Friday, September 30, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 6/30/16
“I was eleven when I was sixteen…Those were the lovely years.”  (Truman Capote)  Did you have a favorite time in your youth?  I contracted polio at age 16…not a pleasant experience, but, in retrospect, it made all the difference…so the bad became the good.  I still wonder, “What if?”  Iris DeMent sings, “I Think I’ll Just Let the Mystery Be.” (YouTube it!)  I’m sure that others, like Tru, were 11 at age 16…and some who were 16 at age 11.  How about you?    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i never knew you had polio, Jack.  not sure you ever shared that  before now.====JACK:  I only shared it now in order to make a point.  I believe that I became a pastor as a result of it.====PAUL:  that is really interesting.  any regrets?====JACK: long as I look throught the telescope instead of the microscope.  Life is (and has been) good.====PAUL:  some of your one liners, Jack, are actually quite profound:):)====JACK:  I type what comes to mind.  I believe in in-spiration!====PAUL:  and that word comes from spiritus,  the Holy Spiritus at work in our lives?  maybe not always but often!

FROM HONEST JOHN:  The choice to go to Augustana was a big one for me.   My Dad wanted me to go to Harvard.    My life would have been completely different if I had done so.   I think I made the fight choice.====JACK:  In today's world, it would be hard to turn down a chance to go to Harvard, in favor of a little religious, liberal arts midwestern college.  That was then; now is now.  How does God fit into the equation?====JOHN:  Interestingly enough, I received the call to ministry at a summer session at  Harvard ....went there on a scholarship that I got while a student at Augustana. ====JACK:  Augie had comparable debate squads at that time, didn't they?

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Pablo Picasso said, "It takes a long time to become young."  I'm still working on that.====JACK:  People often say, "If I know then what I know now..."  But. if that were the case, it wouldn't be "youth."  A main part of youth is "not knowing" and making choices accordingly.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  God wants all of our bad days to be turned into good days.  Even the "bad" events in our lives turn into something good or better than we imagined.  Sometimes I feel 120 and sometimes I feel 16!====JACK:  Oftentimes "bad" happens because of our free-will choices, but, in the big picture, free-will is a great gift, so....thanks be to God that he has given us choice.

FROM STARRY KNIGHT:  I think Luke is 14 going on 16, Matthew is 13 going on 15, Ben is 9 going on 1 month, and Rae is 8 and is smart as a 10 year old but very sweet and age appropriate!====JACK:  Can you remember when you were their ages?  the similarities?  the differences?

FROM JT IN MILWAUKEE:  Speaking of ages, daughter Sue is 62 today - the full time Director of Suites at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, and part -time Recreation Therapist at the Lutheran Home, a retirement center in Milwaukee, and a great help for her old 92-year-old Dad.  She is still going strong, thank the Lord.====JACK:  The Bible is so true!  Psalm 127:3  "Children are a gift from the Lord;  they are a reward from him."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I loved my High school and college years, but every age seems to have its perks and highlights. One of my cousins died of Polio and his sister recovered from it, but still had what they called a "drop foot". (She became a  nurse, and married a Dr.!)  My great-grandchildren seem to be much more accomplished in  this technical world than we ever will be. Kids seem to mature faster these days!   One of the perks of old age is to look back and see how situations which seems bad or hard to handle, worked out for good in the long  run!  Never give up Hope; we never know what tomorrow will bring!====JACK:  Jesus said it well in the Sermon on the Mount..."So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today."  The coming presidential election will "soon" be something to be studied by historians.

FROM TARMART REV:  Grew up in the sport's world with older men while enjoying the sport of bowling . . .I always enjoyed competing with the older crowd and trying my best to make an accepted place among them. 0;-)  PS- Home now and back in the routine . . . wedding today, church and a new family lunch tomorrow and a funeral Monday . . . time does move rather quickly around home. ====JACK:  I wonder what "younger" eyes are looking at you...and hoping to be accepted?  It has always been that the younger crowd becomes the older crowd as time goes by.====REV:  Think about that often . . . the other day I had a reply posted on my Facebook devotional post that identified herself with her maiden name in which I remember from my first position as a youth pastor in Akron, Ohio. She was adopted and went through a number of years involved with drugs and rebellion against her parents . . . a lot of prayers were going up in her behalf at the time . . . I had seen some of her post in reply earlier, but mistakenly thought it was a parishioner from another church and city where we had pastored on staff . . . she seemingly has now settled into a maturer faithful walk and expressed it that day, thanking my wife and I for our ministry in those earlier years. It certainly brought a smile of appreciation on this old preacher's face.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  Jack, I was catching up on mail, and read this.   I never knew that you had polio when you were 16.   That certainly explains how you became so sensitive and reflective.   Keep up the good works – as for me, I guess I was 11 when I was 16, slow to mature, but truly enjoyed my ‘youth.’====JACK:  It's the old saying, "We are who we were."  Usually I'm reluctant to talk about "me", unless there's a point to be made.  In this case, 16 was a life-changing year in my life.  

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