Monday, August 31, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/31/15
“Be careful what you wish for; you might get it.”  (Beaver Cleaver’s mother)  We make lots of wishes.  Blowing out birthday candles, the turkey wishbone, a shooting star, etc.  Some would say that prayer is a kind of wish-list—but the Bible connects prayer with faith.  A believer prays with the assurance that there is a God who cares and who already knows the “things wished for, yet not seen.”  No genie lamp needed.  A simple “thy will be done” is enough.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  "Thy will be done" works best for me...I'm satisfied in not getting 'everything' I pray for.."Father knows best!"====JACK:  A mother once told me how hard it was to pray the Lord's Prayer as she stood beside her son's casket.  She stopped, just before the words, "Thy will be done."  After pausing for a while, she said the words, and a relief upon her.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  You forgot to "stamp" the first Robin of spring. I STILL never miss  doing it.====JACK:  I haven't heard of that one.  Others...the wishing bright, star light... 3 coins in a fountains...when you see a rainbow...or a ladybug...or a clock at 11:11...or when an acorn falls on your head.====CHESTER:  You lick the tips of your forefinger and middle finger, rub them across your other palm , them hit that palm with the side of your other fist... you've "stamped" him. Been doing that since Wm. Carr.====JACK:  I hope your fingers are clean before you lick them.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I THINK MOST PARENTS HAVE SAID SOMETHING SIMILAR TO THEIR CHILDREN. REMINDS ME OF A QUOTE MY CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER, HOWARD THURMAN:"DON'T ASK WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS. ASK YOURSELF WHAT MAKES YOU COME ALIVE, AND THEN DO THAT. BECAUSE WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS IS PEOPLE WHO HAVE COME ALIVE!"   IT'S AMAZING THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO JUST "EXIST"~!====JACK:  Often people will define themselves by what they do, their job.  Retirees have to find another kind of occupation (way to occupy their time.)  I conducted a funeral a few years ago in which I offhandedly mentioned sending out Winning Words.  A stranger came up to me afterward and said, "So, you're Jack from Jack's Winning Words.  I like them."  I was validated, given a reason for being.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  "Thy will be done " is pretty much my mantra. I think that God has a plan for me and I pretty much leave it in His hands. There is a Schullerism that I like.
When the idea is not right  God says "NO"
When time is not right  God says "SLOW!"
When you are not right;  God says , "GROW"!"
When everything is right;  God says , "GO!"
====JACK:  When we pass "GO" on God's Monopoly board,  we get more than $200.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/28/15
“I felt that if life were to throw me one more ball to juggle, the whole circus tent would come crashing down.”  (Teri McDowell)  In her book, Positively Present, Dani DiPirro has some tips when life becomes like a 3-ring-circus.  1) Decide who’s going to be the ringmaster, the one in charge. 2) Like on a tightrope, maintain a balance.  3) It’s dangerous to perform with no net, so have a backup plan.  4) Don’t be too serious.  It’s good to clown around.    ;-)  Jack

FROM EASTSIDE RAY:  Barb and I have sent your Winning Words to the principal of Barb’s school when they have been fitting.  They have often made the daily comments to the school staff.  Barb thought this one was particularly apropos.====JACK:  I always liked the teacher who had a sense of humor. Looking back (way back), I never had the sense that any of them were particularly stressed.  Maybe they were wearing masks, and I didn't know it.  IMHO, we don't give teachers enough credit for the job they do.

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  Thanks. Hope you are having a good Friday====JACK:  Have you ever walked a tight rope?====LBP:  Not literally.====JACK:  Literally or firguratively...which do you think is harder to do?

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  send in the clowns, is one of my favorite songs...====JACK:  Our organist once played that song as I walked down the aisle to start the Sunday service.====ST PAUL:  did you ever see Floyd Schaefer do his "clowning" during a worship hour.  he was amazing.  just transformed himself and the whole liturgy somehow.  unfortunately,   there followed hundreds of others who dressed up as clowns but had no clue how to pull off the worship in the same way Floyd did.  so in the end,  it all became something of a farce, at least in my opinion.====JACK:  Clowning, at one time, seemed to be a big deal, particularly among ALC pastors.  One of my favorite short films is called, Parable, and features Jesus as a clown.  Have you seen it?

FROM TARMART REV:  Always enjoyed the circus...and, of course, the clowns...I'm sure your local market featured "The Big Top" every Saturday morning on television like it was out of Kansas City's back in the 50's...never wanted to miss the clown acts. -juggling and balancing to the beat of the Band Master!====JACK:  When we lived in the Chicago area, our kids enjoyed watching the Bozo Show featuring Bozo the Clown.  I would sit and watch with them.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/27/15
“When a thing is done, it’s done.  Don’t look back.  Look forward to your next objective.”  (George C. Marshall)  One of the great successes of WW 2 was something that happened after the fighting had stopped.  $130 billion (in today’s dollars) was invested in rebuilding Europe’s economies.  It would have been understandable to let the suffering continue, but wise minds agreed that it would better to look ahead.  Wise minds still look ahead…positively!    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  we also helped rebuild Japan.  did the Marshall Plan include Japan or was that another program altogether??   your homework for today.====JACK:  That was MacArthur’s baby, even though it was supposedly an Allied operation.  Of course, rebuilding Japan was relatively a small task compared to the destruction in Europe.   It was mainly a disarmament project.  MacArthur increased his “reach” as the Korean War developed, and FINALLY Harry Truman let him know who was the boss.  I think MacArthur was aiming to become President, but megalomania got in the way.  I, of course, lived through that era and could see what was happening.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  You can, however, build on the past and learn from the past.   That is critical. The Tea Party has no clue that they are the successors of a whole heritage of folks who gave been a disaster for this country.====JACK:  "To learn from the past" is something that philosophers, Biblical prophets and historians have been teaching and preaching through the centuries...words that have, too often, fallen on deaf ears.

DEACON ROBERT:  This was our Men's Bible Study focus last evening.  Sure sounds like your winning words....Philippians 3:12-14  I'm stretching out toward the goal and forgetting the mistakes of the past....12"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press (soar) on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Commentary:  This is what the Apostle Paul’s actions were under this conviction. Considering that he had not already attained, and had not apprehended, he pressed forward: “I follow after (Phil. 3:12), dioko—means I must pursue with vigor, as one following after the game. I endeavor to get more grace and do more good, and never think I have done enough: If that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”
How do you follow the game? (whether it be football or life)
Observe, Where our grace comes—from our being apprehended of Christ Jesus. It is not our laying hold of Christ first, but his laying hold of us, which is our happiness and salvation. We love him because he first loved us, 1 John 4:19. Not our keeping hold of Christ, but his keeping hold of us, is our safety. We are kept by his mighty power through faith unto salvation, 1 Pet. 1:5.  Read both verses and discuss how Christ has grabbed hold of you lately?
Observe, What the happiness of heaven is: it is to apprehend that for which we are apprehended of Christ. When Christ laid hold of us, it was to bring us to heaven; and to apprehend that for which he apprehended us is to attain the perfection of our bliss. He adds further (Phil. 3:13): This one thing I do (this was his great care and concern), forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before. There is a sinful forgetting of past sins and past mercies, which ought to be remembered for the exercise of constant repentance and thankfulness to God. But Paul forgot the things which were behind so as not to be content with present measures of grace: he was still for having more and more.  Do you struggle with forgetting past mistakes? When you forget the mistakes of the past describe how you have seen today’s grace?
Then he finally reaches forth, epekteinomenos—stretched himself forward (soaring), bearing towards his point: it is expressive of a vehement concern.  Are you vehement in stretching out toward the goal line? Please describe ways you have reached out to make the play.
Prayer:  Dear God, you keep us stretching to your finish line. Continue to hold us tight through your Son – Jesus and maintain our integrity through your steadfast Word. Because your Word causes us to lay hold on your grace, let it guide us forward allowing us to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater things before us. Keep us constantly soaring for the finish line and bask in your love, today and always. Amen
====JACK:  Regarding Philippians 3:12, The Message Bible translates it…”I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made.  But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wonderfully reached out for me.  Friends, don’t get me wrong:  By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus.  I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.  So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us.  If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet!  Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.”  Various translation are not meant to say that one translation is better than the other, but only that the use of multiple sources may lead to a clearer understanding of the message that God has in mind.  Your notes seemed to indicate that it was a good Bible study.

FROM TARMART REV:  "The best is to come!!"JACK:  "My hope is built on nothing less!"

FROM IKE AT THE MIKE:  YEP! & everyone should join an Optimist Club in their neighborhood A.S.A.P.====JACK:  Some people would have a hard time with...."Promise yourself...that nothing can disturb your peace of mind."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Yes, wonderful rebuilding work financed by the U.S., and one wonders if the situation was reversed, would Europe rebuild U.S. after such a catastrophe??  Seamus Heaney commented in the NY Times, "It is difficult to repress the thought that history is about as instructive as an abattoir" .(slaughterhouse or shambles) We don't seem to learn much! And human nature doesn't seem to change...====JACK:  Re: Whether or not the Axis countries would help with rebuilding....We'll never know.  In some ways the Marshall Plan was self serving, because it got the economies of the world going again, which was to the advantage of everyone.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/26/15
“If you want to catch something, running after it isn’t always the best way.”  (Lois McMaster Bujold)  There was a cat named, Happy.  Whenever someone tried to catch him, he’d run away.  But, left alone…pretty soon he’d be in your lap purring contentedly.  Happiness will show up if we’re patient.  Even in our prayers, we’d often like God to work on our schedule, rather than on his.  I’ve found that it’s best to pray “Thy will,” not “My will,” be done.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good words today, Jack.  thanks!     life is like a bar of wet soap.  if you squeeze it, it shoots out of you hand.  if you relax, it will stay right there.====JACK:  Is that a quote from Forrest Gump?

FROM CZB IN NEW HAMPSHIRE:  Once a man was asked, ‘what did you gain by regularly praying to God?’  The man replied, ‘nothing… but let me tell you what I lost: Anger, ego, greed, depression, insecurity, and fear of death.’  Sometimes, the answer to our prayers is not gaining but losing; which ultimately is the gain.”====JACK:  Sometimes we run to God with our prayer requests, forgetting that God already knows our circumstances...but that's OK, because God wants us to keep in touch with him/her on a regular basis.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/25/15
“Happiness is an inside job.”  (Uknown)  There’s a song, Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside?  Wouldn’t it be nice to be happy on both sides?  It can start with trying to have a positive attitude.  Yes, there may be clouds, but Look for the Silver Lining…as another song goes.  I watch a newscast that usually ends with a positive story.  There’s good out there, if we just look.  A. Lincoln said, “A man is about as happy as he makes up his mind to be.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  "I'm so happy, here's the reason why, Jesus too my burdens all away! Now I'm singing as the days go by, Jesus took my burdens all away...Once my heart ways heavy with a load of sin, Jesus took my burdens gave me peace within...Now I'm singing as the days go by, Jesus took my burdens all away!====JACK:  I know that song...and I'm a Lutheran, too!

FROM DP IN MPLS:  I have to thank you for all your W.W.  Looking at your words is the first thing I do every day, but you would not know that because I seldom respond.  There is always something meaningful to swallow  to start my day, and I appreciate that!====JACK:  Each day I send out WWs with a prayer that those who receive them will be blessed by what they read.  I guess it works.

FROM WHITTY:   Thanks for todays word. As I face  my second knee surgery on Sept 9th, I will carry these words with me.====JACK:  The surgery and the healing begin with a positive outlook ...and a prayer to the Lord to be involved.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  happiness is an inside job!  it's our job to do our best to share the happy.  happy people have a glowy aura.  i'm sure you know what i mean.  i've been singing the "happy like a room without a roof" all day.  another good one is "happiness runs"!====JACK:  The one I like is not a kid's song, but Bobby McFerrin brings a smile to my face when he sings..."Don't worry; be happy."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "Happiness is to know the  Savior, living a life within his favor, having a change in my behavior, Happiness is the Lord.  Real JOY is mine, no matter if teardrops start; I've found the secret: It's Jesus in my Heart"....A perky little song my cherub choir belted out in days gone by...with several verses, all with some "Zing"! Yes, indeed, old Abe got it right, you MAKE UP YOU MIND TO BE HAPPY!  Or at least  positive in trying situations...Good WW today!====JACK:  And our kids always liked to sing..."If you're happy and you know it..."  Especially the part...STAMP YOUR FEET!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/24/15
“I will either find a way or make one.”  (Hannibal)  One of the greatest military strategists of all time was Hannibal.  Do you recall reading about how he made a surprise invasion of Italy, leading troops and elephants (yes, elephants) through the northern Alps.  He found a way.  Are you looking for a way…some solution?  I heard Schuller preach:  “When faced with a mountain, I will climb over, I will find a path through, I will tunnel under, I will not quit.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN: Schuller pretty much checked out in a not overwhelming way.====JACK:  It only goes to show that perfection is an elusive goal.  Give the man credit.  He did do some amazing things.  Ultimately, God will be the judge of him as well as the judge of us all.  Amazing Grace!====JOHN:  I am not a Schuller fan.    I think his teaching eliminates the power of sin and that has been a major failure of the church in the last 200 years.  Only then does Grace become necessary and such a blessing in life.    Without that recognition, Christian Ethics is undermined... think of A. D. Mattson ....his enphasis upon the prophetic message has virtually disappeared....much to the detriment of the faith.====JACK:  If I take away the Schuller ascription, would you buy into the words?  I'm sure that you're not one who would quit, just because there's an obstacle.  East Moliners aren't raised that way.====JOHN:  I am not a quitter....but, sometimes that can be the smart thing to do...if one has set out on the wrong course....I fear words like "always" and " never". ====JACK:  One of my heroes, Vince Lombardi, said, "Winners never quit, and quitters never win."
====JOHN:  Vince Lombardi is dead.   Does that mean he quit?    Only God wins forever...we have to hop on his bandwagon and QUIT trying to do it by ourselves.

FROM MAMA CASS:  Interesting topic today since I'm on business travel and my rental car won't start. I'm trying to find a way to get to work as I wait for Roadside Assistance.====JACK:  Now, if Roadside Service doesn't show up, hitchhiking could be the next strategy.  Have you ever done that before?====CASS:  No. I don't think that's safe.====JACK:  When I was a fraternity pledge we were dressed in convict garb and dropped off in the middle of the night out on a country road.  Finally one car appeared, and we hitchhiked a ride with him.  What a ride!  From the backseat, I saw the speedometer.  100 mph!  And, the driver was drunk.  Yes, in that case, thumbing a ride was DEFINITELY not safe!

FROM TARMART REV:  Onward and Upward!!====JACK:  Have you sung the hymn, We're Marching to Zion?  One line says that "We're marching upward to Zion."  In Sunday School we used to march around singing that song.====REV:  ...btw, did a little marching to that chorus as well!! ====JACK:  Sunday School was fun for me.

FROM GT IN NY:  Great and timely message for me today.====JACK:  Sometimes the elephant is not in the Alps; it's in our way and needs moving.  I saw a picture of a little boy pulling on an elephant's trunk while his sister was pulling on the tail.  I'll glad that today's WWs helped you.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  For over 40 years I have used this exact WW including Schuller's in my sales seminars. None better than this one phrase of determination.  Thanks for reminding me. ====JACK:  We both conduct sales in your way, and me, in mine.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Explorer Benjamin Morrell puts it this way: "Morale is when your hands  and feet keep on working, when your head says it can't be done"... our predecessors used say, "there's more than one way to skin a cat"! (Or at least some of MY relatives said this...) Anyway, good message  to remember: Persevere to the end!====JACK:  My wife's sister has a husband who can do "anything."  In all of their years of marriage, they've never had a repairman come to the house.  He's even done the roofing and siding and inside remodeling of the kitchen...a modern Hannibal.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  What an optimist!  My friend 92 year old Gertie, loves to travel, as do we.  Her attitude peanut butter sandwiches and save money for her trips.  It was always "full speed ahead" for Gertie.  She reminded me of Hannibal quite often.  I was her church's secretary and she came in often to help out.  But you'd better have something for her to do or she'd find something!  She was an eternal optimist!====JACK:  "Ball of fire" is another term describing that kind of person.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/21/15
“If you only get involved with young people you don’t learn anything about the world.”  (Edmund White) We read stories of how older people have influenced the young, but it’s also true that the young can influence the old.  Our church displays pictures of Confirmation classes that I taught.  Occasionally I stop and look at them and remember…and give thanks.  Who are the young people who have made an impression on you and affected your life?      ;-)  Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Just as you have looked back in remembrance of the Confirmation classes you taught, I have frequently reflected on the seven years I taught university level courses in Design.  A few persons stand out for their intelligent questions during the lectures.  After 40 years of professional practice, my thinking in some respects was a bit out of date.  I had to do some practical research myself for more up-to-date information, to respond properly to the questioning that came up.  By so doing I found a lot to challenge my work as well.====JACK:  In seminary I had a Symbolics professor who used note cards for his lectures.  I could see that they were yellowed with age.  Even though he knew the subject, I thought that he was just rehashing old stuff and wasn't presenting anything new.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  funny, I have done the same thing.  how are all those "kids" doing today?  and how are they impacting society?  and how are they continuing to nurture their faith? ====JACK:  Recently I went with a former student to view the wall and talked about some of those she knew and what they are now doing.  We also noted some who had died.  It is a significant task that we prepare our students (theologically) for life and, ultimately, for death.====ST PAUL:  I also discovered that even when those kids were very squirrely and full of too much testosterone (the guys),  they were still listening and absorbing.  not always the case but more often than I first thought.  and then too,  the Holy Spirit also shows up to lend an important hand in the whole process...====JACK:  How many in your largest class?  My smallest was two.====ST PAUL:  first year at sotv, I had one.  then two.  then 4.  then 8.  then 12 (if I recall correctly).   biggest class was 198.  we had six different confirmation services on two separate Saturdays.  it was a lot of work but well worth it.  one of our biggest problems was coordinating with all the high school conflicts in scheduling with band, drama, sports, dance line, debate team,  etc.  and the coaches all had one policy:  you miss once for anything other than sickness, and you are out of the program for good!  no grace and no exceptions even for confirmation.  and we wonder why our society is becoming ever more secular???====JACK:  If I had it to do over, I'd try to minister with more GRACE.

FROM TARMART REV:  I remember stopping and looking at those same pictures many years ago myself-- only the pastor do I remember, but stop and give thanks as well!!====JACK:  Do the AG churches any similar remembrances?  Last week, I had an unexpected phone contact with one of the "picture people."  As an adopted child, she shared that she and her husband had just adopted a little Korean boy.====REV:  Being a part of the same congregation for the many years as you and I have, Jack (almost 25 now here in Willmar for me) is a rarity I believe for most pastors. It is a sure delight to still be in relationship with the kids that have grown up right before my eyes and having their own families now, along with honoring those who now face the waning years of their lives, walking along beside them until God takes their final breath away. There is presently and will be in the near future a great homecoming awaiting our own entrance into our eternal reward with so many precious friends God has put into our lives through ministry here on earth.====JACK:  There are no photos of Jesus with his Confirmation Class (the disciples), but there are these words in Luke 10:20: "Rejoice, because your names are registered in heaven."


FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i love all kids. have many young friends from 0 - 40.====JACK:  People of all ages can be kid-ders, if they forget to look at the calendar.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/20/15
“We should not judge until we see clearly; and when we see clearly, we will not judge.”  (G.D. Gregg)  The Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment has a section which gauges whether you are the judging type: like things decided; like to get work done; like things planned and orderly.  Or, are you the perceiving type:  like flexibility, spontaneity; open to new information; like to understand rather than organize.  Are you a judge or a perceiver?  I am a…!    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  For my money, Myers-Briggs over categorizes people.    Why can't one be flexible and open and at the same time make decisions which lead to action?     Both/And rather than Either/Or.====JACK:  Into what category do suppose M-B (or you) would put Kierkegaard?====JOHN:  I don't know about SK....I know that at Augie Sem, they had me in two contradictory categories.   I pointed that out to them....they weren't thrilled about that.====JACK:  The song line that comes to mind when thinking of you and those at the Sem..."Don't mess with Mister In-Between!"

FROM ONE OF THE JUDGES:  I love this one! Be well today and enjoy life!!!  Off to work I go... Must Judge.====JACK:  The hard part of judging, to me, is the gray area...but the public expects a decision to be made.  Do you remember the OT story (1 Chronicles 1) of God coming to Solomon in a dream...?  "Whatever you ask of me, I shall give."  (If God were to make you that offer, what would you want?)  Solomon, the judge, replied, "God, give me wisdom and knowledge."  That appears to be a good prayer to use as you begin your day.

FROM TARMART REV:  ...most likely, judging type 0;-/====JACK:  I beg to differ!

FROM THE BEE  I meant to tell you that I use Myers-Briggs evaluations everyday its limited in some ways but it is surprisingly useful.  That probably tells you what kind of person I am. ====JACK:  I don't need a M-B for that.

FROM JAYBEE:  You’re an exclamation point? ;>)  I’m a “J” who has learned how to be more flexible. As someone I used to work with would say “focus on what you can control.” Or, “know your limits and honor others’ gifts.”====JACK:  "J" people are sometimes called, Persnickety.  How long has it been since you've heard, or used, that word?  For me, there has to be a 3rd category.  ====JAYBEE:  How about an M – in the middle of J and P? Mellow?====JACK:  I like that.

FROM BB: J…for sure.====JACK:  No spontaneity?  Maybe, just a little bit?

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  I'm ambidextrous, to fit the occasion.====JACK:  By trying to be "both/and" reminds me of the Bible verse..."But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!"  Do remember the major league pitcher who was ambidextrous?  His name was Luke Warm.

FROM DR JUDY:  Love this quote!! Thank you!====JACK:  Do you ever have trouble pre-judging, jumping to conclusions?  We who are in the listening business have to work at being better listeners.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I love that song and I love to fly.  Does your grandson work for an airline? Have you read The Wright Brothers? I cannot remember my first flight.  It was supposed to be from Washington to Moline in 1954, but all the flights were grounded because of a huge snowstorm.  I suppose it was flying to NYC for my first trip to Europe in April 1954.  It was fun working for Eastern Airlines and Continental Airlines part time after staying at home for 20 years with the family and doing lots of volunteer work.====JACK:  Jets, mega-planes and mergers have certainly changed the flying landscape.  G-son Jason is a hospital administrator and does pleasure flying.



FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  if that is the test i think it is, i am 3% of population...====JACK:  M-B says that 3% is, what?  It was interesting to Google..."3% of the American population is...."

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/19/15
“He will raise you up on eagle’s wings…and hold you in the palm of his hand.”  (Michael Joncas – Isaiah 40:31)  Today is National Aviation Day, honoring the b-day of Orville Wright.  My first flight was on a DC-3.  Can you remember yours?  Now, grandson Jason is a pilot, and I’m looking forward to my first flight with him.  When Isaiah wrote about “eagle’s wings,” he wasn’t thinking about today’s jet travel…he was writing about God’s care for us.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TRIHARDER:  My first flight was kind of ironic. It came on the heels of a hitchhiking trip to Florida.====JACK:  Was it in a private or commercial plane?  Small craft flights seem more like flying to me.

FROM JT:  Wow!  Jason is a pilot!  I didn’t realize he is flying.  I bet Ben is thrilled to share the air with his son.  Hope you can go up with him soon!====JACK:  It has to find a place on my To-Do List, or it'll never happen.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  My first flight was in 1947...flew with my Dad to Chicago.====JACK:  Did you fly out of the Moline Airport?  United Airlines probably was the carrier at that time.

FROM TG:  My first flight was in a Cessna 180 and now the rest his history.====JACK:  Are you able to recall the different types of planes you have least the most memorable?


 FROM BB:  Had no idea Jason earned his pilot’s license – exciting!====JACK:  He first soloed on his 16th birthday (without his mother's knowledge) and then went away from it for awhile.  He re-soloed in his 20s and went on to get his instrument rating recently. 

FROM DC IN KANSAS:  Top this?  My first flight was over St. Peter, MN, in a helicopter in 1948 or 1949.  Do you remember buying insurance before boarding a place?====JACK:  Who was the pilot on your flight, Orville or Wilbur?  And, yes, I can remember buying flight insurance at the airport.  As I recall, it was pretty cheap at the time.====DC:  Neither!  I wonder if it was Skiorky of 'whirlybird' renown.====JACK:  Sikorsky was an "immigrant" from Russia who shared his aeronautical ideas with us.  I can't remember ever flying in a helicopter.

FROM JK IN CALIFORNIA:  Thanks so much for this, I always think about the eagle's wings, and the resistance it takes to make it fly!====JACK:  In the days before the Wright brothers, some people actually tried to fly using bird-like wings attached to their arms.  Crash!

FROM AJ:  I love this verse. It's one of my favorites.====JACK:  Your daughter should like it too.  Maybe you should share today's WWs with her, since it's Aviation Day.

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  a picture illustrating tha verse was given me by congregagtion when I retired. .====JACK:  I like the part where it says, "He will hold you in the palm of his hand."  That is  comforting to know.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  You're right! I don't think that He was teaching about the elevation of earthly travel. I think that He's wanting us to know that He's wanting me to know that whether I'm a sparrow or an eagle or a jet fighter pilot He watches and cares for me. I have taken a few liberties with the poem "The Aviator" for my adaption. I love this poem.====JACK:  Even those living in the pre-airplane times were fascinated by flight as they saw it in nature.  I enjoy watching the dragonfly, the swooping hawk, the hummingbird...but not the mosquito.  To-do-today...Check out The Aviator.  (To-do-done!)  Is this the poem you were referring to?
SONG OF THE AVIATOR ( Ella Wheeler Wilcox)
YOU may thrill with the speed of your thoroughbred steed,
You may laugh with delight as you ride the ocean,
You may rush afar in your touring car,
Leaping, sweeping, by things that are creeping--
But you never will know the joy of motion
Till you rise up over the earth some day
And soar like an eagle, away--away.

High and higher, above each spire,
Till lost to sight is the tallest steeple,
With the winds you chase in a valiant race,
Looping, swooping, where mountains are grouping,
Hailing them comrades, in place of people.
Oh! vast is the rapture the bird man knows
As into the ether he mounts and goes.

He is over the sphere of human fear;
He has come into touch with things supernal.
At each man's gate death stands await;
And dying, flying, were better than lying
In sick-beds crying for life eternal.
Better to fly halfway to God
Than to burrow too long like a worm in the sod.
====SBP:  No. I so appreciate your sharing. I was prompted to Google it. I discovered that it was written after "The Swing" by RLS.  . I became interested in the literary concept of flight starting with Icarus. This research is certainly limited, but a rough list from the concept of Icarus ...."The Swing" by RLS , followed by " "Song of the Aviator", by Ella Wheeler Wilcox up to "High Flight" by Magee"( limits of my knowledge) demonstrates , for me, the development of the idea of and the excitement of actual achievement of flight.  I'm sure, that there are a lot of blanks to fill in and would welcome any and all additions.====JACK:  Recently I was asked what book (outside of the Bible) in my library I appreciate the most.  I picked, The Works of Carl Sandburg.  On second thought, I went to RLS's, A Child's Garden of Verses.  On third thought, I went back to Sandburg.

FACEBOOK LIZ:  727 or maybe a 737 to denver... united.====JACK:  The Boeing 737 is the best-selling plane in aviation history.  It's said that one is either landing or taking off every 5 seconds some place in the world.

FROM MW IN GL:  And whenever something goes wrong or I am down in the dumps, I have  a CD with this song, and it always brings me  to a good place.====JACK:  There's nothing like the feeling of comfort that is ours when we realize that God has us in the palm of his hand.

FROM MATURE ANNE:  I love the hymn and count on the Wings.  Mac took me to San Francisco  on May 8, 1951.  We were married two days.  Mac was returning to the ship during the Korean War. Plane  was a turboprop.  I was sick.  I learned to love to fly but I am still not fond of small jets. ====JACK:  If you don't like small jets, you probably don't like small prop planes, either.  That's the kind my grandson flies.   I wouldn't be afraid to fly with him.



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/18/15
“In the 21st century, the robot will take the place which slave labor occupied in ancient civilization.”  (Nikola Tesla)  Tesla foresaw today’s world…robo this and robo that.  Factories, ATMs, gas stations, self check-outs.  Even the Tesla battery car is exploring a robo version.  Is robo preaching next?  Airlines are considering robo pilots.  Millennials are into robo investing.  You can probably think of more.  Time has a way of marching forward, ready or not…    ;-)  Jack

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  According to a study conducted by economist Carl Benedikt Frey and engineer Michael Osborne, 47 percent  of the jobs in the United States could soon be lost to computers, robots and other forms of technology.====JACK:  That seems high,  I guess I'll have to see if I can find out more information on that study.

FROM THE NY TIMES:  "Increasingly, bosses have an answer. A new generation of workplace technology is allowing white-collar jobs to be tracked, tweaked and managed in ways that were difficult even a few years ago." (David Streitfeld)

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Another step in our march to de-personalization.  There are plenty of "robots" in our society already.  Some may believe that giving up our choice to do things ourselves is progress, but I think it's a ticket to oblivion.  For me, honest work is gratifying and the key to physical and spiritual health.====JACK:  I started with a t-square, compass, a set of triangles, a French curve, a sharp pencil and a gum eraser...then graduated to a drafting machine.  I don't think that I could get a job these days with those skills.

FROM TARMART REV:  Heard the other day, the time is coming when we can text on our cell phones all we want while making our way down the highway-- car will run by computers with no steering needed!!====JACK:  Is that news just getting to Willmar?  That's old stuff in Motown.  Some churches are now using video choirs and even video sermons by "great preachers."  It would be pretty hard to get a robot to make a pastoral call on a family with problems, wouldn't it?

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Actually, because scripture seems so timeless to me--that part where I think it is Paul, the tentmaker, who advises Christians to work with their hands and provide for their needs and also the ELCA's motto "God's Work, our hands" I wonder if the future actually holds a lot of work being done by robots but handiwork (which now is in some respect losing value because machines can do it so much faster), but if money and time weren't so tied together and robots actually could provide freedom from physical needs, and for everyone, not just the rich, then I wonder if gardening using hand tools, crafting furniture using hand tools, all the various textile crafts would seem more reasonable places for people to devote their time and energy and even spiritual and prayerful contemplation. If the Apostle Paul were here today, what would he advise?====JACK:  Paul said to the Thessalonians (3:10), "Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: "Those unwilling to work will not get to eat."  I also like the advice from Proverbs (6:6), "Go to the ant thou sluggard, and observe her ways."  The next time you're in your community garden, see if you can find an ant...and think of the verse from Proverbs.

FROM CS:  We certainly don't want robot preachers.    We need Very Human philosophers and spiritual leaders!====JACK:  ...and how about a robotic congregation?====CS:  That would certainly not be good.  We should all be intellectually active open-minded seekers!

FROM HR:  Robo congress. Oh wait. We have that now😊====JACK:  I've had disagreements with people about the role of Congress.  There are those who believe that those who are elected should vote "the will" of their constituents.  To me, the will of the constituents shows itself in the election process.  Let the one elected use his/her brain after listening to a discussion of the issues and cast a vote accordingly...not as some party leader or big donor says that the vote should be.  I guess that "I'm only a cockeyed optimist," as Mitzi Gaynor sang in South Pacific.


FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  people need to be productive to have quality of life...====JACK:  Tell me what the word, productive, means!====LIZ:  doing something valued by society & by oneself. being a good parent is productive. writing winning words is productive.  every job (whether it pays or not) has value & gives a person self-worth. this is one reason for depression among elderly people, even those w/mental and/or physical handicaps.  the lady i am helping now has basically been sitting in a chair watching tv for a couple of years, altho she walks a mile on the treadmill each morning.  she has very early onset frontal lobe dementia... extremely rare. her husband is a psychologist.  we now listen to music on you tube. i have found songs she loves & still remembers somehow. i took a stab & found "guantanamera." she sang along. we also walk outside on nice afternoons. a lovely pre-thunderstorm walk today. her "job" is folding wash cloths & hand towels, which she does expertly & proudly.====JACK:  I'm used to your facebook-type answers.  Thanks for expanding your response and giving your view of quality of life.  If I look up "guantanamera", will that enhance my quality of life?  (I looked it up...and I will spend some time with Jose today).


FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Robo preaching is okay if the sermon is under 15!  LOL====JACK:  Speaking of long sermons...What about poor Eutychus as he listened to Paul preach?  (Acts 20:7-12)
====JUDY:  The first thing I learned in my class on giving speeches was....don't talk too long or your audience might throw you out of the window.   Poor Eutychus.  At least Paul brought him back.  Wonder if he went to anymore speeches.====JACK:  One of my favorite pictures shows a pastor in preaching away.  Jesus is in the front pew.......asleep.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/17/15
“It is hard to make up your mind, but sometimes you just have to do it.”  (From a review of “What Pet Should I Get?” by Dr Seuss)  A recent discovery of an unpublished Seuss manuscript tells the story of a boy and girl who go to a pet store and can’t decide what pet to get.  Do you ever have trouble with decisions?  One of my favorite jazz songs is the Ella Fitzgerald version of “Undecided”…Sitting on the fence doesn’t make much sense etc.    ;-)  Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Trouble making decisions?  You bet!  Lately it seems decision-making is getting more complicated.  Brings to mind the possible outcomes, "damned if you do and damned if you don't!"  But not to decide is to decide.  Speaking of Ella Fitzgerald, deciding to buy her Rodgers and Hart Songbook was one of my best decisions.  That's a classic.====JACK:  "What decisions?"  ...said the one with unanswered e-mail and a desk piled high with stuff.

FROM TRIHARDER:  "Never be in a hurry to make a bad decision."====JACK:  Alas...Sometimes you don't know if it's a bad decision until after you make it.  Then, again, delaying a good decision can sometimes turn it into a bad decision.  To decide, using common sense, usually works best for me.

FROM TARMART REV:  ... "sitting on a fence" only long enough to properly contemplate... most generally for me a little longer than I should, but again most generally I do move along, perhaps looking back over my shoulder one or two more times-- but moving along.====JACK:  In our "business" we are trained to see both sides of problems.  Having done that, it's not always easy to choose between black and white.  There's a lot of gray.

FROM ED:  Thanks. I needed this today!  "Indecision may or may not be my problem." - Jimmy Buffett====JACK:  If you wait to decide until you have all the answers...."stuff" happens!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Whenever we faced with an important decision, we always say..."Did you pray about it?"  Thar has been our advice to our children and even too our little grandchildren.  Sometimes it's hard to decipher what God's plan is for us.  We can just move ahead with what we think is correct.====JACK:  I like practice of telling God of my concerns...and then praying, "Thy will, not my will, be done."


FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Among God's gifts to one generation after another are the philosophers, artists, authors, musicians, astronomers and the like. Never having taken a course in philosophy, I have wondered how people like Plato and Socrates gained such insight into human behavior which is applicable to the present times. but , I believe since "The Beginning" human nature and growth over the generations has remained the constant. So what is true about human nature has remained in much the same pattern generation after generation. Thanks, for me, another thought-provoking WW. ====JACK:  I've read that majoring in the "arts" is a waste of a college education.  Someone that I know told her father that she wanted to major in English.  He opened the newspaper to the want ad section and asked her to point out the number of ads requesting an English major.  She persisted, and went on to become a college English professor.  I'm forever grateful for "wasting" my time as a philosophy major.  That's where I learned to be friends with Plato, Socrates and guys like that.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/14/15  (2nd Option)
“Ours is a generation bloated with information and starved for wisdom.”  (Arianna Huffington)  I’ve read that Google has 24 billion pages of information…talk about bloated.  For wisdom, I turn to the Bible’s Wisdom Books…Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon.  Prov 9:10 says: “The beginning of wisdom is to be in awe of the Lord.”  Where have you found wisdom in life?  A person?  A book?  In nature?  Probably not in Google!      ;-)  Jack

Jack’s Winning Words 8/14/15
“Ours is a generation bloated with information and starved for wisdom.”  (Arianna Huffington)  There’s wisdom in the funnies.  Charlie Brown comes to Lucy for psychiatric help.  Lucy says, “You need to develop a personal philosophy.  Think hard!”  Charlie responds, “Life is like an ice cream cone.  You have to lick it.”  Lucy yells, “That’s the most stupid philosophy I’ve ever heard.”  Now, think hard!  What’s your philosophy of life?  5 cents, please!    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Wisdom is being in tune with God.   We too often are flat or sharp. ====JACK:  We used to sing this song in Sunday School...
I have a song that Jesus gave me  It was sent from heaven above;
There never was a sweeter melody  'Tis a melody of love.
In my heart there rings a melody  There rings a melody with heaven's harmony;
In my heart there rings a melody  There rings a melody of love!

FROM MY LAWYER:  Live and let live; do unto others as you'd want them to do to you and help to repair the world.  How's that?====JACK:  I'll buy that!  Yours is not a stupid philosophy.  But... What about "pray for those who don't subscribe to this"...and "turn the other cheek"?  Things become more difficult for us when taking the next step on going the extra mile.

FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  My philosophy of life is:  "If you really want to get anything done, you'll find a way & if you don't you'll find an excuse."====JACK:  It seems that a lot of people are subscribing to your philosophy.

FROM WATERFORD JAN:  I'm pleased to know that your lawyer and I agree that the Golden Rule, its source widely known, agree on a good philosophy for life.====JACK:  Did you know that Penney's was originally called, The Golden Rule store?  The founder, J.C. Penney, believed that his clerks should treat all customers according to the Golden Rule.====JAN:  I had forgotten that about J. C. Penney's (along with a lot of other things that I've forgotten).  It has been a long time since it was advertised by Penney's.  My recent experience with Penney's has been pleasant because of the good-natured, efficient cashiers.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Very very true Winning Words!  Truth is hard to find now a days and with it wisdom.  It's a blessing to know our truth and wisdom come from a good book... The Bible!====JACK:   "The B-I-B-L-E, that's good enough for me etc."

FROM JMK:  This was so cute! Made me smile, and it's true too!====JACK:  I'm glad that they republish the Peanuts comic strip.  I read it every day on my computer.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  do your best always.====JACK:  Then...good enough is not good enough, is it?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  HA! Good old Charlie Brown...Several Women in our church did a program called, "Charlie Brown and the 'Secret of Life".  I was Lucy, and we did the psychiatric sketches; It was funny and also some good thoughts on life. (Linus in particular...but all the characters were fun.) We gave it many times around IL and MO, and when Jan moved to our area, she was the best ever Snoopy!!  Good memories!   I wrote the program from a book called "The Gospel according to Peanuts. :-)  I think we often feel the truth of today's much technology, but so little wisdom...====JACK:  A favorite musical of mine..."You're a good man, Charlie Brown."  Did you ever do that one?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/13/15
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”  (Plato)  Rebecca Goldstein’s book, Plato at the Googleplex, takes Plato’s philosophy and applies it to the modern scene…imagining Plato tuning into FoxNews, surfing the internet, going to the movies.  It’s amazing to read how Platonism has relevance.  If you were to sit down with him, how would you begin the conversation?  “What did you think about the debate the other night?”    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Start the conversation with Plato....Any new Ideas?"     Didn't watch the debate.     Sounded like a gaggle of nonsense...avoiding all the real issues...."How is the economy?     How about the environment?     Is Peace a good thing?====JACK:  You and Plato would have a ball.  Since the present world and its views would be new to him, I wonder what questions he would ask of you?

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Do you know that women on average speak normally about 230 words per minute and men about 80?====JACK:  Are you speaking generally or from personal experience?

FROM RJP IN FLORIDA:  Love this WW. The debate showed a varied group of qualified candidates. I thought the best field in years. Certainly the best woman candidate ever in Carly Fiorina  and I can tell you personally after speaking to him directly and spending some time with him that Marco Rubio is the real deal. Watch what happens in the Democrat debate. I predict that dark horse Jim Webb will become their leader of the pack. I hope so because I would love to see some really good quality people challenge each other in this next election. We need a real leader that will not polarize the country but bring us together.  That's my opinion and I am sticking to it. Ta Da........
 After reading the WW again it reminded me of Dr. Ben Carson.... A wise man indeed.====JACK:  Have you ever read Plato's Republic?  I think that he might be disappointed in how we choose our leaders today.  Do you remember the song that the Scarecrow sang in the Wizard of Oz?====RJP:  I read Plato's Republic 51 years ago so for some reason I do not remember, but I have it in my library and I will check it out again. Is Carson the scarecrow with the brain in the race?

FROM TARMART REV:  ... a little early in the contest ... interesting hearing the slant from the various "in the know" groups ... "the pots calling the kettle black" might be my take at this time. ====JACK:  In political races, as in track meets, I prefer the mile over the marathon.

FROM TARMART REV:  I like that, Jack!! Well stated.====JACK:  I like the shorter stock car races, too.  More exciting!====REV:  100% with you on the stock car races-- 20 feature laps max for me.

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Plato's comment can find corroboration in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. I like Plato, and I like how well he learned from Socrates and how loyal he was to him. Debates? These television broadcasts have not been debates since Nixon and Kennedy. These are nothing more than "presentations". A debate would require one to delve into the basic structure of one's own philosophy. Instead, we hear about what people do or will do, give away or take away, to whom and from whom, or other promises designed to control and manipulate the blinded sheep. Then, how one might disagree with the other. Where is Plato or Socrates when we need them? We forget ourselves much too often. Jesus was right to point out what needs to be our first attention.====JACK:  You're right.  The use of "debate" is a dumbing-down of the word.  I would venture to say that most of the participants would fail miserably if the rules of debate were used.  In my remarks I was using the human Plato rather than the iconic one.  I laugh to myself as I envision him sitting in front of a big screen TV, glued to the "debates," munching on popcorn.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  As we age, some of us learn (often the hard way) it's much more wise to just listen and keep thought and remarks to ourselves.  Dr. Carson was the wise one.  He didn't comment on things he didn't know.  He has a lot to learn but a quick wit and the smarts to know when to keep silent.  Our political system is definitely not the best as it allows unqualified persons run our country.  We suffer with those we choose sometimes.====JACK:  Our method may not be the best, but it sure beats some of the alternatives.  Before most church elections, prayers are offered for God to guide the process.  It amazes me that some are so disappointed when the results are announced.

 IT'S  TOO BAD THAT SUCH HUGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY HAS TO DEFINE WHO BECOMES A CANDIDATE AND LEADER IN OUR COUNTRY TODAY. OFTEN NOT THE BEST MINDS!!  OUR COUNTRY IS SUFFERING BECAUSE OF IT.====JACK:  We learned in Civics class the importance of the 3 branches of government...checks and balances.  In elections, there will always be winners and losers.  Some of my best friends are on "the other" side.  I'll let them win once in a while, so long as it's not too often.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Back in my Title V11 days I invited Dr. Carson to speak at one of the teacher training sessions. He and his thoughts were more than well received by everyone, as were some of the details of his life until that time. I liked his thoughts and demeanor at the "debate" but I do wish the journeys on the way the way to candidacy and presidency , much the less the presidency on him or his neurological domain.====JACK:  What is that makes a person wise?  Education?  Age?  Life experience?  Humility?  I don't know that wisdom is valued much in the choice of a leader.  Wisdom doesn't seem to come across in a sound-bite.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  How this applies during the pre-presidential campaign!====JACK:  How about having Plato as one of those on the platform?  If you were to ask him a question, what would it be?

FROM DC IN KANSAS:  "Don’t speak to me about your religion; first show it to me in how you treat other people.  Don't tell me how much you love your God; show me in how much you love all His children.  Don't preach to me your passion for your faith; teach me through your compassion for your neighbors.  In the end, I'm not as interested in what you have to tell or sell as in how you choose to live and give.  (Cory Booker)====JACK:  Tell this to the debaters.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/12/15
“The way we see problems is the problem.”  (Stephen Covey)  Everybody’s got problems …big, small, and tweener.  Problems are simply choices that we have to make each day.  S.C. says that problem-solving begins with correctly pinpointing the problem.  “What’s your problem?”  Calmly look for all possible solutions.  Prioritize, and then follow through.  If “1” doesn’t work, try “2”, etc.  And, remember the adage, “Not to decide is to decide.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I have found that I have the best luck in dealing with problems by concentrating on my role....Do I need to change?   If so, how?====JACK:  That's a good way to look at it.  The problem is static.  The problem-solver must (change) look at it from different angles.  If the problem is not static, it presents a new problem.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Not to decide is to decide....Hunter S. Thompson says it this way:"A person who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance."  A wordier version. Sometimes if you lay out a  problem before you go to sleep, your subconscious will work on it, and you "think" of a solution in the A.M. I've had this happen!  ====JACK:  I like William Cowper's hymn, "God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:   I usually solve problems by 1) figuring out if it's my problem or someone's:  2) Decide if it's something I need to change or deal with 3) decide how I would handle it.====JACK:  There are certain types of clothing where one size fits all.  It's not always that way with solving problems.  We each have to deal with them in our own way, given particular circumstances.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  it's good to learn how to be in shape for life. you're so smart, you could take an online physics course.====JACK:  This coming Sunday I'm preaching a sermon with the title, God Sometimes Allows Do-overs.  If I could do it over, I might take a course in physics.  If I could do it over, I'd........

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/11/15
“Think like a proton and stay positive!”  (Seen on Facebook)  Looking back, I wish that I had taken a course in physics instead of physic-al education.  Knowing about protons, neurons, atoms and quarks is more important (in the larger scheme of things) than learning how to dribble.  Did you make similar choices?  But, life is what it is.  Proton is from the Greek and means, first.  So, “first” in our mind as we plan this day should be… “I’m going to think like a proton!”    ;-)  Jack

FROM RF AT UM:   This came at a good time! Currently I'm sitting at DTW by myself worrying about my flight to Maine today...there's a big storm headed east and I'm just hoping I can make it there without any major delays. I definitely needed the reminder to stay positive :)====JACK:  I read an article last week which said that airline pilots put the safety of the passengers 2nd in the list of priorities.  #1 is their own safety.

FROM TARMART REV:  A very "protonious" statement, I must say!!====JACK:  Another positive statement:  "All you need is LOVE is all you need!"

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  If Westinghouse hadn't thought negative, we wouldn't have AC. Only Edison's DC.====JACK:  I didn't know that Edison had a role in naming our nation's capitol.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  It's a little easier to stay positive on a beautiful summer 84 degree sunny day, even surrounded by "moving" boxes to be unpacked!  A positive attitude is certainly an "upper" in any situation, and there is almost always a positive side to things, I've found!  Go for Positive Protons!====JACK:  I once preached a sermon, "How to stay positive in a negative world."  Now, where did I file it?  I remember one of the points was to associate with positive people.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  I remember reading Rob Bell's 'What Do We Talk About When We Talk About God". I was totally amazed about the breadth and his information re atoms, etc. I just would like to have an aspect of my mind to assimilate it. And in addition, I believe there are further dimensions being pursued.====JACK:  I remember that section.  I would reread it, but I loaned the book to someone, and it hasn't come back.  Maybe I'll just go to Barnes & Noble and get another.

FROM JS OF MSU:  Hey, don't criticize basketball players and jocks!====JACK:  Hey, I was one!  You probably didn't take physics, either.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/10/15
“The past, the present, the future are really only one; they are today.”  (Harriet Beecher Stowe)  Harriet was a famous abolitionist and, in 1851, wrote, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”  It was originally titled, “The Man That Was a Thing.”  It underscored her feelings about slavery.  When she met Pres Lincoln years later, he greeted her by saying, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.”  Can you remember reading her book?    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I have "Oncle Tom's Stuga" on my bookshelf.  It was my Grandmother's book.====JACK:  I smiled out loud at your response.  I wonder if Google knows how many languages that book has been translated into?  (Answer: Over 60)

FROM TARMART REV:  My reading past and present is in short order fashion . . . small articles mainly, getting to the point rather quickly and missing out of the greater degree of intelligence. 0;-/ ====JACK:  When Uncle Tom's Cabin was first published, it sold more copies than any other book...except the Bible.  The Bible is still the best-selling book of all time, so you seem to be reading that which is popular.====REV:  Thanks, Jack for your comforting words . . . My attention span for reading entire books has always been a personal challenge.====JACK:  One year, in our church, we gave out copies of the Bible that were divided into daily segments, so that the Bible could be completely read in a year.  I'm sure that you've read "The Book" without needing such a help. ====REV:  Through it several times . . . I was living in WB when you promoted reading the Bible through during the year . . . those members I was familiar with riding the van were surprised at reading the judgments of God carried out in the OT . . . Made it for some interesting conversation in the van . . . I thought it as a good promotion on your part.====JACK:  You might want to read Rob Bell's book, "What We Talk About When We Talk About God."  That's one that you might read from beginning to end.  Let me know.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  You seem to always have good WWs. Thanx.====JACK:  I'm glad that you like the past and the present WWs.  The future is yet to come.  How about..."The way we see problems is the problem."?====GEORGE: Expand on that. The problem quite often is the person. ====JACK:  As I alluded...That's a future Winning Words.

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  Actually, I never have. Perhaps that should go on a reading list....
I like the quote though. A nice way to start today.====JACK:  Uncle Tom's Cabin was popular in its day, because it related to current events.  Today's reader might be someone whose interest would be in history.  I find it interesting that the book, sympathetic to abolitionism, introduced two words that have now become politically incorrect...mammy and pickaninny.  Perhaps ironic is the right term.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Neither Gary or I can remember (reading it).  I believe I will get a copy for my Nook or buy a copy.  Kimberly home-schools and I bet she has a copy.  A good book for yesterday, today and tomorrow.  Thanks for these good "Winning Words."====JACK:  I was especially struck by the alternate title: The Man That Was a Thing.  There's a problem in whatever age when we see people as things.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'D NEVER SEEN THAT QUOTE BY HBS;  I  READ HER BOOK WHEN I PORTRAYED MRS. ANNA IN "THE KING AND I" (SPRINGFIELD MJNI OPERA, 1970 OR 71). IT WAS HIGHLIGHTED IN THE MUSICAL...I LIKE THIS QUOTE! MUCH TRUTH IN IT!====JACK:  I like another quote...Today is the first day of the rest of your life. ====OAKS:  RIGHT...AND "TODAY YOU ARE YOUNGER THAN YOU'LL EVER BE AGAIN!"====JACK:  I notice that when I look at pictures from the past, even those from a couple of years ago.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Its terrible the way the black man was treated.  Especially because for so long they weren't even considered people but property.  Women were considered property either. ====JACK:  Slavery has gone, but racism lives on.  Do remember singing the Sunday School song..."Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world etc."====JUDY:  There's still slavery all over the world.  The sex trade is slavery, some tribes in Africa and South America still make slaves of their enemies, and some people are slaves to money, their jobs and some even by their spouses.

FROM JT IN MINNESOTA:  I reread her book a few weeks ago.  It was good and I certainly can see why it was influential at the time of the Civil War.  She was able to express her feelings.====JACK:  How did you come to read that so recently?  Sometimes we forget that the events of the past were once current what's happening in the world today.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  I've just finished reading Go Set A Watchman (Isaiah 26.1.6). I liked the book , and as so many others, I'm amazed and confounded by the fact that it was written before To Kill The Mockingbird. I liked the perspective, the paroxysm of change not easily dismissed. I'd recommend both books in addition to Uncle Tom's Cabin, which I read many years ago...and more than once.====JACK:  The mind is a lot like clothing.  The have to change it once in a while... or else.


Friday, August 07, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/7/15
“I don’t know exactly where ideas come from, but when I’m working, well ideas just appear.”  (Jim Henson)  Did you know…Henson graduated from college with a degree in Home Ec?  Really!  But he found fame in creating puppets, Miss Piggy, Rawlf, Ernie and Kermit.  Can you recall Kermit singing, The Rainbow Connection?  Rainbows are mysterious, like the ideas that Jim refers to.  Someday we’ll understand life’s mysteries.  Are you waiting?    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  The Muppets was one of my all time favorite shows.   I have always loved puppets....have one in our bed who talks to us now and then...Charlie the Bear.====JACK:  Didn't you used to use puppets when communicating with kids during the church service...or was it just with books?  Regardless, you were able to get a message across to them.====JOHN:  We used puppets frequently.   I build a nice stage for them and it was portable.

FROM TARMART REV:  Someday I'll wish upon a star,
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney top
That's where you'll find me
Oh, somewhere over the rainbow way up high
And the dream that you dare to, why, oh why can't I?
====REV:  I'd like to hear that song sung in church sometime.  The theme of the day could be with regard to Joseph's dream..."Dreams really do come true."====REV:  I stand amazed at times as I find I am actually living out the dream I thought of and mailed out to 50-60 churches as a possible ministry while sitting at Talley Hall in Farmington Hills in the late '80's...almost 25 years now living it out...coming now to the end of "that rainbow"!!====JACK:  Maybe the "pot of gold" at the end of the rainbow is really a street of gold.

FROM MW IN ILLINOIS:  ALWAYS!!!!!====JACK:  Patiently, or impatiently?

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Maybe that's what inspired his Swedish Chef. One of my favorite characters. Rainbow Connection is a favorite, too, and I. You Tube it often. Ideas come from the subconscious. That's why you need to feed all of the facts in and let the ferment.====JACK:  As an artist and an adman, you are well aware of the importance of ideas.  Sometimes you wait and wait and wait some more...and finally the idea pops into your mind.====CHESTER:  Yes. From the subconscious which has been processing all along. I learned early on to tuck it away if the answer wasn't forthcoming. And then, out of the blue, here it came.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It was a sad day when I heard Jim had died.  What s wonderful child-like imagination he had!  We loved To watch his puppets! My favorites were the two old men.  I can smile just thinking of the interaction of the puppets.  We wait patiently and sometimes impatiently to understand life's mysteries!====JACK:  Did you know that those old guys had names?...Statler and Waldorf.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  Like. Ideas come when they feel like it!====JACK:  I like to do group brainstorming.  In that kind of session ideas seem to feed off one another.  Have you ever brainstormed?====LIZ:  brainstorming is a major tool of the ad biz.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  So many of the WW give me the hankerin for roundtable discussions and brainstorming. Thanks.====JACK:  Brainstorming?  Let's see...light bulb...mousetrap...G.W. Carver...thinking cap...etc.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/6/15
“When you really trust someone, you have to be okay with not understanding some things.”  (Gordon Atkinson)  Churchill once described Russia as “a riddle, wrapped in mystery, inside an enigma,” meanings that Russia is hard to understand.  Most of us are like that.  You see what’s on the outside, but the inside is often an enigma.  Do you want to understand someone better?  Try to put yourself in their place.  …and, Hemingway advised, “Listen!”    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Look and Listen!! Gets one across most cross-way tracks safely without being thrown for a loss!!====JACK:  Stop, Look and Listen is good advice for many situations -- rural Kansas RR xings and Minnesota people mtgs, too.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I VAGUELY REMEMBERED THAT CHURCHILL QUOTE...IT'S MEMORABLE, ISN'T IT?   MAYA ANGELOU (ONE OF MY FAVORITES!) SAID, "WHEN  PEOPLE SHOW YOU...OR TELL YOU...WHO THEY ARE, BELIEVE THEM THE FIRST TIME". I GUESS THAT IS TRUSTING THEM, AND YES, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE "INSIDE" INFORMATION, WE DON'T KNOW ABOUT PEOPLE, EVEN FAMILY!====JACK:  It's been written that Churchill didn't do well in school.  He was rebellious and independent, but at some point things changed, and he became a proficient writer and speaker.  I once visited Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, where he made his famous Iron Curtain speech.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/5/15
“If only I could grow without changing…”  (Another Brilliant quote)  The “good old days” weren’t always that good.  Longfellow tells of a little girl who, when she was good, was very good, but when she was bad, she was horrid.  Each time in life has its good and its horrid.  Things grow when they accept the reality of change.  It happens in nature, in society, in people.  Change and growth happen together.  Try to keep the good and get rid of the horrid.    ;-)  Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We are born being spoon fed and diapered and we end our lives that way too.====JACK:  I wasn't thinking about diaper-changing.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  As pastor/author Ralph W. Sockman observed, "Our Growth depends not on how many experiences we devour, but on how many we digest."  Hopefully the digested ones lead us to "better", way above HORRID!!====JACK:  I used to listen to Sockman on the radio.  He was a really good preacher.  I think that I heard from him..."The job of a pastor is to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable."

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  What a chilling thought! Examples of that situation abound. What stage would I choose to remain constant as I aged? Would I chose a period of life when I was ecstatic, striving, focused on only "good, better, best"? Be careful what we ask for. I like God's plan for development....the cycle of life and death.====JACK:  When you really think about it...There really are no stages of life.  Things are constantly changing.  The sand in the hourglass continues to fall, one grain at a time.  But, the mind allows us to remember a grain, or a series of grains.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/4/15
“A first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting.”  (Another Maslow quote)  Good soup is hard to find, but in our area there’s Zoup, a place that has an outstanding menu of soups, including Tomato Vegetable and Blazin’ Bison Chili.  But today Maslow is writing about the difference between 1st rate and 2nd rate anything.  He’s suggesting that “good enough” is not good enough.  When it comes to a soup, a painting, your life…try to make it the best.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Being at my best always brings the best out of me!! Your best to you today, Jack!!====JACK:  Do your best and let God do the rest!

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  maslow would not be a fan of garrison.  i believe that if we have done the best that we can, "good enough", is just that.  everyone has a forte.  as far as soup goes...i am a great creative soup maker...much better than "good enough"!===JACK:  Good, better, best and good enough are simply measurements to gauge our accomplishments.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Some people can make good soup, some people can paint a great picture of it. We all have our talents and the "mix" is pretty good. Don't judge the soup or the painting unless you have stirred the pot or dipped the brush.====JACK:  Life is a matter of taste.  What pleases one doesn't necessarily please another.  It works that way with the choice of Winning Words, too.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There is nothing like a warm soup on a cold day.  However, I love soup all the time, even in hot weather.  Learning to always do your best is a very hard thing to do, whether making soup or making a wonderful marriage.  Sometimes perfect, sometimes needs just a touch more spice.====JACK:  I'd like to try Zoup's Blazin' Bison Chili.  Although I'd have to say that my favorite soup is corn chowder.====JUDY:  Navy Bean soup, pea soup, chichen noodle, just nothing spicy.  I'm not a spicy girl.

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  I don't know. I'm learning to accept that sometimes good enough is good enough. If we are always seeking perfection things might not get done at all. Even a soup with over cooked veggies nourishes the body. Even a simple painting can lift the spirit.  On another note, Zoup is one of my daughter's favorite restaurants. She even requested soup as the entree for her 6th birthday party.====JACK:  OCD people sometimes have to say, "Good Enough", or else they'd never get anything done. There are times when spend "too" much time trying to write the perfect Winning Words.  Eventually, time runs out.  Deadlines happen.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 8/3/15
“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint.”  (Oprah) Do you see what you do as a “calling?  MLK Jr encouraged some garbage collectors to see their work as a calling.  Last week a man approached me in a bookstore and asked,  “Would you mind if I prayed for you?”  After a brief conversation, I said, “Sure!”  Afterward I wondered about that encounter?  Who was that person?  Was this meant to be?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Had to have been an "Assemblies of God" fellow-- don't you think, Jack?! ==== JACK:  I don't think he was a Lutheran.  He was just a nice young man.  Could he have been Jesus in disguise?

FROM CZB IN NEW HAMPSHIRE:  I feel a lot of pressure to find “my calling”.  I feel like I’ve had a wonderful life and given a lot of service along the way, but that God has given each of us, me included, so much, shouldn’t we (I) do more?====JACK:  I see you in the words of the poem, "Be the best of whatever you are!"  Let me recount some memories...your enthusiasm...a birthday song singer at Farrell's...a friend to some high schoolers who needed one...and a friend to me...a loving daughter to your parents...a caring wife and mother...sharing a sandwich with a homeless person...being aware of the world around you.  But, lest you think I've missed your point...What are some things that you might be interested in doing NOW?

ROM GOOD DEBT JON:  You made me think.  "Calling is a great word, as if 'it' calls after you, even haunts you, beckoning you on to the greater things life has in store for you.  When we ignore it, it trickles through our soul slowly eroding a tiny canyon of regret into which our true self is lost." ====JACK:  You've had several callings in your life, haven't you.  Author, entrepreneur, song-writer, fund raiser, etc.  Who knows what is next?  I saw your "think item" on Facebook, but can't get it to show up here.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  you are so blessed.  last week a man approached me for a handout!====JACK:  My grandson speaks to my conscience.  When we leave the Tigers' ballpark, he usually stops to put some money in the cup held by the man in a wheelchair.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's surprising that Oprah was  just figuring that idea out.  At one time she was a Christian so she would know we were all unique....every hair numbered.====JACK:  You will note that she is saying more than "We are all unique."  She says that each of us has a calling.  I think that is what makes the quote a Winning Word.==JUDY:  By unique I should have said unique calling.  What is yours, beside being called as a pastor?====JACK:  My calling? try and be the best that I can be in whatever circumstance life hands me.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I  think that the Holy Spirit works uniquely in each one, even identical twins, working with us to develop our own ministry or calling. We all have our own way of doing things, and particular strengths and gifts.  I'd imagine it takes a certain amount of chutzpah to approach a stranger, and ask to pray for him...unusual!====JACK:  I coulda, shoulda invited that stranger to sit down and talk.  But the opportunity has passed.  There are too many "what ifs" in this life.  We need to be more alert.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  When I think back over my life, I don't see my future/life as a "calling", but rather as a "nudging" into the unthinkable, the doubtful, the possible, and from that point to "nudging" toward my life's decisions. And as I got/get older, I realize/d that the "nudging" was part of God's plan for me. Thank you. Lord!====JACK:  I like that word, nudge.  Could it be an example of onomatopoeia?  There's a hymn..."God calling yet; shall I not hear?  Earth’s pleasures shall I still hold dear?  Shall life’s swift passing years all fly,  And still my soul in slumber lie?"  How would it sound if "calling" were replaced with "nudging?"  In a sense, nudging can be another hymn, "Softly and tenderly, Jesus is calling."