest son  9  Middle son  6  Youngest son  2
TOTAL = 17
Now this leaves one horse over, so the farmer friend takes his horse back to his farm.
Problem solved!
Moral:  The attitude of negotiation and problem solving is to find the "18th horse", that is "the common ground". Once a person is able to find the 18th horse, the issue is resolved. It is difficult at times. However, to reach a solution, the first step is to believe that there is a solution. If we
think that there is no solution, we won't be able to reach any!

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 7/1/15
“Be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, tolerant of the weak, because someday in your life you will be all of these.”  (G.W. Carver)  Often I can go into a gathering of people and know that I have once been the age of each person.  Empathy is the ability to feel as others feel.  People would be better able to understand poverty, ageism, homelessness and racism if they had experienced it.  If you can’t be empathetic, try to be sympathetic.    ;-)  Jack  

FROM TARMART REV:  "Glean from every season of life", I've always tried to master. I can hardly wait for eternity!!====JACK:  I read this morning..."When Jesus comes again, some will complain that the original was better than the sequel."====REV:  They will be watching most likely from a distance!?====JACK:  Do you remember the song, "When Jesus Comes in Glory?"
When Jesus comes in glory,   As Lord and King of kings,
 O what a wondrous story   The blessèd Bible brings;
 His face will shine like sunlight,   His head be white as snow,
 His eyes like flaming firelight,   His feet like brass aglow.
That's not the picture of Jesus I saw in Sunday School.  He looked human.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good words for today.  was it not amazing what GWC did with the lowly peanut?  I believe his one room log home is on the grounds at Greenfield Village.  or at least it once was some  years ago...====JACK:  Yep!  It's still there.  Greenfield Village is one of the great walking museums in our country.  Did you ever officiate at a wedding at the Mary Martha Chapel on the GV grounds?  

FROM MY LAWYER:  GOOD LIFE LESSON.  This reminds me of a time when I was with my Mom in Florida.  There was an older man at the table who was moving rather slowly getting up.  I made an inappropriate comment and my Mom kicked me under the table.  Later she told me: "Whatever you are he was; whatever he is you will be!"  I've never forgotten that.  I've passed this on to my children.====JACK:  Your story reminds me of the very first Winning Words that I used, "Virtue is learned at mother's knee.  Vice is learned at other joints."

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Thanks for your wisdom.  Think part of the beauty of aging is exactly as you say, being able to recall being the age of others in the room rather than the incomprehensible – how will it/I feel when I am that old!....Have you heard the President Obama podcast/interview from Monday?  It’s called “WTF” and the interview was hosted by a comedian.  One of the most poignant questions Obama answered was what one does when one realizes that there are things about ourselves we’ve not been able to sort out or fulfill.  The President said that his 50’s have been a time of coming to understanding that some of those things are just “what they are” and finding contentment.  I agreed!====JACK:  Which have you seen as the most defining age-milestone for you?  Becoming a teen?  Reaching 21?  30?  40?  50?

FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  Good words for every day!====JACK:  Words, words, words must turn into action, action, action.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:   Just caught up with the last few WW, as my computer was down, until my guru came today....As in marriage, both have to give 100%, not 50!  Then things work out wondrously well! Two quotes come to mind: "It's what you learn after you know it all, that  counts." (Baseball manager Earl Weaver. And  Isaac Assimov's "Your Assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or no light can come in.".  Love the WW today, and your words to go with it!  Also loved the quote from a reader's mother this week, "Whatever you are, he was, and whatever he is, you will be!" Neat turn of phrase, so true!====JACK:  I like the thought behind Earl Weaver's quote.  I've learned soooooo much...that I once thought I didn't need to know.

FROM CK IN MICHIGAN:  Sound advice indeed.====JACK:  The Golden Rule is more precious than gold.