Friday, December 30, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 12/30/16
“I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.”  (Homer)  I went to Snopes to authenticate this quote and came up with Dan Quayle and Barak Obama.  I’ll go with Homer.  Homer, the Greek writer, lived long before Jesus.  Discussions about “God” seem to be almost as old as man.  As we look ahead to 2017, there is a natural apprehension about the unknown.  I find comfort in the hymn, “Our times are in they hand, O Lord.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Another favorite church song of mine comes to mind:
I Know Who Holds Tomorrow (Unknown writer)

I don't know about tomorrow
I just live from day to day
I don't borrow from its sunshine
For its skies may turn to gray
I don't worry o'er the future
For I know what Jesus said
And today I'll walk beside Him
For He knows what is ahead

Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand

====JACK:  Good song...God fit!

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  For all those who have no belief in a "higher power" it's understandable they may have a lot of apprehension about what is coming in 2017 and beyond.  For myself I'll go with Homer, believing as I do that the Power in control of the universe holds the future, and I don't have to worry about what the future holds.====JACK:  We use the word, God, to stand for that "power" that creates and sustains all of creation. Each mind has its understanding of this power. Homer did it in his way.  You do it in your, and I, in mine.  It's amazing how some people know so much about the unknowable.  Christmas is an attempt by God to reveal himself.

FROM LS IN MICHIGAN:  Thank you for the perfect new year greeting.  I am paying it forward to those I appreciate in my life.  To you dear Pastor - a healthy joyous new year.  Looking forward to another year of profound morning words.====JACK:  When I sit down at the computer at 4:30 am each day, I encourage myself with the belief that some people are going to read what I send out.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 12/29/16
“Everybody has difficult years, but a lot of times the difficult years end up being the greatest years.”  (Brittany Murphy)  Happy New Year! is a common greeting, but 2016 has been far from a happy one for some folks.  “Don’t worry!  Be happy!” is easier said than done, especially during the down times.  One of the blessings of aging is the ability to see things in perspective.  Sometimes an artist adds shadows to make a painting more beautiful.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HY YO SILVER:  What a clever perspective. Shadows enhance the beauty.====JACK:  All sunshine makes a desert.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Yes -  Hope, work and pray for the best, and prepare for the worst.  Have to admit I have a lot of trepidation about the direction our country will go with our new President and Republican controlled congress.  In the end, I believe it will come down to what we do, and not what our elected leaders do, which we may be able to influence, but not control.====JACK:  It seems that in every presidential election cycle we are led to beleiev that everything depends on who wins or loses the election.  God is relegated to the back row, unless he can be called upon to gain some votes.

FROM ST IN MICHIGAN:  I often say “in a matter of a moment” no one knows what is coming just around the corner.  Through my experience I recognize that I do not stand in anyone else’s shoes.
I only know that living life fully requires making that ongoing personal and emotional investment. Creating and building relationships, having and growing a family, facing the many personal and communal challenges that each of us face every day.  I am pleased that in the messages you send the common thread is about keeping our heads up and moving forward.====JACK:  I know of a person who regularly goes to a palm-reader to try and fore-see the life's events.  I can't understand why someone would want to do that.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  My most difficult years were in Junior Hi.    Long ago and buried in the past.    Mostly good years since then.    Looking forward to 2017.====JACK:  My "worst year" was when I contracted polio at age 16 and had to be confined to home for a year.  Tutoring allowed me to keep up with schoolwork.  That year ultimately became my "best year," because it set me on course to become what I am today.  That experience has helped me to see how the worst can become the best with a belief and faith in God.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We've had one of those years.  But, it's hard to dwell on the bad times when there were so many shining moments through the year.====JACK:  Isn't it great to be able to see things in perspective?  ...and to see God in the equation?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'd surmise that most of us would not choose to relive the difficult year, but  that doesn't mean there wasn't some happiness is wrestling with the challenges...Essayist Joseph Epstein made the comment a few yrs. ago that "The good life has a great deal to do with contentment and satisfaction; and nothing whatsoever to do with that fool's gold called happiness." He has a point!  But "Don't worry, be happy" does, also!====JACK:  As you look back on your 2016, there are some things that were more important than who won, or lost the election, aren't there?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 12/28/16
“Stop looking at your phone.  Look around you.”  (Pinterest)  I saw a cartoon where a woman says to a man: “Do you mind if I tape your phone to my forehead, so I can pretend that you’re looking at me when we talk?”  BTW, have you heard of, Phubbing?  It relates to snubbing others by looking at your phone while talking.   Michigan has a state slogan: “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.”  It’s so often true.  “Look around you,” says Pinterest.   ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Stop! Look! Listen! Good for others, besides a precaution at railroad crossings!!====JACK:  I wonder just how many people heed those crossing signs?  Most of us just slow down a bit and give a glance.  I suppose that a busy person like you has an I-Phone.====REV:  Too many railroad fatalities I've called  on as a railroad chaplain with Railroad Chaplains of America to not stop, look and listen myself. Takes a train about a mile under normal speeds to stop and a car is like a pop can in such incidents====JACK:  Do you ever counsel with engineers after they're been involved in fatalities====REV:  Only once as the railroad offers any asked for counseling through their individual companies . . . It was an employee struck by a passing train while he was working behind a railroad car and stepped out from behind it before being struck. Our focus centers on the fatality victim's family.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Oh, I so love this!!!!!  This could apply to the other techie devices people use to share pictures, etc.  We had dinner a while back with friends and he couldn’t stop finger flipping through his device to share pictures of his grandchildren with us.  We enjoyed seeing them, BUT we wanted to visit with them too and hear what they were doing.  I love sharing pictures of our family too but not at the expense of a good conversation- face to face!  Bob has tried to instill in our grandchildren that when you shake hands with someone or talk to them be sure to have eye contact with that person.  It is good for both people!  Another pastor friend once shared that when they were in Africa as missionaries the local people would say to you – “I see you” when they greeted you. What a nice thought!  Have a fun day making some new memories!====JACK:  Imagine someone going in for an interview and continuously scrolling the "phone" for messages.  It wouldn't happen if you were really looking for a job.  Imagine someone coming to the pastor for help with a problem, and the pastor would continually be glancing a`t his "phone."  Now, imagine sitting down with a friend for a conversation and the friend keeps looking back and forth at the phone....

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  This invention has been a bane and a blessing.  But, it's easily turned off!  We should all have an electronic turn off day.====JACK:  I'm a fogy.  All I need is a way for someone to call me in case of an emergency.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Here, here!  So many have become "addicted" to their phone, often to the point of being downright offensive.  And it's not just when they are talking to someone.  I have been in meetings where people are on their phones and have no idea what others are saying.  When you call them on it they just give you a blank look and say "Huh?"   I have gotten to the point where sometimes I don't even take my phone - such as when a play golf - so I can focus on the environment at hand.  Looking forward all the WW's in 2017.  An early Happy New Year to you.  First resolution - no Phubbing====JACK:  Something else that I'm told that I must have...a camera that sees what's behind me when I back up.  I might get that before I get an I-Phone.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I saw that same cartoon.  Pretty sad commentary on life in the 21st Century I think!====JACK:  It's happened quite often in my presence, but I never say anything, and the conversation seems to carry on.====GM:  So far Keith’s kids do not use their phones at meal time!  Hope they never do!====JACK:  When you were growing up, did your family have any table rules?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:   Just had my whole crew for a couple of days, and both my kids and grandkids were joined at the hip with their phones!  We did get many games in, however, including one hilarious one I gave my great g.daughter Avery, (6) called Pie In The Face...If she lost, and got splattered with the whipped cream, she was happy licking it off her face.:-)  I think my daughter posted my "whipped cream" photo on facebook!  No One was allowed to have phones at meal times...It slays me to see kids out on dates in restaurants, both busy with their thumbs, texting and reading phone messages. But it is what it is, and they are used to it ! :-)  Happy New year, from the dinosaur who only used her phone to talk to people!====JACK:  It used to be that the use of "long distance" was limited because of the cost.  "Hang up!  This long distance, you know."  The cost of texting and sending pictures is not cheap.  But I've yet to hear someone worry about it."  Oh, I take that back.  Someone told me that "grandpa" had discovered how to send pictures.  He was sending so many of them that the cost was adding up.  "It's become a problem!"

  FROM JE IN THE WLSD:  Happy New Year. I agree sometimes our cell phone society can be abhorrent!  Let's look around us this week. Little Christmas is January 6 so there is still time to look and find Him in our lives.====JACK:  Abhorrent, or not, call phones are a way of life.  In my work, I try to lead people how to live life responsibly.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words  12/27/16
“I love people who can make me laugh when I don’t even want to smile.”  (Unknown)  The 3 Stooges make me laugh (yuk yuk), but I’m not sure that I’d trust Moe to be a friend.  A word of comfort is better than a poke in the eye.  I want a friend who knows me and still likes me.  I want someone, like the writer of Ecclesiastes, who understands that there is “a time to laugh and a time to weep.”  I’ve read that Jesus wept; I’ve also seen pictures of him laughing.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  ...thought those three stooges were funny as a child until I saw some old re-runs a few years back and found them rather as roughens with each other, with Moe being the ringleader of it all.  0;-/====JACK:  "We are who we were!"  The Stooges and other "questionable" stuff helped make us what we are today.  I suppose you resemble Curly the most.

 FROM RS IN TEXAS:  "Who's on first?"====JACK:  Yes, Abbott and Costello were funny.  Who are the modern funny people?  I Googled "The 10 Best Comedians of 2016" and did not know one of them.====RS:  Not funny per se, but we like watching The Carbonaro Effect, a magician who uses a hidden camera to record people's reactions to things he does.  Always makes us smile.  Seinfeld was always good for a laugh or two as well.  Good thing for re-runs.  Wish I could see more Bob Hope. ====JACK:  We like Carbonaro, too (TruTV).  Chevy Chase's "Christmas Vacation" is a holiday movie that always makes me laugh...(Aunt Bethany saying The Blessing--"I pledge allegiance etc.").

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I recently read a little cartoon:  "Friends are the ones who stick by you like an octopus on your face!"====JACK:  It must have been written by a Red Wings fan.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Merry Christmas to you and to all of your family, Jack.  When we went to Mass Christmas Eve Father surprised us all with a visit from St. Nick. That was the first in all my years, and it made people  happy. I feel so blessed with such a wonderful family. We had 85 degree weather and after Christmas dinner we went to Clearwater Beach, played football, and walked the beautiful  white sand beach. All of my electronic stuff is now in perfect working order, too. ====JACK:  We went to a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, too.  Only....the hand-held candles this year were battery operated.  It didn't create the same atmosphere.  At Christmastime I once visited some church members who were from Germany.  They had live candles on their tree.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  THEN, THERE'S "I LAFFED SO HARD I CRIED."====JACK:  I once invited a friend to play golf on day.  He'd never played before, so he had some problems.  His real problems began on the 3rd hole when I substituted an off-center ball for the one he was using.  When hit the ball, it did all kinds of crazy things.  He was laughing and saying that he couldn't understand what he was doing to make the shots make sharp curves.  When he putted on the 5th hole the ball bounced across the green and finally bounced right into the hole.  He let out a big cheer.  By that time I was rolling on the ground and laughing so hard that tears came to my eyes.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 12/26/16
“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”  (Steven Covey)  On this day, honoring St. Stephen, a quote from another Steven seems appropriate.  The biblical Stephen gave up his life keeping the main thing “the main thing.”  Dec 26 is a good day to think about what is most important to us.  Whatever that is (and it can be different for each person), how can we show that “it is the main thing?”  Family?  Work?  Health?  Hobby?  …or, God?    ;-)  Jack

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  We watched an interesting movie last night with our daughter and son- in-law. "Ex Machina" The scientist had built a woman robot, actually a series of women robots, and then he persuaded this programmer to come and develop a relationship with the woman robot. There was dialogue that was intriguing and the programmer seemed to have some decency and empathy and was going to help the woman robot escape. Usual twists and turns and finally woman robot did escape but only after the scientist had been killed, another woman robot had been inactivated and the programmer himself betrayed by the woman robot and left locked up in the house laboratory. But I liked this movie because it showed how the writer/producer of the movie might have been wrestling with how necessary honesty and true feelings for each other are required by humans for any quality of life at all. God comes first, family, work, sex, recreation, down the line of human needs follow because there is this need to be honest and know and be able to testify to truthful things. we need that, we want that and are probably doomed to failure if we try to invent truth ourselves.  Thinking in Houston.====JACK:  That makes the point...finding out what's most important in life, especially in your life.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Good Note. This year I completed my service at our church's Stephen Ministers group.====JACK:  St, Stephen's Day should have special meaning for you this year.  Congregations and pastors are fortunate to have trained laypeople who can step in and help care for the spiritual needs of people.  I see that this kind of ministry is becoming more and more of a need in today's world.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  One of the best Winning Words yet.  We shouldn't get sidetracked by trivial things but stick to the main things!  For us they are God, Family and everything else. ====JACK:  Interesting...your response uses railroad terms...main thing--the main line, the tracks where the important trains travel...side-track--the less important railroad cars are taken to a track, along side the main track, so as not to get in the way of the important trains.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 12/23/16
“Man is what he believes.”  (Anton Chekhov)  Chekhov, the famous Russian writer, said that he got his “talents” from his father and his “soul” from his mother.  During this season of holy-days, it might be interesting to recall where we got the beliefs we cherish at this time.  The basic ones, my soul, came from close family, and those family beliefs were refined by college and seminary professors…and by life events.  Where did your soul come from?    ;-)  Jack

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I speculate that my "soul" came down from generations of ancestors and my "beliefs" have been and are being formed in the crucible of daily experience as my immediate family members strive to love each other and reconcile with each other the spirituality and religious expressions of faith that each has inherited. Somehow, I believe, we are given the family we need for this process to be able to work itself out, going clear back to Augustine and Luther, maybe in fact everyone. the wisdom is "don't walk away from our problems, paradise is embedded already within them."====JACK:  An expression that seems to be heard more and more is, "blended family."  I look upon it as a positive...a willingness to accept the fact that there are "differences" in this world.  They can be racial, ethnic, religious, educational, political, etc.  Life is a matter or making adjustments in order to be at peace with one another.  We've made progress, but we're not there, yet.

FROM D&S UP NORTH:  Jack, we so enjoy starting our day with your words of wisdom. ====JACK:  The fact that I get up at 4:30 am each day to send them out is an indicator of how much I like to be in touch with you and the others who get WWs.

FROM HUMBUG JOHN:  Pastor Jack,  Peace and blessings to you during this Holy Season.  Thank for writing Jack's Winning Words.  I look forward to reading them each day they come in.  I hope our paths cross soon.  Merry Christmas!  Peace.====JACK:  If, somehow, the calendar were able to turn backward, I'd like to go "south" from here and see the areas that you have helped preserve.  You are certainly one who has made a difference, and, I, for one, appreciate it.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 12/22/16
“I love Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, peace on Earth, mangers and the Salvation Army bell ringers and cookies.”  (Mo Rocca)  A friend of mine signed up to be a Red Kettle bell ringer…and also “volunteered” his sons.  It was a good experience for all.  I recall days when “kettle people” would sing carols or play musical instruments.  In fact, I once saw a Salvation Army person playing two trombones at once.  The “Army” is a great charity.    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  enjoyed a raucous caroler yesterday outside the grocery store. he was having a grand time, tho i wonder if he was actually driving people away...i can never pass by a kettle. not thrilled w/SA's non-gay policy, but people say they are the best in a disaster. ====JACK:  From what I've read, Salvation Army benefits are available to "all."  Their views on the gay-life, based on Bible teachings is "under review."  So...that evidently means that their policy is under review, too.====LIZ:  good, tho i fully support religious freedom... even if i do not believe as they do.  the bad publicity looks as if it has hurt their cause around here. the kettles are unmanned most of the time.====JACK:  If I were younger  and saw "unattended" kettles, I'd seriously consider becoming a volunteer, because I support what they do.  I think that it was Edgar Guest who wrote: "I'd rather see a sermon that hear one any day."====LIZ:  yesterday i was two blocks away, & could hear my fav bellringer!====JACK:  I get tired of the sounds of beeps and buzzes.  I like hearing bells...jingle bells, church bells, even alarm clocks.

FROM TARMART REV:  Definitely makes Christmas a little brighter and more more welcoming for many!!====JACK:  Christmas is not only about giving.  It's about receiving, too.  I'm waiting to hear stories about some of the people who receive the "money" gifts that you've been asked to deliver. ====REV:  Here's some copies I've sent the donor early on:  "I want to say a very special thank you to You Pastor!!! You are an amazing person and I can't thank you enough for what you handed my husband and I tonight at Walmart. It helps more than you will ever know!! ❤❤🎄🙏🏻🙏🏻👼🏻"
Since we are on a's another one.  "Thank you for the very thoughtful gift today.  And Merry Christmas to you and your family."  Here's another one--  "I just want to say Thank you!! You blessed me with something so unexpected but needed.  I will pay it forward.  God bless you and yours Merry Christmas.  Gods work definitely touched me." 

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Some still play instruments and sing  here in Chicago…perhaps it depends on their gifts?====JACK:  I've read that the S.A. hires ringers ($8.40 an hr) when there aren't enough volunteers.  I'm OK with that, because it provides jobs for the jobless.  I do see padlocks on the kettles.  I'm OK with that, too.  It's a sign of the times.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Yes it is.  We keep money in our car especially for charities.  My kids/grandkids never pass by a Red Kettle.⛑====JACK:  Generosity is a lesson that should be taught early in life.  That's a good idea to keep some donation money in the car.  Oftentimes I have fish around for cash when the opportunity to give presents itself.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Our Bell Choir quartette played carols on bells at the red kettle at HYVEE market (huge store). It was a festive time and their bucket was well filled!  They ring for charity in different locations every year Yes, the Salvation Army is well worth our donations!  Several friends of mine have also "rung the bells" at Schnucks, Penney's, Walmart, etc.  Bless them!! ====JACK:  What a great idea.  It could work for vocal groups, hour or two at a location in the community.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I agree!  I support them.====JACK:  How about "floating" the idea with your ladies that next year, a quartet of vocalists or bells would volunteer a couple of hours, or more, to the Salvation Army?

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  The Salvation Army were playing carols in my local super market Sainburys yesterday.  It certainly  made shopping more enjoyable!====JACK:  I suppose you know that the Salvation Army began in London in 1865.  It began as The Volunteer Army, but soon changed its name.  It was meant to help people in need of the 3 S's...Soup, Soap and Salvation.  ====BS:  Yes! I did know,  and the Salvation Army still do a soup run every night in Norwich.
Our church always gives all produce brought at harvest for the soup kitchen.  My mother loved the Salvation Army  and when she was dying she loved to listen to hymns sung and played by the band.  She even had her own tambourine  that she would tap and shake!  I like the uniform particularly  the bonnets!====JACK:  I don't suppose you have your mother's tambourine.  There are some things from the past that we "shoulda kept!"

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  The Salvation Army is one of just a few with admin. costs less than 8%, which is why we support the Army.====JACK:  It might be interesting to attend  one of their worship services.  In Davenport (3400 W Central Park Ave  563-391-5325), Sundays, 11 to 12 noon.  Let me know what it's like.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  And the good news is that after Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott jumped into the huge red kettle after a touchdown, the video went viral and Salvation Army red kettle donations are up 61%.  A lot of people are donating $21.00 - Elliott wears number 21- and he personally donated $25,000 to the Salvation Army.====JACK:  The money to help the needy is "out there."  Elliott has found one way to get some of it channeled to the Red Kettle. 

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  The Army also served well in Wartime. They were ever present. ====JACK:  Did you ever see them overseas?  Or just in the States?  They do have groups in many countries.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 12/21/16
“All people want is for someone to listen.”  (Hugh Elliott)  Do you remember the song, “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth?”  What’s the gift you want?  Today’s quote intrigues me.  In this fast-paced world, there are lots and lots of words, but too little time to listen to what some of those closest to us are saying.  After reading this message, try “listening” to the words being spoken by those around you.  It might be just the gift they’ve wanted.    ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  Real listening ... the active kind... can be hard, especially in a world of multitasking.  I heard of this CNN story on "wait wait don't tell me" this week: "Is 'phubbing' ruining your relationship?" Worth a min to read and consider.  Just Listening ... not needing to find a "solution" ... is something my husband and I sometimes ask each other for. Also hard to do. ====JACK:  I suppose "listening" can be one of the tasks of a multi-tasker.  I'm guilty of it at times.

FROM TOASTY TOES:  Amen! Very well stated.====JACK:  Originally I had intended to send this as the Winning Words for today...“If it’s causing you more pain than happiness, it might be time to let it go.”  (Anon)   I once saw an art glass slogan hanging from a light fixture…”Let Go, and Let God.”  Kenny Rogers sings: “You gotta know when to fold ‘em.”  But, how’s it done?  I read some suggestions.  1st: You gotta decide!  2nd: Write down your pain.  3rd: Don’t let the past control you.  4th: Focus on Where do I go from here?  5th: Do something different.  6th: Ask God to direct you.    ;-)  Jack....I listened to my inner-voice and did a re-write.

FROM DR HR:  This is so true, And add this to your list, a teacher once told me that if you ask the right questions and listen, really listen to the answers you can diagnose 99% of a patients problems without running any tests. I am not sure of the 99% part but it is true about asking the right questions and listening to the answers.====JACK:  Listening is important in "my business," too.  Seeing body language is also important.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My 6 yr. old "great-g.daughter is singing that song this Xmas, having lost her two front teeth. We've laughed together about it often. This is a good reminder, Jack. We could all improve our listening skills; my, how we love to talk, but listen? It is  truly an art, and so needed, as WW reminds us!! My daughter Sarah stood up on a chair when she was a little girl and loudly proclaimed she was trying to tell us something, over the hubub of family chatter! That got our attention ...Thanks!====JACK:  Maybe the Baptists don't have this in their songbook, but this Tanzanian song is familiar to ELCA Lutherans.
Listen, listen, God is calling

Refrain:  Listen, listen, God is calling  through the Word inviting,
offering forgiveness, comfort and joy. (repeat)

Jesus gave his mandate;  share the good news  that he came to save us  and set us free.

Let none be forgotten  throughout the world.  In the triune name of God  go and baptize.

Help us to be faithful,  standing steadfast,  walking in your precepts,  led by your Word.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i hear you!====JACK:  That's all I'm asking.

FROM KANSAN DON:  Our daughter-in-law, Ellen Conrad, made a Christmas gift to a member of their congregation of one of her kidneys!  Merry and blessed Christmas for both of them.====JACK:  That gives new meaning to the last stanza of "In the bleak mid-winter."
What can I give Him,    Poor as I am?  If I were a shepherd    I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man    I would do my part,  Yet what I can I give Him,     Give my kidney.

FROM SWEET SUE:  I just want to let you know how much I take from your winning words. I really try to practice the messages you are teaching.====JACK:  It's surprising, but your name crosses my mind from time to time when I send out File L6, knowing that you're in it.  I'm glad to know that you like the words.

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  Listening--God gave us two ears and only one mouth for a reason.  I always liked that quote.====JACK:  Nature has also given us the capability of tuning people out... and also the capability of keeping our mouth shut.  Have you heard the expression..."Well shut my mouth"?  Some cartoon character would say it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 12/20/16
“Strange, isn’t it?  Each man’s life touches so many other lives.”  (Clarence)  There are times when we might feel like George Bailey, that our life doesn’t make much of a difference.  “It’s a Wonderful Life” has grown in popularity since its release as a so-so movie.  Think of the people who’ve made a difference in your life...and, you and I---We’ve made a difference to others, too.   Frank Capra made many movies, but he thought “A Wonderful Life” was the best.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  It is a "wonderful life" but many of us don't realize how wonderful until we come up against hardship of one sort or another.====JACK:  That's the way it happened for George.  Most of us go through the "rough patches."  Maybe that's what makes it a wonderful life.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  It's satisfying to know that your life has made a difference, probably in ways we'll never know, but certainly our children, "grands", and "greats" will have been impacted!  I am one who loves that movie, and am thankful for the message it brings home so clearly. Every life counts in a meaningful way!====JACK:  I remember reading about someone who attended his own funeral (he was invisible)...and heard all the things that people said about him.  In your case, it would probably be a very long service if they listed all the good things that you had done.====OAKS:   THANK YOU JACK,  i've tried very hard to make my life count, as I know YOU have, and your life partner, as well, I'm sure! Appreciated your Christmas Card and note! Busy getting read for my big family gathering here, and all the extra church and social happenings, but the ice and sleet kept me in for 3 days; weather so bad everything was at a standstill. I don't think any Springfield or Sherman churches held services Sunday, and our  choir party was canceled, and my friend's 90th party, etc. Kind of nice being able to stay home and catch up on some things here, and have time to READ AND WATCH SOME TV.  I'm like one of the blog writers: enjoyed the schmaltzy Hallmark movies. Love those happy endings !====JACK:  There's nothing wrong with happy endings.  That's what heaven is all about for God's people.  Have you sung the song....
When we all get to heaven  What a day of rejoicing that will be
When we all see Jesus  We'll sing and shout the victory

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  I think of you. You made a difference and still do.====JACK:  It works both ways.

FROM MK IN MICHIGAN:  This is so appropriate for me today.  My step Dad isn't doing good. He was diagnosed with pneumonia 2 weeks ago. Since then he has been going downhill fast.  We're headed to Lansing now. He's Doctor doesn't know if he'll make it to Christmas. Please keep Jerry & my Mom in your prayers.  Jerry has been my Dad more than my biological father. He raised us from teenagers. He's a gentle soul with a big heart. He truly has touched so many lives in a quiet way. ====JACK:  In his case, I think that it would be OK to just call him, "Dad."  I've missed seeing him lately.  Prayers are offered.

FROM PT AT OLCCP:  Jack – we had the fun of seeing “It’s A Wonderful Life” at the Redford Theater on Friday night along with special guest Carolyn Grimes (Zu Zu in the movie)! She had fun stories to tell about the filming and actors involved, things to watch for on the screen, etc. It was really fun…great movie, great message!====JACK:  It's been a wonderful life for Zu Zu, to be able to relive her experience of being in that movie.

 FROM JM IN WISCONSIN:  Thank you Pastor Freed for the difference you have made and continue to make in my life.  God bless you.====JACK:  One of the wonderful parts of my life was the time spent with the people of Bethany Church.  What great memories, including those of you and your family.

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  How  often we touch others lives, or others touch us in ways we never notice....a salesgirl handing us I bought  a fish sandwich and the  young lady surprised me with her cheerfulness and smile.   and as I left...since I walk with a cane...she came from behind the counter and opened the  door for me....warmed my spirit for most of the day.   I try to do the same by saying a kind word to those who  serve us  in so many different ways.  Jack, you are a personal inspiration to me  with your daily good words.   God bless you  as God is  blessing us through your  fingers on the keys.====JACK:  In Jesus Parable to the Talents, we are told that each of us are given talents by God, and that we are to use them.  In Sunday School, we used to sing..."Jesus bids us shine with a clear, pure light,  Like a little candle burning in the night;  In this world of darkness, we must shine,  You in your small corner, and I in mine."

Monday, December 19, 2016

eJack’s Winning Words 12/19/16
“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”  (Scrooge)  I learned a new word…patronym.  It’s a name personally suited to someone.  Sara Blizzard is a weather forecaster.  Thomas Crapper invented the flush toilet.  And everybody knows that Ebenezer Scrooge was a scrooge.  But, Charles Dickens gave him some help, and Scrooge was able to change.  Christmas has a way of changing people for the better.    ;-)  Jack

FROM LG IN COMMERCE:  The modern flush toilet was actually invented in 1596 by Sir John Harrington.====JACK:  Do you know who invented the outdoor privy?====LG:   I know they were in use in ancient Rome.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Had a children's story that was published done tine ago...Murphy the Christmas Dog...that was based on that theme.   It sold out.   I probably should have looked to have a second edition put out but I got to be too busy.   Too late now.====JACK:  After retirement I recall being at a worship service where you told the Murphy story to the children.  It seemed as though you enjoyed the story as much as they did.  A 2nd edition is not out of the question.  Why not plan a release for the next Christmas season?

FROM TARMART REV:  Interesting season this year particularly . . . I have become a bearer of glad tidings with $6200.00 worth of $50's and $100's to pass out to others randomly with hopefully God's leading and also a bearer of comforting presence this past week with three families.
I was called to a home at 3:00am last Monday to a known family whose sixteen year hung herself after having a tiff with her father earlier in the evening. She has been fighting depression for a number of years. I was asked to share Scriptures and prayers at her funeral mass.
Later in the day I was called to a local motel, asking if I would knock on my alcoholic friend's door as he was not responding to theirs. We found him deceased there on the bed. Over the past 10 years he would come into town, stay sober for several months and then for various reasons fall back into his addiction, often leaving once again only to return maybe a year or so again. This time he hung around and being winter would spend $800 of his $1000 disability check on a room at a local motel. The rest was spend on booze while he often panhandled others for food. He always carried with him a piece of paper stating if anything happened to him, call Pastor Paul 320-212-0000. I received a call one time from Phoenix, AZ where he had passed out drunk and was experiencing some kind of seizure. His body was cremated by the county and we conducted a small service with his scattered family from previous marriages and relationships. Really, a sad day for me.
A dear friend who has asked me the past three years to conduct a "Cowboy Church" service at his fall roundup of horses and wagons touring around and camping out in the northern part of our county. I will be meeting and leading a time of sharing experiences with his family and friends. 0:-/
====JACK:   You are truly a modern Saint Paul, being used by God to do his work.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  How about someone named Pat for a football kicker (Point After Touchdown)?====JACK:  ...and who can forget Bart Starr, star QB for the Lombardi Packers?

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  got a few of those in my family. Patronyms... not scrooges. : )====JACK:  Are you talking about Mr. Bugg, who taught entomology, the study of insects? ====LBP:  Well, general biology but bugs were among them.  Then there is me, Dr. Poisson, the statistician.

FROM PR JM:  I once went to an optometrist who was named Dr. Ivan Doctor.  Dr. I Doctor!  What a patronym, or maybe an interesting way to discover his calling.====JACK:  When I was a student pastor in Canada, I took a picture of a sign...Stiff's Funeral Home.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Just viewed A CHRISTMAS CAROL again in Bible study; We're doing a series on "The Redemption of Scrooge"...good for the Christmas Spirit! :-) Dickens knew human nature, didn't he?  Christmas is certainly a time of caring and sharing for most of us. It  amazes me how generous people are, when there is a need, even those with little to share, reach deep! Heartwarming!====JACK:  "Bah, Humbug" existed before Scrooge.  It meant a hoax, or a sham.  BTW, a friend of mine is the overseer of the Humbug Marsh, a stopover in the Detroit River for migrating birds.

FROM RAL IN ILLINOIS:  I think I'll change my name to Lill-strum, take my guitar, and hit the road singing and strumming songs of peace.====JACK:  I like it when we sing this song in church.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul;
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And has shed his own blood for my soul.

My sin—O the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more;
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

O Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend;
"Even so"—it is well with my soul.
====RAL:  Oh, I love  that. My heart is so heavy. I'm trying to make sense of this election of a bully. I think of how Jesus was treated, and I don't understand all this hate and greed. Your words help.
This is a beautiful song♡ thank you. God  bless you :)

Friday, December 16, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 12/16/16
“All is well, all is well!  Angels and men rejoice.”  (Michael W. Smith’s Christmas album)  But…Is all well?  Can we rejoice?  In his carol, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” Longfellow had it right…“God is not dead, nor does he sleep!”  Then come the hopeful words, “The wrong shall fail, the right prevail.”  That’s why Michael can sing, “All is well!”  When we realize that “God is in charge” and that he is a God of grace, we can truly rejoice!    ;-)  Jack

FROM VW MARY:  I'm developing a new appreciation for Longfellow. On a different tack, a friend wanted me to read a book she got at a Catholic retreat on aging. It includes an excerpt from a Longfellow poem...For age is opportunity no less  Than youth itself,  Though in another dress.
====JACK:  Advertising calls on us to buy into the "new and improved."  It's hard to improve on the work of old Henry Wadsworth.

FROM SB IN MICHIGAN:  Thank you Jack! I really needed this today!====JACK:  Sometimes I, too, need to be reminded that God is still the King of kings.

FROM TARMART REV:  Rejoicing in snowy and cold Minnesota this morning!!====JACK:  I like the northern winters when you can see your breath and the snow crunches under foot.====REV:  'Tis the reality of the present day!!

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  😄 ====JACK:  When you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you.

FROM DM IN LIV:  Amen!  What a beautiful, wonderful truth!====JACK:  The wrong shall fail, the right prevail!

FROM SANDY IN MICHIGAN:  “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” is my favorite Christmas carol…wish we sang it in church more often.  Thank you for your “Winning Words.”====JACK: I wonder why it wasn't included in our current Book of Worship?  However I know where  to find it when I need it.  Just go to Google.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Yes, our hope and mercy and love is from above!  Love came down at Christmas!====JACK:  Christina Rossetti's poem has been set to music...
Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, love divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and to all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  I'm  sure you have heard of Julian of Norwich and I  was thinking of her this morning when hearing more news of Syria, prison riots here,  British Airways and railway staff going on strike over Christmas.  She said All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.  This was 1300 and something!  Come Lord Jesus.====JACK:  Although the words, "Keep Calm and Carry On" are attributed to Churchill during the London Bliz, research proves otherwise...but he probably would have approved.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 12/15/16
“Who needs the protection of the Bill of Rights the most?  The weak, the most vulnerable in society.”  (Danny Kaye)  Some teachers are teaching their students about “freedom” by having them read the Bill of Rights…225 yrs old today!  All ten “rights” are important, but #9 is good, especially, because it says that “all” have rights, not just the privileged.  Danny was right.  In her song, Think, Aretha sings, “Freedom..think about it!”  Think about “freedom” today!    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Well done, Jack. I wrote a piece lately about my current thoughts on where we are right now as a country. Are you interested in reading it?====JACK:  Yes, I've read "your piece," and I know that you're more than upset, but as Scarlett said in Gone With the Wind...
"As God is my witness, as God is my witness they're not going to lick me. I'm going to live through this."  Let her words be your words.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  we were just "thinking" of one of our fav skating programs a couple of days ago!  Skating to Aretha Franklin's, THINK.  The music seemed to be lost behind the commentary and the applause for the skating...but, good for you in making the connection.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 12/14/16
“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.”  (Lily Tomlin)  In a devotional book I use, an anti-stress kit is described for those who need “relief.”  It contains a rubber band (be flexible), a candy kiss (everyone needs a kiss--encouragement), a life-saver (be a helper), an eraser (we all make mistakes) and a toothpick (pick out the good things in others and in yourself).  Other stress relievers: Eat wisely, breathe deeply, shake and dance…and watch TV (not the news).    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  we are all "shaking" right now... its 8 below zero!  don't even want to know the wind-chill...correction, Jack.  its 8 degrees now and the wind chill is minus 8.  on Sunday morning they are predicting 18 below zero,  and that is actual temp.   wowsers.  we are packing for AZ!====JACK:  You'll probably be shakin' in Arizona for other reasons.  WOWSERS!  ,,,so you're a fan of Inspector Gadget!  I think that the comedian, Joe E. Brown used that expression, too, but you're too young to remember him.

FROM DR JUDY:  Great kit products!====JACK:  There's a song from WW 1, "Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile."

FROM DOCTOR PHIL:  Had a friend Therapists who had people wear a rubber band on their wrist and snap it when they were getting stressed. Nice job.  When I was stressed,I used to get up out of my office chair and go and sit in the chair of the person who came and visited me and just say to myself--- Jesus walk/be with me.====JACK:  A chair can be a helpful prop.  When I was teaching confirmands about prayer, I would place a chair in front of them.  "Now, imagine Jesus sitting in that chair, and speak to him as you would speak to your best friend."

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  Excellent advice especially the part about not watching the news. ====JACK:  Have you ever watched, "The Carbonaro Effect" on Tru-TV?  That's my relaxation!  You can watch an episode on YouTube.====HOWIE:  I JUST WATCHED A COUPLE OF EPISODES OF THE Carbonaro effect. I did laugh out loud especially at the banned medical device and the cooked chicken when the guest says do you have another chicken, thanks very funny. ====JACK:  That's better than some of the news, isn't it?

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  You're right about watching the news.......except the last 5 minutes of the CBS evening news with Scott Pelley.  They always try to end on a positive story.  Last night was about a girl with Down Syndrome that couldn't get a job so she started her own business baking cookies.  She has received orders from all over the world for over 25,000 cookies.   The CBS reporter kept pressing her for her "secret ingredient."  Collette finally gave in and told him - Love. Here's the link to the print story from Boston:  Try to stay warm - understand it's a bit chilly up your way.  Heck, we're supposed to go down into the 20's here on Sunday.  Time to spend some time in South Florida or Hawaii!====JACK:  Mary watches Lester Holt on NBC.  He, too, usually ends with a positive story.  Mary's hometown of Merrill,  Wisconsin, expects 21 below this weekend.  No, that is cold!

FROM JE IN MICHIGAN:  On the “watch TV” suggestion, I recommend the Hallmark Channel. The holiday movies are soft, sweet and heart-warming. They really slow life down and bring joy. ====JACK:  I'd almost forgotten about Hallmark, the nostalgia telecaster.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Reading is good too! My latest book is an astronauts guide to life on earth! It literally takes u out of this world!====JACK:  I suppose that the astronauts can never look at the earth in the same way as they did before they saw it from outer space.

FROM PRJN:  Love the advice to de-stress.  I had forgotten that "formula" and it is worth bringing back -- to my own life as well as others.  Blessings of a contemplative Advent and a joyous Christmas!====JACK:  Sometimes stress happens, because we don't do the thing that needs doing.  I like the Nike slogan...JUST DO IT!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 12/13/16
“We don’t need to have the same opinions as others, but we need to be respectful.”  (Taylor Swift)  A pastor I knew was giving his annual report to the congregation, and the people began to boo.  Last week, tomatoes were thrown at the President-elect.  Is anyone teaching manners these days?  I’ve read that how people treat others reveals how they feel about themselves.  How are you feeling today?  I like Taylor’s comment on the importance of being respectful.    ;-)  Jack

FROM CR IN CANADA:  I agree - I think our recent election brought a great many people to a new low.  Hopefully we turn it around!====JACK:  With a positive spin....I think that the election taught us to appreciate more, the things that we have taken for granted.

FROM BIG AL:  I Thank you daily!====JACK:  I give thanks to God for the in-Spiration.  Ideas don't come out of thin air.

FROM MY CHALDEAN FRIEND:   I need to work on that when i discuss politics with my friends at Shenandoah.  Thank you for that Jack.====JACK:  I like Proverbs 15:1..."A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."  The Bible's got some good advice.

FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA:  Kids are very disrespectful to teachers. Very rare in the 70's, 80's or 90's. Why teachers don't even think about teaching 30 + years any longer. Just too hard. Very sad.
On a brighter note, Merry Christmas Jack!!====JACK:  I remember a time when students would stand when their teacher walked into the room, and the teacher would salute them.  My...Those were the Dark Ages, weren't they?====DONNA:  Wow! Older than me.====JACK:  Old?  When I was in grade school, only unmarried women could teach.  Our 6th grade teacher got married, and she had to quit.  She was the best teacher I ever had.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  That poor girl has been dragged through the mud but she goes on, as will Trump.  Going back to school the good old days would be great in many ways.  Children were brought up to respect thus the adults were respectful too.  But....when hate was taught hate was learned.  To be above it all and go in with life is the answer.  And...leaning on God is paramount. ====JACK:  The Good Old Days weren't always so good.  "The past always looks better than it was.  It's only pleasant because it isn't here."  (Finley Peter Dunn)  This was a quote that I was intending to use sometime....and now I have.====JUDY:   As I read the Diaries of the ladies and girls on the Oregon Trail or pioneers on the Great Plains, it's always clear to me I would never enjoy living back there.  I may not have even survived.  But they did have a strong since of fellowship, community, and morals and manners!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Yes, politeness will get you far more than disrespect and criticism will!. A lesson many have yet to learn.  Our society seems so belligerent these days. I must say Trump probably deserved the tomatoes, but we should respect the office of Pres. even if we can't respect the person....Ah me! Taylor Certainly has a point!====JACK:  WWJD?  He wouldn't throw tomatoes or hurl insults.====OAKS:  WELL HE DID WHEN HE CLEANSED THE TEMPLE. EVERYONE HAS HIS/HER LIMITS...====JACK:  He didn't like Satan, either.

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  As a result I have new respect for Taylor Swift.====JACK:  Just because  someone's a pop singer doesn't mean she has to be a ditz.  Have you ever used (or heard of) the word, ditz?


Monday, December 12, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 12/12/16
“Anyone can ride in a spaceship or serve as a politician, but class is rare—something lacking in this crassest of American eras.”  (Ted Rall in Forbes)  John Glenn was classy!  He was humble, well-mannered, intelligent, who never tried to build oneself up by tearing others down.  William Milliken, former Michigan Governor is a politician  like that.  Among pastors I’ve met, Conrad Bergendoff epitomized class.  Who comes to your mind?    ;-)  Jack

aFROM HONEST JOHN:  Almost impossible to pick someone from one's own generation or I might have picked you.    I will go with Con Trued.   Incredible pastor.    I loved the pastors with whom I grew up.....rev. Brigham.  (1st Presbyterian in EM),   Elton Anderson (Immanuel Lutheran in EM).....great folks.....kind and compassionate.    How about Fritiof Fryxell?      Art Arnold?====JACK:  I totally agree with your choices of Trued, Fryxell and Arnold...all of them soft-spoken and self-effacing.

FROM MY ATTORNEY:  Remember the immortal words of Leo Durocher:  Nice Guys Finish Last. ====JACK:  Leo would not be on my list, but John Wooden would be there.  Wooden finished first more often than "the Lip" did.

FROM JDR IN CALIFORNIA:  RICHARD RAHN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!====JACK:  Perhaps you didn't know this, but when your husband was growing up on our street he had the nickname of, Chick!

FROM KANSAN DON:  I nominate Carl Lund-Quist, former campus pastor (U OF Minn), positions with National Lutheran Council, finally Exec. Secy. of Lutheran World Federation.  It is reported the farmer boy from Lindsborg, never owned a car.  Never married.  Died in 1965 at hospital in Lindsborg.  I had privilege of bringing him baloney sandwiches, brushed his teeth in the Hospital.  Officiated at his burial at Freemount Lutheran, Lindsborg (old home church) in August 1965 (month after moving to Lawrence.  Good biography by Emmet Eklund.====JACK:  What's the story behind his hyphenated last name.  As for you....What class! brush someone's teeth for them.  That's what Jesus would do.====DC:  Your comment to the effect of tht being like Jesus brought me a surprise.  Your compliment about me brushing Carl's teeth.  I had held that as a badge of honor or special privilege not many had -- never came to mind as servanthood or humility.  Something about faith and works?

FROM GP IN MICHIGAN:  Yes I can come up with a name====JACK:  Well?

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Let's see..............Arnold Palmer, Bobby Jones, Roger Staubach, Jon Lee (our former pastor).  I'm sure there are more, but those are the ones that come to mind.====JACK:  I think that Arnie was a great golfer, in part, because he was the son of a groundskeeper, instead of being the son of a rich member.  Kids who hang around the course and play at the odd times seem to have a real feel for the game.  They tend to be more humble, too.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Oh, what wise words from Ted Rall today!   Crass is certainly a perfect word to describe our present day era, unfortunately! Adlai  Stevenson and Paul Simon were IL politicians who had integrity and intelligence, in my opinion. Yes,Dr. Bergendoff belongs in the "classy" echelon. I think of Dr. Ray Honeywell of Moline's Methodist church (My pastor during H.S, and who married us) had class, and many clergy persons I've known did and do have the quiet dignity associated with that word!  But for our society in general, Ted Rall's assessment would seem to be most accurate ! :-(====JACK: of the greatest candidates not to become President.  Eleanor Roosevelt stands for class, too.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Hubert Humphrey Tremendous person.====JACK:  I had the privilege of meeting him in person in Wisconsin during his run for the Presidency.  As you know, the best candidate doesn't always win...but that politics!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Bob Hurlbut was a classmate of mine at the Seminary who married Suzan.  Suzan grew up in Texas and was a lifelong friend of Lynn Glenn,  John and Anne's daughter.  Bob and Suzan were in a support group with Margaret and me for almost 28 years.   Lynn Glenn now lives here in St. Paul and we were at her home recently for a surprise birthday party for Suzan.   Lynn unfortunately had to miss the party (others hosted it on her behalf)  because she was back in Texas taking care of her Dad just before he went into the hospital. Lynn is a lovely person much like her Dad.   Small world as they say.  Blessings on your day, Jack.====JACK:  When I interned in St. Paul, the Governor was a member of the church and regularly sat in a pew like the other members.  Do you remember the song I sing a song of the saints of God?  The last stanza goes...."They lived not only in ages past;  there are hundreds of thousands still.  The world is bright with the joyous saints
who love to do Jesus' will.  You can meet them in school, on the street, in the store,  in church, by the sea, in the house next door;  they are saints of God, whether rich or poor,  and I mean to be one too."

FROM KF IN IN MICHIGAN:  Q.E. II=====JACK:  Regal is a word that fits her, too.

FROM QUILTIN' CAROL:  Mother Teresa====JACK:  "By their works you shall know them."

FROM DC IN MICHIGAN:  Conrad Bergendoff was a classmate of my father,.Ernest A,Palm. When I went up to him at one of the Augustana Heritage gathering.meals, he said, "I have to stand up for Ernie Palm's daughter."  I still have a silver plate he gave to my folks as a wedding gift.====JACK:  There was a classy pastor, O.V. Anderson, who would have an intern each year.  The first thing he would teach the student was how to shine shoes.  He also would never refer to church members by their first names.  It was always, Mr, Mrs, Miss...even for those that he knew well.

FROM VW MARY:  Here are a couple definitions from the internet:  Having qualities that make someone special…Showing impressive character: very good, kind, etc...Those would do for starters! ====JACK:  I suppose you had some bosses who were classy...and some who were not.


Friday, December 09, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 12/9/16
“All of us, at certain moments of our lives, need to take advice and to receive help from other people.”  (Alexis Carrel)  Our newspaper has a couple of columns (Carolyn Hax and Miss Manners) which I look at occasionally, not for advice, but to see what’s on the minds of people.  Sometimes the advisors suggest “consult a pastor.”  There truly are problem situations out there in the real world.  Fortunate are those people who have someone “to lean on.”    ;-)  Jack

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 12/8/16
“Success is meaningless if you can’t sleep at night.”  (Margaret Cho)  Cho is a successful comedienne,  (I like her.) but evidently she has trouble getting a good night’s sleep…like almost 50% of Americans.  Here are some sleep suggestions I’ve heard about…Silk PJs, white noise, no broccoli (or chocolate) before bedtime, some yoga.  It’s said that prayer helps, too.  “Count your blessings instead of sheep” is not just a song.  It does help.  What works for you?    ;-)  Jack  

FROM TL IN MICHIGAN:  Jack, thanks for the great gift ideas for Susan!====JACK:  She might like some ear plugs, too.

FROM TARMART REV:  Listening to on-line sermons or my Vintage Radio app on my iPod with the old 1940-50's radio drama's until I fall off to sleep.====JACK:  Have you tried listening to some of your own sermons?====REV:  Never liked hearing myself, but surely it would put me to sleep much earlier!!====JACK:  I remember seeing a member sleeping in church while I was preaching.  I almost laughed out loud when his wife poked him in the ribs and he woke up with a jolt.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  lots of good physical exercise during the day.  hard to get sometimes given our highly automated society but manual labor sure helps me to sleep.   even the tread mill is helpful...====JACK:  I have index cards showing about a dozen exercises that I use.  I've been told that exercise in the evening is NOT recommended.====PAUL:  that may be true.  you don't want to get your body all worked up just before going to bed.  on the other hand, I suppose some exercise is better than none at all,  even if it comes in the evening.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I always read in bed for awhile, but if I've had a busy day, I am tired enough to sleep! Hopefully NOT waking up in the wee hours, and having to shut the  busy mind off, and get BACK to sleep! :-(  What a renewal and blessing a good night's sleep is!  I imagine Cho is referring to not having peace of mind or a clear conscience which bars restful sleep...sleep aids like Tylanol P.M., Melatonin, prescription pain pills, etc seem pretty common among my elderly friends. Prayer, definitely helps!====JACK:  "Successful" people, like Margaret, can have the same problems that ordinary people have...except that success is a ladder that never seems to run out of steps.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  4-7-8 breathing technique is amazing!====JACK:  4-7-8?  I haven't heard of it.  I just breath without thinking.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 12/7/16
“History in ev’ry century records an act that lives forevermore.”  (Don Reid)  Historians might argue about what are the key events of various centuries.  For the 1st century, it would probably be the rise of Christianity.  What might you choose for the 21st century?  For me, Dec 7, Pearl Harbor Day, is it for the last century.  FDR called it “a day that will live in infamy.”  Fewer and fewer actually remember the day, but I do, and it completely changed the world.    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  I was meaning to write to you about a reflection I had....
Growing up, December 7th was a date everyone knew. Before my time, but the media and social gatherings always brought it up.  I bet less than 10% of people under 30 know the significance of that date today.  To me...November 22, 1963 was to me like Dec. 7 th was to my parents' generation. For many years...documentaries and old news casts replayed JFK's life including conspiracy theories snd transgressions.  Today..even on No. 22nd...I didn't even see one reference on the news or even in conversation.  I bet today, John Kennedy is barely even known to millennials.  It's not amazing to me that generations hold most significant the events they lived through, but it is sad to me to think of the lessons lost and then have to be relearned.====JACK:  So many 29th Century events...Automobiles, airplanes, moon landing, MLK Jr, Holocaust, your birth and mine.

FROM PC IN MICHIGAN:  We visited Pearl Harbor last April; you can't help but walk away with a renewed respect for the events of that day.====JACK:  Since there was no television, we had to imagine from the radio reports what was going on.  Most of the action films were shown later in movie theaters.

FROM TARMART REV: What "might" I choose for the 21st century-- the fall of Christianity in America?!  BTW . . . One of the high school bands within our west-central communities, Kerkhoven, MN is a featured band there celebrating Pearl Harbor Day's 75th Anniversary!====JACK:  "Successful (or unsuccessful)" Christianity is not always measured by numbers.  I recall your ministry in WB as being successful.

FROM DR JUDY:  That's interesting Jack. I don't know my history particularly well, but one of the highlights that I had learned about Pearl Harbor was that 'war came to us'.  Same thing was said about 9/11. People no longer felt safe because terror arrived here.  Similarly, I think that's what has frightened so many people with the Trump presidency. Many people felt that fascism and racism would never come to this soil.====JACK:  I recall, prior to Dec 7, the voices calling for us not to get involved in the European conflict.  But, then, the Pearl Harbor attack happened, and we found ourselves involved BIG time.

FROM MY ATTORNEY:  I agree. Today's the day!  What's amazing is that the event of the Pearl Harbor attack is not taught in many Japanese schools, although The Arizona Memorial in Honolulu is a major draw of Japanese tourists.====JACK:  The Japan and Germany are among our staunchest allies.  I think that it's because we helped them rebuild after the war.

FROM GP IN MICHIGAN:  And so do I remember.  But most of all, I remember my Mother crying on end for days.  She just knew that my Dad would be called up in the draft.  Which he was.  But the Lord works in mysterious ways.  When it was determined that my Dad was a trained first aid person and was very familiar with plant security,  he was made a Military Policeman in the reserves and send back to Ford Motor Company to provide security and supervise first aid for his plant.  It also provided the right sticker for the windshield that meant he could  purchase all the gas and tires he needed for the family car. This because, that car was one of the several primary first call ambulance's to carry injured workers to Ford Hospital.====JACK:  Those were tough days for moms and dads.  "What if...."  We are still overcome by the "what ifs...."  As the song goes, "This is my Father's world, O let me ne'er forget."

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  For me, so far it would have to be 9/11.  It polarized the radical Islam vs. the West and has, unfortunately, led to more fear and hatred than coming together as human beings.  How it all ultimately plays out remains to be seen.====JACK:  I'll never forget that day....nut, looking back, is has caused me to explore the beliefs of my Muslim neighbors who, as a peaceful people, are more Christian in their actions than are some of the "religious right."====RS:  You are right about that.  The religious right is, in my opinion, nowhere near what Christ taught - love, forgiveness and inclusion.  Unfortunately we have the religious right in all religions, which leads to confrontation, division and hate instead of peace.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  I'd like to hear more....====JACK:  I was a newspaper carrier and made my collections on Saturdays.  On Saturday, Dec 6, 1941, I took my tip money and some of my savings, went to the bank, and bought a $25 U.S. Defense Bond.  I've never cashed it.  It hangs on my wall.  In fact, I'm looking at it right now.  If I had a I-Phone I'd send you a picture.  After Pearl Harbor Day, the bonds sold were called, War Bonds.

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN:  I don't remember the beginning of WW 2 but have vivid  recollection
Of VJ Day.  A neighbor (lady) shot a gun into the air in jubilation!====JACK:  I remember the radio broadcasts on D-Day....apprehension.  No TV, so all we could do was imagine.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  We old codgers do remember that day, tho I was just in Jr. High, I think. Certainly a key event in our involvement in WW 2! The sad assassinations of Jack & Robert Kennedy, and of Martin Luther King  also stand out, and the election of our first black President. But an act that lives forevermore? that's a tough one!  Previous history dims with the next few generations, it seems. Forevermore is a long, long, time....====JACK:  On a level of importance, we seem to remember most that which affects us directly.  Jesus said, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself."  ...easier said than done.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good thoughts here today, Jack.  thanks!  plh   my brother and his wife just happed to be vacationing this week  in Hawaii.  there will attend several ceremonies today if possible.  Mark said there are a lot of visitors there right now as  you would expect...====JACK:  One of my favorite Carl Sandburg poems is "Grass."
Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work--
          I am the grass; I cover all.
And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and the passengers ask the conductor:
          What place is this?
          Where are we now?
          I am the grass.
          Let me work.
====PAUL:  during battle of Verdun,  the line moved only about one mile resulting the deaths of almost one million men.  the absurdity of war!    also,  when they were building the famous Chunnel under the English Channel, they had to lay new railroad tracks across a portion of France.  would you believe a number of workers were either killed or injured when they hit unexploded shells and other ordnance which had been laying in the soil since WW II.  even some farmers in the area have welded steel plates to the underside of their tractors to protect them should they be plowing and set off one of these old shells, bombs, etc.   some wars never seem to end.  as Pearl Harbor reminded us yesterday.. ====JACK:  I remember how frightened "we" were when it seemed as though missiles from Cuba might start landing in our country.  War is different when it's local.

FROM WATERFORD JAN:  I recall December 7, 1941 vividly, even though I was a six-year-old.  My 18-year-old brother's "graduation" from Marine Boot Camp occurred on Monday, December 8, 1941.  My parents were upset, and I knew a bad thing had happened. The radio was on for many hours.  Today a red, white, and blue bow is hanging in the middle of my Christmas garland
on my front porch.====JACK:  I remember how families would hang a banner in their front window with a blue star in the middle...showing that they has a son in the war.  It was a sad day when they replaced that banner with one having a gold star, indicating that their son has been killed.====JAN:  I just read your comment about the movie theaters.  I, too, just thought about that while I was writing to you.  I recall looking carefully at all of the movie newsreels in case I might see my brother.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  Aug 6 1945, The Enola Gay dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, mankind now possesses the means to destroy the world, this to me is the most frightening day of the 20th century.  July 20, 1969, The day Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, marked mankind’s progress from the beginning to the expansion of our frontier.  These two date to me demonstrate our skills and abilities and the inherent danger of self-extinction we possess.  I remember watching the moon landing. Do you remember the Hiroshima bombing?====JACK:  I personally knew the chaplain of the Enola Gay crew.  Many of us who were living at the time supported the atomic bombing, believing that there would be  many, many more casualties with the planned invasion of Japan.  I am a believer in Situational Ethics.  BTW, a former member the the Optimist Club, Don Ziemer, was a space engineer on the moon landing project.  It was his team's responsibility to have the lander place the astronauts on the moon and retrieve them safely.====HH:  Wow. To both items. It is true that there are only a few degrees of separation between us all.  Wasn't Don also a civil war expert? I started coming to meetings a year or two before he was moving to, I think, Colorado.
I would like to talk with you about your memories of the chaplain. I spent much time as a student in grade school writing a report on the bombs. One they called fat man. I think.====JACK:  Here's something interesting...After the war that chaplain, Bill Downey, became the pastor of Don's church in Milwaukee.  And, yes, Don is a Civil War expert, and also was an engineer on GM's electric vehicle project in the early 90s.  He once brought an electric panel truck to one of our Optimist meetings.  Fat Man (because of its profile) was the name of the bomb dropped on Nagasaki.  Little Boy was the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.   

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I remember the day well too. It is very moving to see the Arizona memorial. I am reading killing the rising sun now. After taking many Japanese courses on history origami and haiku etc the book brings back horrific memories of the War!====JACK:  I am apprehensive over world leaders who have no first-hand memories of WW 2.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I think the epic point in the 20th century was the decision by the various combatants to begin what became WW I?     We went from a Euro centered world to a whole new arrangement that was eventually dominated by the USA.   WW II was, to me, a conclusion of what began in 1914.====JACK:  I'm not so sure that there has been a conclusion.

FROM TRIHARDER:  The next century didn't wait long to record its event.====JACK:  Are you referring to the recent election?====TH:  Ha! Actuall, not. I was referring to 9/11. How many trillions of dollars that has cost in security, how it changed our lives. The new normal -- long security lines at the airports, sporting events, ...====JACK:  Pretty soon there will be calls to change what Lady Liberty says...“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.  Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”  ― Emma Lazarus

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 12/6/16
“Who knew that dog saliva can mend a broken heart?”  (Jennifer Neal)  Stanley Cohen has written an article about the healing properties of dog saliva.  As usual, there are two schools of thought…good and ick.  What do you think?  The French have a saying, “A dog’s tongue is a doctor’s tongue.”  It’s interesting that Cohen’s writing is in Psychology Today.  Maybe it’s in the mind.  All I know is that some strange things happen when dogs and people bond.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  pass the Milk Bone please...====JACK:  "If dogs have a heaven, there's one thing I know.  Old Shep has a wonderful home."  What do you think?  Will there be dogs in heaven?====PAUL:  Alvin Rogness once put it this way.   If for some reason,  your eternal happiness in the life to come is contingent on having  your pet with you,  then why would God deny you such happiness?  I thought that was a pretty good answer.====JACK:  I think that you once gave me a Rogness book in which he talked about the death of his son.  I loaned it to someone who really needed it, and it hasn't come back.  It's now out of print.

FROM TARMART REV:  Always heard that was true until recent times. Think I will use a hot wet wash rag!====JACK:  Make sure that it's sterile.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  so this is my story to share.  i grew up with dogs.  i was never comfortable around them.  i knew that daddy and mama would never have a creature in the house that would harm any one of us kids so i accepted them. i liked cats. when i was grown we did the dog thing for our children...dear unruly, but kind dog.  when she went to heaven, (because, we know that all dogs go to heaven), i thought my job was done.  "cats from now on", i said.  i can't live without a cat.  then i had a best friend dog lulu, (she did not live with me).  lulu helped me to know that dogs are special creatures.  when she went to heaven my job was done.  then lucy came into my life.  she chose me...she came to us.  i resisted, but she persisted.  i did not know how lonely and hurt i was until i no longer felt lonely and hurt.  she is a healer.  dog is spelled what backwards? ====JACK:  I seem to recall that your current dog's name is Puddles something or other.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 12/5/16
“I like walking in the rain, because nobody can see my tears.”  (Charlie Chaplin)  There are many people with tears in their eyes these days…a death…an election result...a football loss.  Annie Johnson Flint wrote, “God has not promised skies always blue.”  Billy Graham has said that he often prays to God with tears in his eyes.  God understands crying.  It’s a sign of caring.  I like the verse from the Bible…”Cast all your cares on him, for he cares about you.”     ;-)  Jack

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  I have to admit that I am often in tears.    It was always do difficult to officiate at funerals for that reason.    Used to try to get my crying in before the funeral began.   Wanted the service to be upbeat.    I will be found with tears of joy when I stand before St. Peter's gate.   Just to be near those folks will be a great joy.====JACK:  I think that most pastors have had the experience of "crying in the chapel" and out of it, too.  Ours is a job connected with emotions.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  Jack, Your winning words today made me think of this song, so I am copying the lyrics for you:
Pack up all my cares and woes
Feeling low here I go
Bye, bye blackbird
Where somebody waits for me
Sugar sweet so is she
Bye, bye Blackbird
No one seems to love or understand me
And all the hard luck stories they keep handing me
Where somebody shines the light
I'll be coming on home tonight
Bye, bye Blackbird
Nobody seems to love or understand me
And all the hard luck stories they keep on handing me
Where somebody shines the light
I'm coming on home tonight
Bye, bye Blackbird
====JACK:  A great song!  Tears are often shed, because "no one seems to love or understand me."

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  There are even more tears when people listen to some of the things his son says!  (Follow up):  I'm sorry...his son...Referring to Billy Graham's son.====JACK:  Whoa!  At first I'd thought that you'd had a conversion God and his Son.  Yes, Franklin is something else.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  an election result?!? i cried for eight years... does that make me a racist? i cried harder when i thought crooked hillary was going to win... that makes me a misogynist, i suppose?  the straws are to "suck it up." feel free to pass them out... ha!  no offense intended. ====JACK:  The point is that God cares!  God cares about all tears, even your 8 years of them.  He cares about the tears of my friends whose mother just died...their first Christmas without her.  I suppose he cares about those who are disappointed in a football loss (who am I to know the feelings of God?  I just know that he cares.  Did God answer (or not answer) the prayers in the recent election?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  A poignant statement, and very visual! Crying in the rain...Charlie also said, "To truly laugh, you have to take your pain, and play with it."  Once you discover laughter in any situation,  you an deal with it!  The release of tears is a blessing in our make-up. The gorgeous Symphonic and Vocal Christmas music at Millikin U. Vespers last night caused my eyes to well up!! ====JACK:  I'd like to know why Charlie was walking in the rain and crying.  He had many disapointments in life.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 12/2/16
“A mind stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”  (O.W. Holmes Jr)  Dr Robert Cooper, a neuroscientist, says that we only use 10% of our brains.  We have programed ourselves not to stretch into new thinking.  “We’ve always done it this way!”  But, a willingness to explore new ways can open us to limitless ideas.  Have you had an “aha!” moment?  (Now, I get it it!)  Christmas is meaningful to me, because of such a time.    ;-)  Jack

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 12/1/16
“I want to hold your hand.”  (The Beatles)  This first of the Beatles’ hits was released 63 years ago, and it’s still relevant.  In these times I sense that there are people who want reassurance, who want to be calmed.  Most hand-holding is romantic, but it can also say, “Everything’s going to be OK.  Don’t be afraid.”  One of my favorite hymns is, “Precious Lord, take my hand.”  The words seem to take on added meaning as they are sung.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Putting my hand in the hand of the Man who calms the troubled seas, while reaching out to others!====JACK:  Thanks for the reminder of another hand-holding song.

FROM ROSE IN BOSTON:  Its one of my favorite hymns as well.====JACK:  Thomas Dorsey wrote that song, because he was in need of comfort...and it has brought comfort to many others, as well.

FROM MY LAWYER:  53 years ago.====JACK:  I stand corrected.  That was in your hey day, wasn't it?

FROM WATERFORD JAN:  We sang "Precious Lord, take my hand" in church recently.  As always, when an "old time" hymn is sung, the congregation sang with fervor.  Both the familiarity and the words enhanced our voices and the significance of that hymn.====JACK:  Hymns are not necessarily good because they are tuneful.  They have to appeal to the mind as well as to the foot.  This one does both.

FROM TRIHARDER:  63? Typo.  I was 12-13 (7th grade)  it was 1963/1964====JACK:  I chose this quote for this date (Dec 1), because I read that Dec 1, 1963, was the day that The Beatles' first hit was released.  My fingerbones were not connected to my headbone when I typed that particular section of Winning Words.  You have an eagle eye.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Wonderful words again!  We still hold hands all the time just like my grandparents and parents did!====JACK:  Some archaeologists uncovered a grave in Siberia where a couple were buried together holding hands.  It's estimated that they've been holding hands for over 5000 years.  Perhaps it can work out that way for you and Gary.

FROM CS IN RO:  Beautiful thought today.====JACK:  I seem to recall reading that hands are difficult for artists to paint.  Is that true?  Praying Hands is a famous etching.  Perhaps someone should do Holding Hands.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  It's heartwarming how my little "great-grands" grasp for my hand when ready to cross a street, or go into an event, or pull me along to show me something, as my kids, and grandkids did before them.  I'm sure we did the same as youngsters, so many years ago!  The reassurance, as you say, that things are O.K. and someone is "in charge" in their (our) lives. When we get unsteady on our feet, THEY will take OUR hands, and reassure US!!====JACK:  I remember in grade school when the teacher would have the class form a circle.  "Now, hold the hand of the the person next to you."  If it was a girl....UGH.  Maybe that's why I'm not much of a hand holder.

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  Jack, did you know that hymn was written by a grieving talented organist and choir  director in a famous black chicago church.  He had quit and was his lowest after his wife died . He was inspired by the Spirit, and after writing this hymn, went on to write many more. ====JACK:  Many hymns that we have in church have interesting background stories connected with them.  Your story is somewhat correct.  Google Thomas Dorsey (not the band leader) and get the full story of Precious Lord.  BTW, one Sunday we sang "I Love to Tell the Story" in church.  Afterward a visitor came up to me and said, "I'm glad you sang that  song today.  It was written by my great grandmother Hankey."  What are the chances of that happening?