Friday, July 29, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 7/29/16
“Legacy.  What is a legacy?  It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.”  (Alexander Hamilton in the musical, Hamilton)  The picture of Hamilton was going to be replaced on the $10 bill, until people began to read of his importance in U.S. history.  The Broadway musical, Hamilton, tells his story in such an entertaining way, that it’s the hottest ticket in NYC, costing up to $500 each.  Legacy is often worth more than money.    ;-)  Jack

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 7/28/16
“Adopt the pace of nature.  Her secret is patience.”  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)  I’ve read that it takes a Chinese Bamboo tree 5 years to grow.  For 4 years, nothing seems to be happening.  In the 5th year it breaks out and can grow to 80’ in 6 weeks.  People sometimes give up on a diet, because it doesn’t seem to be working fast enough.  We live in a quick-fix society.  Without the struggle in the cocoon, the caterpillar wouldn’t become a butterfly.  Be patient today!    ;-)  Jack

FROM MAR-LYN:  Your message today was perfect with this sore knee and therapy. Am doing well all things considered. Thanks for the prayers.====JACK:   Been there; done that!  It's amazing how our miracle body can adjust to fake parts, given a proper amount of time.  I know that it's an old story, but I like the one about the person who prayed to God:  "Lord, give me patience, and give it right now!"

FROM C&E:  We are leaving Tuesday for Mayo Clinic.  I will let you know how it goes.  Take care! ====JACK:  Be not dismayed what-e’er betide,    God will take care of you!
Beneath His wings of love abide,    God will take care of you!
God will take care of you,  Through every day o’er all the way;
He will take care of you;    God will take care of you!

FROM SJP:  What a thought for contemplation! It is so much God's plan! And there is evidence all around us. My shrimp plant seemed never to bloom again! Now there are five buds slowly coming into bloom. From infancy (seedling) to maturity followed by decline God's Bell Curve of His creations.====JACK:  I read of a lily that grows in the Himalayas.  It's just a green clump, but after 5 to 7 years, it sprouts up to about 10' tall and has beautiful trumpet-shaped flowers.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Love those words!  I thought Patience would be a nice name for a girl but named our daughter Kimberly Dawn.  I'm not sure why but probably for the same reason I was named Judith Ann instead of Judy.  My mom thought I might turn out to be a Judith instead of Judy.  Little did she know sometimes I would be Judith Ann!, sometimes Judy, sometimes Judy Ann, or Judy in Disguise, Judsey, Judybeans or Outhouse Jud!  But in fact, one of my virtues is Patience! ====JACK:  Have you ever heard of the singing sisters, Patience and Prudence?  They're famous for the hit song, "Tonight You Belong to Me."  You can hear it on YouTube.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 7/27/16
“The rainbow comes and goes.”  (Anderson Cooper)  I’ve got A.C.’s book on reserve at our library.  I want to know the background of the title.  Traditionally, the rainbow is a sign of good fortune, but we know that rainbows are only temporary.  After the Flood, Noah had to get back to work (that’s another story).  If I were to guess about Anderson’s relationship with his mom, it would have up and down times…with a happy ending.  “Somewhere, over the…”    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  ...always a beautiful sight to behold, whenever and wherever!! When trying to chase it, I've never gotten close enough as it is always down the road just a little further. ====JACK:  Some people are so busy chasing rainbows, that they don't take the time to just stand back and enjoy the beauty of God's creation.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  The rainbow also has become the symbol for the LGBT community, of which Anderson is a member.  Perhaps that has some meaning as well.  The rainbow - all the colors coming together.====JACK:  Even though I knew of it, I hadn't made that connection.  When I read the book, I'll have to see if the subject arises.  Thanks for your functioning brain.

FROM FINN FRIEND:  Rainbows are also used by LGBT people as their symbol and are featured on their "flag", as you probably know.  Anderson Cooper's partner is Benjamin Maisani according to his Google profile.  I wonder if that has some meaning in his title?====JACK:  RS also called this to my attention.  One's sexual orientation doesn't seem to make the "difference" that it once did.  I like Anderson Cooper and his reporting.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Since Anderson has come out as a gay man the Rainbow may have a meaning related to his life's ups and downs in that reference.  I don't know, just conjecture.  Ain't life interesting...====JACK:  You're the 3rd one of make that "rainbow connection."  I would be surprised if I read about that in the book, because I think that, for him, the rainbow has more to do with an up and down relationship with his mother.  But, it remains to be seen.

FROM KANSAN DON:  Rainbows are associated with hope.  But I often try to point out that the flood represented God's utter disappointment in the creatures God made.  That makes the rainbow God's declaration of giving a Second Chance to the undeserved creatures.  I connect the word "forgive" with the symbol of the rainbow.  Or, is it the preacher in me?====JACK:  You make a good point, except that the only people to see the rainbow were the faithful people (and the animals).  The "2nd chance" sign is a good one for us who can read the story and reflect.  The rainbow is a good way to express grace in sign language.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  The book is a good read, especially if you remember Gloria Vanderbilt in her heyday. For years I never connected Anderson Cooper with her. He's never used any of the Vanderbilt money, but is now very close to his mother. I love the Title, and it has impacted how I think of life. The rainbow DOES come and go !====JACK:  There's a certain kind of "softness" about Anderson's style of reporting that I like.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's a grand idea God had, to use a rainbow.  It's wonderful too it is only after a stormy or rainy day the rainbows appear.  For in this world filled with so much beauty, we often overlook the radiance because of the ugliness.  If rainbows were in the sky everyday, would we see them at all?====JACK:  The rainbow sign:  Better days are ahead!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 7/26/16
"You can’t get much done in life, if you only work on the days you feel good.”  (Jerry West)  I remember receiving an award for perfect attendance at Sunday School.  Even when on vacation, my parents would hunt up a place for me to attend S.S., so I’d get my “pin.”  Margret Chase Smith of Maine didn’t miss a US Senate vote for 13 years until she had surgery.  Employers value those who can be relied on.  The 7 Virtues could have an 8th, reliability.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  well, these are surely timely words for today, Jack.  many thanks. ====JACK:  I only remember one time that I woke up on a Sunday morning and was unable to conduct the service and preach.  It was after spending an entire Saturday slogging through snow and swamps on my first (and last) deer hunting experience.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I did the same thing!  I went when I was sick once and mom had to come and get me!  I tried to instill that in my choir kids with attendance prizes at the end of the year.  I don’t think it took!====JACK:  After a while we learn that the reward is in the doing.  My Sunday School (Kindergarten) promised each of us a present if we were able to memorize the 23rd Psalm.  My present turned out to be a necktie...just what I wanted.  At a Sunday School picnic I won a race, and my prize was a pocket knife.  I was so excited that I went home and tried it out on my mother's new sewing machine cabinet.  I never did that again.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  A quote attributed to Winston Churchill; "85% of the world's work is done by people who don't feel very well." He stayed with Pres. Franklin Roosevelt several times, and am sure he observed how he slogged through his days feeling much less than 100%. Most reliable working people do keep going "no matter what".  I think this was  especially true of "the greatest generation", but am sure it still is true today. Good WW!====JACK:  Sometime, try to Google Harry Golden's essay, "The Show Must Go On."  Let me know what you think.

 FROM TARMART REV:  It was perfect attendance for my father...always attending Sunday School while on vacation or Sunday School and missing church if we were scheduled to be out of town for greater family gatherings. If my memory is correct, 15 or so years of perfect attendance.====JACK:  At our church they gave a pin with a numbered removable disc.  Your dad's disc would have the number, 15.  My pin's disc is the letter, T (Teacher).  I got that when I graduated from being a pupil.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Perfect words for me today.  If I only did work it play on the days I felt good, I would never leave my bed.   We went to VBS at a little white Baptist church in Harper Woods.  I loved the old Baptist songs we learned in VBS and still know them..."Washed in the Blood", "We will gather at the River", "Jacob's Ladder".  As for reliability, you can always count on an outhouse.====JACK:  Do you remember the days of the Sears catalog?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 7/25/16
“What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens.”  (Ellen Glasgow)  A relatively new word for me is emoji (meaning, picture).  It’s sometimes referred to as, emoticon, an icon showing emotion.  The smiley face is the most common (among 1,851 of them).  I use “the wink” for Winning Words.  Have you figured out why?  If you were to use an emoji to give your reaction to life today, what would it be?  Be thoughtful!  Be creative!    ;-)  Jack

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  It   would probably be a circle of arrows, going up and back down, up and back a Ferris wheel. We  Hope and Despair, Hope and Despair,  are passionate and Indifferent, passionate and indifferent, Loving and only Tolerant, Loving, and only Tolerant, Faithful and Doubtful, etc.. In other words a bipolar icon, as the rainbow comes and goes....And the wheel of life  keeps turning.  But we always have the seat with the safety bar on the ride...our loving Savior rides with us through it all!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 7/22/16
“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus.”  (M.L. King Jr)  As a child, do you remember playing, “Follow the Leader,” where someone is chosen to lead and those who follow behind have to mimic the leader’s actions?  It can be hilarious.  Adults can play that game, too…sometimes it’s hilarious…sometimes, not.  Jesus (G-d) said, “Follow me.”  Have you seen the wristband, WWJD (What Would Jesus Do)?  Good advice!    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Indeed, good advice!! Have a very enjoyable and blessed weekend, Jack. My wife and I are headed for Rochester, MN this weekend, celebrating our 46 years of married life and looking around the city. Hopefully be here Monday for Jack's Winning Words.====JACK: Looking ahead...Monday's quote should fit well with your situation.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  The leadership of Donald Trump reminds one of Olaf Tryggversson or one of the other bloodthirsty Viking leaders who devastated the countryside and showed no mercy for anyone.   We truly have "Barbarians at the Gates" right now....====JACK:  A quote that I remember from John Deere Junior High..."The quality of mercy is not strain'd, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven  Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes."  It was only later in my educational journey that I connected this quote up with the concept of grace.  A real leader knows what grace is all about.  A modern interpretation of what Shakespeare wrote might be, "It's to the benefit for both of us if you'd give me a break here."  I can't see Olaf and Donald as grace-givers.====JOHN:  As ire all that was either spoken by Shylock or about him... A Jew.   They know something about Grace, too====JACK:  True.  Grace is not only a Christian concept.

FROM INDY GENIE:  Wow...I love this quote. I can learn from it:)====JACK:  Look around you.  There are lessons to be learned from much that is happening, both positive and negative.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I taught Kindergarten for just one year, but I was amazed to discover that you could pick out who the leaders of the class were going to be, probably , all through school, already!  I grew up with a group of girls who were leaders, and definitely helped mold consensus in H.S. and college, and even communities, on issues important to them (and me).... Following Jesus is a life-long adventure, and uses every bit of talent you've been blessed with~! Good WW to remember!====JACK:  Leaders can't be leaders if there are no followers.  Hats off to the loyal followers!   

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: 👍🏻====JACK:  I left leadership examples open-ended, so people can respond...IMO.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 7/21/16
“We can learn much from wise words, little from wisecracks, and less from wise guys.”  (William Arthur Ward)  One of my favorite Bible books is Proverbs which is meant to be a book of instructions for living a life pleasing to God.  It expresses Biblical values, morals and right conduct…wise sayings, often with hidden messages.  If it’s been a long time since you’ve read from the Bible, you might restart by scanning Proverbs.  You can even Google it.    ;-)  Jack

  FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Proverbs is such a good book!  I used to read it up the kids all the time.  I still do read it myself.  We could all use a few wise words:  big or small!!====JACK:  I like to read Proverbs in modern translations in order to "dig" into the meaning.

FROM TARMART REV:  Good words of wisdom this morning, both Jack's Winning Words and the Book of Proverbs.====JACK:  The 1st..Wise Words; the 2nd..A wise guy.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I read something  yesterday that made me laugh..."All pro athletes are bilingual. They know English and profanity." (Gordie Howe, hockey great, in Sports Illustrated.) I guess it might qualify as a wisecrack?  "Life's Little Instruction Book" by H.Jackson Brown, follows up on the book of Proverbs.====JACK:  Gordie is a real favorite in Detroit.  They're even going to name the new bridge that will go from Detroit to Windsor (Canada), the Gordie Howe Bridge.  Howe was from Saskatchewan and played most of his career in Detroit.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 7/20/16
"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”  (Neil Armstrong)  Today is Moon Day, recognizing the man’s first step on the surface of the moon, 7/20/1969.  A friend of mine was one of the engineers working on that project.  During the landing process alarms started going off.  It turned out to be a software issue.  He was proud, but did not relax until the crew was safely back.  I’m hoping for another leap for mankind.  We could use it.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TRIHARDER:  Did he say "a man"?  As I recall it, the transmission voice from the moon was somewhat garbled.  Whether it was "a man" or "man" depends on Neil's recollection.  He probably had in mind what he would say upon landing.  Sometimes the excitement of a situation can make us say things in a way we didn't intend.  Today, he might say, "a human" or "humankind."====TH:  Sounds pretty clear to me.  But, yes, he could very well have been caught up in the excitement. Not many have repeated that feat.

 FROM OPTILOU:   Good Morning, Pastor!  And tonight's moon is referred to as a Buck Moon!  See   Wishing you a beautiful day!====JACK:  I've read that the naming of certain moon phases goes back to early times when the moon indicated seasons...Sturgeon Moon (good fishing), Thunder Moon (rainy season), Hay Moon (haying season), and, of course, Harvest Moon.  I'm sure that you can name many songs that are moon-related, too.

 FROM KS IN MICHIGAN:  Thanks for the winning words.  I remember that day!====JACK:  Some events are unforgettable.  What do you have in your memory bank?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The moon landing was so long ago yet it seems like yesterday.  We could use some giant leaps!====JACK:  Leaps back to civility would be more than welcome.

FROM JACKHAMMER:  You've got that right Jack.  Seems mankind has gone backwards recently....................====JACK:  In 1863, Santayana wrote: "Those who cannot remember the (mistakes of) of the past are condemned to repeat (them) it."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My 84 yr. old grandfather, who could remember the Wright bros. initial "flight", was absolutely astounded by astronauts and  space travel. What progress of aviation in one lifetime! I've been to the Space Museum at the Smithsonian, The Museum of Science and Industry and Chicago Planetarium, and seen those tiny capsules they flew through space in, and marvel at the daring and courage of those early astronauts!!  Just finished reading "The Martian" (the movie was very good, too) and again, am in awe of the brain-power of all who work on the space projects.  I just know one nuclear engineer, but his brilliance is typical of so many in that field! Kudos to all!! ====JACK:  Bachman-Turner Overdrive had a song, "You Ain't Seen Nuthin Yet."  Just as Grandpa was stunned by the astronaut program, there will be things to stun us, as well....not to mention, "Eye hath not see, nor ear heard etc."

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 7/19/16
“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”  (Song by Meredith Willson)  Some friends of mine celebrate Christmas in July to give more meaning to the day.  They may be disappointed to learn that Santa and Mrs Claus are taking a break from their Hawaiian vacation to throw a Party for Kids at a local mall.  Christmas Creep is a term describing how retailers are moving Xmas to an earlier time each year.  My friends may have to move their celebration to Dec 26.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  The Mrs. works for Hallmark at our local mall three evenings a week...they traditionally promote Christmas in July where a large display of Christmas ornaments for the tree or table are there for the purchase. It's quite the ordeal for the store and employees to set up for.====JACK:  There was a friend of mine whose Christmas card was always the first one we received...sometimes the day after Thanksgiving.  Another friend's card always comes toward the end of January.  Early or late, I like receiving Christmas cards.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Oh, dear Gussey! I love Christmas, but let's keep it in December! Our big family  reunion is always Thanksgiving, which is pretty well eclipsed by Christmas Creep!  Halloween seems to get bigger and bigger these days, too. I notice our big chain stores are promoting "Black Friday" sales in July, which is usually the day after Thanksgiving....Lots of seeming desperation in the economy. If people can enjoy a Mall Christmas Party in 97 degree weather (here the heat index is over 100) more power to them. I will wait for December!====JACK:  Dear Gussey is a new one for me.  But it sounds like it could be related to, Land Sakes, Gee Willikers, Oh Gleeps, Gadzooks, By Gumn Criminy and Little Orphan Annie's Gee Whiskers (and Leapin' Lizards).

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Surprise Winning Words today!  Some stores have Christmas supplies out.  The craft stores have them out early for a reason.  It make Christmas crafts you need supplies.  But July???====JACK:  Many people aren't aware that the exact date of the birth of Jesus is not known.  December 25 was arbitrarily chosen (for a variety of reasons).,.so, it could have been in July.  In reality, the date is not important.  It's the fact of his birth that we celebrate.====JUDY:  I remember hearing that December 25 wasn't Jesus' actual birthday.  I was shocked.  Just for grins, wouldn't it be fun it they changed the date each year?  I don't care about his actual date now, I just care he came!====JACK:  One of the carols speaks to that point when we sing, "Be born in us today."

Monday, July 18, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 7/18/16
“Let’s put your worry on the shelf while we listen to (play a calming song).  Then, we’ll pick up that worry again.”  (Renee Jain – 49 Phrases to Calm an Anxious Child)  While Renee’s advice is for calming children when they’re worried, I’ve adapted it for us grownups.  We never seem to outgrow worry.  There’s much internet advice on how to calm fear.  I like Satchmo’s advice (  Psalm 23 is a help, too.     ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  The next step is to go out and do something about whatever it is...don't just sit and be a victim.====JACK:  Has that had an calming effect for you when things upset you?  A song that might go along with that is: "Be not dismayed whate'er betide, Go will take care of you."

FROM TARMART REV:  That sure perked up my day!!====JACK:  Do you remember the days when coffee was "perked?"  The aroma would perk me up.====REV:  I do, indeed!! 

FROM INDY GENIE:  Love this! Thank you. Another one I use personally and with the children at school  is "Don't worry 'bout a thing...cuz every little thing is gonna be alright" ...Three Little Birds by Bob Marley:) I'm going to play Satchmo for them too...they'll love it and I think we'll be dancing too!====JACK:  You might have to explain what a doorstep is.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Good one.  Easier said than done however!====JACK:  A well-known adage, "Anything worth doing is worth doing well," is from Lord Chesterfield.  BTW, do you remember when Chesterfield cigarettes were popular?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I searched the Youtube address for Satchmo, but no luck. Par for the course, for me, WHAT DID I DO WRONG//!!  :-(  Coach John Wooden was probably right, when he said, "Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out." So put your worry on the shelf, and make the best of things!! :-)====JACK:  Yes, put your worry on the shelf.  But, it's also important to LEAVE it there.====OAKS:  Yes; why ruin two days, when you can just worry about it when "it" happens?!  It IS our human nature to take it back off the shelf, and continue the worry....:-(

FROM DMF:  I like that you have the link to the song.
FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  His playing is enough to calm you and make you think of blue skies and sunny smiles.====JACK:  A couple more of good Satchmo songs..."When you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you"...and "What a wonderful world" (trees, flowers, skies, rainbow, faces, friends)

FROM JT IN MINNESOTA:  thanks.  that is music and a great message.  I have difficulty understanding the words in the songs of today.====JACK:  Yes, you could understand some of the words of the old songs, but some meanings could be hard to understand, like..."Marzy Dotes an Dozy Dots  An little lamzydyevee  Akiddlee eyveetoo  Wuddnyoo?"====JT:  Well that is true.  I hadn't thought of that one.  It is a bit difficult to find a meaning for.  I never did.====JACK:  Here's the translation..."Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy."  The ear then hears the final line as "[a] kid'll eat ivy, too, wouldn't you?"

FROM EEC:  That’s a nice idea!====JACK:  There's a great quote, "Music soothes the soul."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I love that song.  I had an interesting experience today while grocery shopping.  My bagboy surprised me by asking me what I was going to do the rest of the day.  I told him that I was going to watch the convention because I had taught American History ad Government and had worked in Washington for our senator and had belonged to the NAACP in the 40s and 50s. Then I asked him what he is interested in as a high school senior.  He said he was into  the sciences-chemistry and physics.  So I wished him well and to help to build a better world.====JACK:  Once a teacher, always a teacher.  That bagger will probably tell others about his conversation with you.  "Each one teach one."

Friday, July 15, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 7/15/16
“There are victories of the soul and spirit.  Sometimes, even if you lose, you win.”  (Elie Wiesel)  I recently read of a female softball player who was about to score the winning run in a championship game when she turned her ankle, fell to the ground, and couldn’t get up.  The 3rd baseman and the shortstop on the opposing team picked her up and carried her to homeplate for the score.  That’s an example of winning by losing.  How do you define a champion?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  "... have fought the good fight, finished the race and remained faithful" (II Timothy 4:7)====JACK:  I can imagine that if Timothy had had a TV, he would often be tuned into the sports channel, especially the track meets.====PAUL:  I could see that...BTW, summer olympics should be coming our way again soon...always enjoyable to watch.====JACK:  If there are TVs in heaven, Timothy will probably be watching the action Rio.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  For me, one of the best traits a "champion" can have is how they carry themselves and the examples they set for others - especially children.  When Stan Musial passed not long ago, Willie Mays said - "I never heard anyone say anything bad about Stan the Man - ever."  That got me to thinking about how many people I know, or have heard of, that could be said about.  Not many.  And champions don't have to be athletes - they can be every day people who you respect for their values and behavior.  Especially with all the killings, racial hatred, and other negative stuff we hear about daily, we need more "champions".====JACK:  One of my favorite breakfast foods is Wheaties, the Breakfast of Champions.  When I was growing up some of the players from the Moline Plows of the Three-Eye League would sit in the display window of a local department store and eat Wheaties.  Watching them, and also listening on radio to Jack Armstrong, the All-American boy, etched in my mind that winners would eat Wheaties.  I even remember the Wheaties' jingle.
Have you tried Wheaties?  They're whole wheat with all of the bran.
Won't you try Wheaties?  For wheat is the best food of man.
They're crispy and crunchy  The whole year through,
The kiddies never tire of them  and neither will you.
So just try Wheaties,  The best breakfast food in the land.
====RS:  Amazing how we can remember things like the Wheatie's jingle from years ago and can't remember what we had for lunch last Friday.  I don't think it's Alzheimer's but may I have the beginning of "sometimers"====JACK:  Yesterday I heard of someone in their early 50s who has the onset of early Alzheimer's.  In my daily prayers I continue to thank God for my mind. ====RS:  Yes - all too often I find myself taking blessings for granted.  In a way I think challenges and hurts are God's way of reminding us how good we have it.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  A Champion is certainly one who WHAT, and BY WHOSE MEASURE, do they surpass the ordinary, is the question.  We all have our personal standard of greatness, but I believe Elie Wiesel would be one in most of our books. I like the late Saul Bellows  quote: "A man is only as good as what he loves." When we love, we "champion" our causes.  Years ago my husband and I "lost" a pretty comfortable life style, to enter a life of ministry;(from a Cadillac to a Ford.) :-)  and when a golfing buddy asked Bill how that felt, his reply immediately was, "It feels like going from Death to Life." I never forgot it.====JACK:  What a great Bill-quote!  BYW, I looked up the etymology of champion and found out that a champion is one who competes...not necessarily one who wins, as we so often think.  I like the motto of Special Olympics..."Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Someone who wins fairly.====JACK:  Who do you consider to be that kind of person/team?====JUDY:  Steve Yzerman.====JACK:  Great choice.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 7/14/16
“I wish you sunshine on your path and storms to season your journey.”  (Robert A. Ward)  I grew up in a home that used pepper, hot mustard and horseradish.  We liked our food seasoned.  My life path was seasoned with some dark clouds, also.  But, time has given me opportunity to reflect and see that the clouds turned out to have a silver lining.  The disciples learned this, too,  during a storm.  In fear they called out to Jesus.  He calmed the storm…and their fears.    ;-)  Jack

FROM CS IN MICHIGAN:  Would just like to tell you this morning that you have once again helped me to start my day with a more positive attitude.
Thank you. ====JACK:  Have you ever tried horseradish?  At first, it takes your breath away, your nose tingles...but, in the end, the zest makes it worthwhile.  Such is life with its ups and downs...the zest makes it worthwhile.====CS:   I have begun to add ginger and cayenne pepper to my morning shakes!====JACK: Pepper in my shake would really make me shake.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  I just found several sermons I gave at Holy Spirit when you went on vacation.  One from 1993 dealt wit fear, how Jesus spoke to overcoming fear and how not to be afraid and how to turn fear into something positive. FEAR ( false expectations appearing real).
 It was fun reading it again.====JACK:  A couple of weeks ago a layperson gave the sermon while the pastor was on vacation.  It was outstanding, as was yours.  The pulpit is not necessarily reserved just for the pastor.====RJP:  I was there.

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  I KNEW you liked horseradish… funny thing is…. I do too now ! ====JACK:  I remember the surprised look on your face when you first tasted the mashed potatoes in which I had secretly put in some horseradish.

FROM TARMART REV:  Very well presented, Jack!!====JACK:  When horseradish is presented at our table it's usually right out of the bottle.  I'm the only one who eats it.====REV: I've added it upon my hot dog more than once, making it much more tasty!!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  The volunteer secretary at the church where I first served would go home everyday for lunch and eat something with a lot of horseradish on it.  You could smell it all afternoon!  funny the things you recall over the years!====JACK:  We all have our remembrances.  I could write a book....but won't.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My kids and "grands" go for far more "hot" seasoning than this old gal, but what would we do without salt, especially...there is no good substitute!  Yes, hopefully we all will have our share of sunshine, and a few dark clouds to help us appreciate the sunny ones! As Anderson Cooper says in his memoir with  his mother, "The Rainbow Comes and Goes"....Remember that old song, Look For The Silver Lining" (whenever clouds appear in the blue...)  My twin and I used to sing that in our programs so many years ago! :-)====JACK:  ...and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," a song of hope.  Were you the one who said that you heard it sung at a funeral?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  When I was teaching in the 1950's one of  my  favorite quotes was, "America is great because America is good-when America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."====JACK:  It's probably too long to fit on a baseball cap, but I like it.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's the seasoning in life which gives it spiciness, the tango mess, the sourness and the sweetness.  We know life may have its very sour-or sad times, but in the very end it will be sweeter than we can ever imagine.====JACK:  When I order "Chinese" I usually get sweet and sour chicken or pork.  Speaking of sadness, one of my friends had a funeral service where the hymn, "Almost Persuaded," was sung.====JUDY:  How very sad.  I looked up the words.  I also read how Billy Graham and he was persuaded by this song.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 7/13/15
“You have to be careful who you let define your good.”  (Lois McAllister Bujold)  One of the disturbing things about a “political year” is how people generally are so willing to accept as true whatever politicians say, or whatever the ads say.  I’m not going to let them define for me “what is good.”  I learned “good” from my parents, my Sunday School teachers and from the professor who taught my ethics class.  There’s a song, “They can’t take that away from me.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  How true!====JACK:  Who defined "good" for you?====BS:  I like you received the meaning of " good " from my parents, Sunday school teachers and  special priests that I  have admired along my life's journey.  Not least to follow the good our Lord radiated.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Yes - and then we wonder why Congress has an approval rating in the single digits.  Unfortunately, campaigns will say about anything - true or not - to further their agenda, get elected, and keep the PAC and lobby money flowing in.====JACK:  I'm going to ask my US Senator (a personal friend) who defines good for him?  Perhaps you might want to ask one of your politicians the same question.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Great quote!  It's amazing how easily people are misled by what they see and hear in the television!  One saying my parents used over and over was "Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear!"====JACK:  People should be discriminating when they sit in the pew, too...maybe not to the extent of your parents' saying.====JUDY:  They weren't talking about sermons or church services but gossip.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  If more people understood your winning words today we would all be better off. I think people look for confirmation of what they want to believe and ignore all the rest. What is lost in school and at home is the teaching of critical thinking. That is to fully consider a subject both the pro and con must be given equal weight.====JACK:  If, just sometimes, we could admit that there is truth beyond what we various areas of thought.  But, like many of the rest, I tend to tune in to messages that support what I think to be true.  Mea culpa!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  how true in this bombastic season of politics!====JACK:  Now, if people could just get as worked up about fulfilling the gist of the Commandments and the teachings of Jesus.====SP:  don't hold your breath but its still a great goal to work for...====JACK:  What do we have without hope?  Despair!  There's too much of that already.

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  AMEN====JACK:  I see that your response is all in caps.  That must indicate strong agreement.

FROM HY YO SILVER:  I often let the bad I see define the good.  Meaning, the flaws I see (or so I label them) in the actions of others - or even myself - is an alert for me and I classify that as The Opposite of what I should do.  I often behave based on what I've seen in the past and will seek to adjust in the future.====JACK:  Conscience!  Do you think that everyone is created with an inner sense of what is morally right...or is everyone created "sinful" (inclined to evil) unless directed otherwise?  I like the words of Edward Hoch::  "There is so much good in the worst of us,  And so much bad in the best of us,  That it hardly behooves any of us  To talk about the rest of us." ====HYS:  You're asking about nature versus nurture.====JACK:  Has that question ever been answered?

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Love the song and want to send along a few articles… will see how the day goes.====JACK:  George Gershwin is a treasure.  It's said that many of his tunes evolved from music that he had heard in the synagogue.

FROM JUDYE:  I think the same goes for right and wrong. I learned right and wrong from my parents, Catholic faith/teaching, and from my ethics class and the book How Good People Make Tough Choices/Rushworth Kidder. It seems that often today there is no definition of “good” or clear right and wrong when life decisions are being made. I find this sad. As for me, my faith, moral compass and my mom’s words of wisdom are stamped in my mind and heart. “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” My Mom.====JACK:  My first Winning Words..."Virtue is learned at mother's knee.  Vice is learned at other joints."

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 7/12/16
“The man who carries a cat by the tail learns something that can be learned in no other way.”  (Mark Twain)  M.T. could really paint a picture with words.  Another: “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.”  It’s hard to pick his best, because there are so many.  How about this one of his?  “The problem with internet quotes is that you can’t always depend of their accuracy.”  I grew up being entertained by Tom and Huck.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I've been caught sending what I thought was a legit quote that turned out to be bogus.====JACK:  I've found SNOPES to be a reliable for checking the veracity of questionable "information."

FROM PATIE PAT:  You sly fox, you!====JACK:  Sometimes I just want to see if people are wide awake.  You were.

FROM TARMART REV:  "The problem with 'telegraph wire' quotes is that you can’t always depend of their accuracy.”====JACK:  I still have the typewriter that I used when I was in college.  I should take it to the Antiques Roadshow.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: He had the best sense of humor and a wonderful touch for writing about people.  Loved his books and stories.====JACK:  Some people paint pictures with colors, and some do it with words.  MT was that king of artist.====JUDY:  Yes he was.  Perhaps I will buy Andy the series.  I have always given him books to read from age 2 when he first started reading.  One day just after turning two he was sitting on the couch "reading" the newspaper.  I thought it was cute so I sent over to sit down to have him read to me.  Well he did!  Gary and I are avid readers and we read to him a lot.  He picked up reading so fast it was unreal!!  Every year I would buy him a series of books, the Classics and books we had to read in school or couldn't read in school.

FROM TRIHARDER:  I explain "Memes are cute for sayings about sunsets, puppies and grandchildren. As for political statements, they are generalized and mindless."====JACK:  For the life of me, I can't believe that people think that they are going to change my political beliefs with biased attachments.  I usually respond, "My mind's already made up," or, "My vote is going to cancel yours."

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  We read Tom & Huck several times aloud.  Some of the best writing imaginable; really takes you away====JACK:   I searched for my copy of Huck Finn, but couldn't find it.  However, I did find my Confirmation Bible with my confirmation Bible verses..Isaiah 1:19,20.  "19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."  Grandson Jason has his verse tattooed on his arm.====BB:  Wow!  Yours is a “doosey”  did you choose it?====JACK:  Nope.  It was already written in the front of the Bible in the pastor's handwriting.  I like it.  Jason's verse was picked by him from Proverbs.  I can't recall what it is.  I think that David's verse was, "Jesus wept."

FROM WATERFORD JAN:  I like to read Mark Twain's words also.  He would probably get a laugh from your quote of his  "internet quotes" and "their accuracy."   When did Mark Twain die? ====JACK:  He died in 1910.  I remember the day (April 21) well. It was a Thursday.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Jack’s Winning words 7/11/16
“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”  (John Steinbeck in East of Eden)  The Ten Commandments and The Sermon on the Mount seem to set impossible goals for us.  When Jesus says, “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect,” how is that possible?  Is  Steinbeck suggesting something less?  I don’t think so.  The road to fulfilling the Law is a step by step process.  Maybe I’m not perfect, but I’m trying, and I’ll keep on trying.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i always interpreted Jesus comment about being perfect as a rebuke to the Pharisees for their blatant self-righteousness.  in other words,  Jesus is saying,  you CAN"T ever be perfect, so quite trying and let me "perfect"  your life.  make sense?   at least its one possible interpretation.====JACK:  I hadn't thought of it in that way.  Have you ever met up with some modern-day Pharisees?====SP:  i think i have but thankfully not too many.  i  have always said that if i had to chose between self-righteous people and un-righteous people, i would always take the later of the two.  and so did Jesus.   btw,   i think the jist of that whole text is this:  Jesus raises the bar so high (you must be perfect as  your H. Father is perfect) that the Pharisees are forced to ask: then who could be saved??  and Jesus responds as if to say: quit trying to save yourself, you fools (my addition), because  you can't!  only God can save.  and then he adds,  what is impossible for man is surely possible for God.   its a great text intended to deflate all those who  think they can save themselves by good works.  it can't be done!

FROM HONEST JOHN:  He must be a Lutheran....Grace is longer have anything to prove....go out and do your best...that is all that is now necessary====JACK:  Steinbeck's family was Episcopalian, but he later became an agnostic.  Isn't it interesting that the "non-believer" would be an advocate for the downtrodden (Grapes of Wrath).  Maybe that's where he had a "Jesus" experience.  "Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these..."

FROM FLORIGAN GARY: You're doing really well in my book!====JACK:  Every day is a step...hopefully, a positive one.

"Tempted and tried, we’re oft made to wonder
Why it should be thus all the day long;
While there are others living about us,
Never molested, though in the wrong.
Farther along we’ll know more about it,
Farther along we’ll understand why;
Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine,
We’ll understand it all by and by.
====FROM JACK:   Hey!  That's one of my all-time favorites!  The answers will come.

FROM MY LAWYER:  I have a long way to go.  But I'm trying too!!!====JACK:  Close encounters, like the one you recently had, a reminders that we are not alone in this world.

FROM DR JUDY:  Wise words today Jack! I love your daily Winning Words (even when I don't specifically comment).====JACK:  Writing Winning Words is like preaching.  Some days you hit the mark, and some days, you don't.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Reminds me of a quote in O magazine from memoirist Augusten Burroughs: "I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions."  Describes most of us, at  least some of the time! Dr. Alice Walker wrote (Wall St. Journal) "You're far from a perfect creature. But as far as natural selection is concerned, you' ll do, and that's why  you're here".  Maybe we want to aspire to a little higher expectation than that, like "We're here to spread Christ's Love...." ?====JACK:  When I entered the seminary I had to have a letter of recommendation from my pastor (Rev Tillberg).  One of the questions asked of him was, "What is Jack's biggest fault?"  I was told that he wrote, "Original Sin."  He was a hero of mine.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  What IS perfect?====JACK:  Look in a mirror!...not one of those carnival mirrors.  You are made in the image of God.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I have just finished a week long jury trial.  It was my first time serving and it was very very stressful.  We reached a verdict but before I wrote it down officially I asked the other jurors if they would mind if I prayed.  So, I did.  It brought comfort to all of us!  We were not perfect but we truly believed we rendered the correct did the judge in our after trial talk.  God is with us in the small things and the big things...He's always good and merciful.====JACK: I think that it would be unusual for a juror to ask for prayer, as you did.  I'm sure that some inwardly felt relieved that God was brought into the decision making process.  Usually at Synod Assemblies there is prayer before important elections, especially before the election of a bishop.  The prayer is very solemn, asking that God's will might be done.  When the election results are announced, why should anyone be disappointed if their candidate loses?

Friday, July 08, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 7/8/16
“Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.”  (Brad Montague)  Do you want to make someone feel good?  OK!  First, put your I-phone away.  Be ready to concentrate on what’s being said.  Use the person’s name in the conversation.  Give a genuine compliment.  Ask them to give an opinion about something.  Touch as you leave.  The Stones sang, “Everybody needs somebody.”  Try to make somebody feel like a somebody today.    ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  I like this. Sometimes it's good to break it down into the basics. A good cheat sheet for those of us who are sometimes a bit socially awkward. But of course ... and Per rule 1... One I have to mentally file.====JACK:  The song, Everybody Needs Somebody, was used in the movie, The Blues Brothers.  Now, there's a movie you should see.  At least pull up the YouTube of the song.  While you're at it, also look at James Brown leading the church service in the movie.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Such good things to do! I will concentrate on these more!====JACK:  Building self esteem is an important task for all grades.  I haven't forgotten the teachers who made me feel good.====PAUL:  Yup...research continues to support that one of the major differences between kids who become resilient and those who don't is a positive relationship with a significant adult.

FROM TARMART REV:  Well, Jack, all on my I-Phone, I've listened to your "winning words" as I read them to myself, enjoyed with interest your time and investment in preparing your blog and I'm curious if you are still enjoying your weekday discipline of producing these? I'd have you place your hand on your computer screen or your I-Phone as a point of contact, but really haven't got into such a thing as that!? Always appreciated--====JACK:  In fact, I do have a prayer each day for the "words" and for the people who receive them.  No laying on of hands, though.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  A small group of us at our church are wrestling with the identities of "pastor" and "layperson" because we have the ministry at the Fountains Assisted Living on Saturdays and it isn't practical to have our Pastor there every Saturday, due to her family responsibilities too. Anyway, it occurs to me that your WW this morning could also apply to the goals of a good sermon and worship. When people walk out of the church, they need to carry with them something that was said that has something of the authenticity of a message wherein they feel "heard by God" and also an authentic compliment of who they are and their place in the whole scheme of things, things beyond the "law and all the things that are wrong with them or actually all of us". It's kind of a challenge to try to become more aware of what law and Gospel are and then further trying to be all together in a community where both law and Gospel are actually being understood and benefiting the community. Seems like we are back in pioneer days, when there simply weren't enough trained pastors to do the whole job in all those isolated places and so lay people, seeing the need, have to step up to the plate--and also per your WW this morning, also do the job with people we meet the whole week long. ====JACK:  We are all ministers when we serve others in the name of Christ.  I always admired the kind and caring way you talked to people when you went with me to visit the sick and shut ins.  As you continue to do that, you are doing what Christ has called you to do.  The ELCA does have a process where lay people can become licensed lay ministers and officially do some of the duties of a pastor.  You can get the information from your pastor, or I can send it to you.

Jack’s Winning Words 7/8/16
“Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.”  (Brad Montague)  Do you want to make someone feel good?  OK!  First, put your I-phone away.  Be ready to concentrate on what’s being said.  Use the person’s name in the conversation.  Give a genuine compliment.  Ask them to give an opinion about something.  Touch as you leave.  The Stones sang, “Everybody needs somebody.”  Try to make somebody feel like a somebody today.    ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  I like this. Sometimes it's good to break it down into the basics. A good cheat sheet for those of us who are sometimes a bit socially awkward. But of course ... and Per rule 1... One I have to mentally file.====JACK:  The song, Everybody Needs Somebody, was used in the movie, The Blues Brothers.  Now, there's a movie you should see.  At least pull up the YouTube of the song.  While you're at it, also look at James Brown leading the church service in the movie.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Such good things to do! I will concentrate on these more!====JACK:  Building self esteem is an important task for all grades.  I haven't forgotten the teachers who made me feel good.

FROM TARMART REV:  Well, Jack, all on my I-Phone, I've listened to your "winning words" as I read them to myself, enjoyed with interest your time and investment in preparing your blog and I'm curious if you are still enjoying your weekday discipline of producing these? I'd have you place your hand on your computer screen or your I-Phone as a point of contact, but really haven't got into such a thing as that!? Always appreciated--====JACK:  In fact, I do have a prayer each day for the "words" and for the people who receive them.  No laying on of hands, though.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  On my 80th birthday, my kids compiled a professionally bound tribute book of "love letters" and pictures, from all the children, spouses, & grandkids...It was sort of like attending your own funeral, to read all the accolades, :-).  A comment from my ex-daughter-in-law in her letter, made me feel good: "You always make everyone feel important and special!" I'm sure that is not always true, but seeing today's quote made me recall how good that made ME feel!  As Oprah says, "Be somebody's rainbow on a cloudy day". Good WW to remember, as always. You do a great job of making us think, and inspiring us!====JACK:  Speaking of attending your own funeral....
When Fernando de Jesús Díaz Beato was shot and killed in Puerto Rico, his family chose to honor him in a different way.  The 26-year-old, who suffered 15 gunshot wounds, was embalmed to look like he was still alive at his funeral.  Beato frequently wore a black cap and smoked cigars, which is exactly how the funeral home made him look.  “Some people say that it doesn’t look good” his sister told BuzzFeed News. “They prefer something more traditional. But if that’s something that the family wants, why wouldn’t you do it?”  His family wanted to remember him when he was alive, so they appeared to bring him back to life at his own funeral. The dead body was embalmed to appear alive, seated upright in a chair at a funeral parlor.  She added that her mother was very emotional prior to the funeral, but calmed down once she saw her son, sitting up in a chair from her home.  The embalmer kept Beato’s eyes open as a surprise for his loved ones.  His mother had always kept the plastic on that chair and had never let him sit in it.  (I wonder if the plastic was still on the chair?)

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 7/7/16
“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”  (Emily Bronte)  The idea of a soulmate goes back to Plato who says that humans used to have 4 arms, 4 legs and 2 faces, but an angry Zeus split them apart with a thunderbolt, and, ever since, humans have spent their lives seeking the other half that makes them whole.  An early Church father wrote:  “Our souls are restless, O Lord, until they rest in thee.”  Maybe that’s where the search should begin.    ;-)  Jack

FROM JFREEDSTER:  Bet I'm the first one to read your WW today!====JACK:  5:04 AM!  You get the prize.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Actually, Bronte's quote and the early Church Father's sort of come together in my mind because it seems like I get the most peace when I am able to believe that my soulmate and myself are both turned towards the One God. It's not that my soulmate and myself are alike but that we alike turn towards something and, when I have trouble believing that is actually a reality, then is when faith in the One God's actions in this world kicks in to "work on both of us" so that eventually we get to the place of peace again where we both are turned in the right direction. It's been like this for 49 years now and seems to be an effective way to live but with so many differences in people maybe wouldn't be to a lot of people's liking. It has been sort of a narrow path. I happen to believe the same scenario could certainly apply also to folks of different sexual orientations, in getting to know them anyway. What's always amazing is that initial attraction that starts the whole life journey off on this kind of footing.  Enjoyed your WW today.====JACK:  You're one of a least in my experience.  How did you happen to find the matching part?  Somewhat related...Have you ever read The Hound of Heaven?====SHARON:  Met my husband when I was a sophomore at a small Iowa high school, my family had just moved into town, and we both were attending the Bible study of about six teenagers, before worship, it was a Church of Christ. Somehow we both explored a lot of churches, sort of in tandem, until landing in the ELCA. I'll check out the book you named to see how it relates.====JACK:  I was born in Iowa, but I discovered my other half in Wisconsin.
 FROM HONEST JOHN:  It most certainly is where it must end.====JACK:  "I am (the great I AM) the beginning...and the end...the Alpha and the Omega."

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Plato gets this concept from a literal interpretation of Genesis' Creation Story.  Ish = Man   Isha = Woman (literally, "Of Man")   Woman is literally carved out of Man.  But a close reading of the plain language suggests that "Man" was actually androgynous and the "First Individual" had both complete sets of genders.  One day, you and I should sit down in-person and study some Pentateuch!====JACK:  One of the lessons I learned in seminary...By our studies, we will never completely understand God.  A faith concept is that there is a creator (God).  Another aspect of faith is that that we are to love God with all of our heart, soul, strength and mind, and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.  Having learned this, we can move to the details, like...What does it mean to love God, to love our neighbor, to love ourselves?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  How interesting. I hadn't known that Plato idea ! I think St. Augustine's original quote expressed "Our HEARTS are restless until they rest in Thee". But same idea for sure, and maybe you are quoting another person ! :-)  One is indeed fortunate if they find their soul mate for life! Especially on the "first try"! ( HA.)  My Lutheran pastor-niece from Texas just visited for a few days, and we had some discussions about how wonderful it is to "live in the Faith" and know the promises of God. Or "Source" as some refer to the Almighty  Creator.  Some day we will "know, even as we are fully known". Live Love !====JACK:  The Church Father I referred to was St Augustine of Hippo, a convert to Christianity.  I was curious if  Augsburg, Germany was named after him.  Nope.  August was a name from the Latin, meaning, great.  Augsburg was named after one of the Caesars.  Augustana College got its name from the Augsburg Confession, (Confessio Augustana).  Referring to the Latin origin of its name, Augie is a great college.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 7/6/16
“Promise me you’ll remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think.”  (Winnie the Pooh)  I checked out a site for Motivational Speakers and discovered that many of them are asking $40K for a talk.  A high school teacher pulled me aside and said, “Jack, you can do better than this.”…and there was no charge.  Is there a person in your life who has inspired you to “do better?”  There’s some good stuff in Pooh!    ;-)  Jack

FROM YOOPER BOB:  Just last night our school supt. presented a program with three components:    Items to celebrate,  realities we face  and what the future look like.  He laid out a vision which fulfills Prov. 29:18 , articulated the numerous programs in place which are contemporary examples of what amounts to being the Good Samaritan in Luke 10, and using technology in such a way that Lansing and Washington are asking, “How do you excel amidst your poverty statistics?”  His motto is, “I want our school to be so far ahead that others look at our backs, not we look at theirs.”  It coincides with your winning word of the day.====JACK:  Teachers are teachers, wherever they choose to pitch their tent.  You are fortunate to have one who has chosen to live where you live.  The same can be said for people of any profession...including loggers, miners, preachers...people, in general.

FROM TARMART REV:  Too many to recall at one sitting...from Sunday School teachers and pastors early on (Dad sold insurance in those days and we moved due to promotions and hiring on with other companies) to college professors and guest ministers to countless ministry including God-send parishioners, pastors, teachers and evangelists from various denominations, including a Lutheran or two!! An invaluable treasure chest of gifted men and women, many coming through another's expense and in the name of Christ.====JACK:  My daily devotional life was set in motion by a Sunday School teacher who gave me E. Stanley Jones' "Abundant Living."  I lost that book, but last year someone gave me a new copy...and, in fact, I read from it this morning.====REV:  True blessings so often come in small remembrances!

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  That's the nature of the teaching profession these days...long on motivation, short on earnings.  There have been many in my life who made me "do better", and the majority of them were my school teachers.====JACK:  I think (I know) that most teaching is done by people who are not paid for doing it.

FROM LH ON HER WAY TO GERMANY:  You’ve presented one of my favorite quotations, which I tell my grandchildren.====JACK:  The trip with your granddaughter will be a teaching experience for both of you.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  our kids loved those stories.  and yes,  there is wisdom in them too...

FROM JAYEM:  When I was probably 8 or 9 years old, we had a retired pastor as our "supply" for quite a while.  Dr. Wolf would stand on the chancel steps and talk to the children in the congregation, and often he said, "Do your best!  Angels can do no better."  That phrase got me through a lot of adult critique that said I could do better when I knew I was doing my best with what God had given me. ====JACK:  I like those "angel" words.  And, I like the way that you've applied them to your life experiences.  It's called, applied learning.  Some refer to it as the College of  Hard Knocks.

FROM ERINDM:  I have that saying in Zander's bedroom.====JACK:  I like the words: Braver, Stronger, Smarter on the big blocks/cushions shown on the picture, but where's that rascal, Zander? ...hiding behind them?

FROM LS IN MICHIGAN:  My dad's final word to his caregiver was: "Remember" I often have thought that it was to remember his words, teachings and his love.  Perhaps it was a little of Pooh for all of those he touched with encouragement throughout his lifetime.  He was a judge.   I was not present at the time of my dad's passing.  He and my mom lived in South Haven.   Knowing that his passing was imminent I made the good decision to drive back to West Bloomfield to be with my children at their time of loss.  His care giver, America, relayed his last words to me at the time of his passing.   America was an illegal immigrant that my dad nurtured and guided and loved very much.  She was wonderful with my mom and later with my dad as his health failed.  Her story to citizenship is heroic and inspiring. I will have to ask her how she interpreted his last word "REMEMBER". ====JACK:  What a fine caregiver...and how unfortunate to have the word "illegal" attached to her.  There are people who use it as a pejorative to express a political opinion.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  great quote.  i love "winnie ther pooh".  have you read "the world according to pooh"?  there are so many who have inspired me in life.  most didn't charge a penny...some i paid a few dollars for their book.  i am preparing a wedding ceremony for my god daughter.  i was reading "the world according to shug" from maya angelo's "temple of my familiar" for some inspiration.  maya inspired me to continue on during a sad and dark time in my life.  you inspire me every day!====JACK:  In-spire...The Spirit-in me!"  Those who put the Spirit in us could be referred to as God's shoehorns.  Do you know what a shoehorn is?'s not a musical instrument.====MARY:  I not only know what a shoe horn is...I occasionally use one!

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Yes! We all love/loved Pooh! And the word that triggered my memory today is "Remember." Upon her mother's death Miss Garst, our speech teacher, 43ad our class a poem titled " Remember". I recall some of it by rote and every once in a while reread it in my treasured book The Top 500 Poems.
Remember me when I am gone away.
Gone far away into the silent land:
When you can no more take me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.
Remember me when day by day,
You tell me of our future that you planned,,,,
There's more.....Lots of thoughts trigged by the word "remember".
====JACK:  My favorite book of poetry is James Dalton Morrison's "Masterpieces of Religious Verse," containing 2020 poems...including, "Remember," by Christina Rossetti.  While the title says "religious," many of the works are not necessarily religious.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 7/5/16
“The weird thing about houses is that they almost always look like nothing is happening inside of them.”  (John Green)  Architect Philip Johnson designed a house with glass walls.  Would you like to live in such a place?  Most people want privacy.  A welcome mat reads:  “As far as anyone knows, we’re a nice happy family.”  A house just sold across from us.  I wonder what the new neighbors will be like?  Will I be nosy if I go over and find out?    ;-)  Jack

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  Absolutely!  Take a cake, always welcome I find.  I would like a very modern house with lots of glass.====JACK:  I wonder where the saying, "You take the cake" comes from?

FROM TARMART REV:  ...depends upon whether you're carrying a plate full of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies or not?!====JACK:  Since I don't bake, it might be a package of Oreos instead.====REV:  ...its the thought that counts of course...maybe a bag of Panera's Chocolate Chip Muffies!?====JACK:  My Panera favorite is sticky caramel pecan rolls.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  We’ve commented about this too driving past houses in our community; some put out pretty flowers; some let dead trees continue to stand in their yards; some have children outside playing; some are closed up tight-curtains drawn; others have the curtains open letting light and life come in.  Often wonder about those with closed drapes – what are they hiding from; are they lonely and don’t know how to make friends or just don’t want to be bothered?  No, I don’t think you are being nosy going over to meet your new neighbors…you might all become good friends.  We have great neighbors – curtains open – lots of life in and out.  However, we have acquired two male turkeys who are frequenting our yard and they are NOT such good neighbors!  They offer entertainment at times when our neighbors cats stalk them – cat and turkey game. ====JACK:  Maybe if the turkeys stay around until November, Bob can invite them to stay for Thanksgiving dinner.  I smelled skunk in our yard this morning.  I'd rather have the birds.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We love our neighbors and neighborhood.  I'm sure you will do the right thing and meet your new neighbors/ friends.====JACK:  Their names are Noah and Rachel.  How much more Biblical can that be?

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  bring them a pan of brownies and welcome them warmly....unless you think it will soon become a crack house!====JACK:  When the previous owner mover in, his first visit was from someone who wanted to sell him drugs.  When I heard of that, the matter was taken care of promptly.====SP:  wow!  glad to hear it all turned out okay...  
FROM SA IN WASHINGTON:  In Las Vegas garage doors stay closed because of Home Owners' Association (HOA) rules that prohibit 'unsightly' views. We always left ours open, as did a few of our neighbors. It's a welcome sign. I say go over and say hello.====JACK:  I'll keep my eyes peeled (have you ever heard that expression before?) for the moving van, but I'll probably wait a day or two until they're somewhat settled.  BTW, our Homeowner's rules say, "No clotheslines!"  Do you know what a clothesline is?====SA:  Allowing for a few days rest; good call. Yes, I remember clotheslines in Antioch. Bedsheets were fun to walk through. I remember feeling the soft cotton on my hands and face.

FROM JB AT LSTC:  I’m in the process of moving (it’s been quite a process). I close on my new house this Friday – and I hope that my new neighbors come over to say hello.====JACK:  Let me know if they do stop by to greet you.  They'd probably be surprised IF you stopped at their house to introduce yourself.

FROM JB AT LSTC:  I’m in the process of moving (it’s been quite a process). I close on my new house this Friday – and I hope that my new neighbors come over to say hello.====JACK:  Let me know if they do stop by to greet you.  They'd probably be surprised IF you stopped at their house to introduce yourself.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  You will be a good neighbor.====JACK:  The Parable of the Good Samaritan was told in response to the question asked of Jesus: "Who is my neighbor?"  And that was preceded by another question, "How do I gain eternal life?"  Jesus' response to that was, "Love the Lord and love your neighbor."  Of course, I'm sure you already knew that.