Friday, January 29, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 1/29/16
“Don’t confuse being ‘soft’ with seeing the other guy’s point of view.”  (George H.W. Bush)  How quickly times change.  H.W. would have it tough getting a presidential nomination today by saying that he’d try to see the other side’s point of view.  Some of us have grown up in a time when “education” meant looking at different points of view and realizing that truth has more than one face.  I learned that in the study of history, philosophy and religion.    ;-)  Jack

FROM DR JUDY:  Brilliant!!! (You and the president.)====JACK:  The artist teaches us the value of perspective; so does the historian.  ...and the philosopher, too.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Science and Math can also teach that...built on hypotheses and assumptions...always open to change and addition.====JACK:  Science and Math were not my strong suits,  so I'll take your word for it.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Last  night was the first debate I’ve watched as I refuse to waste any time on Trump. It was interesting.  Thought Rubio came off like a petulant child.  Ha!  The fun of getting older.====JACK:  I wonder how the audience and the moderators would have reacted if one of the "debaters" had said to another, "You've got a real point there, and I guess I've never thought of it that way before."====BB:  Wouldn’t that have been fabulous, and, “gentlemanly”.  I feel like the art of debate/discourse is lost on them and it’s sad that every small concession is dissected rather than appreciated.====JACK:  It would have made HEADLINES!

FROM TARMART REV:  It sure helps getting along with other brethren of faith in our communities. ====JACK:  I'm usually turned off by someone who seems to have all of the answers.====REV:  They seem to always dominate the discussion . . . I'm reminded often of those folks who missed Christ's first coming because he seemingly didn't fit the false assumptions they were counting on.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  colleges are doing their part to limit education... what a useless bunch they are turning out these days.====JACK:  I have three grandchildren who recently graduated from universities.  I have a difficult time seeing them and the education that they have received as being useless.  I'm sure that you have another point in mind.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  There have been too many times in my life when I've disagreed with, or disliked persons or ideas so much, that I refused to consider them seriously.  Later, like an epiphany, something cleared my mind of my own bias, enough for me to take another look, and I came to realize the validity of an idea or another other person's point of view that I had previously disregarded.  It's important sometimes to "take the path less traveled."====JACK:  As a child I used to sing, "The B-I-B-L-E, that's good enough for me."  In college and seminary I learned to ask (and not be afraid to ask), "What do these words in the Bible mean, and how do they relate to me and the world today?"

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Certainly in Politics, seeing the other guy's point of view is a lost art, much to the detriment of our government and the governed!  Yes George H.W. would be considered a traitor to the party to talk at all to the "other side"!  I think one has to be very strong not to be threatened by listening to others' opposite point of view, and maybe even change one's mind! Not for wimps!  Or the egotistical!====JACK:  Let's say that a Christian is in conversation with someone of another faith, and that person asks, "What did Jesus mean when he said that no one comes to the Father except through me?"====OAKS:  RIGHT...THAT IS A STICKLER WHEN YOU MEET PROFOUND AND GOOD PEOPLE WHO ARE DEVOUT IN THEIR FAITH. I SAY I BELIEVE IN A MERCIFUL, LOVING, COMPASSIONATE GOD, WHICH JESUS SHOWED ME THROUGH HIS TEACHINGS, AND I AM WILLING TO LEAVE THE JUDGMENT UP TO HIM, AS I AM CERTAINLY NOT WISE ENOUGH TO KNOW EVERYTHING!!====JACK:  In this world around us which is becoming more and more diverse, it's becoming harder and harder to be "literalists" with regard to Bible interpretation.  Your answer shows compassion.====OAKS:  When you realize all the history of getting the Bible written down (passed on orally for years and years) and how it had to be copied by hand, etc etc. I can't imagine everything that Jesus said is "literally" the exact words he used, and even the Gospels differ in detail with the same stories, so I am not a literalist !! As I understand it. the only original piece of the NT is a credit card sized bit of papyrus with a couple of verses from John on it. (From a course I took on the history of making the scriptures we have today....)  So imagine we get the gist of what was said and done, but that's about it! Certainly very few details given ,,,:-(

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I don't know anyway who has a point of view which was set in stone forever-politically.  It is good to keep on learning new things.  The OLLI courses at USF this year are very interesting -Impressionism and the Irish Uprising of 1916.m.  The Impressionist professor is from the University of Chicago and a great teacher.  By the way, this is Gasparilla weekend, and that has definitely changed. In the 60s and 70s we would go down to Bayshore with our chairs and enjoy the pirates' parade.  200.000 are expected for the parade tomorrow.====JACK:  We have to remember that all of our views were implanted in us by sources outside of ourselves.  I like the name of your USF program...Life-Long Learning (or something like that).

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I have started taking a Bible study at Transfiguration Catholic Church--right next to our house--and the person who is teaching it is a man who studied for the Priesthood, changed course and got married and so forth but spends time teaching.  He taught at Wayne State.  The reason I'm typing about this class is because your WW today has something in common with Terry's teaching materials.  We are studying people of the Bible and he has studied along the way a lot of Jewish Midrash.  Evidently the Jewish Rabbis, down through the centuries, have wrestled and wrestled with scripture and, for example, now we are looking at Adam and Eve.  The two stories in Genesis.  It turns out that the Midrash posits a theory that Adam had two wives or maybe three, one was name Lilith and just a whole lot of stuff that none of the (mostly older women) in our class had ever heard of before but we are all enjoying the lively minds of the Rabbis and how they have all disputed with each other in trying to make sense of the passages in scripture which don't seem to agree with each other.  Simultaneously, in Bible study at Emmanuel on Monday nights, we are looking at a video produced by a Methodist Pastor in which he looks at people either seeing black and white or gray--for example he talks about knowing people who are ardently against abortion or homosexual behavior or any number of things--religious strictly on the issue and the Methodist Pastor models for us, his viewers, a position wherein he says he's not so strict but that he is thankful that the fundamentalists have raised the issue from their perspective and they are helping him to think more deeply about all sides of the issue.  It does occur to me that maybe God has deliberately introduced these puzzling diversions of scripture so that all of us, His kids, would learn to see--even from His Word/Scripture/Book that we all need to try to get along with each other thinking through stuff in different ways because even Scripture is like a bunch of us trying to see things from each other's perspective.  Does this idea bring scripture too much down to our human level when mostly I guess we believe it transcends us?  Also, Rabbi Wein's reflection this past week had to do with competition and rivalry and seems to tie in too to the problem of people having discourse with each other and being able to live with differences.  With regards to all of these debates and the campaigning, I just hope the language all the candidates are using to get elected doesn't get too ingrained into the social domain so that, when the various people are elected, they can stop being so different and turn instead to their commonality of goals and intentions.  Now I wonder, do the two stories in Genesis posit commonality of goals and intentions that would prevail over the differences?  So far, Terry has only shared with us the Midrash which speculates on numerous Eves but not one single Midrash which speculates on any Adam being more than one single person.  Having fun with all of these Bible studies--religion is enjoyable.  I enjoyed your WW today too.====JACK:  We expand our knowledge when we dare to explore new ways of thinking.  God gave us a brain for a reason other than to take up space in our head.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  And then we wonder why Congress has a 9% approval rating.  We need more thinkers like George H.W.  Also saw where the Pope celebrated communion with Lutherans. There may be help for the world after all.  Seems to me some guy named Jesus was pretty inclusive as well and didn't reject many (except for a few non-repenting pharisees).====JACK:  Trying to see the other person's point of view, while trying to clarify my own has pretty much been the design for my ministry from the beginning...and continues with Winning Words.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 1/28/16
“Life is like an ever-changing kaleidoscope—a slight change, and all the patterns alter.”  (Sharon Salzberg)  The kaleidoscope was invented 200 years ago and continues to entertain young and old with its ever-changing patterns.  Life has its ever-changing patterns, too.  Today is not like yesterday, although there are those who would like it to be so.  God embraces change.  That’s what growth is about.  Children become adults.  The seed becomes the flower.    ;-)  Jack

FROM DR JUDY:  Oh, if only the religious fundamentalists and conservatives (of all religions) understood that God embraces change. (And not to mean that it's time to change BACK to a former state of being.) Today is not like yesterday, and was never meant to be so!====JACK:  The late Senator Everett Dirksen (Ill) once said (when criticized by GOP colleagues for changing his vote on a certain issue) :  "People who don't change their minds are either in an insane asylum or in a cemetery."====JUDY:  There are still s few wise people. Glad their words can be heard by others. Even if one at a time.====JACK:  Tomorrow's Winning Words will refer to another.
FROM TARMART REV:  ...and the flower fades into oblivion for the moment?!====JACK:  The Easter lily is an example of a flower that contains a new flower in its bulb...a resurrection!====REV:  A sweet example, in deed!!====JACK:  I once had a church member who would skip Easter services, because she was allergic (or didn't like the smell of) Easter lilies.  Question....Should we have eliminated the use of Easter lilies because of her?====REV:  I'm sure she must have been a precious saint who would take upon herself to step aside personally so the rest of the saints could celebrate one of the most sacred Sunday's of the church calendar.   I had a mole located in the middle of my eye brow...the woman specialist noted in her pre-surgical sheet of instruction that we were not to wear any cologne as she was allergic to them. She too said she didn't attend worship services because of that fact. I had to bathe that morning instead of just smelling good (just kidding!)

FROM JK IN CALIFORNIA:  Thanks for this, what a great message. Luke had tryouts for the Highschool baseball team yesterday! He is growing into that flower!!!====JACK:  Congratulations! As a parent, I had the same feeling when David had his tryouts.

FROM E AND R:  so true!  our baby boy born Jan 18. Zander Sebastian DiBiase====JACK:  A baby changes everything in a family...a real kaleidoscope.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  What myriad changes we've seen come to pass in our lifetime!! Like the recent cartoon showing a panicked face with the caption "OMG, I almost went to the toilet without my phone!" Life has become crazy in many ways, but what an exciting time to be alive! I'll bet our ancestors never could have imagined a Presidential  campaign situation like we're experiencing today...!  One thing that doesn't change is our Almighty,ever loving God, who makes the patterns beautiful, if challenging.====JACK:  Just wait until the driverless cars start zipping along our roads.  It's happening in Michigan where a test city for driverless cars has been built where the cars can be operated and experimented with.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yes, that is what makes life exciting, don't you think?  It is particularly exciting for me to see our children and grandchildren grow and develop their talents.=====JACK:  On Monday a grandson is moving away to his own nest and a new job.  It happened once to me, too.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There's something reassuring knowing that tomorrow will be "normal" but it's nice to be able to look forward to doing something completely different too.  That's the joy of life.====JACK:  Didn't you once write that you've traveled to almost everyone of the 50 states?  It sounds like a kaleidoscope experience.

FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  I love kaleidoscopes!  Takes my mind off "things"; I have 4, one of which I made!====JACK:  One moment we like change.  The next moment we like things to stay the same.  I like the prayer petition..."Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 1/27/16
“When you have nothing to do, rattle the door.”  (Albanian Proverb)  In pre-texting days, I’d call a friend and say, “Let’s go have a donut.”  Do you have such a friend…someone who’s there when you “rattle the door?”  At the donut shop we’d share stories, exchange advice, give support, and laugh, and be serious.  The Bible says that Jesus had friends.   I wonder how they spent time together.  “Jesus, have you time for a donut?”  Maybe prayer is like that.    ;-)  Jack  

FROM TARMART REV:  Panera has been a welcomed place for me when back in WB visiting! ====JACK:  Jesus finds his way to Panera, too.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  My sister Joan...who is ten years older than me.....was my friend in need.   We wrote to each other a couple of times a week and then with the onset of email have written every day.     Our parents died when we were young so she was the grandmother for my children. ====JACK:  We learned alot in the days of Pen Pals, when we practiced penmanship, learned about grammar and the value stamps, looked at maps for certain locations...Did you ever have a pen Pal (besides Joan)?====JOHN:  Not really....wrote to my Dad every week until he died when I was thirty.    My pen pal now seems to be an old Swede from Moline!====JACK:  Because of the computer, I'm in touch with far, far more old (and new) friends than in the days of "snail mail."  There are pluses and minuses that go with innovation.  I wish that I had written to my father and mother more often.====JACK:  My Dad was my best Mom shaped my life.    She died before I ever had a chance to write to her much.====JACK:  Aging gives us the opportunity to look back and to see (in part) how we have come to be what we are.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  jesus and i go for bagels...====JACK:  ...probably at Einstein's, too!

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  My motto is "When you have nothing to better check again!"  My "to do" list just keeps getting longer.  I seem to remember a child's fairy tale with a lumberjack chopping down a tree, and every time he hacked a chunk out, two new chunks grew back.  That's the sort of progress I'm making with my projects to do.  Now that I think about it, my state of mind would probably improve if I went for the donut.  I wish I was close enough to rattle your door.  (I miss the breakfasts we had in the past.)====JACK:  I always have time for a donut, if it's 7:15 am, or 1:15 pm, or times in between (depending on circumstances).

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  When I have "nothing to do" I relish the time with a good book! When I had my twinner, in retirement years it would be a trip to the golf course for  a quick nine holes, etc. But a good friend to "do things" with like plays and concerts and shopping trips etc. is such a blessing!  I think we all feel blessed to have those  "door rattlers" in our lives!====JACK:  There are door rattlers, and then, there are "special" door rattlers.  "Count your many "specials," name them one by one..."

FROM DAZ IN DENVER:  I miss those donuts.====JACK:  I miss those, politics, Civil War, whatever.

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  and if he blessed the donut,  would it then be a kind of sacrament?   Dunkin' Donuts would love for that to be true!!====JACK:  In seminary we had a lengthy discussion as to whether or not bread and wine were necessary for a celebration of the Lord's Supper.  A youth pastor, on a retreat, used Coke and Ritz crackers at a communion service.  What do you think?  What about coffee and donuts?  What part do the elements play in the Sacrament?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 1/26/16
“Das letzte hemd hat leider keine taschen…”  (German Carnival Song)  Translation: “The last shirt, unfortunately, has no pockets.”  The last shirt, mentioned in the song, is a burial shroud, a cloth used to wrap a corpse.  E-Bay has one for $15 (and it has no pockets).  The song’s message is: “You can’t take it with you.”  You may recall the warning: “Don’t pile up treasures on earth where they can disappear…but keep “your treasure” in heaven where it is safe.”   ;-)  Jack

FROM HM:  Until this morning I did not know this song. It seems to originate from a 1967 Hans Albers movie.  Since then it became a "sailor" and carnival song. Karneval is the fifth season in Germany. It begins 11.November and ends on Ash Wednesday. It has many roots in regional history...The song basically invites to live now. In heaven you will not need money. It assumes you will be fine there.====JACK:  I've learned something new...about the German preparation for Lent.  I didn't realize that it was so long.  On the day before Ash Wednesday we usually eat pancakes.  It's interesting to find out about different customs.

FROM TRIHARDER:  There is an old, ignorant, anti-semitic belief that Jews are buried standing up so that their money will not fall out of their pockets. I met a young lady when I went up to orientation at the University of Michigan who actually believed it was true -- Not out of anti-semitism, but out of ignorance.====JACK:  Much bigotry has its root in ignorant stereotypes.  It's so sad that more and more people in this country have adopted bigotry as a badge of honor.====TH:  It has been growing since the election of Obama. Anti "pc".  And Donald Trump has brought it entirely out of the closet. ====JACK:  I've seen the momentum building.  At first, I thought that it was entertainment that would fade with time.  Now, I'm not so sure.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Travelers Cheques....good anywhere!!!!====JACK:  Is there still such a thing as a Traveler's Cheque?

FROM LS:  good morning.  as most mornings, your messages speak directly to me. This morning I am getting ready to attend the funeral of my mother in law.  This is a gentle reminder to me, for my life that remains here on earth by the grace of God to be the best I can be each and every moment.
Thank you for your work.====JACK:  Each day, before I send out Winning Words, I ask God to bless the words and the people (like you) who receive them.  Thanks for the validation.

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  my favourite HBS prof, General Doriot, invited all of his current students to attend the AGM of American Research & Development Co., an early and successful venture capital company of which he was chair. There were some brief presentations by CEOs of companies in which AR&D provided startup capital. One was working on the development of asbestos-based semiconductors that could operate directly in super-hot temperatures. He told the audience that “with our semiconductors they will be able to build a radio you can take with you.” ====JACK:  In the 1927 movie, The Jazz Singer, Al Jolson popularized the saying, "You ain't heard nothin' yet!"  The General talked about portable radios; today we talk about self-driving cars.   What's next?  Al's saying comes to mind...and so does the saying, "The last shirt has no pockets."

FROM TARMART REV:  Yes, sir!! One can only take people along with them--my investment for a lifetime!!====JACK:   There are no hitch-hikers on the road to heaven.  God's friends each are promised a ride in a golden chariot, just like Zeke's.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We won't have any needs where we are going!   Most of us have everything we need to live a good life.  Maybe not all we want, after all we are all greedy...but we have what we need.  It's important for us to help make sure others have what they need to live. ====JACK:  Jesus said, "I was hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, sick and in prison, and you met my needs (or didn't meet them)."

FROM GEORGE:  There is also a slightly different saying in German:  "Das Totenhemd hat keine Taschen", which is more direct.  Very True!!====JACK:  No pockets in the last shirt has a real message.  I heard of someone buried in a casket shaped like a beer can.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  As you've implied, and my husband used to remind our parishioners, "You'll never see a Moving Truck or U HAUL VAN following the funeral limousine to the cemetery...we leave it all behind when we cross over. I remember one woman in our church who had a terminal diagnosis, asking us, "Who will love and enjoy all my antique collections, now?!" Good question!  I also remember Dr. Norman V.Peale taking a distraught and disgruntled businessman parishioner to a place "where no one is unhappy, complaining, worried about the stock market, etc.etc"  and of course the place was a big beautiful cemetery... He got the point!====JACK:  We've started giving away stuff to children and grandchildren (things that they've shown an attachment to).  It's not being done in a wholesale way, so that they take it in the wrong way.  You probably gave away stuff when you recently downsized.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 1/25/16
“You learn something every day if you pay attention.”  (Ray LeBlond)  A study by Microsoft (Op Ed in the NYT) shows that the average attention span is 8 seconds, down from 12 in 2000.  It’s now shorter than that of a goldfish.  Perhaps that’s the reason for the flash-ads.  It’s a fast-paced world out there, like it or not.  Messages continually bombard us…a look, a word inserted in a sentence, something not said.  Today, be alert for the 8 second message.    ;-)  Jack

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  I'm glad that post wasn't any Got it in 7 secs. I have read a bit on this.====JACK:  Statistics are simply a reporting of facts.  Like them or not, they report a kind of reality.  We each make our interpretation...don't we?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I was going to send a long message back to you but wait...a bird! ====JACK:  Was it a Mocking Bird?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  8 seconds!! You can hardly blink in 8 seconds....I'll have to pay more attention on being succinct and to the point!  Everyone you meet knows something you don't know, so it pays to listen and learn! I just read that a 6" snow covering a driveway weighs over 2000 lbs!  REALLY??!  Those poor New Yorkers!====JACK:  I've noticed that sermons are shorter nowadays.

FROM TARMART REV:  It took me 12 hours to sit for a spell and contemplate yours . . . my day began with a 6:30am call from a stranded person at the hospital ER needing a ride home (wasn't able to get my normal devotional posting done this morning) . . . death assistance call at noon (a brother and sister in their twenties losing their dad unexpectedly and not able to say goodbye  , , , attended a funeral at 2 , , , chaplain calls in between . . . finally able to follow-up a friend's Winning Words post at 8:15 pm.====JACK:   12 hours equals 5400 eight second intervals....I think

Friday, January 22, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 1/22/16
“When contemplating your final move from the world, remember it’s all about location, location, location!”  (Linda Poindexter)  There’s a real estate saying that “price is nice, but location is better.”  That saying can be applied to the end of life, too.  We can have a great bank account when we die, but how does that compare with where we’ll spend eternity?  I’ve seen a sculpture of Dante’s Inferno, and I’ve read God’s promises.  I’m choosing God.    ;-) Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  good choice!  reminds me of a joke. a man picks up and old Indian woman one day while driving down the highway.  she notices a bottle of wine on the front seat.  the driver tells the woman "I got it for my wife".  the old Indian woman says very dryly, "good trade"! ====JACK:  I wonder what Margaret would get for you?

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I've read Dante's Inferno...not a nice place or ending for some of those folks.    God, I believe, is a little more loving than Dante....nevertheless, God is not to be mocked or taken for granted.====JACK:  I haven't heard any hell-fire and brimstone sermons lately.  I can't remember ever preaching on that subject.  How about you?

FROM MY LAWYER:  Procrastinate as long as you can!  Don't be in a hurry!====JACK:  A lot of people don't realize it, but there's a time clock for life on earth, too.  But there's a problem...the numbers are hidden.  How about if basketball and football games were played with a hidden clock?  Wouldn't that ne interesting?

FROM TARMART REV: Me too!! The best is yet to come!!====JACK:  ...and we're buying it, sight unseen!  Wow!  That is faith.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Dante Inferno was quite daunting.  Thankfully, we don't have to worry about our endings.  However, God is not to be mocked.  He is a Mighty Fortress!====JACK:  Have you ever had to stand before a judge?  It's quite a daunting experience.  Imagine what it must be like to stand before God as judge.  Maybe that describes fear.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 1/21/16
“If you fear God, you won’t fear humans.”  (Albanian Proverb)  A Gallup Poll askedrevealed what teens fear most: terrorist attacks, spiders, death, failure.  The #1 adult fear is fear of the unknown.  “What will the test results show?”  “Will I have enough money for retirement?”  The word fear is a homonym; it has two meanings.  When Moses “saw” God, was he afraid, or was he in awe?  I’ve was taught that God is my friend, and I don’t have to be afraid of him.    ;-)  Jack  

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Thanks, Jack! I'm continually made aware of what drives people to do "the right thing." Fear of the punisher or punishment is the driving force for some people of all ages. Jean Piaget talked about subjective and objective morality..very interesting to know that there are people who " do the right thing" without the concept of punishment.====JACK:  I've found, in my experience, that very few people do good, hoping to avoid God's wrath.  However, I've also found that more than a few people want receipts when making charitable contributions in order to avoid the wrath of the IRS.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  "we should so fear and love God".    What did Luther mean by "fear"?====JACK:  I don't know about Luther, but I always taught my confirmands that to fear God meant to respect and honor him, so that "you will have not other gods before him" etc.====JOHN:  I had the impression that he meant more like "be afraid".     Don't know.   Would not debate it.====JACK: It's interesting that you would have that impression.  I can't recall being "afraid" of God.  Someone must have explained grace to me at an early age.  Jonathan Edwards evidently didn't have that kind of teaching.

FROM TARMART REV:  Standing in awe, but not fear . . . Immanuel, God with us!! (Isaiah 7:14)
(v) There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus, NO, NOT ONE! No, not one!  None else could heal all our soul’s diseases, No, not one! No, not one!
(v) No friend like Him is so high and holy, No, not one! No, not one! And yet no friend is so meek and lowly, No, not one! No, not one!
(v) There’s not an hour that He is not near us, No, not one! No, not one! No night so dark but His love can cheer us, No, not one! No, not one!
(v) Did ever saint find this friend forsake him? No, not one! No, not one!  Or sinner find that He would not take him? No, not one! No, not one!
(v) Was e’ver a gift like the Savior given? No, not one! No, not one! Will He refuse us a home in heaven? No, not one! No, not one!
(Chorus) Jesus knows all about our struggles, He will guide ‘till the day is done; There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus, No, not one! No, not one!
====JACK:  "....He keeps me singing as I go."  Do you know that one?

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  "I will not be afraid. I will look upward, and travel onward, and not be afraid."    I did the "Butterfly Song" for kids time this past week. I need to work this one into kids time. These two are songs from my childhood that have persisted in my memory (at least fragments of them) and I still pull them out as needed for a little boost.====JACK:  Most of the songs that I quote as examples when explaing Winning Words are songs that I learned as a child.  The seed that you plant now can bear fruit in the future, if not now.  A famous theologian was asked to give an explanation for his beliefs.  His listeners expected an in depth answer with many theological terms.  He surprised them by simply saying, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Interesting and so sad teens answered terrorist attacks.  Gary said he is also fearful of the unknown and mine would be fear of something happening to the kids or grandkids.  However, no matter what our fears, we both know God is in control and He will be with us no matter what our fears.====JACK:  I remember when teens feared a nuclear war when missiles in Cuba were pointed at the U.S.  Each generation has its fears based on the situation of the time.  Fear is fear!

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  I think sometimes even though we know and believe Christ died for our sins, we are afraid because we have sinned.  Keep having to remind myself to repent and know that it will be OK.====JACK:  Sin evokes a sense of recurring failure for me, rather than fear of God's punishment.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i think god is our friend, too...====JACK:  The hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, is among the all-time favorites.  It started out as a poem sent by a son to his dying mother.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 1/20/16
“You gotta go to that happy place in your mind and remember--everything’s gonna be all right.”  (Daniel Schetter)  Daniel is that man who continues to surf the waves of Lake Superior all winter long, even with ice on his whiskers.  He believes that cold is all in the mind.  If you think Gitchigumi’s too cold, it will be too cold.  Negative or positive?  It’s in the mind.  As Proverbs puts it, “As one thinks in his heart, that’s what he will be.”  Surfing, anyone?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TRIHARDER:  I try to project my thoughts forward, e.g., 2 weeks hence, when I know I will have solved the problem, or implemented its solution.  Losing someone, though, I confess, is a bit more difficult to deal with.====JACK:  The mind sometimes has a mind of its own and will do things beyond our control.  "The best laid plans of mice and men...."  (From To a Mouse by Robert Burns)  Bobby had one of those great minds.

FROM TARMART REV:  ... I keep reminding myself that my cold sore fingertips when pushing the snow again on our driveway aside these past few days is just a figment of my imagination . . . must admit it does disappear thankfully when finding myself back inside our warm house once again.====JACK:  I didn't know that people got cold sores on their fingertips.  I thought that they only appeared on your face.

FROM JK IN CALIFORNIA:  Thanks so much for this one! Great words for a rough day yesterday! Evening is OK, just had major internet and computer issues that consumed the entire day and night on tech support with HP* Still isn't resolved, hope it will be soon!====JACK:  Sometimes we focus so much on the problems with things (like computers) that we overlook the blessings that surround us.  God is good!

FROM ANNE IN WATERFORD:  There is a lot of truth in this.  We treat depression with drugs.  We are  learning the mind and heart hold the peace and love.====JACK:  Judge Richard Bernstein spoke at WBHS on the occasion of the MLK Jr event and encouraged his listeners to celebrate the little victories when they begin to feel sorry for themselves.  He spoke from personal experience ...which made it real.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  HANG TEN!====JACK:  Have you ever done "the 10 thing" on a surf board, a skate board or on a basketball hoop?

FROM ANNEJ:  Perfect thought for today !  I'm sitting here waiting for radiation!====JACK:  I have a favorite book of "modern prayers."  I can't believe it's 50 years old, because it seems so up to date.  Here are some of the headings..."I know it sounds corny, Jesus, but I'm lonely...I want to be alone and not be alone, both at the same time...I find it very difficult to pray in this situation."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We were very impressed with him!  We used to swim in Lake Superior and let me tell you, it was a quick dip.   As for his quote, it was right on!====JACK:  How about those Finns who take a sauna and then go out and roll in the snow?  Have you ever done that?

FROM FLYER TG:  Maybe Hawaii Jack!!!====JACK:  Hawaii sounds great, today...but no surfing for me.  I'm a beach bum.

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  I will pass on that one.  but I have seen the guy on the news.   pretty hearty soul for sure...====JACK:  Anyone who winters in Arizona certainly would not change places with a guy who spends the winter swimming in Lake Superior.

FROM DB IN MICHIGAN:  Um, nice thought, but neurons tell us its cold to preserve our bodies to prevent frostbite and losing fingers, toes, nose tips, ears, or preventing hypothermia. Wouldn't you agree?  My toes protested vehemently one night and the next day after locking my keys in the car in January of 1996.====JACK:  I wonder if the "mind thing" is akin to those who walk on fire?  Could it work with cold, also?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/19/16
“If you step on people in this life, you’re going to come back as a cockroach.”  (Willie Davis)  Hall of Fame Willie had such respect for GB Packers Coach Lombardi that he would often ask himself, “WWLD?”  Today’s quote shows that he had respect for all lives.  It’s easy when things are going well to forget the less fortunate in this world.  In a humorous way he says that things will even out.  Think about that when you happen to see a cockroach.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ANONYMOUS:  Your WW today remind me of that novel by Kafka --Metamorphosis--I think it was when the main character becomes a cockroach. The cockroach has an alienated confusing life, mainly in his bedroom, as I remember reading the novel. I don't wish that on anyone, not even my worst enemy. Love everyone and pray and hope for the best for everyone.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  I think my wife may have a subconscious feeling that Willie Davis had it right regarding reincarnation.  Apparently it's linked to her early life, related to Buddhist thought to which she was exposed.====JACK:  Sometimes I think that our religious beliefs are truer if we have experienced G-d through more than one set of eyes.

FROM CZB IN NEW HAMPSHIRE:  Love this!  Must commit it to memory.====JACK:  What I'd like to remember is to be gentle with people.  Sometimes the most obnoxious are fighting a battle that we know nothing about.====CZB:  I so agree! I always try to understand the other person's point of view no matter how wacky it seems. I think it is a middle child trait. It makes it very difficult during election years! I've been going to a couple candidate's town halls trying to ask them about adding background checks for gun purchases. 86% of people want them and I'm having a difficult time understanding the other side! I did agree with Rand Paul on his point of executive orders though- you can't just like them when they favor your side.====JACK:  The problem with much of the candidates' "talk" is that it can't be accomplished without co-operation.  Of course, trying to be one who sees both sides of issues doesn't win polls.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Not sure if it was Willie, but I know one of Lombardi's players said this......"I love my Dad, but I don't think about him every day............but I think of Coach Lombardi every day of my life."  There are some "coaches" that have that effect on people - Lombardi, John Wooden, teachers, bosses.  They teach life skills, not just how to play a game or do a job well.   Some people don't know the price Vince paid in his family life for his coaching success.  Finding balance in life can be a challenge.  Maybe that's why it's always good to ask God for guidance.====JACK:  In Vince's list of priorities, he put God and family ahead of football, or so I've read.  I guess I admire him more for that than I do for his coaching success (although his success as a coach is hard to overlook).

FROM TARMART REV:  Speechless today as the day had gotten ahead of me.====JACK:  Speechless?  Put a red circle around that date on the calendar!  Just kidding!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I've stepped on a lot of things but never a cockroach.====JACK:  Did you mean stepped on, or stepped in?  

FROM THE BEAUMONT STAR:  MET WILLIE DAVIS AT A 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF ONE OF OUR FRIENDS WHO WAS RENEWING THEIR VOWS.  SURPRISING, HE WAS NOT THAT BIG WITHOUT HIS PADS.  WAS REALLY A NICE PERSON - A HAPPY PERSON.  PROBABLY AN OPTIMIST MEMBER SOMEWHERE.====JACK:  It good to know some "stars" can be nice people when they're out of the spotlight.  Willie also received an MBA from the University of Chicago School of Business.  Now, that's impressive!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 1/18/16
“When you are right you cannot be too radical.  When you are wrong you cannot be too conservative.”  (MLK Jr)  Was Martin a conservative or a radical?  Radical, in the sense that the civil rights changes he helped bring about were extreme.  Conservative, in the way that change was accomplished…through peaceful marches.  Too many permanently label themselves, conservative or radical, when certain situations call for a label that can be changed.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  My label for you is "Old Swede".   That says it all!====JACK:  As a matter of fact, I'm, half German.  Ask my wife, and she'll tell you that it's my dominant trait.  But, deep down, I'm just a trevlig gubbe.

FROM TARMART REV:  Thinking Jesus had a few that were labeled and changed as well-- "Sons of Thunder" come to mind rather quickly.====JACK:  ...and Peter was nicknamed, the "Rock," by Jesus.  I've also read that a nickname for Paul is, the "Big P."  It fits!====PAUL:  Sweet!! ====JACK:  "Sweet P?"  That's even a better nickname for you.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I think he was also an unofficial follower of Booker T. Washington, who said the way to freedom was "work, work, work".  Both were great men.====JACK:  The original Martin Luther said that "works" won't get you into heaven.  It's only by the "grace" of God.
====GEORGE: I wasn't thinking about life after death.  This is about earning a good reputation and a place of honor in our society. Rev. Wright is for "agitate, agitate, agitate" and so is Saul Alinsky in his writings.====JACK:  Conservatism and radicalism are both tools used to accomplish a purpose, whatever that purpose might be.  To use tools properly (as you know) is the best way to get a job done.
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  He is correct.  Labels are for cans of vegetables!  We are a mix of left and right!====JACK:  We got our label on the occasion of our baptism...Christian.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 1/15/16
“There are two kinds of worries—those you can do something about and those you can’t.  Don’t spend any time on the latter.”  (Duke Ellington)  I’ve read that worrying helps solve problems; it forces us to consider various solutions to issues.  A study showed that people seem to worry most between 9 pm and 3 am.  Is that you?  Money, looks, health, relationships, state of the world, growing old?  Some advice: “Count your many blessings…name them!”    ;-)  Jack
Worry is more than a definition.  You know it when you experience it.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  How does one define the term "worry"?====JACK: Worry is more than a definition.  You know it when you experience it.   BUT, I think Jesus says it best in the Sermon on the Mount..."Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."  Evidently the problem was a problem back then, too.====JOHN:  I think that section of scripture is about priorities but I wonder if the English term "to worry" is the correct translation.    It seems to me that "to worry" means something like putting an undue emphasis upon some future event.   Jesus seems to be saying that we should virtually no emphasis at all...virtually living in total spontaneity.    Is this even possible fir us?    I think not and is another example of the impossible ethic laid out in the NT.    It pushes us toward an abandonment of self fulfilled goodness and to total dependence upon the Lord.====JACK:  The average reader goes with the translation which is before them; the word is, worry.  There's another verse which says, "Fret not thyself about tomorrow."  What would you think about using fret instead of worry in the Matthew 6 passage?====JOHN:  I would think it says "Do not overemphasize the importance of the things of your life but concentrate on the things of God".....which, of course, we will never do....unless we are Mother Teresa====JACK:  It's a worthy goal.  BTW, I wonder if M.T. saw herself as "chief of sinners?"====JOHN:  Probably...maybe that is our problem....we don't see ourselves that way!!! ====JACK:  If I'm able to find some sackcloth and ashes, I'll send them to you.

FROM TARMART REV:  I've listened to many a sermons between 9pm and 3am . . . decided sometime ago to discipline me mind with something positive to listen to than turning and tossing with frustration that can wait until the morning.====JACK:  I guess you're right that some sermons do put you to sleep.  Oops!  ...but that's not your point, is it?  Yours is an idea that I haven't heard before.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Speaking of worrying, in the recent movie "Bridge of Spies", Tom Hanks plays the role of an American attorney tapped by the Federal Government to defend a suspected Russian spy back in the early 1960's.  The actor who played the Russian was great.  As Tom tried to explain to him how serious the charges were, the Russian seemed unimpressed.  Finally, Tom asks him - "Do you worry about anything?"  The response:  "Would it help?"   That has stayed with Gloria and I since.  Easy to say, hard not to do. All the more reason to turn it over to God and trust Him. ====JACK:  What a great illustration.....which reminds me of another.  "Worry is like a rocking chair.  It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere."

FROM ANNE IN WATERFORD:  I sleep between 11 and 8.  I wake up.  I thank God, trust in God and I am grateful for faith, memories, family, friends, health.  Winning Words are important to me too.====JACK:  24/7...God neither slumbers nor sleeps!  No "Do Not Disturb" sign on his door.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  The reassurance in the Sermon on the Mount is reflected in today's message from Jesus as it appears in Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I was given this book at Christmas and I find the daily talk with/from Jesus as presented in the book very helpful, especially in handling the ever present worries issue.====JACK:  Your reference to a "Daily Talk" reminds me of this song that I like..."Just a Little Talk With Jesus"  (You can YouTube it, too)

I once was lost in sin  But Jesus took me in
And then a little light from heaven  Filled my soul

He filled my heart with love  He wrote my name above
Just a little talk with my Jesus  Gonna make it right

Have a little talk with Jesus  And tell Him all about your troubles
He'll hear our famous cry  And He will answer by and by

When you feel a little down  You have a little fire burning
Well, have a little talk with my Jesus  Gonna make it right

You may have doubts and fears  Your eyes may fill with tears
Now Jesus is a friend  Who watches day and night

Well, He wrote my name above  And He filled my soul with love
Well, just a little talk with my Jesus  Gonna make it right

Let's have little talk with Jesus  And tell Him all about our troubles
He'll hear our faintest cry  He will answer by and by

Feel a little prayer wheel a-turning  You know, a little fire is a-burning
Let's have a little talk with my Jesus  Gonna make it right

Talk to Him  Talk to Him  You better talk to Him

Well, you may have doubts and fears  Your eyes may fill with tears
My Jesus is a friend  Who watches day and night

Well, He's gonna keep you safe  He's the answer to my every prayer
Just a little talk with my Jesus  Gonna make it right

Have a little talk with my Jesus  Tell Him all about our troubles
He'll hear our faintest cry  And He will answer by and by

Feel a little prayer wheel a-turning  You know, a little fire is a-burning
Have a little talk with my Jesus  Gonna make it right

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Nope, I'm not a worrier.  Our money is fine, my looks are great, as are my relationships, state of the world is marginal and I'm certainly growing older...but, I'm not worried.  That lady that looks back at me in the mirror isn't really me, I'm actually only 29 in my mind. ====JACK:  In 1930, the Carter Family recorded, "It Takes a Worried Man to Sing a Worried Song."  Since you're not a worrier, you probably don't know the song.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 1/14/16
“All I aim to do this year is better.”  (  Are you into making resolutions?  How’s it going?   Recently a related quote was handed to me: “A year from now you’ll wish you had started today.”  When we’re really serious about making changes in our life, it has to happen one day at a time.  I’ve read that if you’re going to move a mountain, you begin by moving the first stone, even if it’s only a pebble.  Basically, I aim to do better…starting today.    ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  Just what I needed to hear this morning. Thanks.====JACK:  Glad yo hear it.  How about a chapter a week in W W T A W W T A G?

FROM TARMART REV:  We'll do it together while apart!!====JACK:  I read recently that there are more stars in the sky than there are grains of sand in all the beaches on earth.  They'd make a pretty big mountain.====REV:  Interesting, to say the least . . . recently referred to something like that in one of my early morning FB posts. Thanks for the thought

FROM HONEST JOHN:  How can an old Swede improve?     I think you are virtually unimprovable.  ( is there such a word?)====JACK:  Somebody had to make up each word that is in the dictionary.  You might as well add one.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  30 days to make or break a habit.====JACK:  I wonder if AA subscribes to that?

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Resolved years ago to stop making resolutions. So far, so good. ====JACK:  When you're perfect, who needs resolutions?

FROM LH IN MICHIGAN:  Now that’s realistic.  And one day at a time is the best way to move forward in my experience, too.====JACK:  I wonder if Martin Luther needed to be told to take one day at a time.  Sometimes even the best of us need to be reminded that "the longest journey" is one step at a time.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 1/13/16
“Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo.”  (John Sinclair)  My temptation is to comment about tattoos, but Sinclair’s words are about failure and how to overcome it.  Jerome Kern wrote: “When my chin is on the ground, I pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again.”  There’s a  Schuller book, “Tough Times Never Last, Tough People Do.”  I’ve known some tough people in my life.  Perhaps you have, too.  They’re an inspiration for us to hang in there!    ;-)  Jack

FROM STORMIN' NORMAN:  Thanks Jack I'm one of those tuff people too.  Thanks for all the great words, my Starbucks friend Ted is enjoying them too.  See you this summer.  I now have a five year old adopted grandson named Jack.====JACK:'re one of those graduates from the "School of Hard Knocks."  You could write a book.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  You can't just ignore bruises and cuts.  You have to do something about them or they will cause a lot of problems.====JACK:  Some failures can be temporary, if we treat they as we do with cuts and bruises...but if we "tattoo" them, it will eventually take a major and painful effort to remove them.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Whoa....John Sinclair!  I knew him at Wayne State.  Can you imagine students waiting in line to get the latest copy of the West End.  He really shook things up! He was sent to prison over Marijuana...what a waste!====JACK:  I was wondering who'd be the first "radical" to pick up on Sinclair.  Isn't it interesting that yesterday's "hippie" becomes today's "hip?"

FROM CBer: Thank you ~  I'm not doing this alone.====JACK:  It's a great thing to know that while we might feel alone at times, God promises, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you!"

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Many times we learn more from our mistakes than our successes.====JACK:  Do basketball players subscribe to these words when the coach "benches" them?

FROM TARMART REV:  Have a few folk that inspire me walking through their tough times even today! Seemingly the more we personally reach out and add new people into our lives, the illustrations of such folk are added at a more frequent level. Perhaps those are the individuals and couples God's gives us for ministry!?====JACK:  Even "spiritual" people need their batteries recharged from day to day.====REV:  Always appreciate your daily comments, challenges and re-charging.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  It's not a failure if you learn from it.====JACK:  One can learn to be gracious in winning, too.  I don't like those who strut around, yelling out, "We're number one!"

FROM NAPLES:  Friday we go to court for M son's custody battle. We have helped him fight this tough battle for almost three years and sadly his ex wife gets nastier all the time. Here is where we embrace the chin on the ground tough times philosophies. We also pray hard for the right things to happen. If you can send a prayer our way it would be appreciated. Our little three year old great grand son is the light of our life.====JACK:  It was FDR who said, "When you come to end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."  The knot is your faith.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i wish you'd comment on tattoos...====JACK:  It seems that people with tattoos are trying to make some kind of statement.  Do you ever watch tattooed Danielle on American Pickers.  She recently got a rather large "statement" tat.  One of my grandsons has a tattoo of the Bible verse that he chose for his confirmation.  Some people use bumper stickers; others choose to use ink.  Some Jews believe that it is a sin to "stain" the body.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I'm reading "Woman in the Wilderness".  It's a collection of letters written between 1813 and 1891 about Harriet Wood Wheeler.  She was a missionary in upper Michigan.  Missionaries have always been such strong people both in fortitude and faith.  They were tough back then and they are still tough today.  pray for them!!!====JACK:  Many of God's people have tough jobs and need prayer support.  I like the song, "I Sing a Song of the Saints of God..... You can meet them in school, on the street, in the store, in church, by the sea, in the house next door;
they are saints of God, whether rich or poor, and I mean to be one too."====JUDY  How true.  I see saints wherever I go.  In fact, it's hard not to see them!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 1/12/16
“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”  (David Bowie)  Bowie’s last single, released before his death, began, “Look up here, I’m in heaven.”  Because he had been in an 18-month cancer battle, there had been time to contemplate death--and David probably used his well-known imagination.  “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has the mind conceived what God has prepared…”  What is your imagination of heaven?    ;-)  Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Wonder if he was a believer.  Do you think he was?====JACK:  As Pope Francis said about homosexuals, "Who am I to judge?"  I'll leave judging up to The Judge.

FROM TARMART REV:  "The best is yet to come!" I'm sure a worn-out phrase to many-- but "My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name!"====JACK:  If we knew "for sure," where would faith come in? ====REV:  Very true!! Gotta have faith!!

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  Though it's interesting to hear how people perceive it, I've never been able to imagine it. Everything that I come up with seems wrong. I cannot get my human influences out of it. What is perfect? What is beautiful? What is tolerable for an eternity?====JACK:  God created the human form of Jesus, so that he could show and tell his love for people...but God is greater than that "container."  Jesus is all that we need to know.  All that we need to know about heaven is that God has promised life after this life.  The details aren't important.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  The recent videos are disturbing to me but I so enjoy his art, his music, his inspired life.  Thanks for sharing the lyric.====JACK:  Have you seen his last single, Lazarus?  It really caused me to do a double take...and to see the Biblical Lazarus in a new way.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:Beyond description.====JACK:  1 Corinthians 2:9.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  It is the "Peace of God which passes all imagination".    ( I have seen that as a possible translation of Phil. 4)====JACK:  Word for word translations are good and necessary, but there's a place for thought translations, too.  I guess that's what a sermon is...basically.

FROM PRJM:  Thanks for what I consider a tribute to David Bowie, Jack.  Shalom====JACK:  It was more than a tribute.  It was meant to be an affirmation that God shows up in some unusual places.  Jesus had a habit of doing that, too.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Curious – do you have time to reflect more on the video.  I find it confusing as he comes out of the closet and goes back in – a reference to life and afterlife? Floating above the bed a reference to so many accounts of people with near death experiences or something else?====JACK:  I found the video fascinating.  My reflection is contained in my commentary.  Bowie would have to explain the real meaning.  The eye peering through the shroud were especially captivating.  But, in the end, it's song composed by one who is staring death in the face.  I wonder what that must be like?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 1/11/16
“6+3=9, but so does 5+4.  The way you do things is not always the only way.  Respect other people’s way of thinking.”  (Facebook Posting)  Management Consultant Steve Tobak writes, “Learning to adapt is the key to success.”  Whether it be in business, marriage, in how to live in a multi-cultural society…it’s built on adaptation, how to hold on to core beliefs and still accept (and maybe learn from) those that are different.  Remember: “E Pluribus Unum.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  Check out this video on YouTube: ====JACK:  Although this wasn't sent as a response to today's Winning Words, the thoughts expressed do seen to relate.  Ch-ch-change is part of life.

FROM TARMART REV:  ... a good instructive word for the beginning of this new week!! Thanks, Jack!!====JACK:   Every day (not just Monday) is a good day when we learn something.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  EXCELLENT!!====JACK:  I remember back in grade school...E (standing for Excellent) was the best grade you could get.  VG (Very Good) was next, followed by G (Good).  P (poor) was like an F.  I got one of those once.

FROM CL:   l like that!====JACK:  So if this were a Facebook posting, you'd click on LIKE?  Somebody suggested that Winning Words should be on FB, but I'm old-fashioned.

FROM YOOPER BOB:  Thanks!   I’m invited to speak at the high school Honor Society on Wednesday.  I plan on inserting this in my presentation.====JACK:   I'm honored!

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  There are millions of ways to reach nine if you think negative. Guess.====JACK:  I was never good at math.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  To each his own as long as there is no harm done.====JACK:  That's true, but I'm still haunted by this Marguerite Wilkinson poem...
“I never cut my neighbor's throat;  My neighbor's gold I never stole;
I never spoiled his house and land;  But God have mercy on my soul!
For I am haunted night and day  By all the deeds I have not done;
O unattempted loveliness!  O costly valor never won!”

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The key is holding onto core beliefs.====JACK:  Even core beliefs need to be re-examind from time to time, not necessarily to change them, but to make sure that they are relevant to the world in which we find ourselves.====JUDY:  Very true!  It's good to examine our beliefs and make sure we are still on the correct road....the road to Heaven!

Friday, January 08, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 1/8/16
“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”  (FDR)  I learned to drive using a stick shift, a brake pedal, a clutch pedal and the gas pedal. The tricky part came when I had to stop on a hill without stalling.  Brake, clutch, gas.  Brake, clutch, gas.  Have you tried it?  Kill the engine and the cars behind start honking.  A President (Democrat or GOP) finds that out when he’s “driving” the country.  It’s the same.  Honk!  Honk!    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Can you go forward by going backward?   (this is not a rhetorical question but a question of ignorance)====JACK:  Sometimes when you reach a dead-end you have to retrace your steps in order to move forward.  Perhaps you remember the song..."Will you remember the famous men,  Who had to fall to rise again?  So take a deep breath,  Pick yourself up,  Dust yourself off,  Start all over again."

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  There’s a story (perhaps true, perhaps urban legend) that a bank robber left his car running but accidentally locked himself out. When he discovered he couldn’t jump in his car, he hijacked an adjacent car, forcing the occupant to leave. Unfortunately for him, it was manual transmission, and when the police arrived minutes later he had only progressed partway down the block.====JACK:  It would be interesting to see today's teen driver get into a stick shift car and try to operate it.  Perhaps it would be like me trying to send a text message.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  I was teaching my youngest daughter(who was 21 at the time, she had her license at 16) to drive a stick, as we were coming up a slight rise the traffic light at the crest was turning yellow, she would not make it through by the time it turned red, this was the conversation:
Her: I’m not stopping
Me:  you won’t make it
Her:  I’m not stopping
Me:  you have to stop
Her:  I’m not stopping
Me:  Stop
Her:  no
Her:  no
Me: (silence, at this point I closed my eyes)
She stopped, she stalled, she got it started, we drove away
We laugh about this a lot, she’s 32 now and drives an automatic
====JACK:  Oh, the joys (and remembrances) of being a teaching parent!

FROM TARMART REV:  A few year ago now, I took a bus to Little Rock, AR to pick up my son's car and drive it back to Minnesota . . . a stick shift . . . hadn't driven one for many years . . . we decided I would drive it around town the day two I was there . . . a little embarrassing having the car die a couple times, not coordinating the "brake, clutch, gas!! 0;-/====JACK:  I had that same experience with a friend's about being embarrassed...with him standing there!

FROM CB IN GAYLORD:  Brake, clutch, gas -- that brought back memories of learning to drive on a VW bus. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.====JACK:  Mary's brother used to tailgate semis while driving his VW bus, thinking that he would get better gas mileage.  Ask N if it really worked.
====CB:  I asked him. He chuckled and said that it probably did. We had lots of fun with that bus. It did not go much over 50 mph and was like a sailboat on windy days. But it sure was roomy for the 4 kids and all the "stuff" we hauled around.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I remember it well!  Loved that hill going up to Kellog from Shepherd’s Rd.  It was AWFuL!!  I was always thankful when that light was green!====JACK:  Driving was really challenging when you had to "learn" to drive.  No turn signals, either.  Arm out the window...Up, right; straight out, left; down stop.  Or, was it up, left?====MARLYS:  Up-right   Down- stop    Straight out—stop!  I still remember!  What a pain!  Ha!====JACK:  Check answer #3 again.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Our grandson Joshua can drive a stick.  He's 16.  Someone from  his church gave him a car which hadn't been driven for a year.  It was filled with mouse nests including one that had baby mice in it.  Josh cleaned it all up and with the help of his dad, got it running. ====JACK:  A car like that is what memories are made of.

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  My husband got a manual transmission when we were first married. He taught me hills by going to the theater parking structure on campus on a Saturday morning. Up and down the ramps I went. I did ok with the stopping. It was starting without stalling (or rolling backwards) that worried me.====JACK:  It seems as though most stick shift learners have had the same problem, but, like with everything else, practice makes perfect (almost).  I thought it interesting that no picked up on the "honking at Presidents" reference...or honking at any leadership.====LBP:  I saw it, but am not in touch with politics right now so I've got no clue who could use a little honking these days. To extend the driving analogy, I tend to reserve honking for a last resort or if there is an impending crash to alert someone about. In my life, I may have written 2 letters 'honking' at government officials.====JACK:  I'm not a "honker" either, but I do have opinions.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 1/7/16
“To err on the side of kindness is seldom an error.”  (Liz Armbruster)  Life isn’t always easy, especially when we know what’s the right thing to do, and we don’t feel like doing it.  Someone cuts us off…or, snaps at us.  What did Jesus mean: “Turn the other cheek?”  Or, “Pray for those who take advantage of you?”  At times it seems easier to force a camel through the eye of a needle.   Liz says that we can never go wrong when we do the kind thing.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  "Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees"====JACK:  God is a God of grace (yeah!), but he's also a God of judgment (whoa!).  "When did you see me in need and offered (or, did not offer) kindness?"====JOHN:  I think that "kindness" is sometimes used to translate "chesed"..... Which is also translated by "mercy".     That is a very complex word in the OT.    God's mercy is sometimes seen as justice rolling down like waters.    We are in dire need of that mercy as we face the Grim Reaper and stand before the judgment seat.    I think in part that means right now standing up for what is right. best as we can understand that.    I can't condemn Luther for standing up to the users in the church.====JACK:  Since you are a Shakespearean "expert," you know the lines in the Merchant of Venice..."The quality of mercy is not strained."  Mercy should be freely given and not constrained, or forced.  Grace is a quality of God that we should seek to emulate.

FROM TARMART REV:  ...especially when later I find out it was me who didn't have all the correct understanding in a certain situation and in being happy I hadn't revealed my ignorance by being unkind with my actions. 0;-/====JACK:  As the song goes....
"Open my eyes that I may see  Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key  That shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for Thee,  Ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my eyes, illumine me,      Spirit Divine!"

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Most people are kind, don't you think?====JACK:  I don't know about most people, but most of the people I hang out with are kind.  I wish that most politicians who are running for office would be kinder...but I guess that doesn't add up to votes.

FROM WATERFORD ANNE:  Agree.====JACK:  "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

FROM MY LAWYER:  Every good thought and prayer has its time and place.  Would Liz have turned her cheek on Hitler during WWII who was trying, in a maniacal way to overrun Europe and the world; nor can we pray for ISIS who is driving Christianity from the Middle East and, like Hitler, is trying to impose its fanaticism on the world.  Times dictate appropriate responses.  At least that's my view.====JACK:  It's one thing to ask the question (turn the other cheek) in the abstract.  Reality is something else.  A German Lutheran, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, helped plan an assassination of Hitler.  Bonhoeffer was eventually placed in prison and was hanged just days before the Allied liberation.  When Jesus was crucified, he prayed, "Father (God) forgive them (the ones causing his death), for they know not what they are doing."  In the abstract, I don't think that I could do that.====ML:  We are on the same page!!!  No wonder I love you!!!====JACK:  Someone said that the job of a pastor is comfort the afflicted to afflict the comfortable.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  i think i have shared our school rules with you before, but it's always good to hear them again.  be kind to everyone.  be kind to everything.  be kind to your self.  and our motto is..."we are caring, sharing, loving, peaceful people".  to hear these words come from the mouths of babes is precious and gives me hope for a kinder and gentler future.  speaking of kindness...i received a lovely little book from an earth angel.  it is a wonderful life.  thank you!
====JACK:  You are one who tries to practice what she preaches.  One of the ways is to distribute car magnets which read, "Kindness Matters."   Only the future will tell how your teaching of the children will affect the world.

FROM JAN IN SUNNY PALM DESERT:  Good Morning and Happy New Year!!!.  God has blessed me today by getting your message.====JACK:  Sorry to hear that your computer's been down.  But evidently things are working now.  Happy New more ways than one.

FROM DC IN KANSAS:  We need your word.  I wonder about immigrants, terrorists, Muslims etc.  Should I add Politicians, Republicans, Democrats?  Maybe this is the most important word to hear today -- love, forgive.====JACK:  Even though our Michigan governor has pulled back the Welcome Mat for Muslims, today's newspaper has a story and a picture of some Muslims helping out in a Detroit church's Food Kitchen...feeding the hungry and the homeless.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  whoever heard of erring on the side of kindness? Kindness is a deliberate act.  Rather obtuse.====JACK:  All I know (obtuse or not) is that you'll seldom go wrong by being kind, even if the person you're being kind to doesn't deserve it.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's never ever wrong to try kindness but there are reasons not to.  Sometimes it's dangerous:  stopping to help has dire circumstances sometimes and sometimes it's dangerous for the majority.  I would never want to be the one who makes either choice. ====JACK:  I guess it really was dangerous for the Samaritan to stop and help the man who had been beaten and robbed.  Why do you suppose he did such a thing?====JUDY:  He was full of kindness and compassion.  Just because something is dangerous doesn't mean people won't step in to help.  My son-in-law does it all the time as a firefighter.====MORE JUDY:  I thought you'd like this Pin on Pinterest..."Do not pass by a man in need, for you may be the hand of God to him."  (Proverbs 3:27)====JACK:  Perfect!  It fits with my reference to the Good Samaritan.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 1/6/16
“Enjoy the little things in life, because one day you will look back and realize they were the big things.”  (Kurt Vonnegut)  GM’s CEO, says that there are about 30,000 parts in a modern car.  Each part has its function.  The ignition switch is just one.  We’re a combination of parts -- people we’ve met -- experiences we’ve had.  Our type of faith experience can be like the car’s ignition switch.  It may seem like a little thing, but, in reality, it’s the big thing.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV: ...sometimes nowadays I'm in need a jump-start!!====JACK:  "Whisper a prayer in the morning...."  That should get you going.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  So true! I wish I had written more things down, as one does forget...When I re-read my travel journals, I remember so much more!  I remember once when I had two little boys, I was embarrassed that a "jammy" handprint had been missed, when I cleaned for my older Bible study group in Elgin, and a grandma told me she had  a similar print in her kitchenette and couldn't bear to wipe it off, as it was such a delightful memory of her grandson's visit. She said, "Cherish the prints, and messes, as they grow up so fast! " Which I tried to do, and which they did!
====JACK:  It's strange.  Most responses remind me of songs.  Yours..."Little things mean a lot," sung by Kitty Kallen.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Oh how we love the little things in life!  The little things are what we remember so well.  The smells of my grandma's house whether she was cooking or my grandpa was experimenting with different plants to make beer (not so nice of a smell), Martha's house in Grayling smelled so wonderful as she baked bread to sell.  And the little things the kids and now the grandkids do to make you laugh and rejoice when they talked and walked and played!  Thousands of wonderful moments in life!====JACK:  Remembering little things...I remember a little ornament that hung on my aunt and uncle's Christmas tree.  It was a wax figure of the comic strip character, Skeezix.  His head had broken off and was glued back on.  He was hung on the tree with a piece of string that was wrapped around his neck.  It's amazing how we can remember little things.====JUDY:  I have the wedding topper if my Great Grandmother and Grandfathers wedding cake.  I have my grandma's and grandpa's too.  My mom used their wedding topper.  It was two Cupie Dolls in wedding garb.  It's a little thing which means so much.  My mother designed a ring with my dad's mother's (Ruby Chappel) diamond, my grandmother (mom's mom) (Mildred Sorenson) diamond, Mildred's sister (Agnes) diamond, my mom (Eileen Chappel) diamond and my diamond.  They are tiny diamonds except for my Aunt Agnes' diamond (she was a jeweler).  It's not worth much but it is my most wonderful many memories!

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 1/5/16
“When the Grinch discovered the true spirit of ‘Christmas’ his small heart grew 3 sizes that day.”  (Dr Seuss)  Did you know that an act of kindness can have a positive health benefit?  A study has shown that being kind can add to physical well-being…so, smile, give compliments, volunteer, let someone go ahead of you in line, write an unexpected thank you.  If kindness helped Grinch, it can help you and me.  BTW, in your Whoville, how has it worked?    ;-)  Jack

FROM LG:   Good Morning, Good Pastor!  You might want to watch....Glen Campbell - Try A Little Kindness     ====JACK:  Good lyrics!
If you see your brother standing by the road
With a heavy load from the seeds he sowed
And if you see your sister falling by the way
Just stop and say you're goin' the wrong way
You've got to try a little kindness yes show a little kindness
Yes shine your light for everyone to see
And if you'll try a little kindness and you'll overlook the blindness
Of the narrow minded people on the narrow minded streets
Don't walk around the down and out lend a helping hand instead of doubt
And the kindness that you show every day will help someone along their way
You've got to try a little kindness...
You've got to try a little kindness...

FROM TARMART REV:  ...does wonders in pleasantries to one's disposition!!====JACK:  Are there some examples of how your kindness shown to shoppers at Target and WalMart is given back to you?====(TO BLOG READERS) Each year an anonymous donor gives money to TARMART REV to distribute to people who he deems to be in need.====REV:  Here is a copy of my report to those who contributed to the Christmas money gift cards....Please find below an accounting of the Christmas distribution you certainly blessed many with. I purposely tried to use the element of surprise, watching carefully for those I thought would genuinely appreciate being thought of in this way. I did have three or four come back in immediately, see me the next day or as one was found messaging me on FB telling me I would never know how much the gift blessed her, A couple responders had tears in the eyes, along with a hug. Thanks again for thinking of others in such a generous way this Christmas season. With five contributing individuals participating, including myself, $3950.00 was distributed in $50, $100 and 2 being $200 increments.====JACK:  Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  I don't know as I am still waiting for you to be nice to me...........................; ====JACK:  Somebody has to try and keep you humble.

FROM DMF IN MINNESOTA:  I like the Grinch show.====JACK:  Grinch came in #5 on a list of the greatest TV cartoon characters.  The preceding 4 are probably favorites of yours, too.  #1 Bugs, #2 Homer, #3 Rocky, #4 Beavis.  

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  My Father told me that it is always “no lose” to be a gentleman.====JACK:  He should know, because he was a gentleman....with a great smile, too.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Kindness never hurt anybody!====JACK:  How about Roberta Flack's song, "Killing me softly?"

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My mom used to say;, "It doesn't cost you a thing, to be kind." We kids kept that in mind, and it does bring positive feelings, both ways! I like how Oprah Winfrey put it, "Be the rainbow in someone's cloud today"...that paints a colorful image,  doesn't it?!  I'm off to church to set up for a funeral luncheon for 110 people. That is a kindness our church provides in time of sadness!  Whoville lives on, I believe...====JACK:  You would do well as an actress in the play, "Things My Mother Taught Me."  In fact, you could probably write your own version.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  One of our favorite kindness acts are to pick up the tab for soldiers or policemen.  Living by Selfridge Air Base, it's easy to do.  What's hard is trying to remain anonymous is some of our little restaurants around here.  Also, it's fun to pick up the tab at Tim Hortons.  I truly believe we enjoy it much more than the receivers. Thee is nothing so satisfying as doing something nice for someone else!====JACK:  Has anyone ever done that for you?  

Monday, January 04, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 1/4/16
“As I walked out the door to my freedom I knew if I did not leave all the anger, hatred and bitterness behind that I would still be in prison.”  (Nelson Mandela)  As we walk into the New Year, it would be well to follow Mandela’s example and leave behind that which has kept us from being the best that we can be.  It is possible to let the past be the past and to live life in a new way.  Let that be our resolve.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Always learn from the past.   Try not to let it choke you but instead to free you up for a wiser today and tomorrow.====JACK:  "You gotta know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em."  You gotta know what part of the past to hold on to...and what part to discard.  It's not always an easy lesson to learn.====JOHN:  I don't think you have "to hold on to" any part of the past.   You have to learn from it.    Just reading SPQR by Mary Beard.  (I recommend it) .,.much to learn from Rome's experience...especially about income inequality.====JACK:  Of course, it is good to learn from the past, the good and the bad.  I also "enjoy" remembering the past, just for the fun of it.

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Appropriate timing. Very smart.====JACK:  Think of what Mandela accomplished when he chose to "walk away."  ...first non-white President of South Africa...ending of apartheid...Nobel Peace Prize.  Why is it that so many of us can't "let go?"====HY YO:  You are so spot-on, you have no idea.====JACK:  Could it be the Spirit of G-d?

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  Thank you so much for those winning words today.  I am facing attending the funeral of one of A's cousins this week, representing her.  I'm  sure her brother and sister will be there, who have been more than unkind to me. They do not visit or even send cards. I am  in contact with the cousin's family so I  will attend and hold my head high.     I did not cause A's condition and will walk beside her through  this terrible  disease. No matter what!====JACK:  It's not easy to let go of anger, hatred, bitterness...But, it's been shown that it's better for us--physically, as well as mentally and spiritually.  Later this week Winning Words will advise  that it's better to err on the side of kindness.

FROM TARMART REV:  Yes, Sir! That will be my resolve! "Free at last; free at last; thank God Almighty we are free at last!”====JACK:  Yes, sir!  MLK Jr saw the the value of walking away from "a fight" peacefully.  And it was called a "Freedom March."

FROM CB:  Thank you again, Jack for words that help me to live my life in better ways.====JACK:  They're called "Winning Words," because I choose them (most of the time), thinking that they can help the readers live a better life.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  ...And what discipline that must have taken for him!  We probably can't begin to imagine!  As Mahatma Gandhi observed, "The weak can never forgive.  Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."  The world is often not a kind place, which we learn even as children, and which we try to help our own children understand and deal with in a positive way. What an inspiration Mr. Mandela still is!====JACK:  Three examples of Mandela's forgiveness.  1) Had lunch with a man who tried to have him killed.  2) Invited a prison guard to his inauguration as President.  3) Asked a former jailer to dine with him, marking the 20th anniversary of his release from prison.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Mandela's words express an underlying spirit of forgiveness, a decision to eliminate the option of hate and revenge.  Doing that clears the mind to concentrate on some serious objectives in life.  At the end of WW2, one of the sailors who had fought in the Pacific, came home and married my sister.  We heard from him how the Japanese had sunk two of the ships on which he served, bringing him close to death.  Despite those incidents, he had a cheerful, positive attitude, and was determined to have an accomplished life.  He contributed a lot as a member of our family.  I asked him once, why he had no ill will against those who had tried to destroy him and his navy buddies during wartime, and he told me essentially what Mandela said.  My brother-in-law realized that holding on to anger and bitterness would be like carrying on the war, so he was determined to put that behind him.====JACK:  The "creed" of the Optimist Club reads, in part:  "Promise forget the mistakes of the past and to press on to the greater achievements of the future."  Evidently he has been able to do that.