Monday, March 14, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 3/14/16
“The fact that there’s a highway to hell and a stairway to heaven says a lot about expected traffic numbers.”  (Shower Thoughts)  The Pope made news when he said that Christians don’t build walls.  How then does the Christian respond to a humanitarian crisis?  There’s no easy solution.  Jesus said that it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.  But he also said that there’s a way…to love God and to love your neighbor as you love yourself.    ;-)  Jack

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  When I was in College I was Vice Chairman of the National Newman Club Illinois chapter..My priest at college and I had many great discussions and I challenged him often, but one thing he told me always stuck. The problems we face in life are the rungs to the ladder to heaven.  Its not supposed to be easy but is supposed to be worth it.  He was very influential in my college years as you were and still are to me in adulthood.  Keep up the good work, but on occasion be nice to me just as a change of pace.====JACK:  Do you remember the Old Testament story of Jacob's ladder and how it reached to heaven...and the song that's based on it, "We are climbing Jacob's ladder?"

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Are we on the road to Hell in this election.   Imagine putting the power of the US Armed forces into the hands of a demagogue!    I talked to an ELCA preacher yesterday who told me he voted for Trump.    Surprised the "Hell" out of me.====JACK:  How about suggesting to that preacher that he wear a WWJD wristband when he goes into the voting booth?

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Good thoughts, Jack.====JACK:  I thought it interesting that today's quote came from a site called, Shower Thoughts.  Thoughts come to us in different places, don't they?  ====GEORGE:  Most of my concentrated thinking happens when I spend 2 hours cutting my lawn - no one bothers me then. 

FROM TARMART REV:  I use a phrase similar to this one often-- "God calls us many times to take the stairways and forego the elevator!"====JACK:  Detroit fire fighters have an contest to raise money for the American Lung Assn.  They see who can climb the fastest, in full gear, to the top of the 71-story Ren Cen building.  Each one raises at least $100 to compete.  That could be a great fund raiser for the church, with pastors competing.  What's the tallest building your city?====REV:  I get out of breath just thinking of that, however this one of the drills our firefighters have to endure to pass specs...I'm not sure which building is chosen though.====JACK:  Does the chaplain have to do the same drill?

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  by not building walls.====JACK:  Here's one of my favorite poems..... MENDING WALL by Robert Frost
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
"Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbours."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbours? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down." I could say "Elves" to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbours."

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  The Pope says Christians don’t build walls, but there happens to be a very tall wall all the way around the Vatican.  I don’t think pagans built it.====JACK:  Pope Francis was not Pope when the Vatican wall was built, but that's not the point.  He was talking about the figurative walls that we construct to keep others out...for whatever reason.  In Mending Wall, Robert Frost writes that we should build a bigger wall to take in those who were being walled out.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I hope I get my other knee fixed in time!====JACK:  From what I read, heaven is handicap accessible.

FROM KANSAN DON:  Does this apply to the "bully pulpit"?====JACK:  I don't like a bully in the pulpit or on the debate stage.====DON:  I decided to Googel his name today.  I guessed he had been a governor, and learned that he signed the Education Bill that prohibited teaching of evolution -- leading to the Scopes Trial.  He died in office at age 51 in 1927.  By the way, what can "trump" that bully pulpit?

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  we should have a hiway to heaven and a small trap door to hell! ====JACK:  Picture you standing on a trap door as you face God on the day of judgment.  In spite of your sermons on Grace, would your knees be knocking?

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  I really liked this one; never even thought about the highwy to hell compared with the stairway. Nice juxtaposition.====JACK:  In Michigan, we have a community (in the U.P.) called, Paradise, and one near here, called Hell.  In fact, Hell (which has a chapel) was recently offered for sale for $999,999.====BB:  Hell, the chapel….or the entire town for $1M?
Wow, who knew?  I like the quote, Paradise is both underneath our feet as well as above our heads ~ Thoreau.  This seems more apt, the older I become.  Seeing things differently as I’m on the back nine!====JACK:  I like the Thoreau quote.    The sale includes the Scream Ice Cream Parlor, the Helloween Souvenier Shop and the Wedding Chapel.  One winter day a couple stopped in to get married, because she had said that it would be a cold day in hell when she'd marry him.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Oh My! Scary thought; I keep thinking unconditional love will triumph in our judgement.   When our eyes are opened to all the things we could have done; the person we could have become in life, compared to what we did do, and became with our limited understanding, we will judge ourselves, and regret our "sins of omission". Meanwhile, in my old age, "I'm dancing as fast as I can!"====JACK:  What kind of dancing do you suppose there will be in heaven?  Do you remember the movie scene where the Blues Brothers and James Brown danced in the church, even doing flips down the aisle?

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