Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/24/17
“Ideas are like rabbits.  You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”  (John Steinbeck)  People have asked, “Where do you come up with ideas for Winning Words?”  Archimedes got one of his mathematical ideas while sitting in a bathtub.  He shouted, “Eureka!” which in Greek means, “I’ve got it.”  When early mapmakers came to a place they didn’t understand, they wrote, “Here be God!”  It’s something like that when trying to explain the origin of ideas.    ;-)  Jack

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/23/17
“Never wrestle with pigs.  You both get dirty, and the pigs like it.”  (George Bernard Shaw)  A man that I know would always greet me by asking, “What is justice?”  I soon learned to change the subject, because he loved to debate…and I don’t.  I try not to get involved with internet back and forth about politics…or even religion.  Edgar Guest was right when he wrote, “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day.”  Don’t tell me!  Show me!    ;-)  Jack

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  Appropriate.  May have to read something by him.
My girl friend/wife finally has me reading more.  In Barcelona (where everyone wants to talk politics-and architecture unique-Gaudi influence) for what will likely be my final firm sponsored Book meeting and trip as I formally retire June 30.  In reality I have been retired for 12 years.
May not be your cup of tea but recently read (listened on tape) Bold by Peter Diamantas (sp?) and was very eye opening for me.  Not a page turner and repetitive but made me realize how out of date I am.  It is about exponential innovation/crowd sourcing and funding in our digital world and does not even mention IP until the penultimate chapter.  Lots of "start up" buzz words like exponential, transformative, disruptive and ubiquitous.  Sorry-got carried away.====JACK:  I'll have to look up, Bold.  BTW, while you're in the mood for reading, Rob Bell's, "What We Talk About When We Talk About God" is a good one.  Say, "PLEASE," and I'll send you a copy.

FROM DEACON ROBERT:  Wow....  That is powerful - "I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day"!====JACK:  Think of that "see a sermon" the next time you're preaching.  In fact, it would be a good topic for a sermon.  You can Google Edgar Guest's poem.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Jesus did both....show and tell....good example to follow====JACK:  I liked the Jesus healing stories where he washed the eyes of the blind man with mud and put his fingers in the ears of the deaf man.  He showed them what he was going to do.====JOHN:  It made him an earthier (is there such a word?) being.    I think it helps us relate to him.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  I love the pigs quote...bravo!!====JACK:  I love a discussion when we can listen and learn from each other rather than one where one is trying to prove the other wrong.

FROM KITTY:  One of my favorites. I dislike debating. Love waking up to your thoughts ====JACK:  A reply such as yours is one reason why I get up each day 4:30.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's interesting how some people love to debate. I don't mind a good debate if it's between two people who will listen.  Not to change their minds but to be respectful.  That's extremely rare.  Live Edgar Guest!====JACK:  Too many "debates" turn into the election cycle debates on TV, which are not really debates.

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  I first heard a version of that st work in the 60s . I've believed it ever since. Worth pay attention to when people try to start arguments. The part I had not heard was that the pigs like it. I wish I'd. Heard that 60 years ago. It explains a lot.====JACK:  I think that GBS could hold his own in any wrestling match using words.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  this surprises me about you.====JACK:  If you only knew....  Yesterday it was said of me.  "He has an iron fist, covered with a velvet glove."====LIZ:  that is more as i imagine you!

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Yer right. I never discussed religion or politics  in business. You cannot  win! Never start an argument at the top of the stairs.====JACK:  Those of us in the sales business know the truth of the statement, "The customer is always right."  (Up to a point!)  J.C. Penney demanded that his employees use "the Golden Rule" when waiting on customers.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Reminds me of the saying by Mark Twain:"Never argue with an idiot, because bystanders don't know who the idiot is!" :-)  Shaw was a master of the succinct observation!  Wrote it down to  remember...Thanks!====JACK:  There was only once (that I can remember) when I suggested to someone that they begin searching for a new church.  They did, and they found one.  After a while they left that one, too.



Monday, May 22, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/22/17
“You’ll never win if you never begin.”  (Helen Rowland)  This quote traces its origin back to the Greek poet, Hesiod, who lived almost 3000 years ago.  He wrote, “The beginning is half of the whole.”  Later, someone else wrote, “It is in tackling the task where the difficulty lies.”  Have you found that to be true?  A letter needs to be written.  The garage needs to be cleaned.  I’ve got to make a doctor’s appt.  “You’ll never win the lottery if you never buy a ticket.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  "You’ll never win the lottery if you never buy a ticket” or, "You'll never get hooked on playing the lottery, if you don't buy that first ticket!?"  I’ll always remember a Wednesday evening Bible study at the old Brightmoor Christian Church on Telegraph when the teacher mentioned in order for you to win, everyone else must loose. He called it greed at the expense of others. An interesting thought that will forever stay with me.  Yes, I have bought one, three or four times when the Jackpot was a few hundred million dollars. I am ahead of the game though, because of a promotion at one of our local gas stations some years ago where a scratch-off card given to the customer when he filled his gas tank with gas. I had to ask the person at the counter how the game played. He scratched off the proper place and I was given $50.00.   It wouldn’t be gambling would it as long as I don’t spend past that $50.00?!?!====JACK:  The soldiers gambled at the foot of the cross to see who would get the robe of Jesus.  If that robe were to be available today as a lottery prize, would you buy a ticket?

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Just getting started can be the biggest hurdle.====JACK:  How did you psych yourself up when you were going to play an important basketball game?====HG:  Prayed, thought through what was required of me, determined to give my best. I was never ashamed of my efforts.====JACK:  Did you ever pray to win?  Do you think that God is OK with that kind of prayer?

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  and you will never win even if  you do buy a ticket.   the odds against  you are too great:):):):)====JACK:  Do you mean to tell me that you've never bought a lottery ticket?====SP:  only one and i wish i had my dollar back:):):)

FROM CS IN MICHIGAN:  Very good!  Rings a ๐Ÿ””====JACK:  I'm sure that each of us has a bell that should be rung.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  This is so true!  Everyday I face death!!!  In the shape of a tick!!!  I would rather face a rabid lion than a tick!  But, I continue my active role as a farmer and continue to plant and garden and weed!  I will win!====JACK:  Do you use any weed killers, or do you do the deed by yourself?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  The thought for the day in my S.S. lesson yesterday was from Mark Batterson's book: "Righteousness is more than doing nothing wrong...it's doing something right! Prayer should be the KEY in the morning. and the LOCK at night!"  Ties in with your thought of beginning to DO something!!====JACK:  I like Joshua's words..."Choose THIS DAY who you will serve."

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  SO TRUE!====JACK:   Is that not true also for "Mission" pastors?  An attitude:  This is going to be successful!!!  Also...this importance of the first "visit" of the day!!!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/19/17
“They can destroy our houses, our things, but not our souls,”  (Huda Khudhur)  Huda is an Iraqi woman, writing of the war in her homeland.  A friend of mine from Iraq tell a similar story.  Relatives have died, his church has been bombed.  “I can’t take my children back to show them where I grew up.”  His refugee cousins tell of terrible suffering and hardship and how glad they are to be in America.  We Americans need to count our blessings…one by one.     ;-)  Jack  

FROM SHALOM JAN:  Reminds me of "A Mighty Fortress" verse 4 . . ."Were they to take our house, goods, honor, child, or spouse, though life be wrenched away, they cannot win the day.  The kingdom's ours forever."====JACK:  "Wrenched" is a demonstrative word.  It's also seems to be an example of onomatopoeia.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  That is for sure!====JACK:  We take so many things for granted in our country and in our personal lives.====MARLYS:  Ain’t that the truth!  I was complaining about my TV because a Comcast tech has been at my house at least once a week for 2 months.  My friend laughed and said “boy—what a 1st World problem!”  And it sure is.  By the way—we just packed over 1 million meals for Feed My Starving Children at our church.  It is such a fun thing to do and it helps so many people out.====JACK:  Sometimes we focus so much on things beyond our control that we overlook the day to day good things that are happening in our own backyard...like the things your church is doing.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  This speaks volumes for people in our local community of Chetek, WI who suffered a lot of destruction from the tornado that ripped through a trailer park and other homes/businesses in the same area.  One person lost his life and a few others have varying injuries.  Those that survived it are thankful they are alive.  I drove home in the storm on a major highway; had I taken the other route home I would have been right in the path of the tornado.  Yes, I’m thankful too!  My kids asked me why I just didn’t stay in Chetek.  Good question, but like all away from their home in a pending storm is to get home to safety. I ended up hiding under a bridge overpass (yes, I know you aren’t supposed to do that) with about 40 others – pick-ups, cars and a couple semis until the worse of the rain and hail passed. I was glad to have company under that bridge!  I feel for foreign countries constantly being besieged by war; can’t even begin to imagine the pain of that!  Wish we could all learn to live in peace with one another!!!====JACK:  Chetek really is in your backyard.  As I recall, your area of Wisconsin seems to have an inordinate number of tornadoes.  Do you have a "safe place" in your home?

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  in some parts of the world today,  Christians are definitely under attack.   i also think of Luther's great hymn,  Were they to take our house,  goods, honor, child or spouse,  tho life be wrenched away.  they cannot win the day.   the Kingdom is our forever... ====JACK:  We have no idea....  Read again those words that Luther wrote.

FROM TARMART REV:  Slow in responding lately as my wife and I hit a deer last Monday night at 10p, traveling 65 mph . . . airbags exploded, smashing my nose and pushing my glasses into my forehead and around my right eye socket . . . bruising and soreness, but no broken bones . . . looks like car will be totaled, not so much as for the outside damage, but the airbag damages.====JACK:  Life is tenuous.  We think that we're in control, but accidents (and war) show that we are not.  There's a hymn:  "Our times are in Thy hand;    O God, we wish them there;
Our lives, our souls, our all, we leave    Entirely to Thy care."

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  so why would we give these folks nuclear capabilities?====JACK:  In Proverbs 30, there are these words:    18 “There are three things that are too amazing for me,
four that I do not understand:  19 the way of an eagle in the sky,  the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,  and the way of a man with a young woman.   I might add one more...How some leaders can be so reckless in how they handle our fragile earth.

FROM A CHALDEAN:  Amen my friend.====JACK:  The key part of Huda's quote:  ...but not our souls!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Andy played on a Chaldean soccer team in high school.  His coach was one of the top coaches in Iran but he and his two sons fled a few years before.  He made sure all three of them spoke American English before leaving Iran.  They would not speak if their family members left behind except to say many had been killed.  They were killed because they were Christian.
  It reminds of one of the most striking verses from a hymn:  in "A Mighty Fortress"..."If they take our house, Goods, fame, child, or spouse, Wrench our life away, They cannot win the day, The Kingdom's ours forever!"====JACK:  The value of diversity works both ways.  And...you are the 3rd person today who's referred to that verse from Luther's hymn.  Oppression is nothing new.



 


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/18/17
“To be able to look back upon one’s past life with satisfaction is to live twice.”  (Lord Acton)  I remember a lady who kept a scrapbook of each vacation that she and her husband took.  Lots of pictures, with notes under each.  She even included some menus.  I could tell that she enjoyed reliving those trips as she showed me the books.  Wedding anniversaries, retirements and reunions also give us a chance to look back and relive.  Have you done that recently?    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  memory is truly a wonderful gift even if not all the memories are good ones.  dementia can be the great thief of our lives.   our memories still seem to be quite sharp! ====JACK:  Some interesting thoughts from the song, Corners of Your Mind...
Into the corners of your mind,
Go dig and see
What you can find.
Torn rags of furious clouds,
And stars serene behind,
Down in the corners of your mind.

Into the corners of your mind,
There's treasures laid.
Don't be afraid.
Wishes all violent,
And tortured dreams betrayed,
Down in the corners of your mind.

Into the corners of your mind,
Go dig and raise
Into the light,
Torrent of endless waters
Falling from a height defined,
Into the corners of your mind.

Out of this treasury you choose
Stuff for your use,
And leave the rest.
Once it has seen the day
It will lie easy for a time
Down in the corners of your mind

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  I look back and relive all the time.  It's gives me a boost every day.  I like the way I can recall the good things so easily, and have forgotten most of the negative incidents.. ====JACK:  As we grow older, the more memories we have to choose from...and it's easier to pick out the good ones.  I feel sorry for the one who keeps mentally gazing at bad memories.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  We just visited Interlochen which Mary Lou attended on scholarship in 1957.   It was a way for me to connect to a part of her past that was very special for her,====JACK:  Interlochen is a Michigan treasure that is often overlooked.  This world is a better place because of the music and the musicians that have come from that place...Norah Jones, Josh Groban, Peter Yarrow and Kim Kashkashian (not Kardashian).

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Joshua will graduate high school and get his Associates Degree next Spring.  Neil pulled out my scrapbooks and started to look at them.  We spent the better part of the evening looking over my scrapbooks.====JACK:  See....All that work is paying off.

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  Just looked at video made when I retired in 1990.... Was a great blessing to an old man.====JACK:  That's why writing a letter of appreciation is a good idea, too.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/17/17
“A wound gets worse when it’s treated with neglect.”  (Stevie Nicks)  Evidently Stevie was writing about a personal experience.  Sooner or later, each of us has “wounds” of one kind or another..a relationship..a situation..a health problem.  Some things take care of themselves, but what if they don’t?  I read this advice:  When faced with a problem, try to step out of your own story and look at it from another point of view--and DFTP (Don’t Forget To Pray!)    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  you must be talking about Trump and our nation.  we are in a state of near-chaos.  a wound that needs treatment very soon!  pray for the Republic.====JACK:  The tragic death of a Penn State fraternity pledge happened because his "brothers" waited too long to dial 911.====SP:  waaaay too long.  all night in fact.  booze and frat houses and so-called rites of initiation are NEVER a good thing.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Thanx for the good message!! Ignoring problems doesn't make them go away.====JACK:  A doctor that I know asked a patient if she'd heard the results of some tests that had been taken.  When she replied, "No," he said, "We'd better check.  No news is no news."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Martin Luther King Jr. said something similar about having to lance a boil, to let the poison out, and that Non Violence is a powerful and just weapon against the poison of Prejudice and Hatred: which cuts without wounding and enables the man who wields it...It is a sword that heals. Memorable analogy! Good WW to ponder today!!====JACK:  Stevie Nicks is an interesting person (aren't we all?), and it's her birthday today.  You might want to listen to some of her music, although probably not your style.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Prayer always get us through!  And I agree totally with Stevie! ====JACK:  I'd be interested to know the background of Stevie's words.  We each have a story...

FROM KANSAN DON:  AMEN!!!  My computer failed to bring up email today.  Neglect did not make it better.====JACK:  Sometimes computers act "funny."  And sometimes people do, too.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/16/17
“Be pleasant until ten o’clock in the morning, and the rest of the day will take care of itself.”  (Elbert Hubbard)  A radio program, The Breakfast Club, had this theme song:  “Roll out of bed in the morning with a great big smile and a good, good morning.”  Does that describe you in the morning?  I’ve read that people who get us with a positive attitude tend to see more good in the world, have less stress and are more motivated.  Why not try it tomorrow?    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  and a good morning to you today, Jack!  (what if you don't wake up until after 10 am??)====JACK:  I can't remember that I've ever slept until after ten.====SP:  its very rare for me too.   maybe a few times in my youth.  now  as i age,  i seem to wake up earlier and earlier====JACK:  4:30 each morning, for me...without an alarm clock.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Sounds good!!!

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  Thumbs up!

FROM LBP MOVING TO K-ZOO:  A good morning does set a good tone for the day. I wonder what time EH got up in the morning ... :)====JACK:   Elbert began his working life a traveling salesman.  He was also known as a philosopher, artist and writer.  Perhaps his most famous work was an essay, entitled, Message to Garcia.  Let me know when (if) you read it.

FROM DM IN LIV:  This works!!  ====JACK:   That means...you must have tried it.  ====DM:  Every single morning, before my feet hit the floor.  It works every time.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  You may wake up with some aches and pains, but you woke up! Thank You God for another new day! (Actually I'm blessed to not have joint pain, etc! At 87 that's pretty remarkable!) Sunk an approach in golf today...that's a small miracle for me, too! :-)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/15/17
“Thank you, God, for the good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough.”  (Garrison Keillor)  Brothers John and Bert came up with the idea of selling “Life Is Good” t-shirts with art work to match…a dog dreaming of a bone…a graduate leaping in the air…a person relaxing in a beach chair.  What t-shirt would you design?  Someone reading?  A traveler?  A smiling face?  John and Bert also created a shirt reading…”Life Is Good, Because God Is Great!”    ;-)  Jack

FROM GOOD SAM LEE:  Nice!!!๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š  Garrison Keillor had a wonderful show on back in the day๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š====JACK:  His last show was in 2016.  That wasn't so long ago...but he is missed.  I had a chance to meet him personally...and he was just as laid back in person as on the air.

FROM DS IN CALIFORNIA:  YAY!!!====JACK:   Maroon and White, Fight, Fight!====DS:  Yes, we have a few "Moliners" living out here.  When we get together we sometimes sing the old fight song.  Brings back great memories.====JACK:  We are Moliners.  We're from Moline.  Our team's the finest you've ever seen!  You do your best boys.  We'll do the rest boys.  Fight on for old Moline!
FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Yes, most of us are SO blessed, living in America. We fear life may not be as good for our grandkids and 'greats", but people have always been adaptable, so maybe the T-shirts will be just as appropriate 50 years from now! I pray so!! We know God will always be in every situation!====JACK:  One of the t-shirts showed Life Is Good! etched in sand beside the sea.  Can you read my mind as to why I thought it was especially poignant?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  They make a gardening tee.  Right now I have been gardening for days and days.  I love it!  I have not seen their t-shirt "Life Us Good because God is Great!"  I'd love one.  I'll look it up!!====JACK:  They've created several gardening t-shirts.  One says, "I dig everything!"

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  i have a post card with a smiling child on it.  the caption under her states, "anti-depressant".  i'd like that on a t-shirt.i miss garrison...i like chris, but i miss garrison๐Ÿ˜ ====JACK:  One of their shirts reads...'These are the good old days!"====MARY:  so...song of the rest of the day!====JACK:
Boy the way Glenn Miller Played
Songs that made the Hit Parade
Guys like us we had it made
Those were the days.
And you knew who you were then
Girls were girls and men were men
Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again
Didn't need no Welfare state
Everybody pulled his weight
Gee our old LaSalle Ran great
Those were the days!
====MARY:   mark and I had an old LaSalle when we were first married. we called it "the boat".

Friday, May 12, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/12/17
“Either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool or you go out in the ocean.”  (Christopher Reeve)  After his horrific accident which left him paralyzed, “Superman” was tempted to give up.  He even talked with his wife about euthanasia.   We take so many things for granted.  But there are times when accidents happen—the unexpected.  C.R. says that it is then that you’re going to have to decide.  He chose the ocean.    ;-)  Jack

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Rather an amazing coincidence that I used Christopher Reeve in this week's S.S. lesson, as an example of people who, when Plan A in their lives has to be turned over to Plan B, due to disaster or circumstance, choose to act with tenacious courage, and make life count and inspire others,in the situation they find themselves! (My Bible message was on Philip, the Evangelist, in the book of Acts) who fled persecution in Jerusalem, to Samaria, where his ministry was extremely fruitful..)  When the unexpected happens it is good to have a Plan B, using our faith to deal with it in a positive way...which is not to glibly say in any sense of the imagination that this is easy! But It can be done.====JACK:  The best teachers of going to Plan B are those who have walked the talk.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We've had plenty of those moments lately.  My brother lost his wife last Fall and has basically given up.  He's 62.  He refuses food and as a result has fallen a number of times.  He just released himself again from the hospital.  My sister is out in Oregon with him but he has completely given up.  Not much the drs or us sisters can do about it.  I choose the ocean even with all the waves and storms.====JACK:  Empathy is sometimes impossible, but sympathy is possible (and necessary) in some instances.  I'm reminded how the disciples called out to Jesus during a storm when they were in a small and fragile boat..."Don't you care?"  All we can do is assure those who are afraid..."Jesus cares...Continue to hold on to that faith."

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i really liked Reeve as both an actor and a "normal person".  loved the movie Somewhere In Time mostly shot on Mackinaw Island and the Grand Hotel. and  before he became Superman.   he was a pretty avowed atheist however.  or at least he claimed to be. ====JACK:  Not always...but I've often found that some who claim to be atheists have not had an discussion about "what we talk about about when we talk about God"...with is the title of a book by Rob Bell.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/11/17
“The future is full of surprising things we cannot possibly imagine now.”  (Rebecca Solnit)  After the breakup of the Beatles, John Lennon wrote the song,  Imagine.  Imagine--all people living in peace, no greed or hunger, all people sharing.  Maybe I’m a dreamer.  Dreams sometimes have ways of coming true.  What thoughts come to you as think of the future and what it might be…in a positive sense?  Try humming, Imagine, as you day-dream..    ;-)  Jack

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  Thanks for the song of the day ♡====JACK: gination is funny, it makes a cloudy day sunny
Imagination is crazy, your whole perspective gets hazy
Imagination is silly, you go around willy-nilly
(Here's a phase to teach your little ones...willy-nilly.)

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Positive dreams:  we have plenty....traveling to counties in the U.S. we haven't been in, fixing up our new old house, watching our grandkids grow up, reading all the beautiful books we've accumulated, writing a book, helping more Compassion International children grow up in good health and teaching them about Jesus, building up our many gardens and growing older with good health and with for love our family, friends and lives devoted to our good God. ====JACK:  We should not be surprised that God has created a world full of surprises.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  that song also contained the line,  "Imagine there is no religion too." (which would have put both of us our of work:):):)     i always used that line to try to explain to some skeptics the difference between religion per se and the need for faith in our lives.  it was not always easy to do. especially when some religions seem to endorse violence, including Christianity as some times in our past.   but  when ALL religions of the world get lumped together (as in the minds of many today)  drawing such distinctions is difficult at best.====JACK:  Your response begs the question....What is religion?  And.... if it is an attempt know the unknowable, no wonder there is so much frustration in that.  Maybe we should just concentrate on exploring the "good" life.====ST PAUL:  have  you not then just turned all faith systems into watered down pablum?====JACK:  No!  I'm just looking at the "religious" system as an observer.  I "see" the various faith systems claiming to know the unknowable.  My Christianity cause me to look at Jesus as a human form of God showing us what God is like and how it is possible for humans to live the Godly life.  But, that is a faith concept.  As a pastor, I cease to be an observer and try to explain a Lutheran concept of faith.  Some would consider that to be pablum, but that's just another way of looking at the God concept.
====ST PAUL:  i recall one of my profs who often said to us students to remember that whenever we started talking about God,  we also were immediately limiting God with our very finite human understand of God.====JACK:  That's what I was trying to say:.====SP:  agreed.  at the same time,  we preachers are obligated to say something:):):)   horns of a dilemma.     p.s. i  had a classmate who left the seminary in our last year because he wasn't sure he could "speak for God" with any credible authority.  maybe, in his case, he was right. 

FROM HONEST JOHN:  On a positive note....I foresee a day when Donald Trump will no longer be POTUS.====JACK:  Be careful what you wish for.  Next in line is the V.P, and, after that, the Speaker of the House.  Perhaps the best you can hope for  is a swift passage of the next two years.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'm currently participating in a five-evening seminar, of dialogue between Muslims and Christians, to explore the differences and similarities of our faith. Tonight will be our outlook on Jesus. It's been very informative and interesting, but the main thing is, we all do "imagine" a world where both (and all  other) religions can live together in love and peace. One of the leaders is a rare woman Muslim interfaith chaplain, who has a fantastic ministry in the Washington D.C. area. Not many women Muslim clergy!  She is Arab/African born in Kenya, but U.S. citizen for 30+ years. If we could all live the teachings of our faith, we might achieve Lennon's Imagined world! ====JACK:  When John Lennon writes, " Imagine...no religion," I imagine that he's referring to the "religions" that divide us rather than the "religions" that unite us.

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  True...for this world and the next.====JACK:  I like the hymn, "O God, our help in ages past..."expecialy the line, "in this world and in the next."


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/10/17
“In God we trust; everyone else must cite their data.”  (Protest Sign)  During the Civil War it was a minister who suggested that the words, In God We Trust, be stamped on U.S. coins.  In desperate times people often call out for God’s help, perhaps recalling the biblical words, “Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will answer you.”  A WW 2 chaplain is quoted, “There are no atheists in foxholes.”  There are different kinds of life battles.  God knows; God cares.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  say hello to David when he arrives.  also,  do we know anything about the pastor who advocated for the "In God We Trust" motto?====JACK:  Not much is known about Rev. M.R. Watkinson, except that he was from Pennsylvania and that he wrote the well-known hymn, "Shall we ever be drunkards?"

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Brought to mind the saying often posted in stores, "In God we trust; All others pay cash!"   As I said to my S.S. class last week, "Not once does the Bible say, 'Worry about it!', 'Stress over it!', or 'Just figure it out!'...but over and over it says, "TRUST GOD."====JACK:  Have you ever sung (heard) The Worried Man Blues, originated by the Carter family?
It takes a worried man to sing a worried song
It takes a worried man to sing a worried song
I’m worried now, but I won’t be worried long
If anyone should ask you who composed this song
If anyone should ask you who composed this song
Tell ’em ’twas I, and I sing it all day long

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  How about ..... In God we trust, all others pay cash.====JACK:  Did you know that J.C. Penny's middle name was Cash?  ...and that the Penny's stores were originally called, The Golden Rule stores, because all employees were expected to treat all customers according to the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  Knowing you as I do, you already knew that.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/9/17
“I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must continually look at things in a different way.”  (Tom Schulman)  A professor surprised his class by hopping up on a desk to give his lecture.  The students remembered what he said, because they saw him differently.  There is more than one way to look at a situation, a problem.  Solutions and understanding usually appear to those who take the time to examine various points of view.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  I'm reminded of our College Dean doing that very thing in the Gospel class, bow tie and all. I can still remember the shock and laughter after class.====JACK:  Maybe you should try preaching a sermon like that.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yesterday we celebrated VE Day and ten set upon solving the problem of war with Germany.  The Marshall Plan was a brilliant solution at the time.  Just look at all of the changes that our generation has seen.  It was amazing to me that we had a pilotless space craft land at Cape Canaveral Sunday morning with a familiar sonic boom and after circling the earth for two years.====JACK:  Each generation seems to have its own set of problems, usually thinking that their's are out of the ordinary.  I would venture to say that the generation that experienced the Great Depression, WW 2 and the advent of the atomic bomb had problems beyond the ordinary.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Kimberly and her family were over to help us in our yard which had been neglected for 2 years.  The original owner had the grounds professionally landscaped.  Needless to say, we have a lot of work to do.  However, with their help it's coming back to what it used to be.  Kimberly and I took a break and sat on our dock over the water and looked back at the house.  It looked so much better today than yesterday.  We could see more of our work looking back at the house than while working on it!====JACK:  Be sure to take before and after pictures.  I checked out a book from the library which shows before and after pictures of Detroit, both positive and negative.  One shows a house in disrepair.  Next to it shows the same house after being rehabbed.  Another page shows a mansion as it looked 50 years ago.  Beside it is the same house as a crumbling wreck.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/8/17
“The world is an eternal seesaw.”  (Montaigne)  I wouldn’t be surprised if Montaigne played on a teeter totter when he was a child.  I did.  Did you?  Montaigne was a 16th century French philosopher who is known for taking that which is common and connecting it with intellectual insight.  “What goes up must come down” explains the seesaw and other things as well…the stock market, the temperature, our emotions.  This world has many lessons to teach.    ;-)  Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Montaigne may have been 16th century, but his insight is certainly up-to-date about life today.  We can learn so much if we maintain awareness of what's going on around us.  Regrettably people often don't want to be taught.  There's no limit on learning.  Aging doesn't shut us out from taking a fresh look at things around us.====JACK:  In Florida there is this law... "A state university may waive any or all application, tuition, and related fees for persons 60 years of age or older who are residents of this state. No academic credit shall be awarded for attendance in classes."  I wonder if your state also has such a law?====RI:  The University of Massachusetts in its various branches offers elderly persons 60 years and older tuition-free attendance for classes, if they are permanent residents of the state.  I don't know if that includes other fees too.  There are a number of private universities that offer the same opportunity to the elderly, 60 years and older, residents of the state.====JACK:  Are there any courses that you'd like to take?====RI:  I would be interested in learning about lyricism and atonality in music.====JACK:  Is atonal music composed for those who sing off-key?

FROM HONEST JOHN:  The NY Times Sunday puzzle clues yesterday included " See Saw Marjorie ---".   Easy one for people our age!====JACK:  As I was writing today's WWs I did look up Marjorie Daw and found that the rhyme originated in the 18th century and the the name Daw was probably chosen because it rhymed with the saw in seesaw.  I also read that "daw" was once a modifier to describe a lazy or untidy woman.  Sydney J. Harris once wrote a book..."Things I Learned While Looking Up Other Things."

FROM LBP MOVING TO K-ZOO:  I played on them as a kid. I remember getting the wind knocked out of me.  Regular trips to the nurses station from those. Probably why they don't have them anymore.  I've seen a new "safer" version though...====JACK:  My sister never wanted to get on the teeter totter with me, because she was afraid that I would get off when she was in the "up" position.  It's too bad you never had the experience of having a big brother.====LBP:  Being the big sister was experience enough

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  A rather chaotic seesaw these days, but then, I suppose every century has felt that way; It does seem America is on a downward spiral ecologically, politically, economically, and morally, but God is still God, with us and among us on the teeter-tottering world! We hold on to that!====JACK:  Yes, God is with us and will see us through...BUT...Mother Teresa's quote comes to mind.  “I know God won't give me anything I can't handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much.” ====OAKS:  I'm with you on that!!  God does not save us from our mistakes and poor decisions...!

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Yes, I did. Used to jump off when the other guy was "up." Good lesson learned because I did it in business regularly.====JACK:  When the economy (stock market) is going up, most want to hang in one more day and one more day after that, and all of a sudden it's too late.  Someone has jumped off of the seesaw while we were up in the air.  As the old saying goes:  "Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Loved the seesaw except if someone jumped off it while I was in the air!====JACK:  You're not the only one who's had that experience...I'm sure!

Friday, May 05, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/5/17
“If you are helping someone and expecting something in return, you are doing business not kindness.”  (Unknown)   A Latin saying seems to fit…quid pro quo.  “You scratch my back , and I’ll scratch yours,” could be a modern translation.  It’s interesting how quid pro quo takes legs in today’s world, i.e., political contributions with return favors expected...sexual harassment in the workplace.  Helping someone, just out of kindness, should be our goal.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  It usually gives you a better feeling when the person you help is not in a position to pay you back.....maybe, he or she just becomes a friend...====JACK:  While I appreciate favors done for me, I'm left with the feeling that I should do something in return for the favor-giver.  Someone advised me:  Just say, "Thank you," and let it go at that.====HJ:  Art Larson under whom I served one summer...after one year of seminary, advised me to earn to accept favors and say "thank you"....it was great advice.

FROM LBP MOVING TO K-ZOO:  Last night someone paid our dinner bill. "The gentleman who was sitting a few tables over." The server spoke as if it was a common thing that happens there. "I always want to tell right away but that would ruin the surprise" he says after telling us we have no bill to pay. Well, we were surprised. It was a kind gesture as we were exploring our soon to be new home town.====JACK:  It seems as though you've "got a pal in Kalamazoo."  Did you get a chance to say "thank you" to the angel?  Someone once did that for our young family.  A wave of the hand from him made it extra special...and I've never forgotten it. ====LBP:  No. Whoever it was had left. Yeah. Made an impression for sure.====JACK:  Maybe the payback is to do something similar for someone, especially having the children involved.  "Do you remember when someone paid for our meal when we didn't know about it....?"

FROM FLA-MI SANDI:  Yes. A Mitzvah is a kind deed without anything in return. That's why tending to the dead before burial is the truest Mitzvah...the dead cannot give you anything in return.====JACK:   I learn so much from my Jewish friends like you.  A good teacher also will challenge the student to explore further.  So....I discovered that "mitzvah" means, commandment.  I've been taught that Moses delivered 10 Commandments from God to his people.  Now, I find out that the Jews have more than 10...613 of them, 365 negative and 248 positive.  I  also discovered, as you wrote, that a mitzvah is an act of human kindness.  See...You're still teaching!

FROM TRIHARDER:  Kind of like promoting one's donation to charity.====JACK:  Like charitable giving, without caring whether it's tax deductible, or not.

FROM GOOD SAM LEE:  Tell that to Donald๐Ÿ˜ ====JACK:  My father-in-law had a saying which we often quote:  "I am who I am,"  meaning that it's hard for a leopard to change his spots.  To expect that Donald is going to change....It's probably like hoping that the leopard will somehow decide to look like a zebra.  I know that those are not "winning words," but they seem to be reality.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Just imagine this world if everyday everyone would just do a kindness for one person!====JACK:  If everybody did just one act of kindness for somebody...
If we'd all say a prayer that the world would be free,  The wonderful dawn of a new day we'll see!
And, if everyone lit just one little candle, What a bright world this would be!

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Life is Reciprocity. One of the chapters in my book.====JACK:  I have no problem with reciprocity, except when talking about the love of God, which is giving without expecting anything in return.  I once read about a soup kitchen that would feed the hungry...only if they listened to a sermon ahead of time.


Thursday, May 04, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/4/17
“I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world.”  (Thomas Edison)  I recently saw that a pair of designer bib-overalls can cost up to $170.  Edison’s friends couldn’t afford those.  But, in his day, overalls were the symbol of the working stiff.  Aaron Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” is a favorite of mine and was premiered on Income Tax Day in 1943.  Do you have any bib-overall friends?    ;-)  Jack  

FROM HY YO SILVER:  I love that Copeland piece.  Have you seen Nordstrom's new "muddy Jean" product?  Check it out online and notice the price.====JACK:  Yes, I did read about the "muddy jeans" and their "outrageous" price.  Nordstrom's began as a shoe retailer in 1901 and branched out into clothing sometime later.  The idea of selling muddy jeans probably came after Edison's death.  I read that someone sold a grilled cheese sandwich on E-Bay for $28,000.  Supposedly, it had an image of the Virgin Mary on it.====HY YO:  I heard that, too.  I remember a 20/20 documentary when I was young about a Dorito that people thought had Christ's image on it.====JACK:  I heard of a youth pastor who used Coke and chips for communion at a youth gathering.  I wonder if the chips were Doritos?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Most of our new neighbors are bib-overall people.  In fact, I was looking at purchasing some for us just yesterday!!!====JACK:  While you at it, you might check out Nordstrom's Muddy Jeans at $425 a pair. They also have women's bib overall shorts for summer wear at $275.

FROM TARMART REV:  A few, but mostly Lee jeans.====JACK:  How do they look with a clerical collar?  You've probably have never worn one of those.  They do tend to make you look chaplainy.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  And, I know fools in. Overalls who are an ont i magen.    Decent people and jerks come in all types of clothing.====JACK:  There you go...showing off your knowledge of Swedish again.  I suppose you're there in Port Huron, clothed in clerics, campaigning.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  we still have a couple of farmers in the family,  on Margaret's side.   Brother in law Jake has a daughter who is taking over the farm, all 1800 acres. and she has 4 little children!  but i don't think she wears any bibs:):):)====JACK:  One of the congregations in my first parish was a country church (with outhouses in back).  What great people, over all.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Love Copeland…going to play the Fanfare now.====JACK:  YouTube is great.  I'm listening to the Fanfare now, as I type.

FROM GOOD SAMARITAN LS:  No but they are working class people, not upper echelon types. Don't know any well to do's to speak of. I identify with these types(working class individuals)  or working stiffs ๐Ÿ˜Š====JACK:  The origin of "working stiff" seems to be clouded, but the source I like says that hard workers tend to get stiff from their labor.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Strange you should do this one today. Liz and I went to The Machuie Shed fr lunch today. Guess what the waitresses were wearing...bib overalls.====JACK:  Ah, the Machine Shed...one of my favorite eating places.  I've been to that one in Davenport.  In fact, I have a box of bacon-flavored toothpicks from the Machine Shed.

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  No, but I have bib overalls, and wear them every halloween...with a straw hat and a straw in my mouth, if I can find a sanitary one.   AlW  I do have  2 pair of coveralls, such as a mechanic might  wear.  At one time they were acceptable CAP  dress.====JACK:  Yes, I remember coveralls which mechanics would wear at car dealerships/  Some deer hunters would wear insulated ones.  The old days weren't so bad, after all.  My dad used yo wear BVDs...one-piece underwear.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My uncles on my dad's side wore the  "bibs" as they were farmers. Definitely not designer-types! But yes, good, genuine, hardworking people. Our school code prohibits wearing torn or holy jeans to school, so if they buy the pricey pre-torn variety, it is for after school or weekends. (I can't imagine wanting to look like that...! another sphere where I''m a dinosaur!) I have one friend who occasionally does wear bibs...she is a free spirit, but intelligent, and a lot of fun! :-)  All types of people come in all types of clothing, when you come right down to it!====JACK:  The farm folk usually had Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes.  The overalls were for chores...and mama usually wore an apron around the house.  How long has it been since you've worn an apron? ====OAKS:  Yes, they also were very regular church goers!  I wear an apron a lot...have quite an assortment of them to cover my clothes when I'm cooking or baking. my daughter and in-laws only wear them occasionally, if they are working in "Sunday-go-to meetin' clothes...)   :-)

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/3/17
“Life is not always what one wants it to be, but make the best of it, as it is the only way of being happy.”  (Lady Randolph Churchill)  In the song, Coal Miner’s Daughter, Loretta Lynn sings, “We were poor, but we had love.”  Life doesn’t always go well, even for rich people.  Dale Carnegie used the analogy of making lemonade out of life’s “lemons” in his book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.  Have you heard of some good recipes for lemonade?    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  words to live by today.  thanks, Jack.====JACK:  You might start today by having a cool glass of lemonade.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  An Arnold Palmer====JACK:  Are you sure you don't mean a Shirley Temple?

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  Funny you should ask: today I was at a Chamber of Commerce  fair...and one group located near the airport was serving...in a 1 ounce cup, something they called"jet fuel"    . As I tasted it, the  merchant said it was a combo of lemonade, tea, and vodka!    One ounce to a person.====JACK:  You weren't driving, were you?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I read her biography (recently published) this winter, and it was most interesting; She certainly had challenges, being married to a pretty self-focused husband, She was hard-working, and loyal; Winston wouldn't have accomplished what he did  without her, for sure!
As Paul says in Philippians, "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content." That's a pretty good lesson to learn, especially as one grows older and must accept the limitations age imposes (or illness).====JACK:  No one knows what it was like to be Lady Churchill, because she was the only one who was Lady C.  The same goes for you...and me.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's a good thing we don't get what we want out of life sometimes but we always get what we need!  I've never cared too much for lemonade but I do love iced tea! ====JACK:  I've never care too much for iced tea, but I do like lemonade.  Maybe our compromise would be a drink called, an Arnold Palmer.
 
 

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/2/17
“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate.”  (Henry Tillman)  This quote is an example of a paraprosdokianism, where a sentence has an unexpected conclusion.  In high school chemistry we did solution/precipitate experiments.  In high school English I learned that the word, precipitate, means, a cause.  I read this truism somewhere …“You’re either part of the solution, or part of the problem.”  That fits many world and personal situations.    ;-)  Jack

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  So fun and surprising.  I recall the precipitate; it’s been a long time since college chemistry.====JACK:  I most often used precipitate, in terms of "starting something."  In today's political world, words seem to be the precipitate.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Well, that's a new  one! Although the "truism" is not...hopefully we're wise enough to realize when we are one or the other!! :-( ====JACK:  Try to work paraprosdokian into a conversation today and see what response you get.  First, practice saying the word.

FROM TARMART REV:   . . always wanting to be part of a solution, in deed!====JACK:  It's no fun being part of the problem.

FROM DAZ IN  COLORADO:  There is no middle ground Work on the solution or you may not like the one you get handed to you.====JACK:  It may be trite, but it's true...Not to decide is to decide.  Those who "don't want to get involved" are involved, whether they like it, or not.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/1/17
“All things seem possible in May.”  (Edwin Way Teale)  I have a Bible called, the Possibility Thinkers Bible.  Throughout its pages, the verses that show the impossible becoming possible are highlighted in blue.  Of course, one is: “With God all things are possible.”  Often God works his miracles in ordinary ways, relying on us to seek solutions to problem situations.  May 1st seems to be a good day to start looking for possibilities in seemingly impossible situations.    ;-)  Jack

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA:  Your thoughts are a pleasure to read, every day. For me, the bright spring yellow-greens of sprouting tree leaves are a wonder and an inspiration every year. Here in southeastern Pennsylvania, they are at their peak in May.====JACK:  This morning in Michigan the soft morning rain (which carried over from yesterday) is a reminder that April showers bring May flowers.  Even the birds are singing in the rain.  I love May.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  song of the day is from Camelot, "it's may"!====JACK:  and another..."Though April showers may come your way, yhry nring the flowers that bloom in May."  Life is sometimes like that.====MARY:  yes it is.  we are planting sunflowers at school today and waiting for our butterflies to emerge from their cocoons.  new life...it's a constant reminder of the grace of god.====JACK:  It would be interesting to see sequential pictures...planting the seeds, first growth, the stalk, the bud, the flower.  Did you know that Kansas is the Sunflower State?

FROM TARMART REV:  Here we go, Jack!! First day out searching for an answer and new direction.====JACK:  John Maxwell wrote a book...How Successful People Think.  Here are some thoughts from that book.  They see things that others miss, tend to not give up, aren't afraid to dream big dreams, avoid negative people, love challenges, seek out smart people, set goals and follow through on them, do brainstorming with creative people.  May God bless your search!

FROM SHALOM JAN:  Today's weather is more like March going out than May coming in.  However, with all the good things that happen in this month -- graduations, final concerts, more flowers and blossoms, etc. -- it will still be a marvelous month!====JACK:  "All sun and no rain makes a desert."  As I look back on my life, I've seen some rainbows after the rain.  I like May, and I like the phrase, The Merry Month of May.

FROM LH IN MI:  I’m hanging on to that every day. :-)  My plate is fuller than I could ever have imagined possible; but it will all work out in the end.  Thanks for the reminder to keep me on an even keel.====JACK:  I like the song..."The Love of God," especially the verse:
Could we with ink the ocean fill  And were the skies of parchment made
Were every stalk on earth a quill  And every man a scribe by trade
To write the love of God above  Would drain the ocean dry 
Nor could the scroll contain the whole  Though stretched from sky to sky.
Someday our life's story will be rolled out like a scroll, and we'll see some parts that have been written by the hand of God.  Amazing!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  May has been the start of Spring to me.  The flowers bloom, the birds come back and you can smell the fresh air.  The possibilities seem limitless.====JACK:  Did you ever make and pass out May baskets when you were a child?

FROM BLAZING  OAKS:  May is usually a beautiful month! I like Natalie Sleeth's song, "Hymn of Promise" that she wrote to comfort her husband, when she was dying of terminal cancer.  In the bulb there is a flower, in the seed, an apple tree, In cocoons a hidden promise: Butterflies will soon be free! In the cold and snow of winter there's a Spring that waits to be; Unrevealed until its season, Something God alone can see.  There's a song in ever silence seeking word and melody, There's a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me; From the past will come the future: What it holds, a mystery, Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.  In our end, is our beginning: In our time, infinity; In our doubt there is believing, In our Life, eternity.  In our death, a resurrection: At the last, a victory, Unrevealed until its season, Something God alone can see.  May reveals nature's promise, from seed and bulb to leafy green, and lovely flowers! Indeed!====JACK:  Our church choirs have sung Natalie's anthems many times, however I've never heard "the rest of the story."  Church music (hymn and anthem) writers seem to have composed many of their works after personal tragedies...and experiencing God's comfort.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Everything happens for a reason, don't you think.  Sometimes it is hard to figure out. A grandson is having surgery on his foot today and will be in recovery for four months.One day at a time.====JACK:  I like the words and music of the popular song, "One day at a time, sweet Jesus, that's all I'm asking of you."




Friday, April 28, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/28/17
“I know I’m not perfect, but I can smile.”  (Dido)  A follow up to this quote might be…”I know that life’s not perfect, but I can smile.”  Charlie Chaplin wrote the song, Smile, which begins: “Smile though your heart is aching” and ends with “You’ll find that life is still worthwhile if you’ll just smile.”  BTW, smile, if you know who Dye-doh is!  At first I thought she was the Carthagean queen that Virgil wrote about.  What makes you smile today?    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL: good words, Jack.   for some folks today,  even a slight grin will do.====JACK:  ..or a wry smile.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Jack, one thing I remember about you is that you are usually smiling. ====JACK:  Do you remember the comic strip..Smilin' Jack?

FROM LBP IN TRANSITION:  Ha. She's a singer :)====JACK:  I wonder if she knows the song, "I Got A Gal In Kalamazoo?"====LBP:  Ha. Not sure. But we got got our house offer accepted in portage. So I'll have a little gal really near Kalamazoo ;)====JACK:  "Oh, what a gal, a real pipperoo."  Have you ever heard, or used the phrase, "a real pipperoo"?  Ask your mom or dad. ====LBP:  No I don't think I have. It will be a good word to use in the madlibs Verity has been doing in the car lately.====JACK:  Pipperoo:  A person or thing that is remarkable, wonderful, superior, etc; beaut, humdinger: Your wildest dreams are the pips!

FROM LS IN MICHIGAN:  Who is dye-doh?  I googled it and can't find out who it is.  I am smiling thinking I've been pranked.====JACK:  Dye-Doh is the phonetic spelling of Dido.  Now, Google, Dido.  (Ask your children who she is.)

FROM TARMART REV:  You just did!! 0;-)====JACK:  Will your car's review mirror show a smile as you drive to Michigan?

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Always like Jimmy Durante performing "Smile."   I have so many things to smile about - my wife, my children and grandchildren, my health, Winning Words........the list goes on.====JACK:  Jimmy didn't have much of a singing voice, but he really could sing a song with feeling!

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Racist!====JACK:  I don't see the connection.

FROM AV DAVE:  I learned who she was today.  Didn’t know of her before!====JACK: I'm smiling.

FROM LH IN MICHIGAN:  I had a dear friend, who often said, “I know I’m not perfect; but parts of me are excellent”.  That always made me smile.  I remember the song “Smile”. I hadn’t realized it was Charlie Chaplin, who sang it. Thanks for triggering those memories.====JACK:  Your friend's quote are the title of a book by Ashley Brilliant.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I had no idea that Charlie Chaplin wrote the song "Smile tho your heart is aching"! (I  also was amazed that he is SIR Charles Chaplin! ) He once said "To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it." He must have been good at that, because he also said "A Day without laughter is wasted"....Quite a character!  Keep smilin'...====JACK:  Your "Keep smilin'" comment reminds me of the song about friends.  "Keep smilin', keep shinin'  Knowing you can always count on me for sure  That's what friends are for."  You probably know (and can sing) the whole song.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/27/17
“All religions united with government are more or less inimical to liberty.  All, separated from government, are compatible with liberty.”  (Henry Clay)  Did you have to look up, inimical?  It means, harmful.  Now, reread Clay’s quote.  Even now SCOTUS is considering a case involving the separation of religion and government.  Many of our original immigrants fled to America to escape religious persecution.  A dominant religion isn’t always “nice.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Interesting observation by Henry.   I guess my stance would be that while no specific religion should be forced on people by government, the absence of a belief in and reverence to God is not good.  Since we took God out of the schools I believe the overall moral environment in our schools has suffered. We supposedly look to our elected representatives (government) as leaders and examples to follow.  These days I don't think there are many politicians that I would look to emulate based on their behavior.  Liberty is a great thing, but liberty without God is an empty, short lived benefit.  Our currency hopefully conveys our belief - In God We Trust."  In the end, just as we the people are the church, we the people are the government.  Now all we have to do is get back to compromising and getting along as opposed to having two adversarial parties who are against pretty much anything the other party believes in or does.====JACK:  The Constitution is pretty explicit in the Bill of Rights.  "Amendment I  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."  The "God thing" is a personal issue.  Each person is free to be, or not to be, godly, as one chooses...and not be forced by the government.  Some may not like it, but that's how the document reads.

FROM TARMART REV:  . . . recognizing none at all is an interesting thought as well. At least the Apostle could speak and persuade some while in Athens without being stoned and beaten . . . he had just come from being imprisoned in Philippi proclaiming the same. We never know what a day will bring being a Christ-follower nowadays!?====JACK:  Christians are meant to be leaven in the bread...in the world, but not of the world.  Through your broad-based chaplaincy, you are doing exactly that!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  America is great because America is good.  When America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.  Our country was built on Judeo Christian teachings, but we say to each his or her own unless they try to kill us.  It  is amazing that we, as teenagers during WW2, had such a different culture in which to grow up.====JACK:  I think that the idea of our country founded ad Judeo-Christian is somewhat of a fallacy.  Many of the founding fathers were Deists, rejecting the type of Christianity that they saw being practiced.  Probably the Constitution was most influenced by the Magna Carta, interpreted by some very "smart" individuals.  BTW, I don't think that the word, inimical, is in most vocabularies...at least not in mine.  We may know the meaning, but seldom, if ever, use the word.

FROM CZB IN NH:  Amen!  Oh wait.  Can I say that to a Pastor?====JACK:  I've heard worse.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  As attested to in So America where the Roman Catholic leaders are pretty heavy handed in their leadership, as opposed to the countries where they are not such a powerful force. And many countries where the dominant religion is pervasively intolerant of any other!  If our churches were really doing their jobs, we wouldn't need religion in the schools, but as the old saying goes, "As long as there are tests or exams, there will be prayer in our schools"!  GOD BLESS AMERICA, may choice always be an option!====JACK:  There's such a diversity, even among Christians, in our country that I see it as an impossibility to teach religion in public schools.  Religion should be taught (or not taught) in the home, or in the place of worship.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  It is easier to be honest. You don't have to remember what you said.
====JACK:  Are little white lies OK?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/26/17
“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”  (Thomas Jefferson)  Alternative facts is a phrase being heard a lot these days.  When is a fact not a fact?  Einstein’s words are relevant: “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.”  What has happened to, Honesty is the best policy. The truth shall set you free, Honest to God, Be honest when others are not?  “Alternative” honesty was not known to Jefferson.  He was a believer in the value of basic values.    ;-)  Jack

FROM LS IN MICHIGAN:  I gave this quote thought and did some googling.  I found AN explanation of the Einstein quote you used.  Thank you for your communication each morning.  I enjoy receiving.====JACK:  ...an Einstein theory that you could understand.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Why is it that I get concerned when someone starts a sentence with "to be honest with you...". It  begs the question are there other times when they are not honest?====JACK:  Is there a difference between "honestly" and "honest to God?"====RS:  I think honest is honest - if you are honest with man I would hope that would mean honest to God.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  to say nothing of the Commandment,  thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor!   did you see a recent 60 Minuets TV show.  they interviewed a man from Belgium who spends all day making up totally false news stories and sending them out virally all over the world on a platform called Bots.  when asked about ever telling the truth, he said,  "there is NO truth.  truth is whatever you believe it to be".  God help us all!====JACK:  Isn't it strange how some people will believe anything a certain person says (even obvious lies), because they believe in that person?  It can be a president, or even a pastor.  Maybe...truth is the mind of the believer.  ====SP:  to some degree that is very true and that is also what makes it so scary.   Trump got elected, I believe,  because sooo many people saw Obama as being weak (he was not) and Trump being sooo  authoritative and decisive.  however,  a recent survey showed that in the "decisive category",  Trump's ratings are now way down.  he is finding out that campaign bluster and bravado do not carry well into the White House and into the fine art of governing!

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Honesty was lost with politics and infidelity thousands of year ago. It is simply more exposed today. Sad that in our desire to know so much innocence is lost.====JACK:  Lying is more basic than politics and infidelity.  That's why one of the commandments is "Thou shalt not bear false witness."

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  If honesty was everyone's policy every day in every way, the world would be so different from what it is now!  We wouldn't need to wait for heaven...we'd be living in heaven now. ====JACK:  “A man's only as good as his word” is attributed to Rodd Thunderheart.  I'm going to research that, because it seems like there's an interesting story behind the quote.

FROM CR IN GR:  Another thing that is out there these days is the idea that this is a "post-fact era".  The power gleaned from controlling or inventing "truth" is frightening.====JACK:  Even in Jesus's day, facts were hard to come by.  Pontius Pilate asked, "What is truth?"

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  What brought this on?====JACK:  Jefferson's quote about honesty...and how it is perceived in today's world.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Alternate facts?  I've never heard the term but the concept sounds ridiculous.  I'll look it up some more!===JACK:  Really?  You've never heard that expression?  If you refuse to accept a "fact" and posit your thinking as a fact, your's is an alternative fact.

FROM ED IN HV:  "Alternative facts" is the political way of saying "lies". It is a phrase we are (unfortunately) hearing a lot these days... for very obvious reasons. Hearing it makes my blood boil. ====JACK:  Let's see...46% of Americans believe that the world was created less than 10,000 years ago.  Does that answer any questions about the last election?


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/25/17
“You may feel  lost and alone, but God knows exactly where you are and has a good plan for your life.”  (Yiddish Proverb)  Google “Yiddish Proverbs.”  You’ll come across inspirational aphorisms, clever ways to say a truth…like today’s quote.  These aren’t Yiddish sayings, but they could be…You can’t play Hide and Seek with God, because he always knows where you are.  You can’t play 20 Questions with him, because he knows all the answers.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM SF IN FLAMI:  My mom used a Yiddish expression:  'Menchen trucht un G-d lucht'. (sp??)
(Man plans and G-d laughs.)  So true!====JACK:  Great music.  Great comedy.  Great moralisms.  G-D evidently likes music, has a sense of humor...and is wise.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  You can't play Tag with Him either. He can run faster than you can. ====JACK:  Jesus is God in human form, and people were able to touch (tag) him.  I wonder if Jesus played children's games when he was a child.  Which reminds...There's a "child story" about Jesus that didn't make it into the Bible.  Jesus and his friends were making people figures in the mud, and they began arguing whose was the best figure.  Jesus clapped his hands, and his figure came to life.  He won the contest.  There are other similar stories that were rejected by scholars as material for the Bible.  Many people don't realize that the Bible came together by biblical scholar votes.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  That Yiddish proverb is perfect.  It's like God has eyes on the top of his head, the side of his head, back of his head and is watching you all of the time!  Its comforting but scary too.====JACK:  "Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,  Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home,  When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He:  His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;  His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me."

Monday, April 24, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/24/17
“One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.”  (Mother Teresa)  I saw an article, “What does it feel like to be homeless in America?”  The first answer was, “It feels like nobody cares.”  But somebody in New York City cared enough to start a Girl Scout Troop for 20 girls from a homeless shelter.  One of the scouts said, “The Troop makes us feel that we’re not alone.”  The homeless aren’t the only lonely people.  Try to be somebody to somebody today..    ;-)  Jack

FROM DR PHIL:  Great word today.  It is good to be somebody to someone.  God bless you. ====JACK:  Your ministry has touched many people in many ways...even as God has touched your life in many ways.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Mother Teresa was such an icon of caring; we visited her nursery in India for abandoned or orphaned babies (after she had died). 3 caring nuns giving love to wall to wall cribs with babies in them...overwhelming!  I'm sure this WW is so true; How blessed we are who have family and loving friends around us, and how important to spread that love to some who are so alone, in our churches and neighborhoods! Good reminder to be aware, and to care!====JACK:  Have you ever sung this song?  It has a Baptist ring about it...more so than Lutheran...but I learned it in Sunday School.  In fact, I still remember the tune.
1
Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
  As the burdens press,
  And the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?
  O yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
  When the days are weary,
  The long night dreary,
  I know my Savior cares.
2
Does Jesus care when my way is dark
With a nameless dread and fear?
  As the daylight fades
  Into deep night shades,
Does He care enough to be near?
3
Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed
To resist some temptation strong;
  When for my deep grief
  There is no relief,
Though my tears flow all the night long?
4
Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye”
To the dearest on earth to me,
  And my sad heart aches
  Till it nearly breaks,
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?
====OAKS:  Oh my, I haven't sung or heard that hymn for years! I learned it in the Methodist church! But it is in some Baptist hymnals, as well; (the older ones, I'm afraid...!)   Thanks for bringing that song to my mind again!!====JACK:  Isn't it great to be able to remember?...and just to sing with no one listening?

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Dean Martin's theme was "Everybody loves somebody, sometime." ====JACK:  You could easily change "loves" to "needs" and it would fit with today's thought.  Dean had a special way of singing that made the words seem personal.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Loneliness is a very diabolical disease, even bigger than homelessness.  Perhaps it is one of the prominently dominate disease in homelessness.  Overcoming loneliness is would solve many problems in this world today including homelessness.  It's acknowledging people as human beings no matter what the situation.====JACK:  I thought it was interesting that Mother Teresa called it a disease...the feeling that you don't matter to anyone.  But, on a lighter side...Did you and the other Girl Scouts ever sing...

Nobody likes me,
Everybody hates me,
Guess I'll go eat worms.

Long, thin, slimy ones,
Short, fat, juicy ones,
Itsy, bitsy, fuzzy wuzzy worms.

Down goes the first one,
Down goes the second one,
Oh, how they wiggle and squirm.

Up comes the first one,
Up comes the second one,
Oh how they wiggle and squirm.
====JUDY:  Absolutely!  There's several we all still sing.  "Blue Jeans Tee Shirts" and  "Petunia Pop"...actually now that I think about it...there were tons of songs.====JACK:  How about making a Girl Scout Scrapbook with all the stuff you remember about scouting, even the names of some of the scouts and leaders...and especially the songs.  Both of our granddaughters were Gold Award Scouts.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Man, that is really sad====JACK:  What's really sad...over 4000 listings of shelters (some large hotels) in Queens, where the homeless scouts come from.  And...the President wants to spend money on a wall and more bombs.



 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/21/17
“Why should I care about future generations?  What have they ever done for me?”  (Groucho Marx)  Tomorrow is Earth Day, with an emphasis on doing things to take care of the environment.  Groucho foresees the struggle going on in society today.  Will it be, “me first,” or caring for “generations to come?”  My sister’s little grandson was asked by a flight attendant, “Where are you from?”  He replied, “I’m from Planet Earth!”  What a great answer!    ;-)  Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  China Twp gives away flowering bushes and trees for Earth Day! ====JACK:  I wonder if they give away Chinese maple trees?  BTW, Here's something you might not know...On March 17, 1834 China became an organized township, named China by Capt. John Clarke, one of the area’s first settlers. He was born in Maine in 1797 and a nostalgia for a town in Maine called “China” which was apparently the reason for his choice of a name.  So, what’s the story behind the naming of China, Maine? A commonly held belief is that it was related to the Orient, or perhaps the old vessels known as “China Clippers”, which early on sailed America’s coast.
However, a recent history of China, Maine tells a different story. A letter from Debra Fischer, Administrative Asst. of China, Maine noted that “the name of the town was chosen by Japeth C. Washburn, then representative to the Massachusetts legislature. The name originally selected was Bloomville, but the representative from Bloomfield, farther up the river, objected fearing that the similarity in names would create problems with mail delivery. So, Mr. Washburn chose instead the name China, which was the title of one of his favorite church hymns and not duplicated anywhere else in the U.S.”  "Jesus Loves Me" is often sung to the tune, China.  Now...you know the rest of the story!====JUDY:  Since choices from the past are passed, there's no sense in thinking "what ifs".  However, God always made bad choices turn out for the best.====JACK:  I'm writing about any choice that you make (past or present).  It will affect your future, positively or negatively.  ====JUDY:  I'd like to think our choices later in life are better choices because of more wisdom?!? ====JACK:  Possibly, but not always true.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I tend to agree with Garrison Kieler, "Nothing you do for children is ever wasted". We recycle, and try to take care of things, hoping our children and "grands" will have decent lives,on a planet that's liveable!  With tons of pollution, climate warming, etc. It will take some real ingenuity to continue comfortable living on Earth!  I read in Nat'l. Geographic, a forecast that there will be colonies on Mars by 2050! Hard to imagine, but who knows?===JACK:  Have you read the book or seen the movie, The Martian?  Who would want to live that way.  BTW, a reader of WWs is married to an expert on Mars.  I think I'll ask about the Mars colony prediction.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Unfortunately, under the current administration, today's corporate profits and greed are more important than taking care of our home (planet).  As long as that mindset prevails, I fear that our future generations will bear the consequences of today's actions (or lack of action as the case may be).  The good news is that heaven will be a real upgrade.====JACK:  A friend of mine wear5s a sweatshirt with the numbers 10-10-80 printed on it.  10% for God (charity) - 10% for savings (investing) - 80% for self (needs of life).  He's followed that advice for years, and says that it works for him.  I'm afraid that many people start with the 100% and by the time they've spend on the needs of life, there's little or nothing left for charity and savings.  That's an analogy for people and the planet.  Take our country's budget, for example.  What's the priority?

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Groucho didn't care about future generations because he didn't have any kids. Or if he did, he didn't love them.====JACK:  Groucho did have children...3 of them, and he did care about them.  He said that he was a Democrat, rather than a Republican, because "they care more about the common man."  He never seemed to lose his sense of humor.  A friend visited the aging Groucho who was in the hospital, hooked up with various tubes.  As the friend came into the room, Groucho put his fingers on the tube coming from his nose and pretended to play it as he would a clarinet.

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  Jack, the devotional book I use suggested changing one word  in your vocabulary and it will make a difference in life.  Instead of saying "I have to do something," change it to," I get to do something"....and that makes us more thankful.====JACK:  In much of life, "you can, because you think you can."  As the Bible says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."====AW:  I celebrated earth day by filling my recycle bin.   AW   Happy earth day to you and to all the growing grass.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/20/17
“You’re always one decision away from a totally different life.”  (Unknown)  It’s amazing how little choices can make a big difference…Kennedy deciding to ride with the top down in Dallas …Rosa deciding where to sit on the bus...Apple deciding to rehire Steve Jobs.  Looking  back, I see how a simple yes or no altered life’s direction for me and for others.  I’m sure that you, too, can look back and see how a little choice made a big difference for you.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  think about the woman you married and what would your life have been like with a different woman, different children, in-laws, grandkids, etc. etc.====JACK:  Think of the woman you married, if she had said no to you and yes to some non-minister.  Ask her!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yes, life is all about making decisions everyday.====JACK:  I've read that the average person makes about 35,000 decisions each day.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/19/17
“I can think of nothing less pleasurable than a life devoted to pleasure.”  (John D. Rockefeller)  Warren Buffett defined happiness by saying, “I get to do every day what I like to do with people I like.  I tap dance to work.”  Forget about winning the lottery!  Let’s appreciate what we have.  King Midas enjoyed touching things and turning them into gold, until he touched his daughter.  You see…there are different pleasures.  What brings you happiness?    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Good friends...like you.====JACK:  There's a saying:  "To have a friend, be a friend."

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Happiness is family, health and giving.====JACK:  When you have family and health, who wants to win the lottery?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Grandkids, family, friends, reading, scrapping, long drives, babies, puppies, memories, Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter, ice cream, cleaning, travel, hugs, smiles, walks, birdwatching, Compassion International child letters, photography, and looking out my window.====JACK:  You should be able to sing "Count Your Many Blessings" with gusto!

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I agree. Jack, honestly, my pleasure and happiness is knowing that Jesus Christ is my Savior.====JACK:  Do you remember sing this song?
My Jesus I love Thee, I know Thou art mine
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign
My gracious Redeemer, my Saviour art Thou
If ever I loved Thee my Jesus 'tis now

I love Thee because Thou has first loved me
And purchased my pardon on Calvary's tree
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow
If ever I loved Thee my Jesus 'tis now

In mansions of glory and endless delight
I'll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright
I'll sing with the glittering crown on my brow
If ever I loved Thee my Jesus 'tis now.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  With me, like most others, FAMILY comes first, my faith, good friends, concerts, plays & musicals, good books, movies, golfing, pretty gardens and flowers, and flowering trees, scenic rides, lakes. oceans, mountains...the list is endless; We are blessed!!====JACK:  You probably fall asleep, counting your blessings...as the song goes.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yes, it is great to hear the birds.  I have a blue heron which visits my pool frequently, and now we have just discovered a bird nest in a hole in the rain tree.  We can hear them if we get up close but we don't know what kind they are.  Also the sound of the Gulf of Mexico waves hitting the beach at Clearwater is pretty mild compared to the east coast.====JACK:  The humming birds somehow find our feeder on the front porch each year.  I wonder how they do it.  No sound that I can hear, but those little flapping wings must be making some noise.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/18/17
“I don’t need an inspirational quote; I need coffee.”  (Pinterest)  I’ve read that Starbucks has more than 87,000 drink combinations.  At Sunny’s Cafรฉ, I just say, “I’ll have a cup of coffee, black.”  Inspiration comes to us in different ways.  Uncle John used to drink his coffee from a saucer, letting it go through a cube of sugar that he held in his front teeth.  BTW, I came across this new song, “Holy Jesus, I’m so tired!  Bring me coffee, grant me strength.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  No Kidding? Certainly put in the modern vernacular, eh? "Bring me coffee, grant me strength"...that's a new one for sure. I rarely go to Starbuck's unless I'm using a gift card but the array of drinks IS overwhelming, and they are almost always busy, busy! I do use Starbucks at home, and take it black...Bill's grandpa used to drink from the saucer, too. He came to U.S. from Swittzerland (German speaking) as a young man.  There are times when we DO need coffee more than inspiration. Good thought!  (As Usual!)====JACK:  I use Starbucks dark roast Sumatra from the grocery store.  My parents used 8 o'clock, since my dad worked for A&P.  I remember when coffee beans were scooped out of a gunny sack, put into a paper bag and poured into the store grinder.  When I visited my dad at the store I would take a handful of beans from the gunny sack and chew them like peanuts.  No fancy name for the beans...just coffee.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  I’d like to come across that song.  Any idea of the lyricist or the recording artist?  Coffee is the third Lutheran sacrament, no?====JACK:  I looked and looked, but couldn't recapture the coffee song.  I don't know about coffee as a sacrament, but it's sometimes referred to as Swede gasoline.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  This could be a family motto!  The song sounds...well...interesting! ====JACK:  The Bible doesn't say anything about Jesus turning water into coffee.  I think that he preferred wine.



Monday, April 17, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/17/17
“The earth has music for those who listen.”  (George Santayana)  What sounds of the earth fascinate you?  One of the best for me is the chirping of the birds in the early morning darkness.  Thank you, Rachel Carson, for writing Silent Spring.  I also like the sound of raindrops against the windows.  We once visited in New Mexico, and I can remember the howling of the coyotes at night.  I wonder what it was in nature that Santayana heard as music?    ;-)  Jack

FROM QUILTING CAROL IN WISCONSIN:  I made a quilt in 1994 – that bears your today’s quote – just a little different.  “The earth is full of music for those who listen.”  This quilt was made in a class in Woodstock that lasted 10 months.  We each started with our own bare bones tree and each month we were told what to add to the quilt – draping vines, leaves and berries, leaves, critters and their homes, fruit, flowers, heart and diamond shapes, a horizon line, wheelbarrow,  a quote and a pieced border.  There are many memories in this quilt!  Bob is sitting fishing in his cedar strip canoe on the river.  He used to take youth groups to the Boundary Waters; he and Michael build the canoe in our basement, often had bears in their campsites or saw moose along shorelines.  The cabin is a memory of the root beer lady who made homemade root beer and sold it to canoers in the Boundary Waters.  The pine trees are memories of those that surrounded our home in Woodstock.  I named this quilt – “I Can Too Have Bananas in My Tree”.  I learned so much making this quilt and how to use fabrics to create bird nests, wings on bees, shadings, squirrel tails, turtle shells, etc.  Thanks for sharing your Winning Words today and bringing back fun memories!====JACK:  Quilters ( like you) are amazing women.  I suppose that there are "guy quilters", too.

FROM STARRY KNIGHT:  I love the birds too!!====JACK:  I suppose that you're a fan of the bluejay...but probably not for its  song.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My daughter has a plaque of this saying on her condo wall. She is very musical. I've been under the weather for several days, and she stepped in on Easter, and rang my bells in the church bell choir anthem, and sang in our choir in my place on Easter Sunday.====JACK:  We had lots of music on Easter Sunday, too, beginning with the hymn, "Jesus Christ Is Risen Today."  We also had bells, along with a rousing choir anthem...and a good sermon.  3 grandsons sat with me.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The beautiful chorus of birds, the mooing of cows, the grandkids calling "Monnie" or Papa, the call of the Spring Peepers, laughter, the sound of a loved one on the phone, the "chirp" of the frogs as they jump in the pond, rain on an umbrella, and the songs of wonderful old hymns being played or sung.====JACK:  How about a baby's giggle?


Friday, April 14, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/14/17
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  (Jesus)  Rabbi Harold Kushner got the idea for his book, When Bad Things Happen To Good People, after his 3-yr-old son was diagnosed with a terrible disease.  The book became a best-seller, because many people want to know the “why” of suffering.  Jesus (God as a human) asked, “Why?”…and finally was able to say, “Father, I put myself into your hands.”  That’s what you do with the unanswerable.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  As re-posted from my Facebook devotional this morning-- "May you enjoy an exceptional Good Friday / Resurrection Celebrated Sunday",====JACK:  Easter...the day that turns a BAD Friday into GOOD,

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  in a Kushner talk I hear him say this:  WHY is not the right question to ask.  it can never be answered satisfactorily.  the question to ask is this:  HOW can I survive this great loss/calamity and somehow come out on the other side with some degree of sanity and normalcy once again in my life?   btw, Phil Yancey wrote a book entitled: The Question that Never Goes Away.  and it does not ever go away...====JACK:  One of the resources that I use is Book of Comfort, by Alvin Rogness, given to me by you when you left for Minnesota.  Part of the inscription reads, "Keep in touch."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We should put ourselves in His Hands for everything.  It's the only way we can get through this life.   I used to go each year on Good Friday with the some of the attorneys I worked with in the Ren Cen to the Mariners Church for Good Friday services.====JACK:  My wife remembers how her father would have the children stop playing and come into the house for the 3-hour period from noon to 3.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  Jack, every morning I have two items to read, one your WW – the second, “Quote – unquote” from the Milwaukee Journal – today, from the Journal, “If you are in trouble, or hurt – go to poor people.   They’re the only ones that’ll help – the only ones.  John Steinbeck, through the character Ma Joad in his novel, “The Grapes of Wrath.” Published on this date, April 14th, in 1939.====JACK:  Steinbeck's wife suggested the title, referring to that line from the Battle Hymn of the Republic, "where the grapes of wrath are stored."  That, in turn, traced back to Revelation 14:19-20, where it says that God's judgment will come upon those who oppress the poor.  Today's society could stand a reminder of that passage.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/13/17
“It hurts to find out that what you wanted doesn’t match what you dreamed it would be.”  (Randy Milholland)  Randy is creator of the webcomic, Something Positive.  He began the comic, because some girl criticized him and said that he should do something positive with his life.  And he did that…only in a weird sort of way.  Has anyone ever encouraged you to follow your dreams?  The idea for the song, Yesterday, came to Paul McCartney in a dream.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Paul McC.'s song is so plaintive and even rather sad.  but it also makes a person think about how fast time moves on...====JACK:  It seems like only yesterday that you and I were talking about whether to buy the house (on Walce?) or to move to Minnesota.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Criticism often makes me angry....first, at the person who did it...and, second, if it is valid, at myself...====JACK:  I belong to the Optimist Club, and each week we say The Optimist Creed.  One of the lines from the creed says, "to forget the mistakes of the past."  Recently club members voted to change it to read, "to learn from the mistakes of the past."  Which version do you prefer?====JOHN:  The latter....the former version means no growth. ====JACK:  Here’s the problem.  The Optimist Creed was written in 1912 by Christian Larson.  Can you (should you) change something that is someone else’s writing without the author’s permission…and the author is dead?====JOHN: Yes.   A creed is a statement of faith and should, therefore, reflect the beliefs of those who use it.   It is quite different to change a creed than to change, for example, the wording if a hymn...or the wording of a book

FROM TARMART REV:  A beautifully gifted blessing, to live one's dream!!====JACK:  I just read an article...a day in the life of a refugee family.  The family is living a "dream" in Minnesota, having escaped persecution and death in Somalia.  The President says that Minnesotans have suffered enough from Somalian refugees.  This refugee family's dream is turning into a nightmare.  Do you have any Somalis in your community?====REV:  We have a goodly number working in our Jennie-O turkey plants...20,000 residents with 1/5 Hispanic and most likely 1500-2000 Somalians. They have pretty much taken over the older downtown portion of Willmar with several businesses and apartments above the businesses.  I've learned to greet them in their own language and have been received as their friend from many. I have one who wrote very kindly of our relationship and mine to the community. I have it included in my references in coming to Michigan.  They are very interesting to observe, double parking often, sitting outside their stores and when the men wear their white outer garment on Fridays for worship.====JACK:  I must say...Your answer caught me by surprise.

FROM GJ IN TEXAS:  Yes, as a matter of fact. A pastor in West Bloomfield, Michigan in the ‘80’s  helped me become a very good pastor and church builder.====JACK:  It's a good idea for all of us to review our life and its direction from time to time.  Do you remember the song, Swinging On A Star?  One line goes..."You can be better than you are."  Sometimes we need someone to tell us that.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Encouragement from many different places in our lives.  Family, teachers, friends and even complete strangers can encourage us.  And of course, we have the added blessing of the Holy Spirit!====JACK:  The word angel comes from the Greek language..angelos, a messenger (from God).  God sends angels into our life from time to time...like in the movie, It's A Wonderful Life.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  And sailboats go upstream.====JACK:  If you say so.  I prefer a motorboat.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  It hurts even more not to find out.====JACK:  You're on the safe side, because it seems that you've had several dreams to follow.