Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 9/30/15
“Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same thing.”  (The Fray)  This quote caught my attention and introduced me to The Fray, a rock band formed in 2002.  A hit song of theirs is called, “How To Save A Life,” inspired when Isaac Slade was a mentor at a camp for troubled kids.  When people (kids or adults) have problems, what they often need is someone to talk with, someone to rely on.  That someone could be you.    ;-)  Jack  

FROM TARMART REV:  ...sometimes that is very true.====JACK:  Sometimes the counselors need counselling.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  We should relate more with others around us, take notice of their concerns and make an effort to give some support.  Empathy and a few words of encouragement are simple means of giving a person a spiritual lift.  We get so preoccupied with our own concerns that we are oblivious to what's going on around us, and fail to engage with others who would benefit by our interest in them.====JACK:  There's a significant difference between sympathy and empathy. ====RI:  I suppose "compassion" would have been a better word than "empathy". ====JACK:  Compassion is from Latin, meaning to feel with or to suffer with.  Theoretically, empathy is good, but, perhaps realistically, compassion is better.====RI:  You certainly are into etymology.  Does that come from formal study while you were a theology student, or it is just something you pursued out of personal interest?====JACK:  I think that it come from studying a year of Latin and 5 years of Greek.  ====RI:  With 5 years of Greek, and your creative mind, you could perhaps manage that country's current problems better than they.====JACK:  You didn't ask about my grades.

 FROM TRIHARDER:  Oh, absolutely! Although it's not difficult to be ethical, it's also often not profitable. But, it's the borderline cases. "No one will be harmed; no one will know." I heard it first from Harold Norris, a law school professor (but not original to him): "Never do anything that you wouldn't want to see printed as a headline in tomorrow's NY Times."====JACK:  I once heard Harold Norris give a talk in our community.  At the time, I bought a book of his poetry.  Now, where did I put it?

FROM DOCTOR C:  They're one of my favorite bands!====JACK:  Recently I looked at more of their stuff.  Sometimes the lyrics get lost in the music.  What is it that you like most?  Music?  Lyrics?  Both?====DR C:  Both. And the fact they write it themselves based on their own experiences.====JACK:  I've become a fan of The Fray because of who they are, personally.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  this was a good quote but I still like Yogi's more:):)====JACK:  It's probably the generation gap!

FRO CHESTER THE GOOD:  Your WW today gave me goosebumps. I am in the process of trying to get my DoDad program launched. See attached logo design.====JACK:  Your WW today gave me goosebumps. I am in the process of trying to get my DoDad program launched. See attached logo design.====JACK:  We used to call them, Goose Pimples.  Bumps sounds better.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It much harder to do the right thing when you want to do what you please.  It helps to rely on prayer!====JACK:  Let your conscience be your guide.....that is, if you have a reliable conscience.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  good song.====JACK:  Even better is the background story of the band.  I'm impressed.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Everyone needs someone like that.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 9/29/15
“Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours.”  (Yogi Berra)  Today is Yogi Berra’s funeral…a private service at his church with a larger observance this week in Yankee Stadium.  A Facebook posting, “It’s over!” let me know of his death.  “From dust we have been created; to dust we shall return.”  The funeral is not only a time of closure, but it’s also an opportunity to “pay our respects” and to be reminded of fragileness of life.    ;-)  Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Every year now we get notified about the death of some friend whom we have been close to over the years.  Because we have moved around geographically so often, we are usually too far away to attend those friends funerals.  As each one departs this world it makes us more aware of our own mortality, and reminds us to "be prepared".  When I was younger it was common to hear the advice "Get right with God".====JACK:  It seems as though many "friends" are skipping the funeral in favor of the visitation these days.  A card and a note are always appreciated.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  AND to be reminded that Christ rose from the dead..."the first fruits..."       I was just looking out the window at "the dark" and thinking how dark it must have been on the farm there in Joslin when my Grandparents went out to do some chores.   I suppose they carried a lantern.    Where are they now?     And with whom?====JACK:  Since the body is left behind, God evidently has provided a way to recognize souls.  Won't that be interesting.  "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard...."

FROM TRIHARDER:  and they will go to his (funeral) You do know what "it's over" was in reference to?====JACK:  I thought that "It's over!" was a clever take on Yogi's famous quote, "It's never over 'til...."  You should become a headline writer for the Detroit Free Press.

FROM CS IN MICHIGAN:  One of my favorite coffee table books – “Yogisms” . Thanks for reminding me to read it again cause it is full of good laughs!====JACK:  Here's a Yogi quote especially for you.  "I never said most of the things they said I said."

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  I also like Garrison Keillor's quote:  its a shame we always have to miss our own funerals and usually its just by a couple of days!====JACK:  After a funeral that I had conducted, a woman came up to me and said that she never have recognized the deceased from what I had said about her.  "She was not a very nice person!"  I explained that I had gotten the information from the son of the deceased.  Evidently husband and wife had differing opinions, to say the least.

FROM KANSAN DON:  I have noticed very rare, if at all, any condolences that include a word of "thanks" for that life and to God for that life.  (So I do my own.)====JACK:  A church member, who was a florist, died.  His obituary included the sentence..."Please send flowers!"

FROM FM IN PACKERLAND:  And the difference in human beings – and the wonder of God’s creativity!====JACK:  A friend of mine, a funeral director, took pride in preparing the body for viewing.  He remembers, as a child, when his mother died, and he was able to see her one more time.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  We who have been in ministry have gone to more  than our share of funerals...hopefully there will still be some friends and family around to go to our memorial service. It has become quite common to just have a memorial service without "ashes" or casket,  with visitation just prior to services. But hours of visitation are usually more viable for working people than mid-day funeral or service, and the visitor gets to talk to the immediate family that way too. Years ago, when we  had visitation for my parents, there were two sessions of visitations, like from 2 to 5, and 6-8. Thankfully that is a thing of the past!  YOGI gave the world a lot of levity and down-home "sayings", and as he said, he was often quoted on things he really didn't say! The same goes for Abe Lincoln, Mark Twain, etc. etc. Meanwhile, "on to  the next funeral", which seem to come with too much regularity these days!! :-( I'm sure a capacity crown will attend Yogi's Yankee Stadium observance!====JACK:  One-day visitations...more cremations...fewer processions.  One of our pastors led the procession to the cemetery riding his Harley, with many bikers in formation behind him.  The hearse was a hearse-trailer pulled by by a motorcycle.  I don't think that the funeral director was driving it.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Nor will they be standing at the Pearly Gates waiting to greet you. ====JACK:  As I've grown older I've ceased to wonder about the things of heaven (pearly gates, streets of gold, harps, angels and the like).  I'm prepared for whatever God has in store.  My prayer: "Surprise me!"

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  I knew a guy who would never sign the guest book at a funeral home. He said he didn’t want to let them know how to find him.====JACK:  Each of us has our quirks!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yogi was a great player with a fantastic sense of humor.  Enjoy each day.  We are all still here for  reason.  He lived a good and full life.====JACK:  ...and he was a faithful Catholic.  I remember that the importance of a Catholic funeral was judged by how many priests were at the altar.  I'll bet that there was more than one at the altar today.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Well, my mantra is "God has a plan for me" His will, not mine be done. And since I can't plan for a specific date, I requested a family reunion (RIP) party . I have always told my family that I wanted them to have a fun party after I move on. BUT I didn't want to miss it! Thus, we partied a few months ago.....and I'm so glad that I was there! Thank you, God.====JACK:  I don't want to micromanage my funeral, because it's not for "me."  Yet, I have listed some basic do's and don't's on a sheet of paper, knowing that I won't be around to protest if they don't do and do don't.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  His whole church service was on tv.  I'm not good at going to funerals bUT i do go to the visitations.  My family knows i don't really want a funeral but I will have one if they would like.  Personally, I'd like them to take a trip to Hawaii.====JACK:  If the shoe were on the other foot, and we were to decide on what to do when a loved one for me, regardless of the pre-death wishes, I would want a funeral for the benefit of the survivors.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Jack’s Winning words 9/28/15
“If you want me to be a good listener, give me something good to listen to.”  (Unknown)  One of the best “tips” I got from a speech professor was this…“Connect it up with life!”  No matter who the audience, know the expectations and start out with something that shows that you know.  I try to craft Winning Words as I would a sermon.  This week I’ll be writing about Yogi, The Fray, the Amish and crocodiles.  Does that interest you…or not?    ;-)  Jack

FROM MS IN MICHIGAN:  Yes====JACK:  I have my work cut out for me.

FROM PASTY PAT:  Yup====JACK:  Do you ever watch Storage Wars?  There's a guy, named Dave Hester, who's always increasing the bid by saying, "YUUUP!"  Do you thinks he's Finnish?

FROM TL IN MICHIGAN:  Jack, everything you say interests me. Thanks for the daily inspiration.====JACK:  I try to be interesting most of the time, but sometimes what I say (after a second look) doesn't interest me.  But I press on.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  I attended a listening seminar many years back.  We were asked to close our eyes and put other things out of our minds after being paired with another person.  Our next task was to listen to the person we were paired with as he or she told us a story about themselves. When the person was done speaking, we were to repeat as much of the sharing as we could.  You really had to ‘listen’ and not start thinking about how you could relate to the story with stories from your life experiences…you had to focus on the other person totally.  We couldn’t take any notes while they spoke.  It was a fun exercise.  Will enjoy hearing about Yogi, the Amish, crocodiles and find out who or what The Fray is. We have a lot of Amish and Mennonite people living in our community.  Hope you were able to see the beautiful eclipse last night!====JACK:  I do some daily exercises each morning before sending out WWs, but none as hard as the one you describe.  Hearing what someone else is saying is not easy-listening.  BTW, the eclipse was eclipsed by  ====CAROL:  Looking at the time you sent WW this morning, I think you get up too early to exercise!  I’m happy to be up by 5:20 AM to go to the pool to do my water aerobics three mornings a week,  I’m awake every morning at that time as Bob is usually up making noise getting ready to go to coffee by 5:35.====JACK:  Exercising, sending out Winning Words and scanning the news online takes about an hour, so I could meet Bob for coffee...if it weren't for the travel problem.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  That's good. Your professor probably also taught you to Tell people what you are going to say. say it and tell them what you said. Classic speech formation. Soooo you told us what you are going to say and now with baited breath we anticipate the next phase.
Have a great day.====JACK:  That prof also taught me by complimenting me on presentation and criticizing me on content.  The assignment was a George Washington's Day speech.  I "dug up" all the dirt on GW and had the class laughing.  "That was clever, but people don't expect you to be clever on occasions when dignity is expected."  I've tried not to forget that lesson.  It fits into many life situations beyond speech making.====RJP:  That deserves a huge Amen

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  Absolutely!====JACK:  The pressure mounts!

FROM MS IN MICHIGAN: I had to look up The Fray to see what it was, so have already learned something!====JACK:  So, you couldn't wait, could you?

FROM WBSD'S JS:  Pretty much everything you send interests me.  You are an excellent writer and inspirational mentor.====JACK:  Comments like yours keep me going...for at least one more week.

FROM RS IN BOSTON:  Everything you choose to write about, and no one will dispute it covers a wide range of material, certainly does interest me.  It always "give[s] me something good to listen to."  I just regret that I don't often have something meaningful with which to respond.====JACK:  To me, it's enough that you choose to read them.

FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  Yes!  Your message reminds of the famous line from "Music Man":  "You've got to know your territory"====JACK:  Anyone (like you and I) who's in the business of communicating has to "know the territory."  Being able to communicate effectively has a lot to do with the selling of a product or an idea.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Absolutely interests me!====JACK:  First, the quote has to interest me.  Then, I try to interpret it for interesting people that I know.

FROM TARMART REV:  Sound like "Winning Words" to me!?====JACK:  It's like with the batter at homeplate with the "winning run" on base.  It depends on what he does...a hit or a strikeout.

FROM SG SPENDING THE SUMMER IN MICHIGAN:  Always a good message!  I heard that you're being filmed for a documentary. How exciting!  I'm glad your messages will reach even more people in this world. We at Holy Spirit are so fortunate to have had you as our pastor and friend. Keep spreading the good news!====JACK:  God has given each of us "talents."  We are responsible (only) for what has been given to us.  I'm inspired by how you have used the gifts that God has given to you.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  You definitely have my interest!====JACK:  Like with life....Let's see how it works out.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  AS WOULD BE EXPECTED, SOME WW ARE MORE MEANINGFUL TO ME THAN OTHERS, BUT ALL ARE INTERESTING AND KNOWLEDGEABLE...I'M NOT FAMILIAR WITH "THE FRAY" SO WILL LEARN SOMETHING NEW.(?) I RECENTLY SAW A VIDEO OF A PYTHON SNAKE EATING A CROCODILE...WHO WOULD BELIEVE THAT TO BE POSSIBLE? AND IT WAS NOT A SMALL CROC!  WONDER IF IT DIED OF INDIGESTION?? :-) LOOKING FORWARD TO THE WEEK'S WW ON THIS VARIETY OF SUBJECTS!====JACK:  60 Minutes used to have a segment called, "Point-Counterpoint,"  featuring James Kilpatrick and Shana Alexander.  One would give their opinion and the other would give a response.  Our communication is similar, because you are one of those who regularly responds to the WWs that I have sent out.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  How do you know you are getting any good listens unless you listen good.(well)?====JACK:  I rely on the blog, although that represents only a small % of readers.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  and it seems so many preachers fail on this point.  a sermon must do three things.  first,  tell me what you want me to know.  (most sermons end here)  secondly, show me what you want me to know with the best possible illustrations you can find!   and a good illustration should need very little if any explanation.  and finally,  move me to action.  what changes should occur in my thinking, my heart, my actions because of what you the preacher just said in the last 20 minutes.====JACK:   These days, most sermons I listen to (and preach) are 10+ minutes.  I started my ministry with 20 minute-ers,  However long, it's the content that's important, after all.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Yogi for sure.  Only he knew that baseball was 95% mental and the other half was physical.====JACK:  There sure are a lot of Yogi quotes out there.  There's also a book that Yogi wrote: "I Really Didn't Say Everything I Said."====RS:  Gotta love it - he is probably holding court at Heavenly Field with Stan the Man and Jackie Robinson.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  What is the Fray?  The others sound good.====JACK:  The Fray?  Wait 'til Wednesday.  ...maybe even better than the others!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 9/25/15
“We must treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated.”  (Pope Francis)  It almost seemed like a sermon when the Pope was speaking to a joint session of Congress.  He reminded his listeners of the Golden Rule, without “preaching” at them.  This world (home, school, work, everywhere) would be a better and safer place if we’d treat one another in a kindlier way.  Almost all religions have some variation of that “rule.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  all religions of the world tell us to love our neighbor.  Jesus raises the bar.  he tells us to love our worst enemy!   what if we had been told to love bin Laden the day after 9/11/01?  not sure that is what America wanted to hear but it would be in keeping with the radical "demands" of real Kingdom living...====JACK:  But, what would it have meant to  LOVE Bin Laden?  Love” is an illusive word.  Just like the word forgive.  Can there be forgiveness without “request” on the part of the other person?  I’m not so sure that we truly understand what it means to love and to forgive.

FROM TRIHARDER:  Never was the Golden Rule greeted more enthusiastically.====JACK:  It's one thing to greet it;  it's a harder thing to actually practice it.  Time will tell if words translate into action.

FROM TARMART REV:  Good advice wherever and whenever spoken by whomever would speak it!!====JACK:  Penneys was originally called, The Golden Rule Store, because owner, J.C. Penney, ordered all of his employees to follow the Golden Rule when serving their customers.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  I prefer the original, "Do unto others..."====JACK:  The Golden Rule was first stated negatively..."Don't do to others what you don't want done to yourself."  It was first written positively by the Jews...That was about 1300 BC in a well-known Torah verse (Hebrew: "ואהבת לרעך כמוך.")  So, if you prefer the original, say: ואהבת לרעך כמוך

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Jack, I say that life is reciprocity - it is the title of one of the chapters in my book.====JACK:  Reciprocity..."You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours."

FROM DR J:  Really love the Pope!====JACK:  Many others seem to love him, too...but it's not unanimous.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  like him for the most part, but not his aligning w/the climate change mafia. lots of money to be made off this questionable "science." just look at al gor, uh, al gore. ====JACK:  As for saving the planet, I guess it depends of who you trust as your authority. ====LIZ:  we definitely should do our best to conserve, preserve.  china is the worst offender. we are their biggest contributors, tho, by buying their poisonous products made by slave labor. no controls on factory emissions over there.  but we get cheap stuff, so we don't care.====JACK:  The old expression is, "Follow the Money."  Many politicians do it.  It's on the agenda for many nations.  Even and you and  I have trouble resisting what seems to be "a free lunch."

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  I like this pope. He seems like as much of a humanist as any orthodox religion will allow====JACK:  He's sort of like a Catholic Dalai Lama.====HOWIE:  Right good analogy.====JACK:  In this religiously fractured world, we need some people who are spiritually ex-span-sive.

FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  So simple......====JACK:  I like this hymn stanza..."If our love were but more simple,  We should take Him at His word;  And our lives would all be sunshine  In the sweetness of our Lord."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  How true the Golden Rule is. Have you been watching Pope Francis?  I especially liked the interfaith service at the 9/11 Memorial and also his visit to the school in East Harlem.====JACK:  I liked the sermon delivered to Congress.  Like with many sermon messages...some get it and some don't.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  In my humble opinion, the Pope chose his words well--passion and compassion. Passion, theologically speaking, reminds of Christ's passion and is so much deeper than the Golden Rule and in my opinion anyway, all of us have opportunities to take up our cups, drink from them, and live with passion and compassion for others who come into our paths in the same Spirit which Jesus led us. Jesus still lives among us--praise the Lord.  In my opinion anyway. ====JACK:  I wonder if the Pope ever says, "In my humble opinion."  It appears to me, that in his speaking, he's simply saying what he thinks, without demanding that this be the thinking of others.  I see people responding positively to this kind of "preaching."

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 9/24/15
“Success is simple.  Do what is right, the right way, at the right time.”  (Arnold Glascow)  In 1890 a magazine called, SUCCESS, was founded by O.S. Marden.  It was very popular and continues today, mainly for entrepreneurs.  People want to know…”How can I find success?”  Ariana Huffington was on top of the world.  Then, one day she collapsed from exhaustion.  Her body was saying,  “Things have to change.  Get back to the simple things in life.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  Orison Marden had a Law Degree, a Medical Degree and a Divinity Degree I believe. He wrote more than 70 books beginning with "Pushing to the Front" (1850). I like "Architects of Fate" 1893? I have collected most all of Marden's books. He was one of the first to come out with short books too, like 1905's "Success Nuggets" a bit like Winning Words. Other short (54 to 100 pages) hardbound books were "Manners" and "Character".   I consider Marden one of my posthumous mentors and quoted him often in my 2005 book "Good Debt, Bad Debt" (Penguin, USA).====JACK:  I abbreviated his first and middle names (for space saving), knowing that you and other aficionados would pick up on it.  I find it interesting that the word, orison, means prayer and that one of the meanings of swett is advice.  Neither of them are in a book of name-meanings that I have.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Reminds me of a quote that Bill often used (I think by Wm Penn) "Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it."  Something to think about in this day and age when it seems this is sometimes true! You feel better if you do the right thing, even if it is sometimes the harder choice. Discerning the "right way" and the "right time" might be the problem!====JACK:  What is the determining factor in knowing right from wrong?  Right and wrong sometimes change places as the years go by.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Once did an ad series for the John Deere Parts Department that had the headline " THE RIGHT PART, AT THE RIGHT PRICE, RIGHT NOW". Successful. ====JACK:  Alliteration is an attention-getter!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 9/23/15
“Alice: How long is forever?  White Rabbit: Sometimes just one second.”  (Alice in Wonderland)  I smile when I think of Jesus wearing a Smart Watch.  A man asks God, “What’s million years to you?  God: “It’s just a second.” The man continues, “What’s a million dollars to you?”  God: “It’s like a penny.”  Man: “Will you give me a penny?”  God: “In a second.”  While time and money are important to us, God has other things that occupy his mind.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Young 17 year old cleaning his new shot gun the other evening, only to have it fire off and kill him . . . mom and dad estranged, no church involvement and I'm called as the law enforcement chaplain to the home where mom had walked into his room and found him shot to death . . . "How long is forever? Sometimes just one second!"  Dad races at our local stock car track where, as you know, I serve there as their chaplain . . . with that relationship, I am being called upon to officiate the young student's memorial service and the pastor of our church has offered the church sanctuary to host the large expectant gathering of high school students.  Thinking about the theme this morning anyway of "Suddenly". Haven't gone any further yet with it, but thinking of possible Scriptures and the many illustrations of some of our young folk who have suddenly lost their lives in recent years. Working as a law enforcement chaplain assisting in death notifications I can recall within the last couple of years families notified of a son's drowning while away in college in Missouri, a son's death while riding his four wheeler home for supper and jumping ditches along the country road, a 17 year old's suicide last week-- just to name a few-- "Suddenly! Lives are taken and other's are changed because of losing their loved ones!  I'll let you know later of our experience with the service, most likely on Saturday.====JACK:  I pray each day, before I send out Winning Words, that the Lord will make them to be of help to someone in some situation.  That's for letting he know of this answer to prayer.

FROM MY LAWYER:  Rabbi Paul Yedwab used that joke last week in one of his sermons.  Good one!!!====JACK:  Paul and I are often preaching the same message.  He's a good one!

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  That's such a witty exchange between God and man, and it shows how man is always the "patsy" when it comes to man reasoning with God.  Regarding how long something takes, we always want God to respond immediately to our reverent petitions for help, but God in His wisdom follows His own time frame.====JACK:  We are often receiving "pennies from heaven" (as the song goes) and just taking them for granted.

Every time it rains, it rains  Pennies from Heaven
Don't you know each cloud contains  Pennies from Heaven

You'll find your fortunes falling  All over the town
Be sure that your umbrella  Is upside down

Trade them for a package of  Sunshine and flowers
If you want the things you love  You must have showers

So when you hear it thunder  Don't run under a tree
There'll be pennies from Heaven  For you and me

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Sometimes God is pretty funny.====JACK:  Your response fits yesterday's quote, too!  BTW, it's said that the duckbill platypus is proof that God has a sense of humor.====CHESTER:  I meant it that way. Just my weird sense of humor. God has done a lot of other funny stuff... The hammerhead shark is another case in point.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  That joke is old enough to have long whiskers, but still brings a smile...The older we get, the more fleeting wealth and fame seem. If we have "enough" we're satisfied, because we know we are taking nothing into the next world. Of course our "enough" is usually far more than  most people in developing countries, or war torn countries (of which we have many right now) will ever see. Just returned from 4 beautiful days in Missouri with family, and so thankful for the many "abundances" we enjoy!! And for the hope of heaven in Eternity where there is no time, as we know it. How strange that will be to us who keep our "schedules"!====JACK:  I'm sure you've noticed...when God is pictured, he is usually old and has whiskers.  Among the abundances of heaven, will there be any of earth's present pleasures?  Some people that I know would be lost without their i-phones.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We should be glad for every second of our lives.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 9/22/15
“We get so worried about being pretty.  Let’s be pretty kind, pretty funny, pretty smart, pretty strong.”  (Britt Nicole)  The first Beauty Contest in America was after the Civil War, and now there’s a movement to ban such contests…especially of children.  People today seem to recognize that prettiness is more than physical beauty.  Reread today’s quote.  Isn’t it more important to emphasize qualities other than beauty?  Take a look in the mirror…!    ;-)  Jack

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Amen to this quote!!!====JACK:  I thought that it was pretty good, myself.

FROM TARMART REV:  That's pretty smart of you to post this, Jack!!====JACK:  Do you remember the phrase...smarty pants?

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Thanks for reminding me....I looked in the mirror and as the song from The King and I says, " I was pretty and witty and wise and a pretty wonderful guy" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AH HA====JACK:  You've got to stop using those carnival mirrors.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Being pretty isn't all it is cracked up to be. I've lived with it all my life.====JACK:  That's pretty funny.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Kindness, compassion, loving,  gentleness, loyalty, and many, many more traits are more important than "prettiness"!====JACK:  Your pretty sharp!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 9/21/15
“I might look like I’m doing nothing, but in my head I’m quite busy.”  (Spirit Science)  I saw a  non-medical diagram of the brain which showed some of the things that go in that important 3# organ—vision, balance, behavior, movements, sensation, skill, emotion, speech and so much more.  How does all of this happen?  Philosophers have discussed whether the soul resides in the heart or the brain.  What do you think?  What is it that makes you, you?    ;-)  Jack

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Resides in the entire being. heart for feeling head for understanding and utilizing that feeling. Remember that old song " Heart & Soul"?====JACK:  I didn't know that Dean Martin was a philosopher.  The wedding ring is put on the 4th finger of the left hand, because the vein in that finger goes directly to the heart.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  the soul is neither... it is a separate "organ" that is not physical. ====JACK:  There is a philosophy which says that the soul is breath (pneuma), that which gives life to the body   Maybe you're a pneumatic!

FROM HONEST JOHN:  The spirit (soul) of a person is your "whoyouareness".    Buber does the best job of defining that.====JACK:  Is there really an answer to the question, "What is man?"  Is it not a question which raises other questions, rather than giving answers?  Who are you, John? ====JOHN:  What is man that Thou art mindful of him?  And the son of man that Thou dost care for him?  And yet Thou hast made him a little less than the Elohim.====JACK:  I never took Hebrew, but I suppose you mean that man is not God.====JOHN:  The Elohim were the "host of heaven". ====JACK:  That's interesting, because the definitions I looked at gave God, or gods, as the meaning.====JOHN:  It is a plural and means "gods".     Which translates to the host of heaven

FROM TARMART REV:  "What is it that makes me, me? ... people like you!!  It all begins in our hearts, I believe.  “Into my heart, into my heart  Come into my heart, Lord Jesus  Come in today, come in to stay...  Come into my heart, Lord Jesus!”====JACK:  I remember learning that song as a teenager.

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  The values shaped by family and character developed by beliefs and life experience.  (My visceral response to your thought provoking question).  Marilyn and I are returning today from our first ever visit to good friends now living in Jackson Hole who are life long Christian Scientists.  The husband is also one of my favorite law partners who, with his wife, are regular readers at their weekly services.  Have you thought much about the healing beliefs as inspired by Mary Baker Eddy?====JACK:  Yes, I have examined the life of MBE and how she came to form the Church of Christian Science.  If someone were to ask me if they should join that denomination, I might answer in a different way than if they had asked about that church generally.  Since none of us has a complete understanding of the will and works of God, I would hesitate to be critical someone who finds satisfaction in the way that he/she "understands" God.  I would tend to steer clear of the one who "has all of the answers."

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  The mind is to soul as the brain is to the body. The brain is an organ of the body that is designed to serve the body. The mind is designed to serve the soul. The spirit is to the soul as the heart is to the body. The heart is an organ that is designed to serve the body. The spirit is designed to serve the soul. Jesus said the "words I have spoken to you are life, and the body profits nothing -- because the body is temporal, and the soul may exist within the eternal heavens as that which is temporal seals its fate of death. As "life" leaves the body (which is comprised of matter from the earth) the body returns to its rightful origin: the earth. Similarly, the soul, with mind and spirit, returns to its rightful origin the presence of God.====JACK:  The heart, the fact, the entire can be physically examined.  There are even ways in which the mind can be quantified.  If the soul is as "breath" to the body, it, too, can be measured.  We say that when a person stops breathing, they are dead.  Having said that, I see the "soul" as a religious term which is that link between the Creator and the person he has created.  It transcends on.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  I think the phrase is pretty funny as well as thought-provoking.  How oft do we appear to sit or stand idly when in fact, plenty is “going on”?  I think soul transcends heart and mind/brain.  In with and under?  Seriously, unconfined by our physical form, now and….later? ====JACK:  I tend to go along with that, save with some further explanation.  How do you describe that which you cannot see, touch or put under a microscope?====BB:  Who wrote the analogy about wind?  At one point I thought the Trinity analogy of gas-liquid-solid served well and then read a diatribe against that method of explanation suggestion that it’s more like the valences of the protons, neutrons and electrons in an atom…in constant movement with one another yet, of a whole.  I find it difficult to think too  hard along those lines.====JACK:  Regarding "all knowing" critics and their diatribes... I like the words of Socrates, "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing."

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  The soul rests in the heart and the brain puts it to work. What makes me me is family and friends.====JACK:  Who we really are is a subjective thing.  "Sticks and stones may hurt the body" but the soul is damaged (or enhanced) by things other than sticks and stones.  Family and friends are extremely important to many people.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: This describes me to a tee!  Many times I just sit in my Lazy Boy and contemplate  Blessings, health, grandkids, kids, etc. etc. etc.  I guess you could say it's continually praying.   The soul resides in my heart and mind.  It feeds my heart and comforts my mind.====JACK:  One of my favorite hymns is "Be Still, My Soul,"  sung to the music of Finlandia, written by Jean Sibelius.
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.

FROM MOLINER JT: AMEN !! Yes, God has been there and He does provide !!====JACK:  God shows in unexpected places and at unexpected times.  Brother Lawrence wrote (The Practice of the Presence of God) of how God came to him while he was scrubbing pots and pans in a monastery kitchen.

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  Thanks.   My  variation  of this  was:   When you are old (retired) even when you are doing nothing you are doing something..====JACK:  At age 59, Satchel Paige was the oldest person to ever play major league baseball.  As a relief pitcher, he sat in the Kansas City bull pen in a rocking chair, with a nurse serving him coffee.  When he was on the mound, the fans sang, The Old Gray Mare.  Did your congregation sing that to you on your retirement day?

FROM AA IN WB:  if i knew the answer, i would have gotten an automatic "A" in world history from professor Milton Kovenski.  What makes you, you?  different from anyone else.  no one in our class got the automatic "A" and only five over the 30+ years of Professor Kovenski's tenure.  What ever answer you come up with, may be right, however, i wouldn't be able to tell you if you are correct.  JACK:  When G-d made you he threw away the mold.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 9/18/15
“It’s true.  God does provide!”  (Harry Houdini)  Houdini came from a poor family.  His rabbi father would say, “God will provide.”  One day 10-yr-old Harry performed some magic tricks on a downtown sidewalk.  People tossed money into his hat.  He couldn’t believe it.  He went home and told his parents, “God does provide!”  Often we take it for granted—how God has provided.  Looking back, I say with Harry, ”It’s true!”  God has been there!  …in your life, too?     ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Five unforgettable years worth in West Bloomfield, Michigan-- no doubt about it!!====JACK:  The church did not become what you imagined it to be, but think about what was accomplished in those years...the friendship, the "sitting at the table" ministry, an AG church meeting for worship in a Jewish synagogue.  As Archie and Edith used to sing..."Those where the days, my friend."====REV:...I know I met a dear Lutheran pastor that truly welcomed and befriended me and that will always be in my most pleasant memories!

FROM THE FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR:  He sure has Jack.  Our family is very fortunate.  My nephew, who attends, Adrian College, was at a pool party at the University of Michigan.  He dove into the pool, which was only 4 feet deep and gashed his head.  He got out of the pool and didn't feel right and was taken to the hospital.  He broke the C-1 vertebrae and the top of the neck.  Nothing moved, it was a clean brake.  He is in a halo cast for 3 months.  The medical team was amazed!  They told my sister and brother-in-law that usually this type of break results in death or paralysis from the neck down.  He is home now and hopes to return to school yet this Fall.  The doctors indicated that they provide medical care but someone else was also involved.  We praise the Lord and know that he was watching over Ryan.  Have a nice weekend.====JACK:  Some people ask, "Why aren't miracles performed these days like in Bible times?  Ask that of Ryan.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 9/17/15
“Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may be actually falling into place.”  (Spirit Science)  Somewhere I read…“Given enough time, everything makes sense.”  I researched the quote and was directed to…“10 Dumb Things Christians Believe.”  I may be dumb, but I believe with St. Paul (Romans 8:28) that “all thing work together for good for them who love the Lord.”  Much of the world demands “now-answers.”  I like the poster: “GIVE TIME TIME.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Well stated, my friend!!====JACK:  It's hard to go wrong when referring to the letters of someone named, Paul.

FROM TRIHARDER:  Some say that Obama's deal with Iran is evidence of things falling apart. Others some say that it is evidence of things falling into place. Only time will tell.====JACK:  As someone in the legal field, you should know something about the validity of snap judgments.

FROM PR PH:  Great word today.  God bless you and yours. In Time we will see each other again. ====JACK:  Do remember the hymn, "God Be With You" and the line, "till we meet at Jesus feet?"

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  What are the other nine things?====JACK:  I stopped reading after the first, because it gave me the idea that I wanted to use.  But, you've made me curious.  (pause)  I did the research.  I picked the best one.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  absolutely!====JACK:  Nietzsche said, There are no absolutes."  What do you suppose he meant by that?====LIZ:  nietzsche was absolutely right!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  When talking to my son-in-law this morning, we reflected on the hardest things had to deal with in our lives.  Looking back, they were the events which lead up to the family we are today. Surely God knew what we needed when we were facing things terrible events.  We wouldn't change anything.  God has the right answers for us.====JACK:  Another of the "10 Dumb Things Christians Believe," besides the one in WWs today..."God has a blueprint for my life."  As I looked into it further, the author is challenging "the Christian" to look deeper into his/her faith and to ask, "What does this mean?"  For example, "In what way does God impact my life?  Do I have a part in the way life turns out for me...or is it all up to God?"

FROM BLAZING OAKS:   I  GUESS THAT IS TO SAY: "TAKE THE LONG VIEW OF HAPPENINGS"...LIKE YOU I BELIEVE THAT GOD CAN BRING SOME GOOD OUT OF EVERY SITUATION IN TIME, BUT IT OFTEN TAKES PATIENCE AND FAITH!  MY 7TH "GREAT GRAND" ENTERED THE WORLD TODAY, LITTLE ELI WILLIAM (AFTER BILL), SO HOPE THINGS DON'T FALL TOO FAR APART IN THE WORLD HE'S BECOME A PART OF!====JACK:  I think that every generation has some apprehension when a child is born.  The world never is a perfect place.  One of the baptismal services I've used has the words, "We are conceived and born in sin."  Some people see that as an indicator of original sin.  In order to clarify the meaning (in my own mind), I say, "We are conceived and born into sin."

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 9/16/15
“I really do believe I can accomplish a great deal with a big grin.”  (Beverly Sills)  Beverly’s friends called her, Bubbles, because of her charming personality and her smiling face.  Salesmen are encouraged to greet customers with a smile.  Smiling has a way of putting people at ease.  In 1963, one of the all-time great icons, the smiley face, was created by Harvey Ross Bell (in 10 minutes) to help raise the morale of some workers.  Put on a happy  face…today!    ;-)  Jack

  FROM RS IN TEXAS:  ....and Dick Van Dyke from Bye Bye Birdie.====JACK:  Dick was a very funny actor with an expressive face.  To me, his big grin seems part of the act, whereas Beverly's appears to be real...but who knows?  

FROM TG IN MICHIGAN:  It is a beautiful day today and we should all be smiling!====JACK:  smiling...and flying.  I remember the line that kept repeating in The Will Rogers Follies, "Let's go flyin' Will."  Sadly, the flyin' didn't end so well for Wiley and Will. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 9/15/15
“Truth is like the sun.  You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.”  (Elvis Presley)  Today marks the end of Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of the Jewish New Year.  Did you know that Elvis’s maternal grandmother was Jewish?  I didn’t know that, but I do know that many pop singers have Jewish roots? Streisand Joel Diamond Bacharach Kiss Pink SteelyDan Garfunkel Manilow Groban TinyTim Chapin Dylan JuiceNewton.  Your favorites?    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  My son in law is Jewish...has no idea of what is in the Hebrew Bible.     Knows how to light the Menorah.====JACK:  Does he know how to sing "I have a little dreidel?"

FROM VINCENTRIC ECCENTRIC:  Your Winning Words reminds me of this song
====JACK:  That is very good.  I'm going to play it again....and again in December.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Not a bad Adam Sandler impression, Jack!  😄====JACK:  When son David read today's WWs, he sent me the Sandler song.  I was impressed.

FROM BB IN MICHIGAN:  Sammy Davis Jr.====JACK:  I remember that segment in "All In the Family," where Sammy plants a big kiss on Archie Bunker.  I laughed out loud...and not because Sammy was Jewish.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  is Paul Simon also Jewish?   thought we was too...====JACK:  Yes, Simon was Jewish.  So was former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.  She was raised Catholic, but didn't learn until adulthood that her parents were Jewish.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  I know Juice Newton, had a song called, "Shot Full of Love," that was tremendous. I recall buying the 33rpm Album. Not a lot of hits but a great talent.====JACK:  Do you have a nickname?  Jack is a nickname for John.  Juice's given name was Judith.====JON:  No nicknames ever. Jon is pretty short, we were so poor when I was born we couldn't afford a second "H".====JACK:  Jon is probably a nickname for Jonathan in the Bible.  Jonathan means: Gift from the Lord.  I wonder if your parents knew that?

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  I'm grateful for Bette Midler, George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, and many others.====JACK:  Not in the music genre, but important, just the same...Daniel Libeskind and Max Abramovitz.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We've listened to all of them and others too.  I love the Christmas albums made by Jewish singers.  They may be Jewish but I love their songs, especially Josh Groban and Neil Diamond.====JACK:  I heard that many of George Gershwin's songs are based on music that he heard in the Temple worship.

FROM TARMART REV:  First time I've had today to catch up on my daily e-mails . . . Matthew 26 indicates: 226 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.” . . . 27 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, 28 for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. 29  Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.” . . . 30 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives. I think I will choose the Christ for my selection today!!====JACK:  He was Jewish, too.

FROM JK IN MICHIGAN:  The giftings are evident of the favor of God on the Jewish people. ====JACK:  In the Biblical Parable of the Talents, talents refers to a kind of money.  It's interesting that we now look upon talents as abilities.  We all have our abilities, gifts of God.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 9/14/15
“When the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten and the last stream poisoned, we will realize that you can’t eat money.”  (Zak Noyle)  There was a time when the effect of global warming was a discussion in theory.  The reality is that we live on a very fragile planet.  Just as our body suffers from ab-use, it’s true also for the eco-system.  It’s said by some that proposed remedies will cost too much.  So, what good is money when there’s nothing to buy?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Stewardship all around, body, soul and spirit, would do us all well . . . it is amazing to see the trash blowing around nowadays . . . I still carry with me that conviction to keep and throw away even the smallest piece of leftover wrappers and such . . . I'm still driving and haven't bought a horse yet . . . not sure about corporate waste, though . . . what's put into our air, lakes and streams?! Quite a number of folk around as well, reportedly making sums of money talking about it but not always demonstrating themselves a personal lifestyle for modeling their intent . . . seems like a giant political ball bouncing around at times.====JACK:  It's a tough call if your job is at stake.  But, "what does it profit someone to keep his job and lose his life."  During the Industrial Revolution people had to learn to adapt.  During the Great Depression, people had top learn to adapt.  Adaptation is not always easy.====REV:  Good point, thinking we had to before and will do so again, perhaps kicking and screaming as we do.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  And, yet, an enormous number of Americans believe it is not so.    And these people will play a large role in the election of our next President!====JACK:  Our fate is to live in a world where we are interdependent.  It happens to be the heart of our existence.  When there is heart failure, you know what happens...  But, let's not forget the GRACE of God.  Do you think he cares about elections?

FROM TRIHARDER:  Hopefully, a while before that time.====JACK:  So, "eat, drink and be merry..."  The mantra of the many.====TH:  Or fiddle while Rome is burning.====JACK:  Nero fiddling while Rome burned?  Fiddlesticks!  1) The fiddle had not yet been invented at that time.  2) Tacitus said that he sang during the fire.  Regardless, he was an ineffectual leader in time of crisis.  I shake my head (and tremble) when I look at the leadership qualities of some who want to be the President of the United States.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  here are two quotes from the Star and Tribune of last week:  in 1850 there were over 150 glaciers in Glacier National Park, Montana.   today there are only 25!    and in Alaska, a study of 116 glaciers estimated to have lost about 75 billion metric tons of ice every year from 1994 to 2013.    the times they are a changin' indeed.   This evening I have a "backyard" baptism for some good friends.  would rather be in a church but this is okay for now and they do promise to find a church home soon.  One of those judgment calls we all have to make in ministry...   be well, old friend...====JACK:  Global warming is hard to refute.  What might be the consequences...and how can we adapt?  It's that way with change, in general.  BTW, I used to be "hung up" on doing things as we've always done them...such as baptizing in the church.  Jesus wasn't baptized in a church, was he?  Nor, the Ethiopian eunuch (he didn't have much instruction, either).  I read of a Viet Nam battlefield baptism, where the dying soldier was baptized, using his own blood.  What is baptism, after all?

FROM JD IN THE TWIN CITIES:  GREED IS WHAT PROPELS OUR SOCIETY. I SUPPORT FOOD AND WATER WATCH WHICH TRIES TO BAN FRACKING AND PESTICIDES. YES THE PLANET IS FRAGILE AND WE CONTINUE TO CORRUPT IT.====JACK:  Before I'd ever heard of "fracking," someone called on the church phone and offered money to allow exploring for oil on the church property.  Nothing came of it.  But, just suppose....  It would make for an interesting council meeting in some churches.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  What a sobering thought!  When you contemplate the enormous number of humans (and animals) living on our small planet, and all the ramifications involved, it does seem we are shortly to be in a dire situation, and we are concerned for our grandkids and "greats' who will have to deal with their troubled world.   Hopefully they will be able to "adapt"  as needed. All we can do is our little bit to keep our corner clean, recycle, etc. etc.  and pray!====JACK:  On the positive side....A lot more is being done these days than was being done in years past.  Tomorrow is trash pickup day, and almost every house has a recycling bin by the side of the road.  Although cars still consume fossil fuel, they are doing so in a cleaner and more efficient way.  One of our church members was recently involved in the Green Peace effort to halt Alaskan oil drilling.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  Courage Amigo:  Not all the news on the global warming theory is bad. Zak Noyles sad profession only entrenches existing poor thinking. We all love a sad song, where we can collectively sigh and blame. There actually has been much progress in improving everything most of the huge problems we face, including so-called climate change (formerly known as weather). Note this from recent scientific research (not politics):  “As for the technology’s emissions-cutting potential, the researchers are optimistic. They calculate that given an area less than 10 percent of the size of the Sahara Desert, the method could remove enough carbon dioxide to make global atmospheric levels return to preindustrial levels within 10 years, even if we keep emitting the greenhouse gas at a high rate during that period.”
This finding is preliminary, yet in the right direction,  if global warning indeed needs to be taken seriously, the effort should concentrate on science and entrepreneurs, rather than de-growth movement activists seeking control of via a carbon tax.   Rather than punishing businesses why not put up a $100 million dollar prize to the team that solves the problem?  Accentuate the positive….
====JACK:  The fact remains that ours is a fragile planet.  It should be marked, HANDLE WITH CARE!  It's also true that "You can't eat money."  As an aside, during WW 2, Illinois stopped make license plates out of metal and used soybean fiber board instead.  There was an unexpected problem.  Animals were eating the plates.  E-Bay lists a set for over $130.====JON:  I just wanted to point out all is not doom and gloom.  As with the license plates most political solutions have massive unintended consequences—including changing the motivation of workers to seek their own keep. The producers should outnumber the subsidized by a huge majority, once nonproducers or subsidized reach a voting majority we will embrace total collapse.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Heaping treasures on earth won't be usable.  It will be the ones we heap in Heaven!====JACK:  The story is told of a man who wanted all of his money to be buried with him when he died.  His wife promised to do that.  On the day of his burial, just as they were lowering the casket into the grave, she called out and told them to stop and open up the casket.  She took out all of the money and wrote her husband a check.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 9/11/15
“When you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action.”  (Lois Bujold)  Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion states that “To every action, there’s a reaction.”  The world of nature operates that way…and so does the world of human nature.  Think back…how the choices we’ve made have directed our life.  “If we knew then what we know now.”  Maybe it’s best that the future is hidden when we choose.  I’m glad that God created “free will.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM CS IN MICHIGAN:  How about “wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then” Bob Seger “Running Against the Wind”====JACK:  One of my favorite songs.  Too often we listen without paying attention to the words.  There REALLY is a message, isn't there?  The line... "surrounded by strangers I thought were my friends" really poignant.
It seems like yesterday
But it was long ago
Janey was lovely she was the queen of my nights
There in the darkness with the radio playing low
And the secrets that we shared
The mountains that we moved
Caught like a wildfire out of control
'Til there was nothing left to burn and nothing left to prove
And I remember what she said to me
How she swore that it never would end
I remember how she held me oh so tight
Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then

Against the wind
We were runnin' against the wind
We were young and strong, we were runnin'
Against the wind

The years rolled slowly past
And I found myself alone
Surrounded by strangers I thought were my friends
I found myself further and further from my home
And I guess I lost my way
There were oh so many roads
I was living to run and running to live
Never worryied about paying or even how much I owed
Moving eight miles a minute for months at a time
Breaking all of the rules that would bend
I began to find myself searching
Searching for shelter again and again

Against the wind
A little something against the wind
I found myself seeking shelter sgainst the wind

Well those drifter's days are past me now
I've got so much more to think about
Deadlines and commitments
What to leave in, what to leave out

Against the wind
I'm still runnin' against the wind
I'm older now but still runnin' against the wind
Well I'm older now and still runnin'
Against the wind
Against the wind
Against the wind

Still runnin'
I'm still runnin' against the wind
I'm still runnin'
I'm still runnin' against the wind
Still runnin'
Runnin' against the wind
Runnin' against the wind
See the young man run
Watch the young man run
Watch the young man runnin'
He'll be runnin' against the wind
Let the cowboys ride
Let the cowboys ride
They'll be ridin' against the wind
Against the wind...

FROM TARMART REV:  I freely choose, "May your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven."====JACK:  As parents, we can identify with "the Father" who lets the children go free, understanding that there are risks.  But the benefit is far greater than the risk.  When I was a child, my grandmother tied me to a stake in the backyard.  I pulled up the stake...and with the stake and rope, I went down the street.  "Free at last, free at last."  They found me later eating lunch with some carpenters who were building a house.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  So, you agree with Erasmus.    Your heresies abound!   BTW, the former pastor at POG thinks we have free will, also.====JACK:  Sometimes "reform" can be done from within and sometimes from without.  Isn't it interesting how, so often, the past re-lives in the present.

FROM A MOM:  This winning words is going up in my kitchen! Love it for the boys...& me.  ====JACK:  Putting it up is good.  Talking about it is even better.  When Michelangelo was in his 80s he wrote, "Ancora Imparo," I am always learning.  I have that posted by my computer so that I can think about it and be open to new ideas.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We all do things we aren't proud of but the past is just that..,past.  Our parents had the actions vs consequences as punishments.  The punishments had to fit the crime.  Most of the time it was sitting in "The Chair" or weeding the have an acre garden we had.====JACK:  Is God's punishment like that described in Dante's Inferno, or is it simply "separation from God?"  That is something to think about.  BTW, did you know that "The Thinker" sculpture is one part of a larger sculpture by Rodin?  The Thinker is a man looking into the pit of Hell and pondering.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 9/10/15
“Be the person your dog thinks you are.”  (Lab Rescue) Last week, on Facebook, Kathy posted a video of a dog welcoming a soldier home.  Lots of squealing and wriggling.  The dog even got the “favorite” ball.  It’s always fun to see love in action.  A little girl said to her mother, “I love you.”  Mother replied, “That’s nice.  I’m so tired!  Will you do the dishes for me?”  The girl answered, “I love you, but not in that way.”  Have you seen love in action, lately?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  A quality example, for sure!! 0;-))====JACK:  Christianity Today (8/17/95) has an article: "Is God's Love Unconditional?"  Think about that!  ...and think about our own love for others (even God).  Is it unconditional?====REV:  Very often is, hate having to admit it, as it is disappointing to God . . . thankful for His spirit of grace, realizing my succumbing to my fleshly appetite is disappointing to me as well. 0:-/

FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  My all-time favorite quote!  I had it printed on a Tshirt! : )====JACK:  Is it the food or the person?

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Thanks for the smile, “not in that way”.  Love in action is a great phrase….====JACK:  Tough Love can have more than one meaning.  Sometimes "loving" is tough to do.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  LOL!  There is no greater love than a dog for his/her master at feeding time except God's love for us!  Our grandson Ethan, 1 year old, is having eye surgery tomorrow.  How wonderful the love of friends, family and congregations are when prayers are said for health and good healing!====JACK:  I've often quoted John 15:13...."Greater love has no one than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."====JUDY:  Every once in awhile you hear of an extraordinary act or heroism or a small act of kindness that astounds everyone.  Today I read of a woman who donated her kidney to a stranger.  When the family heard about it, they in turn also had friends and family who in turn donated kidneys.  In all, 6 ill patients were healed.  God is good!  Thank you for the prayers.  Ethan is one of the happiest babies I have ever seen.  He is a true blessing!

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Here's the theme from the MTM show. Think it is very appropriate for today's WW and is my all-time show theme favorite. Hum it a lot.
Who can turn the world on with her smile?
Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
Well it's you girl, and you should know it
With each glance and every little movement you show it
Love is all around, no need to waste it
You can have a town, why don't you take it
You're gonna make it after all
You're gonna make it after all.
====JACK:  I liked that show a lot...and the Bob Newhart Show...and All In the Family.  I miss 'em.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I THINK I MAY HAVE TO ORDER SOME T-SHIRTS WITH THAT SAYING ON IT FOR MY GRANDCHILDREN WHO HAVE DOGS THEY ARE CRAZY ABOUT! SOMEONE ON YOUR BLOG APPARENTLY DID THAT! :-) THE GOOD NEWS IS MY LAKE HOUSE JUST SOLD, SO THAT IS AN ANSWER TO PRAYER, EVEN IF I HAVE NO DOG TO REJOICE WITH ME!  YOUR WORDS REMINDED ME OF THE POEM "I LOVE YOU, MOTHER, SAID LITTLE NELL, I LOVE YOU MORE THAN TONGUE CAN TELL, THEN SHE  RAN OUTSIDE TO PLAY, AND played and played the live-long day' It goes on until the last little guy actually helps his mother with her work, and the question is asked, "Now which child loved his mother?!"   It's a good one for kids....====JACK:  The poem is about 3 children, Little John, Little Nell and Little Fan.  Do you remember which one loved mother the best?

FROM CPA BM:  Yes.  It’s everywhere!  Among many other examples, at home, my wife accommodates my eating habits (not easy).  I see people being dropped off for work, then leaning over or walking around the car to kiss the driver.  My balance isn’t good (I’ve fallen several times), so when my 10 year old grandson is walking with me outside, he often grabs my hand and/or warns me of curbs and uneven ground and asks me if I’m OK.  I’m lucky – I could make a long list. ====JACK:  I asked for some examples of love in action.  You've given me 3 beautiful ones.  You are blessed, and I am, too.  Thanks for sharing a snapshot of your life.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 9/9/15
“Sometimes having coffee with your best friend is all you need.”  (Sent by LG)  The late Joan Rivers was famous for her line, “Can we talk?”  She’d go on from those words to say “funny” things.  In explaining her catch phrase, she said it means, “Let’s stop the nonsense and get serious.”  As a pastor, I wonder if ever there were serious times in her life when she said to someone, “Can we talk?”  Lucky is the one who can say to a friend, “Can we talk?”  ;-)  Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  It most certainly works. I just completed a 4 year transaction and talked it over with a good friend - helped relieve the stress.====JACK:  Joan Rivers shows that we have a public and a private persona.  What we see (and hear) does not always represent the true person.

FROM RI IN BOSTON: Clearly all of us on here are "lucky".  Not only do you motivate us, you are always available so "we can talk" more deeply about so many things.====JACK:  The BLOG allows give and take.  It's not as good as face to face, but it's better than nothing.  Answers from people like you motivate me to get up early each morning.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Just saw this sign on Facebook--C.O.F.F.E.E.--Christ Offers Forgiveness For Everyone Everywhere.  Is this something that’s been around for a long time and I just saw it?====JACK:  Acrostics are fun.  They're a good way to personalize  birthday greetings and to hi-lite notes to special people.  C-aring  A-mbitious  R-esolute  O-utgoing  L-ikeable====CAROL:  Thanks for the great idea of using acrostics for card giving – Joyful Achiever Cheerful Keeper!!!!
Might be my undoing with some of our children and grandchildren with their long names…. ====JACK:  "By Jove, I think she's got it!"

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  I guess I am really lucky as I have many friends I can talk to and more importantly listen to.  A nutty Pastor from Mi is one of them, Wow I really am the blessed guy. ====JACK:  Yes, there are many, many blessings around us.  You probably know the song, "Count your many blessings, name them one by one."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yes and we are so lucky to be living in this technology era where we can communicate via not only in person, by phone, or by computer and cellphone, complete with texting and pictures.  Yesterday our second great-grandchild was born in Washington DC and it has been  such a pleasure to receive pictures of Nathaniel James and his parents, grandparent, and aunt.  Also,  I've been texting with relative who is putting together a party for the DeTaeyes still in the area.  We were once 14 cousins, now down to 6, and one, Chuck just went into hospice last week.  Chuck was in the 8th grade when I began teaching at John Deere, and he seems so young to me.  But you never know what God has planned for us,  so just enjoy each day-and be kind to one another.====JACK:  I've quoted this poem...more times than I can count.
 "The clock of life is wound but once  And no one has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop,  At late or early hour.  
Now is the only time you own;  Live, love, work, and with a will;
Place no faith in tomorrow, for  The clock may then be still."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Joan probably had a lot of serious talks with her family and close friends.  That's what family and friends are for.  Coffee is a staple is our family and we have had many long talks sitting down for a cup!  Our youngest granddaughter , Melanie, decided her family was going to sell their house and move in with us.  When I asked her when this was all going to happen she said "Today! All I have to do is pack my clothes!"  Needless to say her mom and dad and Gary and I had a long "Coffee table  talk."====JACK:  Texting seems to be the new talk.  But the old-fashioned "Can we talk?" (over a cup of coffee) is still in vogue when things get serious.


Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 9/8/15
“The last suit that you wear, you don’t need any pockets.”  (Wayne Dyer)  It’s ironic that when Dyer died recently, he was scheduled to present a seminar: “The Holy Land & Beyond, a Spiritual Journey.”  He was famous for advocating positive thinking and avoiding the trap of negativity.  His lectures were immensely popular on PBS.  He was easy to listen to; what he said seemed so right.  When he was buried, I wonder if there were pockets in his suit?    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  maybe you don't even need any underwear.   or shoes.   do you recall that some undertakers in small town America also sold second hand clothes and they also built the caskets for burial.  the funeral industry has "progressed" a lot since those days...====JACK:  I understand that when priests are buried the casket is fully opened and sometimes tilted upward.  Dyer was restating an old saying..."there are no pockets in a shroud."

FROM TARMART REV:  Made me think of Sinatra with "a dime" clutched in his hand for a perhaps needed phone call . . . I'm considering a small "electronic shock" that will cause my eye to wink, along with a quivering smile!!====JACK:  It's said that Sinatra was buried with 10 dimes in his casket.  He never wanted to be caught unable to make a phone call.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  HE WILL BE MISSED!!  PROBABLY HIS SUIT DID HAVE POCKETS NEEDED OR NOT!  ALL SORTS OF THINGS GET PUT IN POCKETS AND CASKETS AT FUNERALS....ONE I REMEMBER IN OUR CONGREGATION WAS A BOWLING BALL AND SHOES !!  BEING CREMATED ELIMINATES THE CLOTHING NEED ENTIRELY...WHATEVER THE METHOD, WE KNOW WE TAKE NOTHING MATERIAL INTO THE NEXT LIFE. NO ONE EVER SAW A UHAUL  TRUCK FOLLOWING A HEARSE TO THE GRAVE !  SOMETHING TO REMEMBER...====JACK:  One of our ELCA pastors owned a Harley Davidson motorcycle.  He conducted a funeral for a biker.  The funeral home parking lot was filled with motorcycles.  The procession to the cemetery was led by my friend on his Harley, with the other cyclists following.  The hearse was a 2-wheel trailer pulled by a motorcycle.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I didn't know he had died.  He was a very positive thinker.  I'm sure he had no pockets.====JACK:  Today, I read this interesting story.  "In 2012 Dyer made an autobiographical film, My Greatest Teacher which dramatized a defining moment in his life, when Dyer had visited the grave of his father, who had abandoned him as a young boy. While the intention that day had been to exact some form of vengeance on the man he felt had sent him down a dark path of rage and alcoholism, at the gravesite he was overcome by feelings of love and forgiveness. He credited this experience with changing the trajectory of his life. The date of this experience was August 30, 1974. On the exact same day, 41 years later, Dr. Dyer passed on."

Friday, September 04, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 9/4/15
“What are your priorities?  Mine are very simple: faith, family and football.”  (Philip Rivers)  No matter what our job, it’s important to keep our priorities straight.  Football player Rivers isn’t saying that his job is unimportant; it’s that faith and family are more important.  God asks Joshua (24:15), “Which gods will you serve?”  Joshua, like Phil, answers, “For me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”  Each day is a choice of priorities.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Faith, Family and Friends like you, Jack!!====JACK:  I have a large circle of friends beyond those in the church.  In fact, when I recount them, I am truly amazed.  I can imagine that God has friends like that, too.  

FROM JE:  This is so right on .. I would say faith, family & friends!! Today we are driving to PA for our nephew's wedding -- family priority this weekend .. Tuesday -  Children and the first day of school will be the priority. Health needs to be a constant priority too.====JACK:  Sometimes we have to prioritize our priorities....sort of like a juggler.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Thunk a bit here--my priorities seem to be to try not to be heretical and worship the golden calf or something--be true to who God created me to be and from that stance flows my priority of church, family and service--whether it be volunteer or paid. Hopefully, I'll be among the number who get to heaven--that's my number 1 priority. Interesting WW to reflect upon--thank you and best wishes for a pleasant weekend, including worship.====JACK:  As time goes by, I wonder who it is that really decides on heresy?  The answer proves more elusive as time goes by.  As far as heaven is concerned, if "good works" is the key, you've got it made.  HOWEVER, I think that, ultimately, we all need to rely on the grace of God.


Thursday, September 03, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 9/3/15
“The mint makes it first; it’s up to you to make it last.”  (Evan Esak)  If I had a vote, I’d choose to let Hamilton stay on the ten dollar bill and replace Jackson with a woman (your choice) on the twenty.  But money is just a way of keeping score.  It’s what we do with our money that’s key.  My first bank was a learning tool…saving is important.  Then, I learned about compound interest.  I recall, too…My first pledge to the church was for $1 a week.    ;-)  Jack

FROM MY LAWYER:  With your last pledge, you went "all in"!  What a ride!!!====JACK:  At that time I was a teenager.  It was a major commitment.  Commitment, for whatever the cause or job, is important for a successful life.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  I agree ..... Ham stays and Jackson. Goes.====JACK:  Forgetting "agendas," I think that Eleanor would be a worthy choice.  I was fortunate to have lived during the time when she made her mark.

FROM GP:  My grandfather gave me as I was leaving home for the service, a lot of bits of his wisdom.   One I particularly remember was, "Give 10%, save 10% and leave the rest to God.  But always remember, a man can work effectively 8 hours a day, 6 days a week.  But your charity, savings and investments, work 24/7 year 'round. "  Thanx for your words of wisdom.====JACK:  I wonder what our grandchildren will remember about us?  In the midst of affluence, I say to mine, "Always remember the poor."

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  I just read that money is like blood you need it to live, but it's not the point of life.====JACK:  I always thought that "blood money," referred to the 30 pieces of silver that Judas received for betraying Jesus.  Research shows that it also referred to the money that a murderer would pay to his victim's family...and more!  Sadly, there are more than a few people who are willing to spill blood, literally and figuratively, for money.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  when we stop seeing white/black, women/men, filling imaginary quotas & "making up for the past," we truly will have evolved.====JACK:  Even though it was written in another context, this lyric comes to mind...."When will they ever learn?  It's blowin' in the wind."

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 9/2/15
“Hey, Jude!  Don’t make it bad.  Take a sad song and make it better.”  (The Beatles)  This “best” of the Beatles’ songs is said to have been written to help Jules Lennon during the time his parents were divorcing.  I recently read that music helps the most when people are in difficult situations.  Is there a song that particularly gives you an uplift?  Thomas Dorsey wrote “Precious Lord, take my hand…” after being notified of the death of his wife and daughter.    ;-)  Jack

FROM DR ERIC:  One of my favorite pick me up songs.====JACK:  "Hey, Jude" is one of the longest singles ever recorded (7:11 minutes).  Some "experts" said that it would never work.  Evidently it worked for you, and it works for me.

FROM TARMART REV:  Carry a number of them in my heart all the time . . . interestingly, one will pop into my mind as a particular situation will occur and a chorus or song fitting the occasion will once again surface.====JACK:  Your words bring to mind a Sunday School song that I haven't thought about for a long time..."In my heart there rings a melody...."  Do you know it?

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  When Peace Like A River is one of my all time favorites.  do you know the history of that one?  its fascinating.  I also love, To Dream the Impossible Dream from the Man of La Mancha.   also,  Send in the Clowns.  one more:  the "anthem" of Margaret's Swedish family is of course,  Children of the Heavenly Father.====JACK:  On Eagle's Wings is another "uplifting" song.====ST PAUL:  it gets sung at almost all our funerals.  Michael Joncas is an acquaintance of ours (mildly) thru Marty Haugen who is  a close friend.  David Haas and Michael Joncas are both good Catholics (Michael is a Jesuit who has studied in Rome).  Marty's wife Linda is like a sister to my wife Margaret.  they taught school together for many years both before and after we were in Pontiac.  Michael, David, and Marty  have recorded a number of albums together.  not so much lately however.

FROM JK IN CALIFORNIA:  Not to sound too sad...but I Sang That at (my grandmother's) funeral my senior year of high school. (My mother) asked me to, and chose that song***====JACK:  Do you know if your grandmother liked Beatles' music?  She would have been proud to have you sing at her funeral.


FROM DR J:  The 712 Perry Girls called me Jude… this songs always reminds me of that ;-) ====JACK:  Did each of the Perry Girls have a song, or a nickname?

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Sinatra's High Hopes.====JACK:  Since you're also a Bacharach fan, how about "I say a little prayer," or "What the world needs now."

FROM HEY JUD(E)Y:  This is my song!!!!  Music does help in difficult situations and it helps make all situations better. Rob, my husband, always takes care of the dinner music when we have people over for dinner. His selections are always perfect for the friends and family members we are hosting. Hey Jude, though, speaks to walking into any type of room and being a light of goodwill, not a downer or a sympathizer, a doer; it means sharing a get-things-done and be happy getting things done, attitude.====JACK:  Just suppose....Jesus were to show up for supper, what songs do you suppose Rob would have on the playlist?  Just suppose....====JUD:  Cinema Paridisio .. Vivaldi Four Seasons, or some beautiful Blues selections.  Rob .. Am I close?====JACK:  How about "What a Friend We Have In Jesus?"====JUD:   Absolutely!!!! OR Proud Mary …….

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  One of my favorites is How Great Thou Art, specifically sung in Maui with all of the Hawaiian beauty.====JACK:  That song has a Swedish origin and was popularized by George Beverly Shea during the Billy Graham Crusades.  You can listen to GBS on YouTube.  I'll try to pull up the Hawaiian version.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  ...."And He walks with me and...." I really like the "older" hymns. Seems like there is, at least , one for every occasion... need and expression of exultation.====JACK:  Many hymns were written by people who were reflecting on personal circumstances.  Read, for example, the background of "What a Friend," and "Now Thank We All Our God."

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Jack’s Winning Words 9/1/15
“There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud.”  (Carl Sandburg)  Sandburg was from Galesburg, IL, as was my father.  They belonged to the same church, although Carl wasn’t much of a church-goer.  I like his down to earth style of writing.  He composed for children, too…The Rootabaga Stories.  Who knows what a rootabaga is?  What kind of animal are you today?  An eagle, a hippo, or….?    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  you put rutabagas in pasties so the miners in the UP could have a hot meal down in the mines at noon.  they heated them on their shovels with the carbide lanterns.  I think I have all this info correct.  my Dad once took a photo of Carl Sandburg which I still have and value for obvious reasons.  have a good day now...====JACK:  Rutabagas have a distinct taste, that's for sure.  You like the flavor, or you don't.  BTW, I had an aunt who knew Carl as they were growing up together in Galesburg.  "He was a bum!"  She was one who never minded expressing her opinion.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  I know what a rutabaga is.====JACK:  Of course you do!  Your dad had a garden, and he probably grew them.

FROM TARMART REV:  ... how about a "teddy bear" for Willmar, MN... everybody wants to hug a teddy bear.====JACK:  Is that your nickname around town...Teddy?

FROM HONEST JOHN:  A root abaya is a staple of a real Finnish pasty.====JACK:  I think that all the Scandinavians had uses for them.  I can remember having mashed rutabaga, like mashed potatoes.  I liked the potatoes better.  Since you're interested in childrens' books, maybe you've read Sandburg's Rootabaga Stories.  I'll have to see if I can pull up one of them.

FROM CL IN CALIFORNIA:  Jack, Are you kidding? I hated rootabaga as a kid!====JACK:  As a kid, I had my hates, too.  I hated corn on the cob.  I hated it when my mom wet her handkerchief with her mouth and wiped something off of my face.  I hated girls.  Do you have a list of other childhood-hates?====CL:  Mostly just rhubarb!====JACK:  Last week I had strawberry/rhubarb pie.  Still a favorite from my growing up years...along with liver and onions and spinach.  

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  A hippo with wings.====JACK:  I've seen Dumbo fly, but never a hippo.  Maybe you can write a children's story about one....a hippo who saw an eagle soaring in the sky and dreamed of doing that, eagle who looked down and saw the hippo wallowing and wished that he could do that.

FROM JD IN MPLS:  jack, I feel like a turtle as I can't move fast anymore.====JACK:  Agility is one thing that I miss.  Like you and the turtle, I can move, but it takes longer to get to where I want to go.  There's a young lady who power-walks past our how each day.  As Archie and Edith used to sing, "Those were the days..."

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I went to the State Fair yesterday—so today I am a Hippo!====JACK:  Daughter Jeanne traveled to Minnesota over the weekend and spent some time at The Fair.  She said they were selling "Casserole on a Stick."  Have you ever had one of those?

FROM ANNE:  Did every one learn " The fog crept  in on little cat feet"?  I will check my poetry books.  This is the recall by an old head.====JACK:  Beautiful descriptive writing