Thursday, June 30, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 7/1/16
“Thank you, God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough.”  (Garrison Keillor)  I suppose most of us can give examples of situations and people that we didn’t fully appreciate until time took them away…for instance, the Prairie Home Companion radio show and the residents of Lake Wobegone.  G’s retired before, but tonight, it’s final.  No more Powdermilk Biscuits!  But I do have the memory of talking to Keillor in person.    ;-)  Jack

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  I used to enjoy that radio program when I  lived in Michigan.  Pat Pintar, now O'Neill,  introduced me to it.  I think that it was broadcast  on a Saturday.====JACK:  England has funny people, too, don't they? Monte Python's "Silly Walks."  I laugh every time I see the video.  I'm going to Google it right now!  (pause)  HAHAHAHAHA

FROM HONEST JOHN:  You old're a curmudgeon just like he is!====JACK:  How appropriate it was that my conversation with him took place at Gustavus Adolphus College.  You can't get much more Swedish than that, can you?

FROM LEEESS:  He will be missed.====JACK:  When you miss him enough you can go to YouTube.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  I never listened to Prairie Home, not that I have anything negative to say about it, I just never was a listener. But the funny thing is I always was aware that he was a good man, offered sound and entertaining advice, was part of Americana. And when he announced that he was finished, I felt a loss also.  Why do you think that is?====JACK:  Do any patients ever come to you with false pain syndrome?====HH:  If you mean malingers, people faking a problem for insurance scams, no I have not  . That is because I don’t do that kind of work.  If you mean people who with a pain that has no physical cause then the answer becomes more muddled. Just because there is no way to measure pain, you have to take the persons word that they hurt. The trick is to find the pain generator. Is it a physical origin or a mental origin, in either event the pain they experience is real. I do not think there is ever a false pain. (other than faking pain) The person hurts. My job is to determine if I can help, when to say I cannot help and make a referral to the best person that might help.====JACK:  Here's a truism..."Pain is a pain!"  I once read of a sign in a chiropractor's office: "Limp in, leap out."

FROM TARMART REV:  One of Minnesota's favorites!! I'm thinking we will still have him on for many years to come through syndicating reruns?!====JACK:  I know of a pastor who "retired" from a congregation and then wanted to come back.  They didn't want him back.====REV:  ... very fortunate the congregation here invited me back after leaving and being gone for three yeas ... very much an exception to the rule.====JACK:  Don't push your luck!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL: he has been a gift to sooo  many.  we will really miss PHC but he does have some health issues now to deal with.  and a lot of the programming can still be had on CDs, etc.====JACK:  I know that people felt the same way about you when you "moved on" from the congregations you served.  But, there comes a time....  Nothing goes on forever, except the love of God.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  We probably don't REALLY appreciate the good life we enjoy, so this is an apt prayer for us.  We are so blessed in this country.  Jan, Hal, Bill and I always enjoyed his radio broadcasts during and after dinner on Sundays...I think it was a re-broadcast of Saturday. Bill and I played Lake Woebegone tapes on vacation trips in the car. Some were hilarious! I still have them, but most cars don't play tapes anymore.That wry humor and wit and sometimes just plain silliness, was addictive. I saw him in person twice, but never met him.   Glad you did!====JACK:  He sort of reminded me of Andy Rooney...a curmudgeon.  I'm sure you've met other famous people.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How did you get to meet him?  Did he talk to you as he talked in his program?====JACK:  During the coffee hour after his presentation, he was just standing off to the side, so I went up and said, "Hi!" and the conversation went on from there.

Jack’s Winning Words 6/30/16
“It’s no use to go back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”  (From Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll)  Are you one of those persons who likes/dislikes going to high school reunions?  I went to mine last year, and it was really fun.  I had my yearbook, and it was interesting to see how time has had a way of changing us.  Maybe it’s because of e-mail and the aging process, but friendships seemed to have deepened.  It was a Great Generation.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Not really into HS reunions . . . never been to one to compare any difference of opinion . . . wouldn't miss though, a meeting with you at Panera's, any time it was possible. ====JACK:  Several of my classmates are Winning Words friends, so that was one point of conversation.  Not so much talk about what was...more about what is.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i'm glad you went because i got to meet you!====JACK:  There's wasn't enough time to talk...but the cake was good.

FROM OPTIART:  I continue to find your winning words helpful.  And from time to time, I feel a need to tell you so.====JACK:  I always enjoy an encouraging word.  Thanks!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I used to go to my high school reunions.  Now Harper Woods has joint reunions for all classes and we don't go anymore.  Our high school was extremely small... Less than 100 in most of the graduating classes.====JACK:  Our class, even now, provides two scholarships of $1000 each to current students of our high school...each time we have a reunion.

FROM WATERFORD JAN:  A 1953 classmate and I, of a high school in western Michigan, both live in eastern Michigan and meet frequently to drive over and join some fellow classmates for lunch.
We do some reminiscing, but talk mostly about current happenings, including deaths and ailments, grandkids, and what we do to keep life meaningful.  We are grateful for having grown up when we did--definitely an easier time for most parents than now. The good nature of the group makes our trip enjoyable, and yes, we do a little shopping before or after lunch.====JACK:  If I lived closer to my hometown I'd go to the monthly luncheons that some classmates organize. 

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS: I just went to mine and it was fantastic.  There were only 8 of 30 of the living classmates who could not come for one reason or another.  We had a graduating class of 53.  We had such a good time.  Got kicked out of the restaurant at 9 pm!  (They let us stay an hour after closing time!  ha!)====JACK:  We always sing our school Fight Song when we get together.  Do you do that?  Do you remember yours?

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  It was great seeing you last Sunday and it felt like I was home again to be in our church.  Glad you could go to your reunion last year. How was Abe, Grant, Lee, Douglas and the rest of the gang??????====JACK:  There aren't many left who can say that they graduated from high school when the Civil War ended.  Oops!  I meant World War 2.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  The reunion was great.  But I have a different perspective.  We have all aged through the years, but it seems that everyone I met still had the same outlook on life. ====JACK:  Even with the aging process, I was able to see the young faces disguised by the older faces.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  As I read once, " A melancholy lesson of advancing years, is the realization that you can't make old friends!"  I loved every class reunion, which have been held every five years since we graduated in '48, but now all the wonderful people who planned them seem to be gone, so who knows if we'll ever have another?  It does seem with the years, that old lines dividing classmates are erased, and everyone is so happy to see everyone else, and "catch up" on the years. Ours were aways 3 days, so we had lots of time to share, and activities like golf and boat rides up the river, and tours of the old school, (now an aprt. building!) etc/ culminating with a very nice dinner dance. Always fun. I just met one of my old classmates in San Francisco last week to have lunch and a good chat, while vacationing there. We certainly are different people in our old age, as compared to sweet youth, but the ties are strong, still!====JACK:  I have come to make new friends at the reunions.  In high school they were just faces.  Time has a way of polishing personalities.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Lewis Carrol had it right In my opinion, the Master sculptor is in the process of molding me each day. And, though the format remains pretty much the same, He is always working on one new touch after another. Each new day seems to generate some design modification for me. And, YES!, we were, are, will be known as the Greatest Generation. Thanks to God's plans for us.====JACK:  One of the creative "sights" at the reunion was the picture of you, beside the Florida pool, lifting a toast to the class.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/29/16
“Don’t let the seeds stop you from enjoying the watermelon.”  (Unknown)  NPR had a program on what bugs people.  Watermelon seeds wasn’t one of them.  On my list: Drivers who delay merging in construction zones; people checking cell phones while talking to me; the man who’d clip his nails during the church service (I heard it during the quiet time).  In spite of these aggravations, I enjoy driving, conversations and going to church.   What bugs you?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  I'm bugged by persons at the supermarket who shuffle through the meat products or the vegetables, tossing them around until they find what they want, then move on leaving the display a jumbled mess.  Also shoppers in the market who choose a package of fish, later decide they don't want it, and leave it on a shelf in the bathroom cleaning products section.====JACK:  You must go to the same market I do.

FROM TARMART REV:  "Bugs!! That one mosquito in the house, flying just out of my reach into the night!!====JACK:  Then I get up, turn on the light, and try to find out where that "sucker" has landed.

FROM JANEFF:  I used to complain about people not merging as soon as they saw the first merge warning, and then my husband directed me to this:
We’re not all following the same “rules”, which tends to make everyone frustrated.====JACK:  I've driven through some states where the sign at construction zones reads...FOLD IN.  I like the ZIPPER idea.

FROM CZB IN NH:  I can’t BELIEVE someone was clipping his nails during church service.  I’m guessing others in the congregation have that on their list of annoyances as well.  One thing that bugs me?  When you call a company because you need some sort of service and an automated voice sends you thru a zillion prompts asking you for all this information and then when you get a live person they ask for the exact same information.  Huh?  I realize if THAT is what bugs me, I’m pretty darn lucky!====JACK:  Another thing that bugs me...robocalls...especially political ones.

FROM TRIHARDER:  I waited patiently at my local intersection to make a right turn while I waited for a service truck to go by me. He turned right making my wait needless. When I pointed to his signal light, he shouted a profanity at me.====JACK:  Be thankful that he didn't point a gun at you.

FROM MT IN PA:  Good morning, Jack.  That saying made me laugh.  Easy answers:
1) stepping on my own shoelaces (Don’t know why.)   2) graffiti - grrr!   3) people who stop their shopping cart and stand in the middle of the aisle, never noticing that other people on both sides are trying to move through.====JACK:  As Police Chaplain I would sometimes ride along with officers.  One of them would often go into parking lots to ticket people who parked in handicapped zones without a permit.  He was able to do something about those "buggers." ====MT:  Ha! They got what they deserved. Good for him!====JACK:  On my first ride, the first person we stopped had a license plate which began, GOD.  He was given a warning and not a ticket.

FROM JB AT LSTC:  We had a member of our board of directors who would clip his nails during the meetings – and engage in discussion while he was doing it. I always wondered if he was so pressed for time that he couldn’t do that another time.====JACK:  You are too kind.  I would think other thoughts.  I knew of a pastor whose head usher would flick the lights on and off when he thought the sermon was too long.  A secondary problem:  The head usher was the biggest giver.  WWYD?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Not much.  I try to find the sunny side of everything.====JACK:  How about when Florida's sunny side turns to stormy weather warnings.  I remember seeing the movie, Hurricane, and wondering if people really did tie themselves to trees during those storms.

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  Drivers who do not obey speed limits, talking loudly on mobile phones in a grocery store especially  at the checkout!====JACK:  How about tourists driving on the wrong side of the road...or stopping in the middle of a traffic circle?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Right now, people who seem to think Trump has intelligent answers to our many Crises, but inconsiderate drivers often bug me, and people who are impatient and ugly with little children...I usually HAVE to say something when I observe that, in a "loving" way, of course. :-)  Now we have seedless watermelons, so that little problem can be eliminated, so enjoy! :-)  When  I  take grandchildren out for lunch or dinner, I ask them to put away their cell phones, and just enjoy the meal, and they do. I'm sure it bothers them to hear the text ding go off, and have to wait a half hour to see who it is! But they love their NANA....thankfully!====JACK:  If you were given 5 minutes of face to face time with Trump, what would you say?  Oh, that's right, he'd probably use the whole 5 himself.  Regarding your still have some of the "teacher" in you.  When my grandchildren ride with me, i tend to let them choose their own radio stations.  That's how I learned to appreciate Eminem.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  People who speak without  thinking of the hurt of their words or the effect it has on others.  Politicians who play off of people’s fears for their own purposes.====HH:  How about when people come up to you at social gatherings and want a diagnosis of their back problems.  Optimist meetings don't count!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Have you read the Father Tim books?  If not you should.  It's about an Episcopal priest and his life.  It's hilarious but yet full of life issues pastors/ priests face everyday.  He marries and his wife begins to list her blessings every time something goes wrong.  It's something I pray I could do.  But things do bug me:  a healthy person using a handicap parking place, bullying, lairs, and perhaps my attitude sometimes.  But I will count my blessings instead.  They would fill up all of my electronics!!!====JACK  Some of my "best" stories...I cannot tell. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/28/16
“To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.”  (Edmund Burke)  One of my favorite books is Poems of Carl Sandburg (Google: Grass Carl Sandburg).  I reflect and digest that one.  In the Bible, Proverbs, Job and the Parables of Jesus are favorites.  There’s a message beyond the words in each of them.  In this busy world there seems to be too little time for contemplation.  And we’re the lesser for it.  Have you “reflected” on something lately?    ;-)  Jack

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Kierkegaard might have understood this comment best. He said that understanding only comes through reflection. I think he's right -- like have a drawer full of great food recipes and no kitchen! Another person noted (of whom I cannot remember) the knowledge is something another can simply give to you; but understanding for how to use the information is a gift. I would say that that wisdom is having the knowledge and understanding how to use it -- with the added blessing for knowing when!====JACK:  You're right!  What good is it to own a car, but not know how to drive it?  What good is it to have knowledge, but not know how to use it?

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Interesting that I'm ordering Carl Sandburg, by Harry Golden from the St. Ambrose Library.====JACK:  Another Golden book that you ought to read is, Only In America, especially he chapters...Why I Never Bawl Out a Waitress...and...The Show Must Go On.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Read "The Rainbow Comes and Goes" by A.Cooper and G.Vanderbilt during vacation, and really liked the idea they presented of Rainbows in and out of our lives. I'll remember to look for the rainbow to re-appear, during sad times, and be thankful when I'm enjoying "Rainbow" times. It was an interesting look into two well-known celebrity lives.  Also "When Breath becomes Air", the recent best seller, is thought-provoking. Philip Yancy's books, even old Andy Rooney, not to mention all the marvelous theologians who have inspired and edified us. We are so lucky to have the access to good readings in every genre, the only down side is too little time to peruse even a small percentage of them!!  Such a good and true quote today. Reading is my greatest pleasure!====JACK:  Do you use an e-reader?  Some of my friends do and really like it.

FROM ANNE IN WATERFORD:  Yes. Job.  A friend of mine told me recently that her Mother, wife of a Presbyterian minister in Indiana, told her to read Job.  This was the week before her wedding when she had returned home from her teaching job in Pontiac.  My friend is 84 and lost her husband when she was 62.  This is the first time I have pondered Job.  There are so many layers.  I think of my Mother , Irish, who often asked us to "Offer it up."  I spend more time reading the Bible these days.  Reading is my favorite pastime.====JACK:  When Martin Luther would come to a tough passage in the Bible, he said that he'd just "tip his hat" and go on to something else.  Job can be a puzzler, but when you look at the message rather than at the details it takes on clarity

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We all turn to ash and Grass points it out eerily.  Life isn't the ultimate, thankfully.  It's hard to even imagine the horror of how some people lived and died.  We have visited many Civil War Battlefields and the Holocaust Museum.  We see the horror read about it but I truly believe we have a very hard time digesting it all.  There is so much on the television and the news we are getting immune to the inhumanity.  Its difficult to turn off our minds to the bombardment of the different media and reflect on my love of reading.====JACK:  At burials (and on Ash Wednesday) these words are spoken: "Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust."

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Last night I attended The Iran Deal: A Reassessment at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.  If you have an hour…worth a listen.  The incredible depth of understanding, experience and perception certainly made me reflect.  We listen to “60 Minutes” or CNN and think we have a grip on issues?  Listening to these two veterans with 40+ years experience as ambassadors in the middle east put it all in perspective.  I don’t even know enough to have an opinion!  Couldn’t agree with you more on reading and reflecting and just taking the time to mull things over in general.  I recently read that being connected on devices has a negative effect on the brain in that people no longer have sufficient time to properly process the input they receive.  ====JACK:  I've found that the "American mind" is being directed by sound bites..many of them being unsubstantiated.  People tend to forward all kinds of stuff, because it suits their prejudice.  There's not enough reflection.

FROM TARMART REV:  Jack’s Winning Words, of course!!====JACK:  ...and the pictures you post on Facebook.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/27/16
“Nothing is work unless you’d rather be doing something else.”  (George Halas)   Before becoming owner/coach of the Chicago Bears, George Halas played for the NY Yankees. When I was growing up I wanted to be a fire fighter, but what I never dreamed of became my “dream” job… being a pastor.  How has it been for you…an enjoyable occupation…a dream job?  TV’s “Dirty Jobs” shows that people can enjoy a variety of work, if they set their mind to it.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Well stated and true for my life!!====JACK:  Had you ever considered another occupation before choosing the ministry?  Like being a race car driver?====REV:  I did consider a bowling career . . . from being a professional bowler to management of a bowling establishment . . . however, 4 years of Bible college convinced me otherwise.====JACK:  As a child, I remember being told that thunder was the sould of bowling pins being knocked over in heaven.  It looks as thought you have a job waiting for you "up there."

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I also was fortunate to have my dream job; starting my own mfg company.====JACK:  Was playing for the Univ of Iowa basketball team a dream come true, also?

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Some people, such as those in pro sports, are fortunate to make a living by playing a game they are good at.  Others are able to turn their work into play.  In either case, talent and believing in what you do seems to be the key to enjoying it.  I've known people who really dislike their jobs, and every day go to work dreading it.  What a sad situation to endure.====JACK:  "TGIF" and "The Grind," are commentaries on how some people see their jobs.

FROM MY LAWYER:  I grew up wanting to become a pastor!!!  Where did I go wrong??? ====JACK:  Think about this...If everyone was a pastor, or, If everyone was a lawyer.  Chaos.  Each of us has a niche, and you seem to have found yours.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Some days this is really true. How do people know when to die to ‘interfere’ with something else you’d rather be doing than serving their funeral luncheon, but in the end what you wanted to do wasn’t as important as what you were called to do – serve others/love someone as much as you love yourself.
I wanted to be a teacher in my ‘real’ life and went to teacher’s training for it, but it never happened as I had planned.  I used those teaching skills with our children, grandchildren and with adults teaching in many different ways than in a classroom setting.  Those skills taught to me have brought me lots of pleasures without ever being a ‘professional’ – and still do.  Yes, much of it has to do with how you set your mind to work.  A smile every day can do wonders!  Have a terrifically fun day!====JACK:  Dr Seuss had it right..."It's moving day, and no one is more bummed than Julian Jeremy Jaroo Jalloo. But when The Cat in the Hat appears, Julian is whisked away on a magical elevator ride to meet all (or as many as he can meet in 24 minutes) of the interesting and whimsical people who may be in his future."  Circumstances caused our paths to cross "50" years ago.  Oh, the people you'll meet..."

FROM DM IN LIV:  Great timing!  I needed this one today.====JACK:  God moves in mysterious ways.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My first inclination was to be a nurse; even had my roommate signed on; I was a Nurse's Aide during my Senior year of H.S. and felt very useful and appreciated. But my Dad, an Augie grad, convinced me to try one year at Augustana, and of course I loved it, and loved teaching music and Literature for 25 yrs. as well. It helped put three kids through college, too! (Two of whom also grad. from Augie ...) Bill played football briefly under George Halas. He was a tough coach!! But much respected.====JACK:  As I recall, one of the coaches for the Bears encouraged Bill to go into the ministry.  Given the prevalence of debilitating head injuries connected with football, Bill made the right choice for more than one reason.====OAKS:  And the pay for "knocking heads" ((with leather helmets!) was minimal in those days!!

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  I always new that my career would be art-associated. Formal education was in commercial art and my first job out of school was Art Director of a Davenport Department Store. Dream job. And then to Art Director at an ad agency. Dream job. On to Advertising Manager for a couple of national companies. Dream Jobs. Finally back to the agency business as an Account Executive. Dream Jobs. And then my own shop. Along the way, the drawing board became less and less but the background served me well. The Agency was the ultimate Dream Job. And now it's Children's Books. Getting them published is a nightmare!. But it's still a dream.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/24/16
“Period.  Full stop.  Point.  Whatever it’s called, it’s going out of style.”  (David Crystal)  We have a STOP sign at the corner by our house, but hardly anyone stops.  They just roll through.   It’s way with other laws, too…selective obedience…even with the famous TEN.  The laws of grammar are ignored when e-mailing, too.  When to use the period, the Stop Sign?  Maybe the situation determines it.  Could that be why God invented…GRACE?    ;-)  Jack

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Truly even the Ten Commandments don't "stop" transgressions; they merely identify them. Somehow we have come to think of laws as the means for ceasing destructive activity, i.e., if we can pass a law, we can stop the activity. Sadly, there are many laws that are not executed. Consider all the gun laws already in force that are currently ignored....and the conventional folly is to make new ones? Do you suppose the additional laws will somehow find compliance that all the currently ignored laws do not? Why not simply outlaw evil intention and destructive thinking? That should take care of it! I am glad that I do not live by the law; but by the Light -- in the same Grace of which you mention! Indeed, to live by the law will lead to Justice, and I prefer to live in Grace which will instead lead to Mercy. I don't want justice; I want mercy -- PERIOD!====JACK:  You sound like St Paul in Romans and Galatians, or a modern-day Martin Luther.  When Jesus was asked which was the greatest of the Commandments (Laws), he went on to say that you should love God above anything else...and your neighbor as you love yourself.

FROM TARMART REV:  Thank God for His amazing grace . . . however, life seems to run some much smoother when we use those God appointed and "established for our good" stop signs!! ====JACK:  I'd rather emphasize God's "GO" signs...GO and sin no more...GO and show mercy...GO and preach the Gospel...GO the extra mile...GO and make disciples.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  A good one today, so be sure to stop and think!

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  It's against the law to race a train to the crossing. If you win, you lose. Be selective.====JACK:  "He saw  The train  And tried to duck it  Kicked first the gas  And then the bucket  Burma-Shave"

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How true this statement is!!!  Even Jesus told us to obey our officials and laws but who listens to us now-a-days let alone Jesus.  God gave us the Ten Commandments, not the Ten Suggestions!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/23/16
“When you can’t have what you choose, you just choose what you have.”  (Owen Wister)  The biography of Lincoln shows that his was not always a happy life.  Like for most of us, it was a mixed bag.  But his focus was more on the “ups than on the “downs.”  He wrote: “Folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”  …and that was before Peale’s, “The Power of Positive Thinking.”  The prayer, “Thy will be done” has been uplifting for me.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Actually Lincoln suffered from depression and was a very melancholy person and not really a Peale type of person at all.====JACK:  Where Peale and Lincoln seem to be on the same page...happiness or sadness is controlled by the mind.====HJ:  The proper conclusion from that would be that Lincoln had a weak mind...not sustainable by the data.   The mind seems to be a factor but it seems they are discovering that a lot of genetic factors are involved as addition to conditions supplied by the world around us.====JACK:  His words..."as they make up their minds to be."  Generally speaking, a lot of our happiness or sadness is related to how we perceive circumstances.  It's an unusual person who is happy all of the time, or sad all of the time.

FROM TARMART REV:  ...on earth as it is in heaven."====JACK:  Are you a predestinarian?

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Inspiring thoughts on what is a gloomy day (outside and inside) here in Chicago.  Tiring of the political news and the headlines haven’t been a bowl of cherries either.  The glass is half full?====JACK:  I think that we allow our lives to be directed by the "what ifs."  Many of them turn out to be "never happeneds."  Do you remember the story of Chicken Little?====BB:    Loved Chicken Little!  Heard a comedian the other night doing a bit about the “greatest generation” where I would place you and my parents and understand the sacrifices you made both during WWII and after in the rebuilding of the US and Europe…and the funny parts were about those times being completely sexist and racist and stereotyping people into boxes.  As I talk to my children about my childhood and “those days”, I say that the modern world is a double edged sword as we now have all of these freedoms and opportunities yet people have the task of figuring out where they fit and what is “right”.  Before, your roles and the shared principles were fairly clear; you knew what was expected of you and how to get along.  I sometimes wonder if this is part of the motivation of the “Christian right’; where the letter of the law is foremost and there are no grey areas….easier for people to follow like lemmings than to think for themselves or actually feel the spirit or law of love in their hearts and make decisions in each circumstance about WWJD?  Reminds me of the message given last weekend at a  traditional Jewish wedding I attended in the redwood forest.  The Rabbi quoted another older Rabbi telling the story of a man wandering lost in the woods for days.  When he comes upon a woman, he’s so pleased that she can help him find his way out.  She greets him and says she’s sorry but she is lost too.  However, she would be glad to join him in the journey together.  They are no less lost but share the path instead of travelling alone.  When I think, “the sky is falling” i.e. our elected leaders are sitting on the floor of the congress trying to pass gun legislation after another mass shooting – I need to remember that at least they were working collectively and the frustration we experience of late with our system and our leaders is definitely shared, apparently by most of the population!
 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Lincoln did have some rough patches in life, as we all do.  But he did keep the faith and had hope.  He also was able to keep his good humor.  We need all three things also.  Faith, hope and humor!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/22/16
“Kindness is in our power, even with fondness is not.”  (Samuel Johnson)  A man was listening to the preacher talk about everybody loving their neighbor.  He mumbled under his breath, (“he hasn’t met my neighbor!”)  Some people are really hard to get along with.  To “love” does not necessarily mean to be “fond.”  Kindness is what Jesus had in mind when he talked about love…trying to see with a different set of eyes.  Are you able to do it?    ;-)  Jack  

FROM TARMART REV:  Pretty tough at times until I remember Christ first loved me...====JACK:  "Just as I am, without one plea...."

FROM WATERFORD JAN:  I like today's Winning Words because I occasionally come across people who are so very difficult to treat with fondness (and I try not to be one of those), but the ability to treat them kindly can only come from following the words of Jesus.====JACK:  There are friends (as in Facebook) and then there are friends.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We are blessed with wonderful neighbors.  We just had another neighborhood BBQ.  But growing up we had a terrible neighbor.  He would threaten us all the time and if s ball went on his property he would take it.  We actually felt sorry for him.  I don't remember praying for him but we should have.====JACK:  I may have told you this before, but my sister is a pastor's wife.  When someone at church was giving her a hard time, she'd bake some cookies and present them as a gift to that person.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yesterday I went to a travelogue on India,Nepal, and Tibet. It made me count my blessings again of being born in this country. We have the same neighbors today that we had when we moved into this house in 1970.  And everyone is kind and we all sort of look out for each other.====JACK:  In all the times I used the word, neighbor, I've never bothered to look at its etymology..."near--farmer (resident)."  We've lived in the same house for 47 years and have had 6 or 7 families living next door...and never a clinker.  Do you know what a clinker is?

FROM MS IN MICHIGAN:  Great advice for me to keep in mind!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/21/16
“God give us the power to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.”  (Reinhold Niebuhr)  Happy Birthday, Reinhold!  His Serenity Prayer first appeared in one of his sermons and has since been adapted by A.A. and 12-step programs.  Epictetus (circa 55 AD) said: “Make the best use of what is in your power and take rest as it happens.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  did you know, Jack,  that Niebuhr's prayer is much longer and this is just one part of it?   also,  did you know that the our national anthem has 4 verses and not just one? ====JACK:  What I read was that the prayer was first included as part of a Niebuhr sermon.  It may have been expanded later.  As for the National Anthem, many people aren't aware of the religious content of the last stanza...
"O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!"
====ST PAUL:  i am thinking that is the verse we should be singing before each ball game!====JACK:  Can you just imagine a pop singer trying to give meaning to those lyrics?

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i thought this was another one by "anonymous." i learn a lot from you! ====JACK:  The Neibuhr brothers (Reinhold and Richard) have ties to Detroit, and were well respected theologians in their day.

FROM LOUGAM:  Amen! Here's the Children's version...God Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the person I can, and the wisdom to know that person is me! Amen!====JACK:  I'm forever thankful for the things I learned about God when I was a child..."Jesus loves me, this I know."  Serenity, too!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Great statement/prayer!!====JACK:  I would venture to say that most people don't realize that the Serenity Prayer first appeared as part of a sermon.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  It was also used by Weight Watchers about 40 years ago.  Very wise.====JACK:  I think Niebuhr's sermon was preached in the early 1930s, in the midst of the Great Depression.  His words can relate to that event, also.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/20/16
“My father always used to say that when you die, if you’ve got five real friends, then you’ve had a great life.”  (Lee Iacocca)  On this day after Father’s Day, are there any sayings that come to mind when you think of your father?  I remember sitting with my father, when I was a kid, asking him to tell me more about what is was like when he was growing up…like when he played baseball against 3-Finger Brown.  Do you have any dad sayings or stories?    ;-)  Jack

FROM YOOPER PREACHER:  During courtship:  “Nothing good happens after midnight.” ====JACK:  I laughed at that one.

FROM TARMART REV:  This years mostly tears . . . I must be getting a little more sentimental in my older age!!====JACK:  Do you remember when dad used to be referred to as "the old man?"  When did you become "the old man?"

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Did he get any hits off of Mordecai?====JACK:  I can't remember if he did, or not.  But, he was a good ballplayer...a 1st baseman.  BTW, have you ever baptized anyone named, Mordecai?

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  When I was 7 or 8 my Dad said to me as he was shaving, "George, a Winner never quits and a Quitter never wins." It's stayed with me ever since.====JACK:  It served you well, both in basketball and business, didn't it?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  My father was always a kind person and a busy person   He enjoyed life and worked hard and had lots of friends.  He was like that until his death.  He told the story about the day that I was born when he was playing in a baseball game.  The guys didn't tell him until after the game they all pulled out cigars and started smoking.====JACK:  That's a great story...I can see it in my mind.  Puff  Puff  Hooray for DeTaeye!

FROM JT IN MILWAUKEE:  I was told that on his closing days, my Dad said, "I'm 100 percent for Jesus." Let's say "Amen" to that on this 62nd ordination anniversary.====JACK:  100% for Jesus!  What a great remembrance!  Faith of our fathers, living still!  ...the Augustana fathers, too...Lars Esbjorn, T.N. Hasselquist, Conrad Bergendoff and the rest.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  today "3-finger brown" would be construed as bullying... js.====JACK:  Nicknames are bullying?  Ask your dad about "Stinky" Trevarrow.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Our dad had "eagle eyes"!  He was born and raised in Grayling, Michigan.  He could spot a snake wiggling in the grass or a trout in the AuSable a normal person could never see.  He knew every species of tree, bird, reptile, fish and plant!  He patiently pointed out everything in our walks with us kids.      His father died of pneumonia when my dad was 14.  My grandmother took over the Poor Farm as cook, caretaker and housekeeper.  My dad became the one to keep meat of the table for the people living there.  It was a huge building with two floors.  (After it was closed and reopened as a Eagles Club, it was hit by a tornado and the top floor was completely removed).      He loved the Lord and everyone around him.  He was very special!====JACK:  It was a really great day when God thought up the idea of creating memory.

FROM MK:  Wow your Dad was a professional ball player?   You are an incredibly interesting person do you know that?====JACK:  His team was semi-pro.  A group of major leaguers (including 3-Finger) barnstormed through my dad's town (Galesburg, IL) and had a games with his team...the No. 6 Cigars.  How's that for a team name?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/17/16
“This could be his “Come-to-Jesus moment.”  (Jeff Passon)  Passon’s comment was about a baseball player who needed to change his attitude on the playing field.  Even his own teammates were tired of his antics.  A “Come to Jesus moment” is a wake-up call.  In U.S. history there was a period called, The Great Awakening, when many people turned from evil ways to a Godly life.  Reassessment is good for all of us.  How can I make my life better…today?    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i have wondered on occasion where that phrase came from.  it could imply a kind of judgement (harsh?) but it could also mean a corrective of some kind which we can all use from time to time...and does anyone ever have a come to Buddha moment?  etc....====JACK:  I think that I've had more than one c-t-J moments in my life, realizing that I can't do it alone.

FROM TARMART REV:  I'm awakened to that possibility today--thank you for the challenge!!====JACK:  It's never a bad thing to have a Come-to-Jesus moment.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  You helped make it better already. Got me thinking more positive. Thanks

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/16/16
“When you can see God in small things, you can see God in all things.”  (Donald Hicks)  Which is more fascinating to you, a telescope or a microscope?  The first shows us how small we are in relationship to outer space.  The latter shows us a world that, by its smallness, is hidden from us.  When early map-makers came to unexplored regions, some would write, “Here be God.”  When you meet those questionable questions in life, write: “Here be God!”    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Reminds me of the Scripture I used yesterday with my Facebook devotion-- Then [Elijah of old] was told, “Go, stand on the mountain at attention before God. God will pass by” . . . A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn’t to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn’t in the fire; and after the fire A GENTLE AND QUIET WHISPER! (I Kings 19:11-12 The Message Bible). More fascinating at the present in my discoveries using His microscope, those smaller things of my life coming alive more so being a blessing to me and giving opportunity to bless others more readily.====JACK:  I see God in the "small" people of this small that they are overlooked by the "big" people.  Jesus said, "Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these, you have done it unto me."

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Both telescope and microscope are fascinating, but I think the telescope puts in perspective for me how minute we are when it comes to overall creation.   Nice to know (and believe) that God still cares for us, as "insignificant" as we are in the scheme of things. God is omnipresent - small and large.====JACK:  We are in the middle, between the tele and the micro scopes, thinking that ours is the real world.  "He's got the whole world in his hands."

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  There's a third option here. I have a Reducing Glass That zooms OUT on images and shows considerably more image . More places for God to hide.====JACK:  I think that God loves to play Hide and Seek.  He makes it a lot of fun.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/15/16
“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.”  (Raymond Lindquist)  I like the movie, What About Bob, especially the scene where Bob teaches Siggy to dive.  Do you remember learning to dive, or to swim, for that matter?  Scary!  There’s comfort in staying with the familiar.  As kids, we’d prod others to take risks by calling them, Scaredy Cats.  I like the Bible verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  God is a real help when we’re afraid.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Good words, Jack.  I almost drowned as a 10 year old kid. Saw an Errol Flynn pirate movie and on the way home went swinging by myself on a rope over Barnard's Pond near where I grew up. I got caught trying to put the rope on a tree step and it pulled me into the water. I cried for help and Rev. Black was tending his garden on top of the hill. He came and rescued me.  I determined to learn to swim next year by myself at Riverside Pool - and I did it.====JACK:  Circumstances often often cause us to become who we are.  I learned to swim the safe the Moline Y.  That was my growing up place in so many ways.

FROM DM IN IN LIV:  So true!  God is always my help when I am afraid.====JACK:  I remember the story how Jesus calmed the storm when the disciples were so afraid.  There are various kinds of storms in this life.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I was surprised when I retired from Junior High teaching, my Jazz choir gave me a plaque with my picture and them, with the inscription "I can do all thing through Christ who Strengthens me" with the scripture notation. They said they would always think of me and that verse; This was public school! Amazing !!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/14/16
“The flag is a symbol of our national unity.”  (Adrian Cronauer)  Flag Day is said to have begun in 1885 in a Fredonia, Wisconsin, classroom.  The teacher suggested that the pupils have a birthday for the American flag (it had 38 stars).  Of course today’s flag has 50 stars, one for each state in the United States of America.  It’s ironic that the battle for state’s rights should continue under a banner symbolizing unity.  No one ever said that marriage was easy.    ;-)  Jack

FROM JLF AT BULL'S EYE:  Did you out your flag out today?====JACK:  It is now!

FROM TRIHARDER:  I can't feel united with anyone that uses the flag as a weapon rather than a symbol of freedom.====JACK:  One of the principles that unites us is the freedom of speech (expression).  The symbolism of the flag is greater that the divergent opinions of the populace.====TH:  We united by one flag. But its13 stripes which could symbolize diversity seem to be becoming splinters. ====JACK:  What do you think of Lady Justice, with her blindfold and scales, being used as a symbol in courts?

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  WHEN I WAS in high school i was on a debate team.  the resolution one year was:  should Alaska and/or Hawaii be admitted to the Union?  i was on the affirmative side. ====JACK:  I remember those days.  The Civil War, in part, was fought over new states being added to the union.  Change has always been a hard sell...even for the Church.  Did you ever fight the battle as to whether or not the American flag should be displayed in the front of the church.
====ST PAUL:  indeed.   it was not an issue at SLLC where we did display the two flags but it was here a few  years ago.  we struck a compromise.  the flag is displayed in the building along with all our service personnel, etc.  but not in the nave.  there are no flags in the chancel.   there was one patriot who was quite incensed but we talked him down and tried to explain that the Kingdom of God is not the same as the USA.  he is still quite active at the church.

FROM TARMART REV:   Well stated, my friend!!====JACK:  I would hope that the politicians would see the lapel flag, not as a vote-getter, but as a sign that they believe in the principle, "one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all."====REV:  I will pray with you that they will . . . perhaps God can speak to their hearts better than we . . . sometimes I feel we come across only as "resounding gongs or a clanging cymbals" to the standard bearers.====JACK:  Did you ever watch Jim Barris and the Gong Show.  YouTube probably has an episode or two.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We have a Belle Tire store that flies a huge American flag. When the wind blows hard, it snaps and flutters.  We love to see that large flag.  New Baltimore is in the process of receiving donations for Michigan tallest flag pole.  We met an English lady who has moved to Michigan last year.  She told us they can no longer fly the 5 states flags because they may be offensive to some people.  She said she was finally able to fly her flag for the first in the United States.  Flags are very important and we should treat them with deep respect.====JACK:  When I see those businesses displaying HUGE American flags by the curbside, I wonder if it's a display of patriotism or a way to circumvent zoning ordinances that don't allow other banners like that.  What do you think?  Maybe I'm being too cynical.====JUDY:  Belle Tire didn't have to fight anyone for the flag.  Neither did New Baltimore.  We are by Selfridge Air Base and we have a lot of active and veterans living in the area.  It's patriotism!====JACK:  Here's what I read...Belle Tire displays its patriotism by flying a large American flag, a company tradition started in 1991 during the Gulf War.  “We thought it was important to show our patriotism,” said Jeff Kruse, vice president of Belle Tire. “We think it’s still important to continue to show it.”  The 20-by-30 foot flag flies on a 60-foot pole and is replaced every two months, he said. Rocket Enterprise Inc. from Warren, Mich. is hired to maintain and replace the flag.  Belle Tire leases the flag for $1,500 per year, which covers the cost of repair and replacements, said Lisa Adams, a sales representative for Rocket Enterprise.  The flag and pole can withstand winds up to 90 miles per hour, she added. The pole has to be wide enough to accommodate such a large flag.  Belle Tire has large flags in front of 76 locations in the Midwest, said Mr. Kruse.  “We get thousands of comments annually from customers and people who drive by and see it. They say they appreciate it,” he added.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Nope.  And few realize there is no comma (and therefore should be no hesitation or pause) between "one nation" and "under God" in the pledge to the flag.====JACK:  I remember the "todo" that arose when "under God" was added to the pledge.  There were good reasons given by those on both sides of the issue.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  We haven't had much unity in recent years; we really are a very diverse nation, but when it comes to "them" vs. 'us" I think we are still patriotic Americans! We don't want another war, to unite us in a cause!! How privileged we are to live in the almost have to have some experience "abroad" to fully realize that!  My flag is out! God Bless America!====JACK:  The flag is a symbol of what we stand for, just as the cross is a symbol for Christians.  Even the 10 Commandments are a sign of what God wants us to strive for.  We must not allow ourselves to let go of our principles, just because everything's not perfect.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  No Marriage is takes cooperation, consideration and compromise and in the case of our nation we need Washington to be willing to do the same. As my dear mother used to say,  " Tain't easy McGee" Taken from the old radio show Fibber McGee and Molly.  I do realize you are tooo young to remember that show.====JACK:  Of course, I remember Fibber McGee and Molly.  Fibber and Molly were really a married couple, Jim and Marian Jordan.  In their show, I liked the name of the street they lived on...Wistful Vista.  Do you remember what street you lived on when you were first married?====RJP:  Sure do....Oak Park Blvd in Oak Park, Ill. One room studio apt. Can't recal the exact address though because we were only there 6 months as we returned to Western Illinois U to go back to school.====JACK:  "Those were the days. my friend," as the song goes.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/13/16
“When someone you love dies, you never quite get over it.  You just slowly learn how to go on without them, but always keeping them tucked safely in your heart.”  (  When an event as horrific as the Orlando genocide happens, we immediately focus on cause, blame and question.  I’m thinking that each victim has grieving relatives and friends.  The loss is even greater than reported.  “No man is an island…” wrote John Donne.    :-(  Jack

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  My heart is heavy.====JACK:  You remember, don't you?  ====MARY:  every day.  mostly i can call upon all the comfort and joy of holding people in my heart.  some days i feel it too heavy to heart is with the loved ones of those gone.  i choose not to be tempted to live in the fear that is suggested by the media and some political figures.  it only grows contempt.====JACK:  In Sunday School I learned this song.  "I will not be afraid;
I will not be afraid;    I will look upward,    And travel onward,   And not be afraid.
He says He will be with me;  He says He will be with me;
He goes before me,    And is beside me,      So I’m not afraid."

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  It's true, when a loved one dies we find the way to carry on without them, while we continue to remain emotionally connected to them.  With a natural death we are somewhat prepared to accept their gradual departure from our lives, whereas the sudden and brutal nature of the deaths in Orlando hits hard in the hearts of those who loved the victims.  It's such a sad way for all those relationships to end.====JACK:  The unexpected is not easy, as when gladness is suddenly turned into sadness.  Our faith tells us that, ultimately, sadness will be turned into gladness...and, so, we wait.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I was at the Motor City Pridefest yesterday, helping at a booth with my Presbyterian friends. One of them is a lesbian woman who came from a conservative evangelical background--"love the sinner, hate the sin" was what she heard as she was maturing into a young woman. She had a long and arduous struggle as she grew up and finally came to terms with her sexual orientation. Yesterday as she was passing out buttons, bumper stickers and literature, so many times as she was conversing with people she was assuring each one that God also loves the "homophobe". Her testimony is that she could only get to this place of peace in her life is because of her faith in Christ Jesus. What happens with these hate crimes is that they draw a lot of revenge and retaliation and copy catting, etc., etc., etc. but it is the people (in my opinion anyway) GLBT and straight who can get to this place of loving the "homophobes" who are going to help peace and justice for everyone to come about in our country.====JACK:  The the hungry, those in nursing homes... and now at the are there!  Jesus said, "Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these, you have done it unto me."

FROM TARMART REV:  Very true . . . hearts are hurting . . . a radical realization and expression is at the forefront of America . . . this one cannot be fixed I don't believe by legislation, as it is a matter of the heart of a nation.====JACK:  The 10 Commandments are not effective  laws until we choose to obey them.

FROM CS IN RO:  Thanks for your words this morning.  I feel such sorrow for Orlando and for the gay community and for America.====JACK:   The shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:35..."Jesus wept."  Google shows many art renderings of Jesus he might be doing, even now.  ====CS:  Thanks . Yes he expressed the most human emotions.  We all can feel the grief of parents and loved ones

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's chilling!  What horrible thing!  We just can't imagine the suffering of the victims and of the loved ones!  Yet, we immediately start hearing about the heroes and how they put their own lives in danger to try to help.====JACK:  Somehow, the heroes always seem to appear.  There are many good people out there willing to step in and help, regardless...

FROM DR JUDY: Well done Jack! Supporting the grievers. Don't just focus on blame, etc.  Very sad in our country right now. Too much hate!====JACK:  Every tragedy has a sub-plot.====JUDY:  Well put!! (Might that be a newsletter quote sometime in the future?)====JACK:  I hadn't really thought of it that way.  But as Paul Harvey would say, there's a "rest of the story."  The Sandy Hook families are still living their tragedy.

FROM JR IN CALIFORNIA:  how true, how true.====JACK:  The survivors go on, but never really forget.  Such is the relationship between loved ones.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Having so recently lost my beloved 2nd son, I relate to these WW words in depth; And how appropriate for this sad and heartbreaking Monday!!  Not knowing the victims and families personally, we can only lift them in supporting prayer.   Sarah and I both have dear gay friends who are bright, creative, intelligent people. As you have said many times in WW, once we get to know different people, we love and accept them. Certainly God loves unconditionally! When will we ever learn??!====JACK:  How about the Tweet from the Texas Lt Governor, quoting the Bible verse, "You reap what you sow?"  Where was the sympathy?  the humanity?

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Yes - prayers for the families and friends...........and that we will recognize this as someone radicalized by Satan, and not respond with hate towards Muslims as a group.  Prayers for love, peace, understanding and reconciliation.====JACK:  Some people are turned off by religion  (Muslim, Christian, whatever) completely, believing that if God "allows" such killings, they want nothing to do with him.  There's so much misunderstanding out there.====RS:  I agree.  If there's anything "good" that comes out of events like this, it's the banding together of people in support of the victims - here in the Dallas area a Muslim woman supporting the gay community here on Facebook because the gay community rallied around her when there was a backlash against Muslims a few months ago.  And the support in London and Paris for Orlando.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  Jack, we have had a series of deaths in the last three weeks, Pr. Ellsworth Freyer, Pr. Charles Ruehle, Jane Barsch, the wife of Pr. Jim Barsch and then this morning, Pr. Dick Warber.   They are in our minds and in our memories!  Thanks for the hope we have in Jesus Christ, our risen Savior.====JACK:  During our ministry, you and I have conducted many, many funerals.  Should we not expect that someday one would be conducted for us?  I would not be surprised if you have "a plan" for yours.  Not too many laypersons do.

FROM BRIAN WILLIAMS (United Methodist Pastor):  It took me a day to reflect on the events of Saturday night to consider what I wanted to say, but I kept coming back to the statement members of my tradition make when somebody joins the congregation.  As the pastor, I ask, "Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?" and they respond affirmatively.  Usually, it's just a matter of thinking about such things in a vague, generalized way, but on Saturday night we saw evil in an all too real form.  And we're responsible as a society for resisting the hatred and oppression and evil that led this man to commit such a heinous act.  But then in our liturgy, it continues on with the congregation saying: "We will surround this person with a community of love and forgiveness."  There's a time to resist evil and there's a time to surround hurting people with a community of love.  And this is one of those times.  I hope and pray that the victims who survived and that the friends and families of those who did not have just such a community of love that is caring for them during their time of need.  And I hope we, regardless of our place in the religious and civic landscape of West Bloomfield, are doing all we can to ensure this is a community of love and forgiveness as well.

FROM JB AT LSTC:  There are not enough tears  As I look at the faces of the victims of the Orlando shooting, there are not enough tears to grieve the loss. My heart is broken, as it was   nearly a year ago when hatred lashed out in Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, SC. I ask unanswerable questions: Why? When will the killing end?  Then I ask "Where is God in this?" And I find the compassionate heart of God in the lines of people waiting to donate blood. In the crowds showing up to volunteer. In the prayers and words of comfort that may not be spoken in the name of Christ but surely are the heart of Christ.  As members of a Reconciling in Christ community, gifted by the gifts of so many LGBTQ colleagues, alumni, seminarians, now is a good time for us to renew our commitment to organize, advocate, and embody the full acceptance and participation of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, and continue to strive to dismantle oppression and injustice.
As a community with longstanding and deep relationships with our Muslim brothers and sisters, it is also a time for us to make sure that they are not demonized by the actions of one person who claims Islam as his religion.  This Thursday at noon, the LSTC community will gather to remember the 49 brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, mothers and father who were killed. We will pray for their families and friends. We will pray for the injured and all those caring for them, and for Orlando and so many other communities still healing after acts of violence. We will pray that the LGBTQ community may feel safe wherever they live and work and love. We will pray for our church, that through our witness to the Gospel we may be a source of reconciliation and peace in this troubled world.




Friday, June 10, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/10/16
“The most important trip you may take in this life is meeting people halfway.”  (Henry Boyle)  A Buddhist monk who was once a Chicago real estate tycoon has written a book, “Meeting the Monkey Halfway.”  It’s about his search for compassion.  I guess that trying to meet people halfway is a search for compassion, too…trying to put yourself in the other person’s place.  Seeking to understand each other is a good way to negotiate differences.    ;-)  Jack

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Good Morning,  I have spent a lifetime in professions where I am the middle man, the negotiator, so meeting people halfway is what I do every day. That is an interesting WW. More folks should try to have enough empathy to see another"s point of view. You do not have to agree just understand so you can come closer to meeting objectively.  Wow, you always get me thinking and energized early in the morning. Tooo bad you never have strong opinions eh???? HMMMMMMMM????????? LOL Have a great day.====JACK:  People in "sales" realize the importance of meeting people halfway, or soon they are no longer in sales.  Oh, and btw, halfway doersn't always mean, 1/2 way.

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Wow. Another good one!====JACK:  It can be frustrating when we are strongly committed to our views, but as the old saying goes, "Half a loaf is better than none."  The problem with some idealists is that they want everything and wind up getting nothing.  It can happen in relationships, too.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Good quote. I remember reading a similar quote about marriage: "The best marriage is when both are committed to going more than half-way in the relationship."  That, too, rings true!  It sounds as though that Buddhist monk would be an interesting person..quite a change in life from a tycoon to monk! We had quite a change in life-style, when we went from Business World to pastor and wife!  It's all good!!====JACK:  1/2 way is just a suggestion.  The wise person knows that various fractions can work to achieve the desired goal.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i always thought the most important trip we take is the last one we take:):====JACK:  Here's one of my favorite Bible quotes...David saying: "Yet as surely as the LORD lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death."

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/9/16
“Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.”  (Robert Brault)  I once knew a man who’d walk into a room and loudly say, “What is truth?” hoping to start a philosophical discussion.  He was a nice guy, but he did more talking than listening.  I think that it might have been more productive to walk into the room and ask, “What is kindness?”  Let me know what happens when you try it.    ;-)  Jack 

FROM C IN WBT:  These will be my words of the day as I move forward through the next few months (and then hopefully they will be nailed into my head permanently!) “What is kindness?” ====JACK:  You might consider tacking the question by your desk someplace where you can look at it each day.====C: I already did that and 3 places out in the outer office too!

FROM INDY GENIE:  I will ask my summer campers that question this morning and let you know what I learn :)====JACK:  I'll be waiting with bated breath.  (Bated: anxiously holding one's breath)

FROM LOUGEE:   "...And if you try a little kindness  Then you'll overlook the blindness  Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets..."  Glenn Campbell====JACK:  Hey!  That fits.  Isn't interesting how song writers can make messages entertaining and memorable?

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  While they are not the truth, little white lies, or fibs, are usually grounded in kindness, the intent being to forgo somehow offending someone. In such cases, as Mr. Brault noted, regret is not necessary. Choosing "What is kindness?" to start a conversation is quite a challenge!  I wouldn't want you to hold your breath waiting for me to try it.====JACK:  You might try it out with your wife, your son, or even with Sachi, or all three.  "What is kindness?"====RI:  Good idea.  (Not having heard of Robert Brault, I googled and found information about him.  I was struck by another quote of his: "What we find in a soul mate is not something wild to tame, but something wild to run with."  By my own nature I would first have to find what "wild" refers to.) ====JACK:  Untethered?     When I was a toddler my mother would put a harness on me, together with a leash (like a dog).  When I was left to play in the yard she would attach the leash to a long rope tied to a stake in the ground.  One day she came out and I was nowhere to be found.  After searching and searching she found me down the street sitting with some workers on their lunch hour who were building a house.  I still had the rope and stake with me.  I WAS WILD AND UNTETHERED!

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  I love this quote; have never heard it before.  Awesome!====JACK:  I'm more attracted to someone who is soft-spoken than to one who is out-spoken.

FROM TARMART REV:  I follow the Son of Man that did such a thing . . . unfortunately he ended up momentarily on a cross, but asks of us to do the same, be kind and take up our cross-- " kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." ====JACK:  With regard to "What is truth?" he said, "I am the truth."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's a fair statement.  We tell children all of the time that their artwork, or sandcastle, or drawing is just beautiful when in reality it is a child's drawing or whatever work they have done.  We tell most people what they want to hear when it's not a big matter to us or others but means a great deal to them.====JACK:  "What is beauty?"  Another question that depends on the definition that one decides to accept.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  We were taught that if you cannot say something good, don't say anything at all.====JACK:  I wonder if modern parents are into teaching adages like that?  Do you know?

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Some people do a kindness by staying OUT of the room. ====JACK:  I haven't met many people like that, but I haven't been in the ad business. 

FROM JT IN MINNESOTA:  I shared this one with the Support Group I facilitate for caregivers and care receivers of dementia.  The group actually is two groups at the same time in different rooms.  Two volunteers work with the folks who are experiencing memory loss and I work with the caregivers.  We understand the meaning of your words.  Forcing a fact that may be true can certainly be harsh and an approach which promotes their self worth is far more kind and gentle if not always precisely true.====JACK:  Yes, sometimes it is kinder not to be true to the truth.  Kindness wins!

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/8/16
“People with a sense of humor tend to be more humble in moments of success and less defeated in times of travail.”  (Bob Newhart)  The happy/sad masks symbolize that actors hide their true selves.  Comedians especially wear masks to hide their feelings.  Chevy Chase had an abusive childhood; Jim Carrey was once homeless; Gilda Radner had cancer; Charlie Chaplin wrote, “Smile though your heart is breaking.”  Is yours a happy or sad mask today?    ;-)  Jack

FROM FT IN MICHIGAN:  Nicky and I learned yesterday that a recent acquaintance had taken his own life over the weekend. We'd only met him on one occasion a few days prior, but we liked him very much, and hoped to see him again. After hearing about his death, we were immediately struck by how his demeanor had shown no obvious signs of the hopelessness and despair that must have overtaken him in the end. Remember that a warm smile and a broad grin may be merely the facade covering someone's broken heart.

FROM JB AT LSTC:  Did you know that there are laugh therapists who get people together to laugh?  Try it – just start laughing, even if your heart isn’t in it and very soon you will be laughing for real.
Thanks for the good thoughts –====JACK:  Nope!  I haven't heard of that therapy.  I get some laughter by listening to promises made by the presidential candidates.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  not a mask so much as an outlook...====JACK:  I'm somewhat of a guarded person, so people don't always see the real me.  I do let some of my friends take a peek behind the mask.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The child's laugh or tears can come and go in a matter of seconds. (I manage to do this a lot with my 21 month old grandson Ethan). But the real laughter...the belly laughs which wipe out all the sadness are the best kind.  If more people belly laughed their tears would subside.  The REAL laughter and the REAL sadness will be wiped away in a twinkling if the eye at the last trumpet call.  That's something to smile about.====JACK:  I'm sure that Sarah had a belly laugh when she was told that she was going to have a her 90's.====JUDY:  I know I sure would have!!!====JACK:  You're not 90, yet.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  The happy or sad mask will depend, in part, on what the repair technician tells us about our clothes dryer. I guess either way it will be a happy mask because we HAVE a clothes dryer.  Another actor whose mask hid the demons he was dealing with was Robin Williams.
Hope Summer is off to a great start for y'all and that you both are feeling good.====JACK:   I remember the day when our dryer was a bag of clothespins and a rope line in the backyard stretched from pole to pole.  If the line broke, my dad was the technician to put up a new rope.====RS:  I remember (vaguely) those days as well.  You just hoped for a nice warm breeze to get everything dried as quickly as possible.  Trying to remember what we did in the Winter when it was 20 below.====JACK: In the winter the sheets and clothes were still hung out and became "stiff as a board."  Eventually most of the moisture evaporated.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Happy for all of my blessings of a wonderful family and friends. ====JACK:  ...and the smile is on your face.  You don't need a mask.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/7/16
“It’s hard to hate up close.”  (James Comey, FBI Director)  Do you remember the song from The King and I?...“Getting to know you, Getting to know all about you.  Getting to feel free and easy When I am with you.”  Director Comey believes that police and citizens should have more face to face contact.  Studies show that most of us have a racial bias and use mental shortcuts when meeting “different” people..  The prejudice won’t be solved without a 1st step.     ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  the country is sooo sick of this race stuff. it is created by politicians & the media. black lives matter, as evidenced by fakebook's fake "trending" status, does not matter... ====JACK:  When somebody's sick they usually try to do something to cure the illness.  Like it, or not, racism still infects many of us.  I'm really and benefiting from some of my face to facers.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  right on target, as usual, Jack.  sadly, members of our Congress don't even know each other any more.  they refuse to buy homes in DC,  many fly in on Tuesday mornings, sleep on futons on their offices, shower in the congressional office buildings,  vote the way  they have been "bribed" to vote, and then fly home again late on Thursday nights (from a recent Time Mag. article).   Reagan and Tip O'Neil (polar opposites politically), were good friends.  same true for Ted Kennedy and Oren Hatch, etc.   now,  they don't even dine together.  its a lot harder to be angry with an old friend than with a perceived enemy.  have a good one...====JACK:  There MUST be at least two opposites in Congress who enjoy one another's company.  Now, I've read an article by Trey Radel, a former member of Congress.  In part, he writes:  "Two influential Congress members hold a dinner once a month to bring people from both parties together. One, is Debbie Wasserman Schultz; the other is Daniel Webster, a highly respected conservative Republican. The dinner is by invitation only, and there was one requirement. I had to invite a guest, and that guest had to be from the opposite party."  There is still hope.

FROM DR JUDY:  YES!! So true. This is why I was a member of the board for WISDOM (Women's Interfaith Solutions for Dialogue & Outreach in Metro Detroit) for several years, organizing numerous activities for people of many faith and at the cities to come together and meet each other and recognize our similarities rather than just the differences. Interfaith  This week I learned of two friends who got "on the outs" over a misunderstanding that could have been resolved by sitting down and talking it over.  Somebody has to make the first step.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  I thoroughly agree and I have my song of the day to sing with my little grandson Fip.====JACK:  In pre-school, how do you handle the situation when (if) a child says to another, "I hate you!"?

FROM COP MP:   Remind me to tell you about how some studies on how/when soldiers have personal contact with the enemy affects how/when they use force.====JACK:  I remember a story from WW 1.  On Christmas Eve, the soldiers on both sides climbed out of their foxholes and met in no-man's land to sing Christmas carols together.  They resumed fighting the next day.====MP:  The materials I have were from book by a former military officer named Grossman.  He has written at least two books, one called "On Combat", in which he details the historical and psychological impacts of how/when soldiers most frequently kill.  According to him, much less often when face to face.  But if you turn your back, you may not be so fortunate.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  There is a reason why marriage counselors have couples hold hands when they talk to each other. It is hard to be nasty when you have physical contact.====JACK:  I've never tried that one before...and I've had some nasty situations.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  These WW are so true!  Having portrayed "Mrs. Anna" in The King and I, I know the words to Getting to Know you" and the words certainly lend themselves to this thought today. Having visited many countries around the world, one gets the feeling that despite skin color and culture, we are so much alike in every way that counts! They are all "My Cup of Tea" when we get to know them!  We just need to reach out and take that 1st step toward unlearning prejudice!  And it's a two-way street!====JACK:  One of the positives that I've noticed with the passing of the years is how racial diversity is working with regard to families.====OAKS:  That would be ours...Mark's youngest girl married her College Sweetheart who is African American, and they have an adorable 8 mo. son whom we all adore.She has a year to go for Nurse Practioner, and he is a PR person (Master's degree) for St. Louis Cardinals in St. Louis. His middle girl Krista married a Puerto Rican man, who manages apartment complexes. She is a nurse. They have a handsome son, 7 mo, and she is mother to two mixed race African American/Caucasian girls. Our family is very close and loving and all get along great! Fred's kids and John's, and favorite Aunt Sarah accept and love each one, and they in turn love us back !  It can work....

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  You are so right.  I made my first pro bono appearance in more than a decade today on behalf of a “neighbor”.  When it was over and we were talking about his relationship with the authorities, I mentioned an old book he might have had to read in school – the Scarlet Letter.  He was raised in church and knew the story.  I told him that unfortunately due to prior transgressions, officers see him with the Scarlet letter.  It’s an unpleasant reality and his conduct must be above reproach due to personal and racial prejudice.  Sad but true.====JACK:  I remember a similar story of a young man who was caught stealing sheep.  The custom at that time was to brand, S.T. on the forehead of the person as a lifetime remembrance that he was a Sheep Thief.  The man turned from his evil ways and spent many years doing good things for the people of the community.  One day a stranger came to town and saw the man with the brand on his head.  He asked someone what the S.T. meant.  The person replied, "It's been a long time.  I think it stands for, Saint."  I admire attorneys who do some pro bono work.  It's good for the soul.====BB:  We are supposed to do pro bono.  All of us.  Every other year when I have to fill out the form with continuing education for licensure and I get to that part it bothers me.  The week after filling out those forms this year, the neighbor told me about his concerns.  It was uncanny.  Not sure if you’d call it an “answered prayer” but it seemed pretty obvious that I should try to do something positive.  There will be more hearings in the weeks to come and this will also propel me to do more research/study.  All good!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Mr. Comey had the right idea.  Loved that song!====JACK:  Try to imagine you having a face to face with Donald or Hillary.  How do you think it would go?

FROM TARMART REV:  We are seeing experimentation here in our county with the offender and with a designated social worker facilitating what is called 'circles'...the facilitator enlist a team of folk to meet, encourage, hold accountable and walk alongside the offender...made up of those who hopefully will influence this person to walk away from a previously addictive behavior to forming a better foundation to build their lives upon for better results.====JACK:  It sounds like the "intervention" program used to help the alcoholic "see" his/her need for help.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/6/16
“I wish people would love everybody else the way they love me.  It would be a better world.”  (Muhammad Ali)  I first knew him when he was Cassius Clay.  And then he became a Muslim and changed his name.  He became an advocate for peace in a time of war.  A boxer in favor of love and peace?  It didn’t add up.  So, I researched.  You learn something when you read the rest of the story.  Among his quotes, today’s speaks to what the world needs now.    ;-)  Jack  

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i, too, wonder about the incongruence of his knocking someone unconscious for "sport" & loving humanity.  just what did ali do that was so "loving"? being a conscientious objector?====JACK:  Here's another of his quotes that relates..." It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up."  As for being a C.O., when he became a Muslim, he tried to live that belief.  It may be hard to understand in this world, but the word, Islam, means, "peace."  The true Muslim tries to live in peace.====LIZ:  quotes? big deal... what did he do?
all religions are peaceful. again, big deal.  not trying to be a smart aleck, btw.====JACK:  We  are what life hands us.  He came back from the Olympics as a champion and was refused service at a "Whites Only" restaurant.  How would you react?  Many regarded him as a "smart aleck," but it was part of his persona, being an entertainer.

FROM TARMART REV:  He certainly was "one of a kind" and most remembered by our older generation...he and Howard Cosell were quite a pair and made Ali's fights even more entertaining. As strong as he was as a championed boxer, it was amazing to me to see the crippling affect Parkinson's did on his body over the years. I always wondered if his boxing career brought it on more so? ====JACK:  One of my friends died this past year of Parkinson's.  It's a terrible and mysterious disease.  My friend was a kind and peace-loving person, except when we were on the golf course.  I contribute to the Parkinson's Foundation in his honor.====REV:  Just lost a dear friend of my wife and mine . . . over twenty years she struggled with it . . . eventually losing the bottom part of one leg from the knee down due to a blood clot . . . I would take her husband out for lunch about every 10 days during this year to share encouragement with him as he took care of her right to the end . . . she died at 72. He's been out fishing quite a bit since her death a couple of weeks ago.====JACK:  In certain situations, we continue to ask, Why?

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  With all the time being devoted to Ali’s death on TV, Jack’s WW quote today helps with understanding why this ex-boxer is still called “the greatest”.====JACK:  In retrospect, I see Ali's religious conversion as a commentary on the importance of living your beliefs.  During the "Cassius Clay and Lew Alcindor" years, many Christians seemed oblivious to the teachings of Jesus to "love your neighbor as you love yourself."  ...and, of course, the Muslims have hypocrites, too.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  I didn't like him when he first came on the scene, then He became a black Muslim and avoided the draft; however in 1979 I met him having breakfast at the lunch counter at O'Hare Airport in the wee hours of the morning. He was gentle, kind and very giving and soft spoken one on one and I thought " who is this man?"  Like so many his outward persona did not reflect the inner soul. Very interesting human being.====JACK:  Usually, when we know the whole story, or meet someone in person, we have a clearer understanding of an individual.  Too often, we let the media define notables.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  I have a poster of Mohammed in my basement where I work out, it is the iconic photo of him with arm bent and a look of triumph on his face while standing over a fallen Sonny Liston. My dad took me to see that fight . We went to Windsor and watched it from a closed circuit TV feed. I was 12 and he was 22. I was confused at first when he changed his name from Cassius Clay . But I soon came to support him again. I have since stopped watching boxing, too hard for me to watch fighters  crush each other’s brains. Mohammed transcended sports and nations and brought about much change  to the world. He is someone I always looked up to and one who honored his principles and fought for justice outside the ring. I think we all feel like he is ours in a certain way.====JACK:  As children, most of us were taught not to brag.  Ali's "I am the Greatest" therefore turned some people off.  Sometimes it's hard to separate the person we see from the true person.  It works with regard to Ali, Howie and me, too.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  he certainly was a prophet for his time.  too bad the world didn't listen more closely to his words.====JACK:  Sometimes we get so caught up in the moment that we fail to see things in perspective.  We need to step back from the microscope and start using the wide-angle lens.  It works that way with the election process, also.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  He was so different than anyone I have ever seen on tv before.  He and Howard would tease each other and that was also something I had ever seen before.  I enjoyed watching him in his interviews.  He was the only boxer we would watch because none of us liked boxing.====JACK:  What if Jacob has boxed with the angel, instead of wrestling?  Would God have approved?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Ali was idolized and eventuallyl revered by; many. He said he tried to live in peace, and love everybody, and give 100's of free autographs to those who mobbed him, because he wanted to have a place in heaven. In his 60 Minutes interview with Morely Safer, he repeated that several times; he did what he did to secure a place in Heaven.  He certainly tried to live his adopted faith, and of course nobody would argue that loving others the way you love family and friends, creates a better world!! He always seemed to keep a sense of humor, and a bit of mischief  (and magic tricks) in dealing with others, and his family, too.!====JACK:  I'm trying to remember when general public opinion changed from anti-Ali to pro-Ali.  Perhaps it began in 1977 when President Carter pardoned the Viet Nam draft dodgers.  BTW, I think that Ed Bradley did the interview.  It was a good one.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Isn't it interesting that Ali should die just when the White Supremacists in America are making their last stand....====JACK:  Such is life...We die with unfinished business.  Did it happen that way with Jesus?

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  I so admired his courage on all fronts.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Wouldn't it be great if we could all love one another? Today is the 72d anniversary of D Day, and we all remember that day so well.  But the reality of life is that you do have to confront evil.====JACK:  Who could have imagined on D-Day that our enemies, Germany, Italy and Japan, would later be counted among our best friends?

Friday, June 03, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/3/16
“It might not be tonight, tomorrow or the next day, but everything’s gonna be OK.”  (froot loop inspired by Drake)  You can insure a house, a car, even a mustache, but you can’t insure peace of mind.  That’s where assurance comes in.  Our faith assures us that everything will work out in the end.  Blind hymn writer Fanny Crosby called it, “Blessed Assurance.”  I can’t explain it, but I have this assurance:  God is with me now, to the end of time…and beyond.    ;-)  Jack

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Love the hymn "Blessed Assurance". Everything is gonna be OK. Reassuring WW -- thanks for e-mailing them out.====JACK:  I'm amazed at what Fanny Crosby was able to do with her spite of her blindness.  She wrote over 8000 hymns.  Many are favorites of, "All the Way My Savior Leads Me."

FROM TARMART REV:  BLESSED ASSURANCE, Jesus is mine!  O, what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood. . . . Perfect submission, perfect delight, Visions of rapture now burst on my sight, Angels, descending, bring from above, Echoes of mercy, whispers of love . . . Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Savior am happy and blest; Watching and waiting, looking above, filled with His goodness, lost in His love . . . (Chorus) This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long.====JACK:  Are you you this as you're writing it? ====REV:  I of my favorite hymns and sung often as I'm traveling in my car alone when needing encouragement.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Love that song!  God has kept me safe thus far and I believe everything is going to be okay!====JACK:  It's good that you had insurance last winter when your house flooded...but more important that you have "Blessed Assurance."

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good stuff today, Jack.  thanks.   eye has not seen nor ear heard nor the heart of man even begun to conceive what God has prepared for those who love Him... ====JACK:  When it comes to seeing God, Fanny had as good eyesight (maybe better) as we have.
====SP:  point well taken.   was blind, but now i see (through the eyes of faith)   seeing is believing and believing is also seeing...

FROM JAN IN CALIFORNIA:  just nice to hear.====JACK:  Which is more important when it comes to liking a hymn, the lyric or the tune?  For me, it's the words.  The music helps remind me of the words.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  She dealt with many tragic circumstances, her blind husband dying before their baby girl was born, then the baby dying soon after birth (when she wrote Safe in the Arms of Jesus) and dealing with blindness because the wrong eye drops were put into her eyes as a baby....She could have been bitter and resentful, but she was an upbeat, and victorious Christian .Amazing !  Bless her devoted Grandma who had her memorize great portions of Scripture as a child.  Inspiring words today...the assurance that things are SOMEDAY going to be O.K. in the world!!  That is our hope and promise...====JACK:  I may have told you this story before....A young child was buried from the church on a Saturday.  The next day the parents and other family members were at the Sunday services, as usual.  A little boy poked his mother and whispered, "They really do believe, don't they?"

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  I have it too and the words of the hymn are now playing in my mind. ====JACK:  Blessed Assurance has an interesting story connected with the hymn's tune..."Fanny Crosby was visiting her friend Phoebe Knapp as the Knapp home was having a large pipe organ installed. The organ was incomplete, so Mrs. Knapp, using the piano, played a new melody she had just composed. When Knapp asked Crosby, "What do you think the tune says?", Crosby replied, "Blessed assurance; Jesus is mine."

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/2/16
“If you only pray when you’re in trouble you’re in trouble.”  (The Savvy Sistah)  Intrigued, I found out that Sistah is Roshonda Payne, a successful businesswoman, who blogs daily positive statements to her readers…Wake up and have a wonderful day…After 3 hours of sleep, I still have a smile on my face…I’m too thankful to complain…I’m learning to appreciate the little things in life…I trust God with the steps I have to make in my life.  Good advice!    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I wonder if anyone in Fallujah, Iraq is reading those blogs?====JACK:  I wonder if the common Muslim prays in the same way that you and the common Christian prays?

FROM TARMART REV:  Indeed, good advice!!====JACK:  In the AG churches are the women referred to as sistahs? and the men as bros?====REV:  Saw that and had a smile . . . no more "brothers and sisters", a few "bros", but no "sistahs" I know of. 0;-))====JACK:  "Not my brother, not my sister, but it’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer."

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i have a friend who, when asked how she is,  will almost always answers, "thankful."====JACK:  We were asked to be Godparents for a baby named, Faith.  She has grown to be a woman who lives up to her name.====SP:  my godparents, now deceased, also had a daughter named Faith.  i think that name was kind of trendy some decades ago.  you don't hear it much any more.   wonder why...====JACK:  Charity's another one.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  What a great thought!  It's hard to put into practice when nearly every morning I get up at 7 to let workers in to start banging and pounding right away.  However they are extremely nice and work is getting done on the house.  It puts a smile on my face just thinking about it!  Imagine, the damage was done in February, we were in Florida, and it was in the 80's.  Here it is June, they are hard at work and it's in the 80's!====JACK:  Lesson:  "Don't go to Florida in the winter!"

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  SO TRUE!====JACK:  Yet, the omniscient God understands and i willing to forgive his feeble saints.

FROM, DM IN LIV:  These are awesome!  I will be looking Sistah up.  Thank you====JACK:  In this new religious world, I wonder if Catholic nuns are referred to by their first names, or are they still called, Sistah?