Friday, April 29, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 4/29/16 (Arbor Day)
“May the Forest be with you!”  (Pinterest)  George Lucas said that he put The Force in Star Wars to awaken a kind of spirituality in young people who might not get it in other ways.  “May the Force be with you” is a variation of “May God be with you.”  On this Arbor Day we are reminded that the forest and each tree is the result of God’s force.  BTW, I read recently that it is possible for trees to walk…sometimes as far as 65’.  May God walk with you today!    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  walking trees?====JACK:   A Ripley's Believe It Or Not describes some trees in a forest preserve in Ecuador that move across the forest as much as 65 feet as they grow. ====LIZ:  Yikes!

FROM TARMART REV:  I might suggest you not climb up in one of those trees at home and ride along . . . you may have some visitors in "white coats" stopping by at the request of some of your neighbors!!====JACK:  TV's Animal Planet has a show, Treehouse Masters, which features builders of elaborate treehouses for people who want to live in a tree.  One of the houses had running water and a living room with a 12' ceiling, and it cost $60,000.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  A walk in the woods is a spiritual experience.  For me it brings tranquillity to think deeply, and if you stay for a while you'll find peace of mind.  The Japanese word "mori" translated into English is "forest".  Speaking of trees walking, I know a "forest" that walks tall. ====JACK:  I never asked, but I suppose that's the reason your son is named, Mori.  I like it better than Wald (German for forest).

FROM HONEST JOHN:  My dad just loved trees....interesting for a man who grew up in a sash and door shop and who worked as a lumberjack and in a sawmill as a young man.  (In the Army).     We had eleven acres and they were filled with trees.    We also had fruit trees.    So I grew up with a love of trees.    Still love them and try to take good care of them.    Harder to do as the years accumulate! ====JACK:  I wonder if a vegan's concern for not using animal products (meat, eggs, milk, etc) carries over to cutting down trees and using the wood for building materials?  Similarly, I wonder if trees have feelings?====JOHN:  Ultimately, the world seems to dictate that some parts of creation,it's due so that others can survive....kind of a tough reality.====JACK:  I guess the question remains...What do we need to survive.  It reminds me of that scene in the movie, The Jerk, where Steve Martin goes through all the things that he really needs.

FROM JFC IN GRM:  Haha I see what you did there!====JACK:  May the Force (God) be with you!

FROM TL IN MICHIGAN:  Jack, you are always so spot on.  Check out this forest-  I hope that those who read the blog will take the time to access the "forest site" that you referred to.  It's the most interesting thing that I've heard of in a long, long time.  It certainly relates to today's Winning Words.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i think that i shall never see,  a poem as lovely as a tree....   who first said that?====JACK:  A boy named, Joyce?

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  We have walking garlic in our Southfield community farm. The stems grow bulbs at the top and then when they grow heavy they fall to the ground sometimes a foot away and take root there. That's how they move across the field.. Walking trees seems very feasible too. Must check out the website. May the force be with you too.====JACK:  We marvel at the way human beings are created.  God created garlic, too.  Each of his creations has a reason behind it, although we may not yet know the...why?.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Nice day for a stroll!====JACK: I'm reminded of this song:
My God and I go in the field together;
We walk and talk as good friends should and do;
We clasp our hands, our voices ring with laughter;
My God and I walk through the meadow's hue.
We clasp our hands, our voices ring with laughter;
My God and I walk through the meadow's hue.

My God and I will go for aye together,
We'll walk and talk just as good friends do;
This earth will pass, and with it common trifles,
But God and I will go unendingly.
This earth will pass, and with it common trifles,
But God and I will go unendingly.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Interesting facts!  I didn't know either item...George did raise awareness of the Force, which we like to think is God.  I know the oak trees in Florida don't grow up but they grow out...sometimes as much as 100 feet...but I didn't know trees had "feet"!====JACK:  In Genesis the question is asked..."Is anything too hard for God?"  A tree walking 65', or Sarah giving birth in her 90s?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 4/28/16
“The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and influence their actions.”  (Alexander Hamilton)  Penney’s dept store was first called, The Golden Rule Store, because each clerk was told to use “The Golden Rule” when waiting on customers.  A new store has opened in our area.  I’ve been in there on several occasions, and every time a clerk has greeted me and asked if I needed help in finding something.  What causes you to return to a store?    ;-)  Jack

FROM OPTILOU:   What new store?====JACK:  ACE Hardware on Walnut Lk Rd near Inkster.  It's my new go-to place.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  To get along with others and be a positive influence in their actions...that seems to be a good rule to follow in all our day to day activities with people.  I return to stores where the personnel indicate they appreciate that you came in, and can provide answers when you have questions about their products.  The big stores these days are so determined to increase profits that they don't have clerks around to give assistance when you need it.====JACK:  I go to a cafe where they call me by name when I come through the door.====RI:  Jack, you are the type of person that everyone who knows you takes pride in having you for a friend.  I frequently look back to those times I shared with you face to face, and the insights I gained from your enlightened nature.  I truly admire you.

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Amen====JACK:  Speaking of Amens, I always made it a point to personally speak to visitors when they showed up at church...or to direct other members to speak to them.

FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  When I had our drug stores (Owl Drugs-"We give a hoot about your health!" was our motto)  All our clerks were instructed to ask:  Is there anything that we didn't have that you came in to purchase?  In fact,we even offered to make sure that we'd get them anything they wanted the following day even if I had to buy the product from one of our competitors.====JACK:  I'll bet you were the only drug store that had hooters as clerks?  BTW, when did Owl go out of business in the Detroit area?  Was it merged?  Was your's a Rexall store?  I suppose you knew that the 1 cent sale started in a Rexall store in Detroit.

FROM CPA BOB:  When the staff go out of their way to make things right.====JACK:  We are who we were.  How we were brought up does make a difference.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I seem to return to stores that provide something that meshes with values I hold. Often that might just be because I am trying to support local family businesses and jobs in the community. Some of my favorite tv literary situations are places like floyds barber shop in Andy Griffith or flos restaurant in Alice or such where business and community mesh Maybe then money takes a more rightful pace in the hierarchy of values and human relationships also. ====JACK:  When I served as an interim pastor in Flint, the church president was African American and a barber. I stopped in at his shop for a visit.  It was crowded with lots of talk and laughter, a happy place.  This world would be a better place, if we'd just allow ourselves to have new experiences and meet new people.

FROM TARMART REV:  Sometimes its their popcorn!!====JACK:   The smell of popcorn always gets my attention when I walk into a store that's popping it.  Who has the best...Walmart or Target?====REV:  Target is the only retail I'm aware of outside the salty theater popcorn. We have popular gas station that has it always popped, available and free while getting gas for the car. Both are very good.

FROM DMF IN AV:  I used this quote to lead off a Vincentric meeting today.  Thanks!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 4/27/16
“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, but there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”  (Dita Von Teese)  I read this week that one reason teens are addicted to Facebook is that they want to be “liked.”  In the “old days” when we didn’t get enough likes, we’d say:  “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, Guess I'll go eat worms.”  A  pastor used to close each worship service by saying, “Remember, God loves you, and so do I.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  ...and if God loves us what else do we need?  Hard to remember that some days when the world seems against us. Maybe that's why I look forward to WW's so much - always gets my day off to a great start.  Thanks====JACK:  From one of my favorite songs....
Could we with ink the ocean fill,   And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,   And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above   Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,   Though stretched from sky to sky.

FROM TARMART REV:  ...always somebody will...try perhaps to appease, but don't use it as your only criteria of worth and value to others... ====JACK:  I'll bet you can remember the names of those (or the one) don't like you.  I can, as can most of us.

FROM CZB IN NH:  I love the way different Pastors choose to close their services. One of my favorites:  "Shalom, go in peace and serve the Lord."  What a great weekly send off :)====JACK:  At Holy Spirit in West Bloomfield, there's a sign as worshipers leave the parking lot..."GO IN PEACE, SERVE THE LORD."  I also like this pastoral sending..."Go in peace...Remember the poor."

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  Like.====JACK:  Do people ever "Dislike" on Facebook postings?  ====LIZ:  they now have like, love, funny, wow, & angry as options.====JACK:  You still have the option to "Unfriend" someone.  Have you ever done that?====LIZ:  never. i have been unfriended over my libertarian politics by liberals a few times, tho. one re-friended me after reconsideration.  a shame when people can't discuss, disagree without its getting personal.

FROM JB AT LSTC:  My mother taught me that song, with a slightly different wording: Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I’m gonna go eat worms. Big fat juicy ones, little bitty slimy ones, oh, how the big ones squirm!====JACK:  When I was in 1st Grade I didn't need Facebook to tell me that Duane Hebble didn't like me.  One day he came up to me and said, "Just you wait.  After school I'm going to be waiting in the bushes across the street, and I'm going to beat you up."

ROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Boy I haven't heard that saying in a long time!!!  We cannot be offended by all of the "stuff" going on in this world.  We must keep going and try the best we can to be the best we can!====JACK:  If you don't like the stuff going on...change what you can...or go eat worms.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Bill had an attractive polished wooden sign put up above all the exit doors at our church, saying, "YOU ARE NOW ENTERING THE MISSION FIELD".  It was a good reminder of what we were about!  They are still in place, today...  (Since your blog today talked about closing the worship services.)====JACK:  We don't hear much about Mission Fields anymore.  Maybe it's because the seed that was planted in the past has taken root and grown.  However, we do still have missionaries.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 4/26/16
“It’s good to shut up sometimes.”  (Marcel Marceau)  Marcel the mime was influenced by Charlie Chaplin who was a master of telling a story without words during the silent movie era.  Marcel appeared in the Mel Brooks’ film, “Silent Movie,” and spoke one word, “Non.”  I read that at his funeral Mozart piano music was played and very few words were spoken.  We all need to reminded at times of Marceau’s quote.  I prefer Mozart over a rant, anytime!     ;-)  Jack

FROM MY LAWYER:  Marcel Marceau was a child of the holocaust.  His rise to fame was heroic and legendary.  Check out this website:  Pretty remarkable.====JACK:  Many comedians come out of tragedy, and many are Jewish, too.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Our parents often quoted "If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all!"  I wonder why Marcel was so quiet?!?====JACK:  Maybe it had to do with his Holocaust experience.  The terror would tend to leave a survivor speechless.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Shakespeare preceded Marceau by many years, expressing essentially the same wisdom in the literary language of his time..."More matter, less art!"====JACK:  While I don't agree with Ralph (another one by that name) Kramden when we said to Alice's mother:  "YOU ARE A BLABBERMOUTH! A BLAAAAAAAAAAABBERMOUTH!!", I did laugh when he said it.  Some see a connection with some of today's politicians.

FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA:  Please e-mail this to Donald Trump.====JACK:  I do have a few friends who probably have his e-mail address, because they're fans of his....which goes to the heart of today's quote and cartoon.

FROM JMK IN CA;"  Nice last name====JACK:  Maybe he didn't include the "s" because it's silent.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  No truer words were never spoken.====JACK:  Sometimes the words were spoken to me in Swedish when I was a "mouthy" kid..."Tyst med du!"====CHESTER:  Vas ist los?====JACK:  Literally: "Quiet with you," or "Keep your mouth shut."  I understood the latter.

FROM CS IN MICHIGAN:  Love this!====JACK:  I love M & M's...Marceau and Mozart.

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA:  Good morning, Jack.  So true, and there are so many public figures right now who would do the world (and themselves) a favor by doing just that!  I remember that moment in Silent Movie. A shocker!  (Akin to the biography ‘Harpo Speaks’.)  Have a good day. ====JACK:  One of the great TV inventions...the MUTE button, or the electronic channel changer.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  as I recall the movie,  the phone rang and Marcel said "hello".  just one word spoken in the whole movie.  could i be wrong about this?  just curious... ====JACK:  I remember a church joke about a child saying to his mother, when the offering plate came..."If we pay him, will he shut up."

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Here with our daughter and son in law and new grandson and this remarkable iPad with the iPad.. We are trying to get to know our grandson so we can babysit him and give his parents chance to have some time just them too a bit. Appreciated your we this morning. The rants are upsetting.. When Alex is crying hard actually and we know he has had food and his diaper is ok and we just assume it is gas and that the best division is to hold him through it it takes a lot of care and hope and prayers. Actually, I know some adults whose lives seem to be silent movies and the keep a lot inside them and we keep muddling through joined together by hard telling if I am guessing correctly about what they are communicating in their silent movie. Personally, I am always hoping and praying that they will grow more able to share their needs and feelings with me in ways I can receive more accurately and respond to better.. We are doing ok down here but grateful to be grandparents and that Alex has such in tune parents exclamation mark.====JACK:  Yes, it's easier to quiet a crying child when all you have to do is change a diaper.  With adults, it's not as easy.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 4/25/16
“Fight for your opinions, but do not believe that they contain the whole truth, or the only truth.”  (John V. Morley)  Jim Benton’s cartoon below shows how friends can stay friends.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  That is why the far left and far right are scary.   How can one compromise if one is in possession of "the truth"?====JACK:  Less scary is my belief that there many more of us who understand that a peaceful world is one that embraces compromise.

FROM CZB IN NH:  Love it.====JACK:  It's just like your Dad and me.  We could enjoy our donuts, knowing that each of us was firm in our political persuasion, and no talking (soft or loud or logical) was going to change either of us.  We just talked about other things.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  👍🏻====JACK:  Maybe it's from my role as a pastor, but I try to understand where people are coming from.

FROM DM IN LIV:  Great message!  Thank you!====JACK:  It's fun to express your opinion, especially when someone's listening...and agreeing.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I've been in this situation many times and do agree that it feels more peaceful to agree to disagree. But my favorite situation is being in bible studies or a group which is trying to be centered on something which transcends all the participants and hope and pray for that which truly unites and binds us all together to ,in fact, change us. Actually, I believe more in people being able to peacefully change than just living side-by-side in disagreement.====JACK:  What really bugs me is not the sharing of opinions, but the presenting of something as fact when it is untrue.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Yep - we can agree to disagree and still care for each other.  Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsberg were a classic example. Often on opposite sides of the issue but close friends and great respect for each other.  If we all did that we could indeed have peace in the world. ====JACK:  I wonder who Clarence Thomas relates to?  Morpheous?====RS:  Not sure - probably not Anita Hill, however.====JACK:  I'd almost forgotten about her.  Confirming Supreme Court justices tends to be messy business.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I have many friends like that.  Ha!====JACK:  I know where you stand politically and religiously.  You are a firm believer in both stands.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I am with you on that but that presupposes folks with whom we can compromise.  The Tea Party seems to reject compromise all together.  It sounds like a lot of Bernie people might be there also.====JACK:  I was hoping that we'd had enough of stalemates; sadly, intransigence seems to be more popular that ever...and I don't see a change coming anytime soon.

FROM WATERFORD JAN:  With some people agreeing to disagree doesn't really settle the issue--it just smolders.  With others, it is a satisfactory means of ending a disagreement that allows cooperation in many other areas.====JACK:  I'm in favor of the second.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Loved the cartoon!  As far as I'm concerned, they are two very smart people!  It's okay to agree to disagree but still be good friends!  I go to lunch once a week with my next door neighbor and she and her husband spent 10 days with us in Florida.  They are completely opposite us in many things but especially politically.  We are still very good friends.====JACK:  It is possible to have friends with opposing views, but most of us gravitate toward those who generally agree with our opinions.====JUDY:  We are still good friends because Gary and I choose not to be offended by their politically charged talks.  Shutting up is the best thing we can do for our friendship.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 4/22/16
“God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.”  (Martin Luther)  Recently I saw the picture of a computer chip, smaller than a fingernail, which contained the entire Bible.  It is meant to be worn as a piece of jewelry, so you can always have God’s Word with you.  When I was a teen I belonged to the PTL (Pocket Testament League).  We pledged to always carry a small New Testament with us.    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  do you still carry one?====JACK:  I carry it in my mind.  The PTL helped shape my life in the growing up years.  Now, it is "Godly" people like you who continue to shape my life.  We are ever changing...That's life.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  Happy Earth Day!  =Oh, and thanks God for the trees, flowers, clouds, and stars! ===JACK:  I chose to post today's Earth Day quote, even though I was tempted to use a Prince one.====MARY:  I am wearing a purple scarf and raspberry t shirt today. I can't find my beret. I was shocked by yesterday's news.====JACK:  Anon said, "Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. So, dance until your feet ache, laugh until your side hurts, say I love you to those you love. for tomorrow may never come."

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  I heard it this way -- and I found it to be quite accurate and pleasant: The revelation of God's Word is in the holy scriptures alone. Still, God's character can be found in the systems of physics, chemistry, biology, etc., and the beauty of sunsets, the majesty of earth's terrain, and the awe of the universes! I think this is a good way hear the Word of God, as revealed, and see God, as revealed.====JACK:  The Spirit of God speaks in many languages...some not even spoken.
He even shows himself to those who may have no "eyes."  No wonder he's called, Almighty.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Prince died as you well know.  he was quite an icon here in MN and also elsewhere.  think it was a drug overdose.  why do these guys work so hard to kill themselves? ====JACK:  I haven't heard the cause of death.  I read today that the number of suicides in the USA has zoomed (one every 13 minutes), and I'll bet most of those aren't musicians.====SP:  at this rate,  it total about 40,000 persons a year.   soooo  sad...sadly, a lot of them are Vets.   ptsd is still rampant.  as many as 1 in 5 return soldiers.   the cost of war and the insanity of war.====JACK:  There's still a need to preach "hope!" and to advocate for better care for the mentally challenged.  

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  Then ideally we allow it to be written into our hearts.====JACK:  Ideally, people will see that God is beyond words in a book...which is  not to dismiss the Bible...only to emphasize the omnipresence of God.

FROM TARMART REV:  Even now we are so blessed to carry with us and placed on our phones, countless translations at our fingertips...====JACK:  I don't know that having the Bible downloaded on your I-Phone counts as carrying it with you.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Do you still have the pocket testament?  I have a blue leather one somewhere and carried one with a colorful “good shepherd” picture for a while.====JACK:  I don't have the one I carried as a teen-ager, but I do have one that I used when I visited the shut-ins.  I don't use it any longer, because the print seems to have shrunk in size.  A pastor friend has the Bible loaded into his I-Phone...which can control the print size.

FROM JT IN MINNESOTA:  I always learn something from you.  Thank you for your teaching.  I love the message.====JACK:  There are learning opportunities all around us.  Jesus said (Mark 4:9): "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."  It wasn't written down, but he might also have said, "She who has eyes to see, let her see."

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 4/21/16
“Talent is God-given; be humble.  Fame is man-given; be grateful.  Conceit is self-given; be careful.”  (John Wooden)  Wooden is best known for being a great basketball coach.  But he was even a greater human being.  Did you know?  He was married to wife Nell for over 50 years.  After her death he visited her burial site each month for 25 years and would write a love letter to her after each visit.  One of his rules for life:  “Make each day a masterpiece.”    ;-)  Jack    

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Did you know that he was a three time All American at Purdue?====JACK:  Not only a great coach, but a good player, too.  He once made 134 consecutive free throws...probably underhanded, too.  Another of his rules for life...Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings each day.

FROM QUILTIN' CAROL:  Like the positive idea of making each day a masterpiece but sometimes in our mundane life of daily chores how do we achieve that masterpiece?  Finding something of beauty or wonder? Seeing a little child smile or explore the world? I think yesterday my masterpiece was watching 4 young people carrying on a lively signed conversation at Mall of America.    I thought of my niece in her mid-40s going to school to become a sign language interpreter.  She was just named to the Dean’s List at her college.  Watching those young people brought back so many fun memories of my childhood as we had neighbors who were deaf and my niece’s grandparents were also.  We learned early not to pity them because they were enjoying their lives too.====JACK:  Just as with art...We each see our own masterpieces.  Sometimes it's in the Louvre...sometimes it's a child's drawing put on the refrigerator door with a magnet.

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Very good line. Never seen it before. I like it!====JACK:  It's always a good day when we come across a new thought, a new vision or a new friend.  How about this poem?
Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.
New-made friendships, like new wine,
Age will mellow and refine.
Friendships that have stood the test-
Time and change-are surely best;
Brow may wrinkle, hair grow gray;
Friendship never knows decay.
For 'mid old friends, tried and true,
Once more we our youth renew.
But old friends, alas! may die;
New friends must their place supply.
Cherish friendship in your breast-
New is good, but old is best;
Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Never heard of John Wooden until you quoted him today.  His words about talent, fame, and conceit strike me as words of wisdom, worthy of our introspection.  I'm not sure about "[making] each day a masterpiece" but each day we live should be treasured.====JACK:  John Wooden is perhaps the most famous basketball coach...ever.  But, more importantly, he was famous for being a great teacher and gentleman.  It would be well for you to Google him...especially his personal life.  If you were to ask some sports nut to name even one famous architect, they would probably be similarly nonplussed.====RI:  Thanks, Jack, for bearing with me regarding my general disinterest about the sports world, and for the brief you provided about John Wooden.  At your suggestion I'll check into Google for more information.====JACK:  In this nation, where so many are obsessed with sports, it's refreshing to know someone who has other concerns.  While Wooden made a living by being a basketball coach, his "real" life was away from the sports arena.  That's why I recommend that you begin to know more about him.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  I have never heard one negative word coming from  any of the players he coached.  He was a father figure to so many!====JACK:  Those were different times.  The game has become more of a business.  College, for many, is only a place that you have to put up with before moving on to the pros.  Not for all, thankfully.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  The Wizard of Westwood would be one of those people I would have loved to have spent an evening with.====JACK:  Steve Allen developed a TV show, Meeting of the Minds, where actors, dressed as famous people of the past, would appear on the program and discuss history, philosophy, religion, politics, science....Plato, Aristotle, Luther, Marx, Darwin, Voltaire.  Wooden never appeared, but that would have been a good interview, right?

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  VERY interesting – he was quite a fellow.====JACK:  Vince seemed to be like him in football.

FROM JB IN SCS:  I love this quote!!====JACK:  There were so many good ones.  It was hard to choose.  For example:  "Build a shelter for a rainy day."  That would be a good one for your business.

FROM KANSAN DON:  Good words for today!  I think of this with politicians , preacher, and me. ====JACK:  I believe that Wooden crafted it for basketball players.  But conceit is a problem for many who are in the limelight.  As, parents sometimes remind their children: "Don't get too big for your britches."

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 4/20/16
“Sometimes God has a kid’s face.”  (Sr Mary Rose McGready)  Sr Mary Rose was called “The Mother Teresa of street children.” She spent most of her life being a friend and advocate for homeless kids, taking literally the words of Jesus, “Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these, you have done it to me.”  I think that most of us would be more serious about our “faith” if we saw the “face of God” in the face of those who need help.  I know that I would.    ;-)  Jack

She had come in to pick up a food order for her family.  She also asked for some personal care items which we were able to give her.
He came seeking a birth certificate and ID as he had been in prison and had lost track of those items. Suzanne also noticed that his jacket was prison issue. And gave him a brand new warm winter jacket and work boots to replace his prison shoes. It is much easier to walk the streets of Pontiac if your clothing does not identify you as a person who has been in prison. He was so grateful.
She had finally secured a place to live with her three children after living in her car.  We helped her with her security deposit and promised to deliver furniture to her home. She was so relieved.
He came into the office today needing some food. He went through the food we gave him and selected the food he could eat. He had some health issues and has to be careful. He was disappointed that we did not have a better variety of soups.  He wanted me to call the VA pharmacy and order prescription refills as he is legally blind and cannot read the numbers on the pill containers. He is a very intelligent man.  He is actually an MD, but cannot practice medicine due to mental illness. He lives on social security and lives alone. He needs our support.  He is sometimes a bit demanding and difficult. Reminding myself that it is Christ in front of me makes it a bit easier.
He came in very angry because we did not give him the rest room key and he had to go down to the first floor. He wanted to know the name of the building manager and anyone else who needed to hear his complaint.  Suzanne calmly explained the reason for the policy. Then she asked how we could we help him. He left with a smile on his face and grateful for CCRT. He no longer felt the need to write the nasty letter.
Christ came in August. She needed school uniforms for her four children. We were able to give her a brand outfit for each child and a used one also. She left with school supplies and smiling faces too. We are blessed to be the "middle man" passing on generous contributions.
Christ called on the phone today to offer donations of furniture. He came in bringing in many used books in good condition to be given to our clients.
I also see Christ in the faces of the wonderful, friendly, caring volunteers who warmly greet our clients and help to find answers to their problems.
Christ comes in every day needing furniture for an empty house, food, clothing, pots and pans, or she may need blankets or a bicycle to get to work or to look for a job. He could be looking for help with an eviction or she may need help with a utility bill. We help every time we can, but sometimes we can only give a listening ear, a hug,or a recommendation as to where to go for help.
Usually thanks abound, but occasionally it is forgotten. No matter when we see Christ it makes all the difference.
I also see Christ sitting before me in the beautiful Women for all Seasons who care so much about their neighbors in need who live in Pontiac.
====JACK:  I also see your face in the face of Jesus....You're one of the most caring persons I know.

FROM MM IN FLORIDA:  Jack, thank you for all your winning word but especially for the two words today! Mother Teresa on faith and the seeing the face of God.  And the proverb on being able to move your feet which is part of my exercise for keeping mobility.====JACK:  An unexpected message from a old friend has a way of bringing added sunshine to the day.  The clock goes backward, and I remember when we worked together on various committees.  I remember your dad and the service he did in politics.  He was one of the good ones...with a ready smile.

FROM ANNE IN WATERFORD:  Sr. McReady ran Covenant House in New York for many years.  Thank you for Winning Words.====JACK:  Since your spelling of the Sister's name is different from the one I posted, I had to look it up.  We're both wrong.  It's, McGeady.  But that's not the important thing...It's the work that she did.

Jack’s Winning Words 4/19/16
“When you pray, move your feet.”  (African Proverb)  In an old-time horror movie, one of the frightened characters yelled, “Feets, get movin’!”  …and then he started running.  Whether it be in a prayer or in some other situation when action is needed, it’s important to remember that “actions speak louder than words.”  Most of us are good at offering opinions on what should be done.  But, it’s the follow through that counts.  How can I make this a better world?    ;-)  Jack

FROM  TARMART REV:  ...stepping out this morning, with this in mind!!====JACK:  Do you remember the Sunday School song...
Trying to walk in the steps of the Savior,  Trying to follow our Savior and King;
Shaping our lives by His blessèd example,  Happy, how happy, the songs that we bring.
How beautiful to walk in the steps of the Savior,  Stepping in the light, stepping in the light,
How beautiful to walk in the steps of the Savior,  Led in paths of light.
====REV:  I do...that song made it the Sunday Morning Worship services on many occasions. I'm even singing it this morning now!!====JACK:  See!  I know many of those AG "rousers!"

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I am reading a new book, entitled 1946.   Hi think you would like it.    We were just kids then and probably had a very different perspective.   Yet it is great background for understanding much of what is happening in the world right now====JACK:  In 1946, I received my call (it was a phone call from my pastor's wife) which led me to become a pastor.  For me, it made all the difference in the world.====JOHN:  Interesting.   It was a year in which my Dad almost died...ruptured appendix and gas gangrene.   It made a huge difference in our lives also.   It marked the point at which my Dad became a real influence in my life.    My mother, however, was always the major fluency and a major reason (as I look backward) why I, too, became a pastor.

FROM MY LAWYER:  I know how you can make this a better world.  Keep moving!!!====JACK:  I start off each day with a series of exercises.  They help keep me moving.

FROM PC IN HAWAII:  Hi Jack. Joe and I are in Hawaii and yesterday we came upon numerous homeless in a park. What  impressed me was their pride in their home; they swept debris, picked up trash and we're taking g the time to tidy up so much of what the rest of us overlook. Homeless. The face of God. I am blessed to interact with them.====JACK:  Maybe we should refer to "them" as, houseless people.  The earth is home to all of us, so in a sense, no one is homeless.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Feet are marvelous weapons for kicking ass.====JACK:  I once attended a service at a "poor farm" where the music was provided by a Wheelchair Choir.  All the singers were wheel chair bound.  The choir was directed by Billy Burns who had no hands and no feet.  I can still see him in my mind directing that choir.

FROM JT IN MI:  Hi, my friends.  I just reread "Sometimes God Has A Kid's Face".  It never gets easier.  Opinion seems to be a part of Judgement.  One feeds on the other and both are difficult to let go of.  Much praying!!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 4/18/16
“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.”  (Malcolm X)  It’s strange, but I recall where I was when I heard that Malcolm X was assassinated.  The 60’s were tumultuous times, and he was part of it.  It’s been said that “we are who we were.”  The events of over 50 years ago still influence America, and today’s events will echo into the future.  It’s the same way with our lives.  Our tomorrows are being shaped by our today.  Let’s ponder that!    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  "Our tomorrows are being shaped by our today."  Remembering that today as I've been called by Railroad Chaplains USA to drive two hours to Wadena, MN to console a family losing their 16 year old daughter hit and killed along with her pet dog while walking along the railroad tracks.  What I've discovered thus far by Googling on FB, a seemingly sweet young lady. She was well liked and a member of the Future Farmers of America chapter there in her home town. I'll give you an update tomorrow.  I was surprised to hear from them. Its been over a year since the last call. That was the train/bus accident up by Grand Forks in North Dakota.====JACK:  While we should plan for tomorrow, we should not be overly concerned about it.  Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount...  "So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today."

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  One of my hero's is Booker T. Washington, who promoted racial equality by "Work, Work, Work," and not "agitate, agitate, agitate".====JACK:  I agree that Booker is a great role model, but I do smile at how you are able to work your agenda.  I hope you will pardon my agitation.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  did you ever read his life's story in the book entitled Malcolm X?   i think that was the title.  a very sobering insight into what it was like to grow up in Harlem (and in prison) and how he came to despise America and how he became a Muslim?   very insightful reading.====JACK:  That's why I wrote, "we are who we were."  Often we're quick to pass judgment on people without knowing the whole story.  Given other circumstances, his life might have turned out differently.  The same goes for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.====SP:  i once saw an amazing program entitled, You Are What You Were When!  the thesis was this:  we all have a value system that governs most of our life and it tends to solidify somewhere in our mid to late twenties.  hence the title, You are what you were when your value system became "set"  and those values will stay with you for the rest of  your life.  i this this is all very true...====JACK:  After writing the Winning Words and receiving some responses, I took time to review my life….IT’S TRUE!  I am who I was.

FROM FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR:  I remember the 60's well!  The time has come today ...................... ====JACK:  Today is tame (by comparison).

FROM DAZ IN DENVER:  To me the 60 s were the Apollo program, lunar landing and later Apollo 13. But I do remember tanks on the freeway over pass when I went to work. I like the Apollo memory better.====JACK:  The moon landing (and return) was scary and thrilling at the same time hear you tell it.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 4/15/16
“No water, no life.  No blue, no green.”  (Sylvia Earle)  In trying to understand how blue and yellow become green, I came across the word, disambiguation, “making sense of something.”  Do you have some puzzlers?  Are you looking for a disambiguator to give you some answers?  Back to the color theme…How can the blues (sadness) turn into the greens (gladness)?  I read of one way: “Try hanging out with people who make you forget to look at your phone.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  What is this thing that people constantly walk around looking at their phone.  I can't  stand it!  Mothers taking children to school pay no attention to them.====JACK:  It's like sitting at the computer all day, and who wants to do that?  I've seen it in church, too.  BTW, do you have an I Phone?

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  Disambiguation or bafflegab? that is a choice that seems mostly to be made in favor of the latter.  Choices remind me of a line I have always enjoyed by Max Shulman (I think it might be from Barefoot Boy with Cheek). Around 1940 or so, the protagonist falls for an American Communist and goes with her to one of their cell meetings. There, the firebrand leader says something like “We have to decide whether to continue to grovel in the slime of reaction, or march up the People’s Road to the Sun!” I have dropped that (unidentified) into conversations a few times over the years, and enjoyed the reactions.====JACK:  Bafflegab!  I like it.  We're hearing a lot of it during our political campaigning...which will go until Nov, and probably beyond.

FROM TARMART REV:  “Try hanging out with people who make you forget to look at your phone.” -- Will work on that, Jack!!====JACK:  I seem to recall that you have an I Phone.  Have you developed the habit of regularly checking it for something important?

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Happiness is a frame of mind. Get out your miter box.====JACK:  Do you mean that happiness is a picture frame?  I thought that happiness is a warm puppy.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Jack’s Winning words 4/14/16
“If you haven’t found something strange during the day, it hasn’t been much of a day.”  (John Wheeler)  The other day someone told me that it’s illegal in Michigan to fish with worms as bait.  Now, that’s strange.  I was told that it’s a way of keeping invasive species out of certain trout streams.  Ripley’s, Believe It Or Not, is known for reporting strange things, like animal oddities.  I’ve read that apes are ticklish, just like some humans (that you may know).      ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  "Ripley’s, Believe It Or Not"...I'm reminded of our one and only trip to Florida for a time of vacation and we stopped at one if their attraction stores in St Augustine, FL...I left there calling it "Ripley’s, Ripoff!"====JACK:  We have to be careful in our church services, when we present "The Greatest Story Ever Told," that a visitor might walk away saying, "What a ripoff!"  It is serious business that we are in.  We must do the best job possible.

FROM CJP IN MWKE:  Good morning Jack: How long have you been doing Jack's winning words?  Have you saved them all?  Did you make a book?====JACK:  I began probably sometime in 1993, after retirement, and most of them have been saved.  A book was published, but is now out of print... believe it, or not!

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  It's only illegal to use worms on certain sections of the AuSable otherwise all bait including worms are legal.  That's because the fishing on the river is catch and release ====JACK:  So...if a little kid takes a stick, some string and a hook with a worm on it and fishes, he can be arrested by the game warden?====HH:  Ha Ha   The reason for this is that the fly fishing community fishes for sport not eating, they usually use barbless hooks and very light weight equipment, they wish to protect the habitat and not pollute the water with foreign organic matter, plus they consider it an unfair advantage to the fisherman to use organic bait. You are seriously looked down upon if you use worms. The worst epithet someone can use about you is that you use worms.  Fly fishing is a club unto itself.

FROM DAZ IN COLO:  I'll remember that I case I run across a sad ape.====JACK:  ...or a sad wife.

FROM FI TG:  Kind of a "fishy" story Jack!!!  Just kidding!!====JACK:  Believe it or not...The expression, "something's fishy," is a reference to the fact that fish products do not smell bad until they begin to spoil, but may look completely fine.  In other words, something feels wrong in a way that isn't completely obvious.  It does feel fishy that a kid can't fish with worms, but it's true in certain places in Michigan.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD: Who wants to eat something that eats worms, anyhow?====JACK:  Turkeys eat worms, and what would Thanksgiving dinner be without turkey?

FROM A SCIENCE TEACHER:  The earthworm is an invasive species, not found in North America before the "White Man" came.  I was told that in a college lecture years ago.  Also I have read that you cannot be tickled by someone you don't trust. I wonder if apes are the same?====JACK:  I suppose we are an invasive species, too.  I think it's interesting that when someone is extremely happy, they are referred to as being tickled pink.====ST:  I don't think "people of color" would relate to being tickled pink. Remember when Band Aids were flesh colored (pink/tan).  When I was taking genetics in college in the 60's we had a skin color chart with names for all the tone from white to black. Most had nice names like cream or coffee or coffee with cream. When they put my arm next to the chart I matched with "Swine Pink".  I was upset that everyone else in the class had nice sounding color and I was a pig. We all had a good laugh

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 4/13/16
“It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.”  (Jefferson)  T.J. had a unique view of religion which continues to influence us today.  He was the one who proposed a wall of separation between church and state.  It’s why many immigrants have come to America.  He looked for moralisms in the Bible, believing in a religion that was to be lived.  Edgar A. Guest wrote what Jefferson believed.  “I’d rather see a sermon that hear one any day.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM YOOPER BOB:  I agree with Guest.====JACK:  I knew Edgar's son.  Edgar wrote a poem everyday for the Detroit Free Press.

FROM TARMART REV:  The Apostle Paul wrote, "You yourselves are our letter of recommendation written in your hearts and read by everybody." (II Corinthians 3:2).====JACK:  I learned this verse a long time ago... "You are writing each day a letter to men; Take care that the writing is true; Tis the only gospel that some men will read--That gospel according to you."

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  recall the old VBS song:  Do You Know O Christian you're a Sermon in Shoes?       or the old line: " you may be the only Bible some people ever read".   good thoughts for the start of a new day... ====JACK:  "A sermon in shoes!"  I like it.  A children's book, in the shape of a shoe, has this song...
Do you know, Oh Christian, you’re a sermon in shoes?
Do you know, Oh Christian, you’re a sermon in shoes?
Jesus calls upon you, to spread the gospel news,
So walk it, and talk it.
Live it, and give it.
Teach it, and preach it.
Know it, and show it.
A Sermon in Shoes.
====SP:  that's it exactly!!   thanks.  i even had a bunch of shoes for the kids to really get the message...

FROM HONEST JOHN:  TJ was a massive hypocrite who kept slaves, used them for his sexual satisfaction, fostered children by them but didn't even treat his children fairly.   He Aldo was a ruthless politician who ate up his enemies.    He pushed state's rights to protect the institution of slavery.    He opposed federalism except when he thought he could use it fir his purposes....e.g., the Louisiana Purchase.    His cousin, John Marshall, saw him for who he was and had no use for him.====JACK:  He also had a Holey Bible.  He physically cut out those portions of the Bible that  he didn't agree with.  I guess you depict a "Holey Jefferson," pointing out those portions of his life that you don't agree with.  St Paul writes (Rms 3:10) that "no one is perfect, no, not one."====JOHN:  However, one who makes a big deal out of his ethics and way of life ought to be judged according to them....the salesman needs to sell a product that he actually subscribes to.... ====JACK:  The Church continues to suffer from the hypocrisy of its members and pastors.  Granted, no one's perfect, but blatant  un-Christ-like behavior turns seekers away.  Having said that, if a modern "Jefferson" came to you and wanted to join your congregation, how would you respond?  Or, if an "ordinary" person wanted to join, are there any restrictions?====JOHN:  No!     The sermons and teaching ministry would be used to help us think thru what Christian conduct should be.    And, of course, we have the confession of sin at the beginning of every service!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'd love to lay my hands on that song, "A Sermon in Shoes". I don't suppose those books are still for sale...A great song even for adults! Yes, so true, we have to walk our talk, or no one will listen to what we profess to believe, and since we aren't perfect we don't always do a  great job of it! And then there are those who heap praises on our heads, and almost idolize us, when we know we don't deserve that kind of adulation; we're just ordinary folks, TRYING to live a life of love....====JACK:  Through the magic of the internet, you can order from A BEKA BOOK, a songbook (Bible Song Visuals) which includes these time-tested favorites:
All Things Bright and Beautiful
Away in a Manger
The B-I-B-L-E
The Birds upon the Treetops
Books of the New Testament
God is So Good
The Gospel Train
Jesus Loves the Little Children
Oh, Be Careful
Sermon in Shoes
When Your Cup Runneth Over
The Wonder Song
Your senior group might enjoy singing them.

FROM KANSAN DON:  I have heard that the quote was not a "wall" but a"line of separation."  I checked it -- so this is my recollection.  I prefer "line" because there is a conversation needed between faith/God and government.====JACK:  "Something there is that doesn't like a wall," wrote Robert Frost...and you.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There were plenty of times I would rather have seen a sermon than heard one.  LOL!  We were taught to be the person God would want us to be, but we had a tough time sometimes doing the right thing.====JACK:  Try changing places with the pastor on a Sunday and see how it feels.====JUDY:  No thanks!  Working at a church as its secretary taught me it's a no win job sometimes.  Pastors have to have hearts of gold and the patience of a saint!!!====JACK:  I had many secretaries in my ministry...and not a bad one in the lot.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Jack’s Winning words 4/12/16
“One song can bring back 1000 memories.”  (Mojo TV)  If there’s one song that I like among many, it’s Over the Rainbow, a song of hope, describing a place where dreams come true.  It was that for Dorothy.  It had special meaning for its Jewish composers, Arlen and Harburg…an end of the Holocaust, a return to the Promised Land.  I see it as a foretelling of Heaven.  Favorite songs are usually those that touch the heart.  Is there one song that does that for you?    ;-)  Jack

FROM PC IN WBMI:  Sachmo - " It's a Wonderful World".====JACK:  "Skies of blue" reminds me of that first picture of the earth taken from outer space.  I like Louie's gravelly voice.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I love The Tennessee Waltz and The Old Lamplighters among others====JACK:  Two unexpected choices...but that's what I should expect from you.  I like them, also.

FROM TARMART REV:  I have a whole repertoire of them . . . always enjoy having a song in my heart to call upon when found in joy or in sorrow!! Thanks, Jack for the reminder of a blessing!! ====JACK:  But among the repertoire, is there one that evokes 1000 memories, more or less?
====REV: “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!”

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  I love over the rainbow also. One song that Rob always dedicates to me when he sings it is " To Dream The Impossible Dream from the musical Don Quixote.  I love it , "to dream the impossible dream to fight the unbeatable foe , to go with your last ounce of courage and go to where no man has gone" etc. It really is a song of dreams, determination and desire to achieve  and overcome adversity. If you don't remember the song, pull it up on the computer. I think you will like it.====JACK:  I remember going to a high school graduation where there was no featured outside speaker.  Some of the students spoke about what "To dream the impossible dream" meant to them.  I think that the class might have sung the song together.  I can't recall a lot of graduation ceremonies, but I'll always remember that one.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  my all-time favorite is To Dream The Impossible Dream from the Man of LaMancha.  it is so uplifting and encouraging despite all the struggles of life.====JACK:  I'd be surprised if you'd never used the words of that song as an illustration in one of your sermons.  ====SP:  i often did as a matter of fact. and I also used the illustration of how the delusional old man changed the self-loathing Aldonza into the beautiful Delcinea by his totally unconditional love for her.   as God changes us with his love for us.   indeed.  its a great story..====JACK:  When I was at a workshop in Garden Grove, Schuller used that same illustration.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  I am always uplifted when I hear the words and music of "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Rodgers and Hammerstein's show "Carousel"====JACK:  It may be only one memory, and not 1000, but that song reminds me of the words of Jesus, "Lo, I am with you always, to the end of the earth."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I love  the hymn "SHINE, JESUS, SHINE"!  The upbeat tune, and  the meaningful will be sung at my memorial service, when that time comes!  Also that great hymn "Once to Every Man and Nation". There are so many wonderful songs out there, both secular and sacred, and music has been such a big part of my life, as public school music teacher and church choir director that I am hard put to name ONE favorite!  But, I, too, love "Over The Rainbow".  Many of my students (Jr. High) sang that for contest over the years, including my g.daughter Abby (now 26 and a wife, mother, and Nurse Practitioner) who  rated a first superior, with that lovely song!  Today I celebrate my 86th, and great g.daughter Avery, her 6th!! So Happy birthday is our favorite tune!====JACK:  The birthday song is said to be the one most sung among all songs.  We always follow it with "How old are you?  And the birthday person has to sing, "I am -- years old," followed by, "May you have many more."  I seem to remember that you said that "Once to Every Man..." was a favorite of Bill's.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I know too many songs.  I have many favorites!====JACK:  Is this among the favorites?

C'mon, you Gusties,
Fight on! Fight on!
Shout out the battle cry of victory!

C'mon you Gusties,
Fight 'till the end!
Fight on for dear old G. A. C.!

Gusties will shine tonight!
Gusties will shine! Hey!
Gusties will shine tonight!
Gusties will shine! Hey!
Gusties will shine tonight!
Gusties will shine!

Beat 'em, Bust 'em!
That's our custom!
Gusties will shine!

I found it listed under, "Obscure College Fight Songs."
====GM:  Actually that is one of my favorites!  Ha!  I am amazed that you found it.  In my day—the part from “Gusties will shine tonight” to the end was not part of the song.  That was added later.  I think all of my kids had that added part.  We just sang “You rah rah” and then sang the song again.  So creative.  Ha!

FROM JR IN PALM DESERT:  Your morning "E" rang so many bells, having been a singer in Chicago for almost 30 years.  BUT of all the songs and lyrics stored away my favorite song is "Oh, My Man I Love Him So" by Barbra Streisand.  You never fail to brighten my day. =====JACK:  Barbra really knows how to put "feeling" into a song.  What kinds of singing did you do?  Did you know that the Chicago Bears have a fight song?  (You can listen on YouTube)
Bear down, Chicago Bears, make every play clear the way to victory.
Bear down, Chicago Bears, put up a fight with a might so fearlessly.
We'll never forget the way you thrilled the nation with your T-formation.
Bear down, Chicago Bears, and let them know why you're wearing the crown.
You're the pride and joy of Illinois, Chicago Bears, bear down.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  High Hopes====JACK:  When someone says to you, "Don't get your hopes up to high," keep movin' that plant and keep buttin' that dam.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How very true this statement.  Some songs make my heartache, some bring tears, some bring joy, some bring laughter.  My favorite song is "Peace Like a River".... but even as I type this I can think of hundreds of others I can name.====JACK:  You might listen to Ted Weem's "Heartaches" on YouTube with Elmo Tanner whistling.  Great song!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 4/11/16
“If the mountain were smooth you couldn’t climb it.”  (Quoted by Wintley Phipps)  Many of us were fascinated in 2015 when TV showed two people climbing the sheer face of El Capitan, using only hands, feet and a rope.  They were able to succeed because small fissures in the rock allowed them to get finger and toe holds.  There are some life problems that seem impossible to solve.  Usually there’s a way.  Keep searching, climbing…And keep hanging in there!    ;-)  Jack  

FROM TARMART REV:  "Hanging in there, Jack, I am!"====JACK:  What kinds of people do you suppose Jesus hung out with when he was a teen?  Did you hang out with him when you were a kid?

FROM FACEBBOK LIZ: Thumbs up!(emoi)====JACK:  This old saying also fits…Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

FROM DM IN LIV:  Perfect!  Thank you!====JACK:  From the Sound of Music... (sing it)
Climb every mountain,  Search high and low,  Follow every byway,  Every path you know.
Climb every mountain,  Ford every stream,  Follow every rainbow,  'Till you find your dream.
A dream that will need All the love you can give,  Every day of your life  For as long as you live.
Climb every mountain,  Ford every stream, Follow every rainbow,  Till you find your dream

FROM TARMART REV:  just seeing those two on the face of that mountain gave me the willies...  ====JACK:  I take it, then, that climbing El Capitan isn't on your Bucket List?  BTW, another expression for the willies is the collywobbles.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  What is so important about climbing the mountain?  Challenging oneself against nature...flirting with savor the view...inherent feel closer to God?  Most of life's problems are there because we created them.====JACK:  Where's your sense of adventure?  George Mallory was asked why he wanted to climb Mt. Everest.  He answered, "Because it's there."  Why go to the moon.  Why explore the ocean?  Why search for God?  You're right about life's problems.  Adam shouldn't have listened to Eve.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  just seeing those two on the face of that mountain gave me the willies...JACK:  I take it, then, that climbing El Capitan isn't on your Bucket List?  BTW, another expression for the willies is the collywobbles.====SP:  i never heard that word before...====JACK:  You've probably never heard of the heebie jeebies, either.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Tenacity! Wins the day; Winston Churchill pointed that out more than once...I like a quote by Tina Fey (of all people!) "Whatever the problem, be a part of the solution: Don't just sit around  raising questions, and pointing out obstacles."  Sometimes a "day off" from confronting all problems and worries, just separating yourself from it all for a day, can be productive!  Problems are part of the dues you pay for living a full life...====JACK:  I had a church member who said, "Every church needs a hole in the roof."

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  You watched the video.  Such an inspirational statement.====JACK:  When it's a live telecast, you never know....  Life is a live show, too.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The world is full of people who try and fail but keep trying difficult actions.  It's amazing to watch those finger-climbing folks, those who ride bikes down those steep mountains sides, those who drive their rigged cars up the sides of mountains and those who choose to push the boundaries with unbelievable feats!  God bless those who sit and watch them in awe!  There a need for all types of us in this crazy world!====JACK:  "God so loved the world..."  The world includes the crazies, too.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  What is so important about climbing the mountain?  Challenging oneself against nature...flirting with savor the view...inherent feel closer to God?  Most of life's problems are there because we created them.====JACK:  Where's your sense of adventure?  George Mallory was asked why he wanted to climb Mt. Everest.  He answered, "Because it's there."  Why go to the moon.  Why explore the ocean?  Why search for God?  You're right about life's problems.  Adam shouldn't have listened to Eve.====RI:  Most of my adventures are realized right here on terra firma.  I can endorse going to the moon, and exploring the oceans, because they are undertaken to search for scientific data or resources that will benefit mankind exponentially.  One doesn't have to go searching for God, evidence abounds all around us.  We only need to strengthen our faith.====JACK:  In a way, my job of going into a strange community to start a church was adventuresome...but not like climbing Mt. Everest.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 4/8/16
“The body is a sacred garment.”  (Martha Graham)  Casper the Ghost is a spirit with a sheet thrown over him to make him visible.  In a way, our body is a sheet thrown over us.  At death, the sheet is removed and the soul lives…as some believe.  The Bible teaches that we (body and soul) are the creation of God…special…sacred.  As the saying goes, “God don’t make junk!”  So, it’s important, how we use this body of ours.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  I never noticed Casper's sheet with wrinkles, like mine of late . . .  ====JACK:  Casper is called the "friendly" ghost.  Wrinkled, or not, you fit the bill.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I loved Casper.  I never thought of it that way—what a great way to think about it.====JACK:  It would be interesting to have Helen Keller as the judge of a beauty contest.  What is beauty?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My garment has gotten a bit saggy, and has a   cold...Martha being a graceful dancer, probably wore a beautiful "garment"!  I think she lived to be 97, so she took good care of it! I like your thought of our bodies being sheets over our souls. It's a good visual of what happens at death!  We certainly are fearfully and wonderfully made: our bodies are an astounding bit of work! All glory to God!  We become so attached to this old "garment" that it is hard to think of giving it up!====JACK:  If you think that the earthly sheet is wonderfully made, think what the heavenly one will be like...and through God's ingenuity we will be able to recognize each other in a way differently than we have done on earth.  (That's my imagination at work.)====OAKS:  I think we would miss having arms to hug those we recognize...I do hope we recognize our loved ones. Many who have "died" and been revived, seem to have the impression that one knows "everything" or is aware of the "whole picture" past, and future...through thought transference, it seems. It is all quite a mystery!====JACK:  Do you remember the radio program, "I Love a Mystery?"

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 4/7/16
“Failure is success if we learn from it.”  (Malcolm Forbes)  Matthew Syed’s book, Black Box Thinking, received mixed reviews, but the basic premise is true…we can learn from our mistakes.  That’s why airplanes (and even cars) carry “black boxes.”  An examination of our screw-ups can help prevent recurrences.  It can happen in the home, at work, in school.  Lincoln lost 5 elections, but then he was elected President.  “Never ever, ever give up!”    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Failure is failure....if we learn from it, we might go on to a future success.   I never rejoice in failure.   I do try to learn from it.   Those are two different steps.====JACK:  An "F" is just someone's opinion.  Has Obama been a failure as a President?  History will tell, except that the writers of  history are not infallible.  Were you a success or a failure in your work?

FROM TARMART REV:  For certain . . . going out again today to face whatever comes my way with "certainty"!!====JACK:  How do you spell certainly the way the Three Stooges pronounce it? There appear to be two schools of thought: One spells it "soitenly," the other "soitainly."  Another editor suggests, "soytenly," and another writes, "soy-tan-lee." It's a tough world out there!  As a Stooges fan, I go with soytenly.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Which do we remember the most, successes or failures?====JACK:  Personally, I tend to remember the successes.  I think that a difference between the optimist and the pessimist.  Don't you remember the crucial bb shots that you made more than the ones you missed?  It's called, sublimation.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  more good words for today, Jack.   thanks... ====JACK:  I like the descriptive phrase, Black Box Thinking.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Richard Nixon lost an election too, but he hung in there, and after some contentious years, he eventually transformed enough to get elected President.  To his discredit he just couldn't rise to the occasion and serve honorably.  Evidently he didn't learn from his previous mistakes.====JACK:  Politicians seem to be unfazed by negativity.  Maybe it's their public persona.  Inwardly, it must eat at them...they're human.

FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  That's perfect! & why we should change our current saying in our Optimist creed from "FORGET " the mistakes of the past or to "LEARN" from our mistakes. ====JACK:  There's a lesson in both ways (to forget mistakes and to learn from them)...the present and your proposal.  Even though "The Ten" were written in stone, there has been a rewording of them through the years.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Yes, as British novelist Phyllis Bottoms has said, "There is nothing final about a mistake, except it being taken as final."  And Nixon famously said, "you're not finished when you're defeated, you're finished when you quit". Which he eventually had to do. Michael Jordan said he failed over and over and over again; that's why he succeeded!  So, since we all make mistakes, hopefully we are the wiser for one likes to fail, but we all experience failure in our lifetime. We don't need to dwell on it; Go on and make a better future!  Malcolm Forbes has good words today. Thanks!====JACK:  Everything is a learning experience...except, "You don't learn anything from the second kick of a mule."

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Jack’s Winning words 4/6/16
“The only alternative to co-existence is co-destruction.”  (Nehru)  There’s been some scary talk lately about the use of nuclear weapons.  This world is better served by leaders who seek ways to co-exist with diversity than to work toward eradicating any way but “our” way.  In any relationship there has to be give and take (bargaining) to make it work.  Have you grown up in a family?  Even God bargains…“If you will be my people, I will be your God.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA:  Thank you for this, Jack. Every little expression of sanity helps! ====JACK:  Once a preacher, always a preacher.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  It is scary...I remember when Dr. Oppenheimer, who helped develop the atomic bomb, said he couldn't sleep nights, thinking of the repercussions possible with misuse of this atomic energy.  We 'll either have to co-exist, or the world will be blown apart.  And if radical leaders of small nations gain this power, they may not be interested in bargaining!  Prayer, and trust in God, remain our options.   What will the world of our be like??!====JACK:  "He's got the whole world in his hands."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We don't want our children and grandchildren or anyone for that matter to have air raid drills like we did in school.  We must learn respect for each other across the board.  God loves us all.====JACK:  Enough with the inflammatory rants!  A friend of mine in Minneapolis sent this..."When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 4/5/16
“A dog is the greatest gift a parent can give a child.  OK, a good education, then a dog.”  (John Grogan)  Did you have a pet when you were growing up?  It’s said that pets have a way of teaching children life lessons…responsibility, compassion, patience, how to play and how to grieve.  My dog, Sparkie, was really smart, and fun, too.  But there came a time when he liked my aunt and uncle more than me.  They’d take him to the DQ for his own cone.    ;-)  Jack  

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  and also a spiritual foundation upon which to build his/her life...    btw, what flavors did Sparkie like at the DQ?   or maybe in those days they only had the plain vanilla stuff...====JACK:  Sparkie would walk 3+ miles, through town, across busy streets, from our house to where my aunt and uncle lived...for that vanilla DQ.  BTW, one of the founders of Dairy Queen belonged to our church and opened one of the first DQs in our city.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  We had chickens and ducks and geese....====JACK:  Would your aunt and uncle take them to the Feed Store?====JOHN:  My Dad took them to the chopping block.... ====JACK: I've always thought that it must be tough for a 4-H youngster to raise an animal that wins a Blue Ribbon at the Fair...and then to see that animal be auctioned off.====JOHN:  It's  tough at any time to see your pet die.    It is a cruel part of life...and there is a lot of cruelty in life.    I guess we have to learn to deal with it.====JACK:  Those who grow up on a farm learn that farming is a business, and animals are a commodity.  Vegans would have a hard time being farmers.

FROM TRIHARDER:  and, educate the dog, too!====JACK:  Another of our dogs, Tiger, was smart, too, and a good learner.  If we'd drop something on the floor, we'd tell him to take it the wastebasket.  He'd pick it up, walk over and drop it in the basket.  If we put a dog biscuit on his nose, he'd hold it there until we snapped our fingers.  He'd then flip it into the air and catch it before it hit the ground.  I don't know if you or I could do that.====TH:  I would tell my dog to go to his room when he wasn't wanted in the main room. He would slowly (and sadly) retreat to the laundry room.
As for balancing a dog biscuit on my nose and then catching it, I'm not that fond of dog biscuits.====JACK:  Try it with a piece of matzos.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  To a dog, the owner is family.  To a cat, the owner is staff.====JACK:  Our cat, Smokey, lasted about a week.  We couldn't agree as to who was going to be staff.

FROM DM IN LIV:  I took my Katie (daschund / beagle mix) to McDonald’s drive-thru for her plain cheeseburger, hold the bun.  She was in heaven (and now she really is)!!!====JACK:  I've read in the Bible that Heaven is beyond our imagination.  Does that mean that dogs will be there...and McDonald's, too?====DM:  Hahaha…dogs and cats, yes!  McDonald’s????====JACK:  Use your imagination...Golden arches on golden streets seems reasonable.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Ralph Waldo Emerson opined: "There is one other reason for dressing well, namely that dogs respect it, and will not attack you in good clothes." He did a lot of walking and hiking, I wonder if experience taught this to be true ?!  We always had dogs and cats, as did my kids.  When Bill was in seminary, raising 2 little boys, and every nickel counted, I bought a prized pr. of alligator pumps on sale, which our beagle puppy promptly chewed the heels off, when I carelessly doffed them in the living  room!  I was so mad at him, I "farmed him out"! HA! Lots of funny pet stories at our house, like the time our dog Queenie pulled a lb. of double-dipped chocolate peanuts from the kitchen table and devoured the entire sackfull; Until we discovered the torn sack behind a living room chair, I accused my sons of eating them!  Queenie didn't die, but she did suffer a bit (those mournful eyes!) and was "off her feed" for a couple of days.AND she developed a distinct dislike of chocolate in the process!====JACK:  There are some dogs who are just mean.  They will attack a stranger...good clothes of not.

FROM WATERFORD JAN:  Sparkie also taught you how dogs can be fickle if there's a DQ treat to be had; nevertheless, they always come home after they've licked off their faces.====JACK:  You're right!  But, I can't remember that he walked home on his own.  Most of the time we had to go and get him.

FROM JB AT LSTC:  No fair bribing the dog! I learn lessons from my dog every day – especially about patience, not holding a grudge, and the goodness of food.====JACK:  Isn't it fun to watch a dog when it wags its tail excitedly.  "Happiness is a wagging tail."

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Of course you would have a dog named Sparkie, that I do believe. ====JACK:  FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Of course you would have a dog named Sparkie, that I do believe.====JACK:  He had white, spark-like spot in the middle of his forehead.  Dogs and people, too, are sometimes named for physical characteristics.  I had a friend who first name was Laverne; we all called him, Stinky.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Had a black lab who looooved DQ! Yes, I said "who", because she was people.====JACK:  What is it that separates humans and animals?  I'm wondering from a scientific point of view.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Until recently, we've always had dogs.  All of my sisters and my brother did too and still do. When we would get together all the dog would be there also.  It was a big homecoming for them and they loved to play in the AuSable River.  Now we have 3 grand dogs!  They come into our kitchen and open our cabinet door and help themselves to a dog bone.  Dogs and once in awhile a cat have played a large part of our family.  We love them as members!====JACK:  I was always the one who had to take the dog to the vet for the final time.  It's not easy.

FROM JE: Dogs are instinctive, intuitive and more intellectual than we humans give them credit for. Baxter, our cocker/poodle mix is very smart. He puts himself out there for you when you are down and gives that unconditional love you cannot get elsewhere – except from God. He is 10-years-old and has recently had two short seizures. We’ve taken him to the vet both times after each.  Baxter’s reaction has been …. “So what, I’m fine, let’s play.” He doesn’t want to be trouble – he wants to give, give, give of himself. I have learned so much from him. Thanks, Jack====JACK:  Our Sparkie never went to the vet.  He came home once with a gash in his head.  My dad pushed the skin together and held it together with a piece of adhesive tape.  I think that it was all of the DQs that finally did him in.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 4/4/16
“Do what you can with what you have where you are.”  (Theodore Roosevelt)  Let’s play the “what if” game.  What if Teddy Roosevelt were running for President today?  Well educated, an environmentalist, a reformer, a Rough Rider and a progressive/conservative…  Let’s play a different “what if.”  What if we were to follow TR’s lead…and not complain about what we can’t control…and do something positive where we are, with what we have?  What if…?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  ...I'm not sure too many would vote for me nowadays for President of the United States?! --might make the mix for a good pastor, though!!====JACK:  Would you be able to capture the evangelical vote from Cruz?====REV:  To tell you the truth, my heart was drawn to Ben Carson...I think he would have been a better example of who  I was hoping our current President was to be. I might be using a write-in vote this time around, "God"!

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  IF"S?  "If  ifs and buts were candy and nuts what a wonderful world it would be" (Stan Laurel)====JACK:  In our world, it seems that we have some nuts promising candy.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  A favorite Sampler of mine..."Fix it up.  Wear it out.  Make it do.  Do without."====JACK:  We who grew up during the Great Depression know the truth of that statement.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It would be wonderful to think he would be elected!  I would have voted for him! Ben Carson was our choice....not sure what to do now.====JACK:  Some of my favorites were not elected, but somehow the country has survived.  I'm sure that that will be the case after this year's election.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Bill used to have a saying, oft quoted: "It's not what you'd do with a million, if fortune should be your lot, but what you're doing now, with the buck and a half you've got."...another way was saying what TR said.  good words!====JACK:  Have you (or anyone else that you know) ever said, "When I win the lottery...."?


Friday, April 01, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 4/1/16
“You cannot touch your lower lip with your tongue.”  (Physical Oddity)  Have you ever seen a contortionist, someone who has extreme flexibility?  400# Matt is able to touch both cheeks at once with the soles of his feet.  About the best that most of us can do is open our mouth and stick our foot in it.  Some can talk out of both sides of their mouth at once.  BTW, for those of you who read the quote and tried to touch your lip with your tongue…April Fool!    ;-)  Jack

FROM LG IN MICHIGAN: Got me!====JACK:  You're #1; you're #1!

FROM TARMART REV:  Always a fool for a good joke or two, especially on April 1st!!====JACK:  Is your "funny bone" in your elbow or does it rest on top of your spine?

FROM TL:  You got me!====JACK:  Did you pass "anatomy" when you were in school?

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I want to know who this guy Physical Oddity is?    Sounds like he might be running for Prez!====JACK:  It appears as though there's more than one who can speak out of both sides of the mouth at once.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL: got me!!!!!!====JACK:  We're so used to "clicking" before "thinking."====PAUL:  Or trusting before judgment!  Hahaha====JACK:  No judgment until closer examination.  A lot can happen between now and November.

HAWKEYE GEORGE:  GOT ME!!====JACK:  April 1st has always been a favorite holiday of mine.

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  Ack! You got me!  I was trying to figure out what I was missing... Tongue to lip. Yep. Top of tongue to lip? Nope can do that too. Hmmm.  Kept figuring as I read. ... Glad I read to the bottom before emailing for clarification!

I fooled V this morning by telling her that the principal called and said that the last day of spring break was cancelled and she had to get ready for school today. I thought for sure she'd call me on it because she's been planning her April fools gag for weeks. But the poor girl cried! Oh my. Making me stick out my tongue was a much better trick.

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  Glad to see you haven't lost your sense of humor.====JACK:  It helps to have a sense of humor when it comes to politics.  Every candidate is fair game...even dear old Abe.  I'm sure you have some stories about how he wasn't always liked.

FROM DM IN LIV:  LOL!  Got me!====JACK:  I like it when people respond, LOL, to what I think is funny.  Sometimes we take life too seriously.

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  Ack! You got me!  I was trying to figure out what I was missing... Tongue to lip. Yep. Top of tongue to lip? Nope can do that too. Hmmm.  Kept figuring as I read. ... Glad I read to the bottom before emailing for clarification!  I fooled V this morning by telling her that the principal called and said that the last day of spring break was cancelled and she had to get ready for school today. I thought for sure she'd call me on it because she's been planning her April fools gag for weeks. But the poor girl cried! Oh my. Making me stick out my tongue was a much better trick. ====JACK:  We tend to trust moms and pastors.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Good one!====JACK:  I've opened my mouth and put my foot in...omce or twice.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Good me!!!!====JACK:  Have you tried to touch your cheeks with the soles of your feet?  I'll bet you can't do it.====RJP: Actually my daughter in law who is a ballet teacher and dancer can. When she was 8 months pregnant she could put her legs behind her head. Today I am reminded of our first dog who was born April 1st 1962. We named him Quince after Quince the Joiner who is one of the fools in A Midsummer Nights Dream.====JACK:  Testing your knowledge....Who was called, The Perfect Fool?  (No!  It isn't one of the current candidates.)

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Well, I thought, "who sez"?  I knew I could; was that Odd?! HA!  With all the kiddies grown up and long gone, I wasn't even thinking of "April Fool"!  Have a good one! ====JACK:  Did you and your twin even try to "fool" each other on April 1?====OAKS:  I'M SURE WE DID, BUT NOTHING STANDS OUT...ONCE WE PUT SALT IN THE SUGAR BOWL, WHICH MADE FOR A NASTY BOWL OF CEREAL! MY BROTHER AND DAD WERE THE VICTIMS...MY KIDS LEARNED TO BE PRETTY WARY ON APRIL 1ST. MARK WAS ALMOST AN APRIL FOOL'S BABY, BUT CAME ON MARCH 31ST.

FROM OPTIMIST ART: Good April Fool, Jack. Thanks.====JACK:  In the "olden days" we used to be able to go to the dime store and buy April Fool cards and give them to friends at school.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  You got me! Tongues are used mostly for wagging.====JACK:  Did you ever get a tongue-lashing?

FROM MK IN WL:  Lol! Chuck, Sheperd & I just did it! You got us:)====JACK:  Are any of your family into April Foolishness?