Thursday, June 22, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/22/17
“Mountaintops inspire leaders, but valleys mature them.”  (Winston Churchill)  Have you ever had a mountaintop experience, something that has truly inspired you?  But in reality, most of us spend our time in the ordinary valleys, doing the day to day routine.  Here are some ideas on how to escape the rut.  Today…Make it a point to converse with someone you don’t know.  Do a random act of kindness.  Compliment someone.  Oops!  Time for a coffee break.    ;-)  Jack

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I've been fortunate to have many mountain top experiences both here, and on Mission trips to Congo, India, Thailand, Japan, Indian work in Oklahoma, etc. But yes, the hard times of loss or disappointment do mature you in your faith. To see the need in many parts of the world, and in the ghettos here is sobering, and often calls for a bit of sacrifice to try to make a difference!  Bill Oaks was good at "doing without" so others had something to "do with"!====JACK:  Reflecting on the mountaintop experience when Jesus was transfigured before the disciples...They wanted to stay on the mountain, but the work of the disciples was in the valley below.  The spirit (in-spiration) comes to us so that we can do a better job of sharing that spirit.  (That sounds like minister-talk). But, you know what I mean.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: We went antiquing in several tiny towns up here.  We traveled on back roads as usual and met a bunch of good Michiganders!====JACK:  Well, you must have conversed with some people you didn't know,  Cross that off of the list.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/21/17
“People will accept your advice much more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first.”  (David A. Comins)  Some sources credit Ben F. for saying, “God made beer because he loves us and wants us to be happy.”  He didn’t say it.  A moralism should be quoted for its thought rather than for who thought it up.  Even in the Bible some books are attributed to someone who never wrote them…which doesn’t necessarily affect the content.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  A lot of that happens on the social media....stuff being passed off as though it came from a famous person....Some of it is so bogus that you know it can't be right.====JACK:  I think that there is less independent thought these days because of the ease of cut and paste...and the proclivity to accept as true whatever comes out of a "favorite's" mouth.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  .....And equally true of Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, and  I'm sure many others; saying attributed to them Not true!  So David A Comins has hit upon a nugget of truth! :-)  It shakes some folks up when you mention discrepancies in the HOLY Bible; But if you do research, they are there!  I recall a very persuasively written best-selling book,pointing out the many flaws in our Bible, I think the Title was something like "Almighty God - NOT". I'm sure it had its affect.  The heart of our faith remains the resurrection, and Jesus' teachings!====JACK:  I've found that Bible Study people, in general, just want to have a "feel good" experience and not be faced with information which causes them to their faith stretched.  A book that I like is written by Rob Bell: What We Talk About When We Talk About The Bible.

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  I hope so!====JACK:  Feeling sorry for someone and Trying to put yourself in their place is the difference between sympathy and empathy.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/20/17
“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.”  (Anton Chekhov)  Are you a winter or summer person?  Each season has its pluses and minuses.  Chekhov had it right when he wrote that happiness depends on what makes you happy…or sad.  The old song says, “When you’re smilin’, the whole world smiles with you.”  Think today about the things that make you happy…What can you do to make this world a smiling place?    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  they will notice today in Phoenix.  its supposed to be 120 degrees there.  small planes will not fly and people are being warned to not touch exterior pipes,  door knobs, playground equipment  etc.   and that moron Rick Perry just stated yesterday that global warming is something of a myth.  what fools inhabit the White House.====JACK:  Do you think it's hotter than Hell in Phoenix?  We turned on the furnace in Michigan today to take the chill out of the air.

FROM LBP:  “People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when The air conditioner is on.
Nothing metaphoric here. Just a statement that I dislike wearing a sweater indoors in the summer. When it's just me at home I turn the ac off and open the windows. Yesterday i told V how I love the smell of summer. She didn't get it. I breathed in "mmm.. summer". Then I did it again. On the third breath she looked at me with a smirk that said "really mom??" and said "summer?" "Yup ... summer ..."  I like the smell of each season. They each smell different. I've heard that smell has a strong link to memory. Summer is vacation from school. Working in the garden. Playing in the yard with friends. Hanging in the kitchen. Cooling off in the basement. Popsicles and kool-aid. Mm... summer memories ====JACK:  How do your children like the smell of the barn?  the smell of a skunk?  the smell of Thanksgiving dinner cooking?  Jesus was advised not to open the tomb of Lazarus because of the smell of death...but Jesus knew something that they didn't know.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I like all the seasons...gives one a little variety in life....JACK:  You and Sir Thomas More have something in common.====JOHN:  Yes, but, I have no desire to persecute heretics...so you are safe!====JACK:  Whew!

FROM TARMART REV:  Enjoyed so many years now I forget how old I am and what year it is!! ====JACK:  Some people make others happy wherever they go, while other make them happy whenever they go.  You are the "wherever" kind of person.

FROM BB:  Autumn – though today is wonderful in Chicago.  I hope your sister still gets to the UP on occasion.  A special place and they were so “at home” in the cabin!====JACK:  I like autumn, too, but it's a reminder of what's ahead.  Personally, I like May, with the chirping birds and the longer days and the refreshing rain and the not-too-hot temperatures.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  BRIGHTEN THE CORNER WHERE YOU ARE (Sing, it brother!) :-)   I just told a teen girl who handed me our chicken tenders from the drive-through window at Hardees,, that she had a beautiful smile, and she lit up like a Christmas Tree.  This was not lost on my great g.daughter (7) "That made her happy, Nana!"  Spring and Fall are both beautiful seasons in the Midwest, and comfortable temperatures, too. But I would miss any one of the seasons, if it did not occur ; As you say, all have their plus & minuses...A really good round in golf also made me happy!! ====JACK:  Brighten the Corner...Now, that's a real rouser!  We used to belt out the chorus when we were kids in Sunday School.  Do kids sing in Sunday School anymore?  Maybe you and your g.g.d. can sing it the next time you're in the car together.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Used to be a winter person and I still like it when I go outside in the deepest cold and breathe in and my nose hairs freeze.  However, arthritis causes me to be very happy when it gets here.====JACK:  Outhouse people usually don't like either the cold, cold winter or the hot, hot summer.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/19/17
“Love could change the world in a moment, but what do I know?”  (Ed Sheeran)  Sheeran’s song, “What do I know?” has to do with sticking up for people.  Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”  Think how the world would change if we’d put ourselves in the other person’s place.  Try working two jobs; try living without health insurance; try being a refugee.  Putting yourself in another’s place could change the world…but what do I know?    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  please stop w/the liberal agenda... health insurance, refugees... there is more to life than politics.====JACK:  I'm sorry if I offended you, but sometimes I get carried away when I think about how bad some people in the world have it.  When Jesus says "Love your neighbor as you love yourself," I just wonder what that means.====LIZ:  you didn't offend me, but thank you. i am weary of all the drama of the world.  everyday normal people matter, too. we do not need to live a life of guilt bc some are worse off, some better.  why did god make so many crummy people, is my question. the ones who need to feel guilt never will anyway.  my two cents for the day!====JACK:  If I could only put myself in your place...then I would understand.  Love begins with trying to understand.  Personally, I don't think that God created crummy people.  God has created people and given them free will.  They are not be be robots manipulated by him.  I believe that God has also created people to help (love) one another.  I see Jesus as God creating a human being with a spirit (his Spirit) to show us how we are to live and treat other individuals.  Of course, there is more to Jesus than that, but his life and teachings are an example for me to follow...so the words, "Love your neighbor (care about people in need)" are very important to me.  Having said that...We each have our relationship with God.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My thought for the day in S.S. yesterday was "The purpose of Life is to convert time into love. Love keeps us going; Hope moves our feet." (Maria Goff's book: Love Lives Here) We have people in our church congregation struggling with all those challenges you mention here, and are good hard working folks who haven't had the opportunities others had, or sometimes made poor decisions along the way. Love and being appreciated go a long way to lighten their load!  I forget the name of the woman, now, who said, "I long for the day when a child can say, "Mother, what was War?!"  Amen!====JACK:  Sometimes folks do such a good job explaining why people are poor and needy that the explanation becomes an excuse to do nothing.  I think of the man born blind and how Jesus was asked for the reason.  Jesus didn't explain the reason; he just healed the man.

FROM LS:  John I do and it is painful.  Immediately,  I need help for a woman in auburn hills that is without.  Yes, in auburn Hills.   I have tired churches, community agencies et al all have been no help to her for various reasons.  Do you know any charities or persons that help those who have no where to turn?====JACK:  Part of the "helper's" job is to know the resources that are available.  In our area there' an organization called, The Lighthouse, which does a good job of helping meet the needs of people in a variety of ways including, referrals.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  "But what do I know?"  I know that hate has changed the world and it will take more than a moment to change that.  It's sad to watch as so many evil and perverse forces are on the attack in society today.  A simple example is the road rage that is so common these days.  The adage "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" has almost been obliterated.  John Lennon thought love could change the world, but the words of his song "All You Need Is Love" have been sadly misinterpreted by today's youth.  I think a paraphrase of Martin Luther King would be that so many who knew better, stood by and watched but did nothing to stop it.====JACK:  St. Paul had a good answer..."Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."  It's a real  battle to give voice for the voiceless, but as the song says: "We shall overcome."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  What a wonderful thought, everyone loving everyone.   In Heaven, that will be the case.====JACK:  The needs of the poor these days are being made into a political issue, when, in reality, it's a religious (moral and humanitarian) issue.  WWJD?====JUDY:  Unfortunately, by helping people the wrong way, we made a mess of things.  There are many groups doing the best they can and those are the people we should help.  Send vaccines, food, clothing, care packages, animals and help the poor learn to help themselves.

FEOM KANSAN DON:  Ask the CEO at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.====JACK: Don't you have a CEO in Kansas with similar ideas anout caring for the poor and needy?.BTW, How's your tax experiement turning out?

FROM LA VIE EN ROSE:   Thanks for sharing! I have been listening to this song a lot lately :) ====JACK:  I like it...the words...the beat.

FROM LBP:  :)====JACK:  Be sure to read the blog.====LBP:  I did. One other person knew the song.  Interesting reactions it elicited. It can be tiring to love your neighbors and walk in their shoes. I guess I take the "in a moment" to be less of a magic wand for an instantaneous global fix than a reminder in each moment. Your comment about an open mind is more of my interpretation. And I cannot save the world myself. It's too overwhelming to contemplate. Think of the x-men origin stories when Dr Xavier realizes his empathetic ability can scan the globe. The cacophony is overwhelming. I regularly remind myself to focus on my place in the picture.  Here is an example. I was excited for strides toward precision medicine in cancer when a colleague who serves displaced teens in the city grilled me on this use of funds. Frustrated she asked How can the perfect treatment for one outweigh the needs of so many who struggle to get basic care? Would such precision science be available to them?  We talked. In my world of cancer research "everyone" wants the fix for cancer. But outside that bubble are worlds I didn't even know, like lgbtq teens living on the streets of Detroit. I support her efforts and I believe she now sees the value of mine in the bigger picture. And what do you know... we got funds from the hospital for both. I cannot do it all. None of us can do it alone. But if we each take a part and are open to listening .... maybe love can change the world in a moment ... but what do I know?====JACK:  There's an old song with the line..."And, if everyone lit just one little candle,  What a bright world this would be!"  Thanks for being a candle lighter.






Friday, June 16, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/16/17
“One’s first book, kiss, home run, is always the best.”  (Clifton Fadiman)  Today’s quote is one that causes us to try and remember…pause.,,Oh, that was good!  Maybe the first isn’t always the best, but we generally do remember the best times in our life.  “Those were the days!”  And,  maybe “the best” is to be in the future.  Who knows?  My wife and I received a cutting board as a wedding gift.  On it was written, “Grow old along with me.  The best is yet to be.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM TRIHARDER:  I was just talking about my/our "first kiss" with my beautiful girl friend last night. Very coincidental, Jack.====JACK:  Your response is the first received today, and, so far, it's the best.====TH:  It took me a second. :-)====JACK:  I thought you'd like it.====TH:  Wasn't the first time.

FROM TARMART REV:  Happy Father's Day, Jack!!====JACK:  Where's the necktie?

FROM VOLUNTEER JB:  Your choices are always good, but today is special for Louise and me.
Today is our anniversary and there has been many special "firsts" in the past 50 years.====JACK:  50 years ago on June 16...The Monterey Pop Festival began, featuring Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, Janis Joplin and The Who.  It was Hippie time.  The Vietnam War was raging.  There was rioting in Detroit.  And your wedding took place.  Wow!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  First kisses are usually pretty chaste...think they probably improve with experience! :-)  Lots of good and sometimes funny stories about "first dates"...I remember my first date with Bill was on a Sunday night (because I had plans for both Friday and Saturday, but did want to go out with him!) to see the movie "They Were Expendable" a war story about Eddie Rickenbacher!  The first thing he did when we went out for a bite, after the show, was pull out pictures of his two little nieces and talk about them. I thought, "He'd make a great father!" :-)  They were flower girls at our wedding 8 months later!====JACK:  Which twin had the first date, or was it a double date?====OAKS:  No double date this time...but way back when we turned 15, and were allowed to go on a date, we both had dates, and went to a school dance! :-) Big Whoopie! Or so we thought at the time. Bob Hosier was my date, and he brought me a rose corsage and a box of Chocolates, as it was our 15th bday, too! 

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i think that quote is from Rabbi Ben Ezra...====JACK:  The quote, "Grow old along with me...", is by Robert Browning from the poem, Rabbi Ben Ezra....I think!

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  It wasn't the first kiss that was memorable.====JACK:  Maybe the most memorable (and best) was the last.====GEORGE:  Every day with my wife.====JACK:  Does she ever read the blog?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/15/17
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in.”  (John Muir)  The Crazy Tourist lists the 50 Most Beautiful Places in the World.  I wonder if “your” place is one of them?  A calendar, one year, showed 12 beautiful country churches.  The best, to me, was the one where I served as pastor.  In your mind, what makes for a beautiful house of worship?  Oh, and BTW, the C.T. says that Halong Bay in Vietnam is the #1 beautiful place.    ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP:   I look for the sense of community as the "beauty"====JACK:  "Home is where the heart is!" said Pliny the Elder (AD 23-79).

FROM TARMART REV:  ...blooming where I'm presently planted...still working towards a "transplant?!" 0;-)====JACK:  Do you have a favorite among the places you've lived?  the churches you've served?====REV:  Willmar's AG would serve as the welcomed harvest of a lifetime of preparation and fulfillment  . . . Temple Kol Ami and and the WB First AG the most unique experience. (I will always wish I had studied that title more thoroughly . . . if I had, I would most likely have chosen a much shorter and simpler one then that one)====JACK:  From Jeremiah 1...
Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,
     5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
            And before you were born I consecrated you;
            I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
      6Then I said, “Alas, Lord GOD!
            Behold, I do not know how to speak,
            Because I am a youth.”
      7But the LORD said to me,
            “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’
            Because everywhere I send you, you shall go,
            And all that I command you, you shall speak.
      8“Do not be afraid of them,
            For I am with you to deliver you,” declares the LORD.
9Then the LORD stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me,
            “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  my best place to worship has always been outside. nature is my temple.====JACK:  Oh, rats!  I thought that you might say, "Shepherd of the Lakes." back in the days when..."====MARY:  it was back in the day of freed. it's not my choice now with the big screen worship. I need simple surroundings. maybe you spoiled me;)====JACK:  I'm not into "big screen" either, but I've learned to adjust...and I can remember and appreciate the good times I've had in ministry...and the great people I've encountered (like you).

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Our Church has beautiful stained glass windows; a huge one as you enter the church, of Jesus, lambs, and "Come Unto Me"...just gorgeous, and in front a cross surrounded by many colors of glass which the sun causes to shine brilliantly, and panels along each side of the sanctuary. It is very worshipful to me, as well as the people who become "church family", floral arrangements, and inspirational banners.  I definitely need beauty as well as bread, it feeds my soul.  Outdoor worship venues certainly  inspire as well, communing with nature !  We have been so blessed in America not to sustain horrible damage with warfare and bombs, (aside from the Trade Center, and 9/11..) as many other countries have had to deal with...beauty torn asunder! So Sad! So many priceless treasures lost forever.  How gratifying to have your country church featured among 12 beautiful ones!  Where was it located? The well maintained, rural churches are always picturesque, when you drive by them!====JACK:  The country church was like many people...plain, but beautiful in its simplicity.====OAKS:  Beautiful indeed! Sadly many of these (and even city) churches are being dissolved. Our  "big" church is struggling,  too! Complete change of neighborhood, in the 40+ yrs. I've been there...

FROM SUNSHINE:  Jack, good to hear about your "best" church. Joanna and I appreciate your "Winning Words" even though  we don't participate in the blog.====JACK:  You're participating now!  I am also proud of the Grayslake church that you designed.  As you know, it was named one of the outstanding small churches built that year.  I'm sorry that the congregation was not able to follow the master plan.  Oh, well.  The design is in my mind.

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  ;Should this be added  to Luther"s  explanation of  "daily bread"? ====JACK:  If I happen to see him, I'll let him know of your suggestion.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Probably the Chapel at Hartwick Pines.  I love it!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/14/17
“You can’t prove you’re an American by waving Old Glory.”  (Helen Gahagan Douglas)  It has been a sign of patriotism that politicians wear an American flag pin.  Personally, I look at the causes a politician supports (or doesn’t support) to determine my vote.  I remember a church member who would always wear a gold cross in his lapel, but, more importantly, he lived the teachings of Jesus.  I like to see flags waving, but I like real patriotism even more.    ;-)  Jack

FROM COMMERCE LOU:  Happy Flag Day, Pastor!====JACK:  Oh, say, can you see...that Old Glory is waving from our house today?

FROM TRIHARDER:  Absolutely! Or how honest one is by proclaiming religious devotion to Gd.
====JACK:  It's sad when a symbol, such as Old Glory, is used for personal gain.  More than sad...it disgusts me.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  those flag pins (& their requisite wearing) is silly.====JACK:  There's lots of silliness in this world today.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  What is a real patriot?====JACK:  As with beauty, the definition is in the eye of the beholder.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/13/17
“There’s an old saying in business:  You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”  (Peter Diamandis)  Think about it…What people have influenced you the most?  A family member?  A friend?  Someone at work?  A teacher?  A TV commentator?  Jesus?  Who are your five?  Author Robert Rohm says that they’re the ones who believe in us the most.  Now that’s something to contemplate.  We are more than we seem to be.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Geneticists say you are what your DNA is.    Environment plays a role but genes are determinative.    I think that is accurate.=====JACK:  I think that it sounds better to say that I was influenced by some person, rather than by some gene pool.  BTW, is there room for the spirit in the pool?====JOHN:  It sounds better but it appears to be an "alternate fact".    One would imagine that the Spirit's power is not limited by any combination  of DNA.   I like the words "power of the Holy Spirit" in the Creed.====JACK:  That's one of the reasons why "Holy Spirit" was chosen as the name of our West Bloomfield congregation.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My children, my husband, Philip Yancy, C.S. Lewis, my best friend, Sarah Reed, Mrs Honeywell (pastor's wives) to name just a few; I must be the average of way more than five!!  Interesting idea to contemplate... In recent years, I'd add your name!====JACK:  The truth is....we are continually being influenced by people....And, don't forget: We are influencing people, too.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Wow, that's an interesting thought!  And probably very true.  I'd like to think those around me believe in me.  I will be pondering that thought for awhile.  It's a true blessing! ====JACK:  Think of those Sunday School teacher days.

FROM VW MARY:  I have to tell you that a quote you sent(date unknown) by John Wesley  –Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, etc.,--came up in Bible Study today.  See,  Winning Words do have an impact and can go on forever….====JACK:  I went back and tried to find that Wesley Winning Words.  No success...yet.

FROM INDY GENIE:  Food for thought.====JACK: And, you don't have to worry about overeating, either.



Monday, June 12, 2017

Jack’s Winning words 6/12/17
“One message at just the right moment can change your entire day.”  (Megan Murphy)  Do you need an uplift during these days of unease in the world?  Maybe you’ve  heard of the Kindness Rock Project.  M.M. picks up stones during her daily walks.  She paints a positive message on each and leaves them in various spots for others to find.  Finders will often put them in places all over the world.  One that I like reads: “It doesn’t rain forever.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM VW MARY:  A neat thing to do!====JACK: It starts with an idea.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  More good words, Jack.====JACK:  What would your rock say? ====GEORGE:  "A winner never quits & a quitter never wins."====JACK:  That's appropriate.

FROM TARMART REV:  ...pet rocks, for sure!!' 0;-)====JACK:  I'm sure that your pet rock is the Rock of Ages.====REV:  I could not have come up with a better follow-up line then that One?! 0;-)

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Was that one written to. Noah? ====JACK:  Noah was optimistic..."I'm singing in the rain!"

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  What a novel idea! I've seen rocks with painted messages in craft shows and gift shops, even have  a couple with HOPE, and BELIEVE, and ...THE STONE IS ROLLED AWAY...HALLELUJAH!. But not strewn along hiking paths, etc.  Love that idea! How about Jimi Hendrix message, "When the Power of Love overcomes the Love of Power, the world will know peace."====JACK:  FROM BLAZING OAKS:  What a novel idea! I've seen rocks with painted messages in craft shows and gift shops, even have  a couple with HOPE, and BELIEVE, and ...THE STONE IS ROLLED AWAY...HALLELUJAH!. But not strewn along hiking paths, etc.  Love that idea! How about Jimi Hendrix message, "When the Power of Love overcomes the Love of Power, the world will know peace."====JACK:  You'd need a pretty big rock for Jimi's message.  Here's an idea....Why not leave a "message rock" outside of your pastor's office door.  Wait to see if he wonders about it or comments on it.====OAKS:  Our pastor is a SHE..Cana Roth...She would no doubt comment on it, but wouldn't know who set it there ...====JACK:  That's your assignment.  I wonder what your message will be?====OAKS:  My message will be:"You are Loved and Appreciated!"  Now to find a rock!

FROM JLF:  I read about the kindness rocks, I thought that was a nice idea.====JACK: Maybe you could leave a "rock" on someone's desk when they're not around...and see what the response might be.

FROM STEVE KENT:  I bet you WW is a message people have 'found' at just the right moment all over the world. Can you imagine what you'd have thought if somebody told you back in your early days as a Pastor that you'd minister and spread the Word to all sorts of people over great distances on a daily basis? If St. Paul was here today he'd knock on your door and ask you to school him on proper email message writing!  I rarely respond, but I assure you, my morning routine begins with a cup of coffee and WW my first five minutes at work, and I am certain many others do the same. Thanks for the WW. ====JACK:  I'm amazed when I think that I "preach" to more people daily with Winning Words than I ever did from the pulpit...even on an Easter Sunday.  ...and the sermons are shorter, too.  ...and no offering, either.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's a great idea and I love the saying.  I may cross stitch it for my scrapbook room!  And, I needed the uplift too!====JACK:  "You are not alone in this world!" is another good one.====JUDY:  When I think of our problems I remember those who have much worst thing to face.  We're grateful for God who cares and loves us just as we are!====JACK:  Who knows who will find "your rock (x-stitch) and truly appreciate it?












Friday, June 09, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/9/17
“Hope means to keep living amid desperation and to keep humming in the darkness.”  (Henri J. M. Nouwen)  Nouwen was a Dutch Catholic priest whose books are printed in more than 30 languages and read by millions of people.  One of his themes is, “How can we make our religion relevant in our daily life?”  What’s the answer to global warming, terrorism, renewed racism?  Is it enough to keep humming, “My hope is built on nothing less…?”     ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP:  I found this poem among some old HS papers while cleaning last week. It's Emily Dickinson it seems. And looks like we were encouraged to add a verse. Ha ha.  Anyhow I decided to put it on my board at work. A nice image of hope.
"Hope" is the thing with feathers--  That perches in the sand--
Sings the tune without the words--  And never stops--at all--
====JACK:  That poem was written in 1861 at the onset of the Civil War.  If ever was a time in need of hope, those were the days.

FROM ANNEM:  I enjoy reading Nouwen's works too.  Just met them last year.====JACK:  Do you ever hum?  I whistle more than hum.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/8/17
“New day, new hopes, new life!”  (Lailah Gifty Akita)  Lailah is an inspirational writer from Ghana whose basic message is: “Think well of yourself and try to act positively.”  She has a passion for getting this message across to young people.  But, older people can use the message, too.  A doctor recently told me, “You’ll never ever be as young as you are right now.”  So, in that sense, we’re all whippersnappers.  (Do you know what a whippersnapper is?)    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Learning more of this while drafting and redrafting and redrafting again my resume and collecting "positives benefits and blessings" of being a chaplain.====JACK:  Here's a verse from the hymn, "Search me, O God, and know my heart today..."
Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine;  Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine;
Take all my will, my passion, self and pride;  I now surrender, Lord, in me abide.

FROM CPA BOB:  I don't know what a whippersnapper is.  I could go to Google, of course, but I would rather hear the answer from you.====JACK:  As I recall...In the horse and buggy days, young boys would "show off" by snapping the whip really loud to scare the horse and make him go faster.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  A young person who knows what is going on and intends to enjoy life.  Enjoy each day.====JACK:  Do you know anyone like that?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  The words today have a "joyous" sound, and enthusiastic verve! My kind of gal! In Ghana it is probably needed more than here in the USA, but it truly  reflects a great way to arise in the morning! I'm putting it on my fridge!  (At 87 I need all the help I can get, though I am usually a very positive person!)  Thanks for the lift...====JACK:  You are proof that there is such a thing as an 87-yr-old whippersnapper.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/7/17
“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”  (John F. Kennedy)  Our pastor often challenges us at the close of worship:  “Go in peace.  Remember the poor!”  The reasons for poverty are many, but the fact remains that being poor is no fun.  Jesus’s parable, the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31), suggests a role reversal in the life to come.  I’m not blaming nor excusing.  I’m just advising, “Remember the poor!”    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Amen to that, Preacher!!  i think there may be some really surprised folks come the judgment... JACK:  That's what God's judgment is all about...surprises.  I like the Luther quote:  "When I get to heaven, 3 things will surprise me.  First, I'll see some people there I didn't expect to see. . Second, some will be missing that I expected to see..and third, that I am there myself."  (or something like that).

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  My father was out of work for a few years during the depression in this country in the 1930's.  We children didn't know that we were poor, but my parents struggled, providing for us was difficult.  Later I understood we were "poor", and how Mom and Dad suffered from it.  There were a few in the community who were "better off" and they gave my father work tending their homes and gardens.  My mother did the laundry and ironing for others in the town to help with some additional income.  There were compassionate people who chose to help my parents' plight.  It's reprehensible what's going on these days.  Corporate executives getting multi-million dollar incomes, yet unwilling to keep workers employed, paying a fair income to the men and women doing the work.  Even those executives who can't keep the profits up get terminated, then handed millions of dollars in severance pay, their so-called "golden parachute".  It's a sad commentary on American society.====JACK:  I'm thankful for pastors who remind their congregation to "remember the poor."  Without seeming to be judgmental, I hope that the "religious right" ministers do that, as well.  The Great Depression was hard on my family, too.  In retrospect, I'm glad for the remembered experience.  It reminds me of the quote by Edward Noyes Wescott:  "They say a reasonable number of fleas is good for a dog--keeps him from broodin' over being a dog."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How true!  However, the Bible tells us there will always be the poor.  Wouldn't be wonderful if they all had jobs and a place to live?  Something to work towards!! ====JACK:  That quote is often used for not facing up to the needs of the poor.  (ie:  The problem is too big.  It will never be solved.)  I think the correct interpretation is that there will always be situations where we need to help out people in need.  There are "poor" people who have jobs and have places to live.  There are different kinds of poverty.  I continue to keep my envelope of dollar bills in the car for when opportunities arise to hand them out.  Thanks for the suggestion.====JUDY:  I understand the passage but it is a reminder of the fact we will always have someone to help.  Glad you keep money in hand,  my grandkids take turns passing it out and that way we always have it available.  It definitely is more of a blessing to give isn't it?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  We can just do our little bit to alleviate poverty and help those in need in the corner where we live; If everyone did that, what a bright world this would be! +As JayZ expressed it: "The burden of poverty isn't just that you don't have what you need, it's the feeling of being embarrassed every day of your life, and you'd do anything to lift that burden."  From one who knows firsthand...====JACK:  It's been my experience that the really poor don't often walk through the church doors...at least to worship. Maybe they don't feel that they can afford it, or that they don't have good enough clothes to wear.  BTW, my son often chides me when we collect food for the poor..."Dad, did you buy the store brand food?"  I justify it that you can buy more when you don't buy the name products...but he's got a point.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Kennedy said some amazing things; I wish I was old enough to appreciate some of them at the time.====JACK:  "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."  Can you imagine that being said today?  The Kennedy presidency was a challenging time.====BB:  Society today is so focused on the self.  Kennedy’s quote is marvelous and remains timely.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/6/17
“What you put into your mind before you are 21 is like a bank account.  You will be drawing on that for the rest of your life.”  (Yo Yo Ma)  Today is National Yo-Yo Day.  Can you do yo-yo tricks…walk the dog, around the world?  But on to YoYo Ma, the famous cellist.  He sees knowledge as an important investment that will pay dividends for a lifetime.  Thinking back…morality, a spiritual life, family values, basic education…all learned before 21.    ;-)  Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Yo Yo Ma is one of the brilliant talents in the world, and his philosophy about early influences in our lives is brilliant too.  I thank my parents again and again for their guidance with morality, spiritual life, family values and basic education.  They invested in me, but I'm the one who continues to receive the dividends.====JACK:  I see your parents as "salt of the earth" people.  We don't hear that expression much anymore, but it has a biblical origin.  Matthew 5:13  "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."  Salt also expresses negative concepts; for example, in the Middle Ages, salt was spread on land to poison it, as a punishment to landowners who had transgressed against society in some way.  In a positive sense,  'the salt of the earth' referred to the value of salt. This is shown in other phrases, for example, the aristocratic and powerful of the earth were 'above the salt' and valued workers were 'worth their salt'.  'The salt of the earth' was first published in English in Chaucer's Summoner's Tale, circa 1386 (Ye been the salt of the erthe and the savour).====RI:  Thanks for that response regarding my parents...you judged rightly.  I know of the biblical reference about salt, having read it just recently in my daily scripture reading.  Salt has forever been vital in making our food palatable.  From our years of residing in the Detroit metro area I often heard that the city was built over a vast salt deposit, and that they took  advantage of it for de-icing the roads every winter.====JACK:  Don't you wonder how all of that salt came to be under Detroit?  This world is ever changing in ways we can't imagine.

FROM PR CH ON CAPE COD:  He’s also an incredible person.  My music minister’s sister-in-law worked in the offices of Carnegie Hall for years.  She said when Yo-Yo came, he treated the custodial staff with the same respect he treated other musicians, anyone and everyone.  While at Swarthmore College, I went in to the Curtis Institute of Music once to listen to a cello masterclass.  6 students played- one I didn’t think played very well.  And I was thinking, “OK. Yo-Yo, pick up the cello and show us how it’s done!  And he did what he did for the other 5.  He complimented one thing, and focused on one thing that needed work, and picked up the cello only briefly to demonstrate something without showing off at all.”  A lesson in being kind, considerate, and an excellent teacher. Blessings to you this day.  JACK:  I'll bet he puts his pants on, one leg at a time, too.  My home pastor got an honorary D.D. degree and people began to refer to him as "Doctor" instead of "Pastor."  I remember him saying that he got the degree, because he raised some money for them.  "The D.D. stands for, Donated Dignity."  As a college student, I would often lead the liturgy wearing his robe with the velvet stripes on it.  The college/seminary people didn't think that was too cool.  His response was, "Jack, do think that Jesus cares?"

 FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good words today.  Jack.  thanks.   would that the whole world knew and believed this.  i am concerned about all the crap that is being put into some young minds these days.====JACK:  Put your mind at ease.  God is still God.  I remember "America First" as a rallying cry for isolationist prior to WW 2.  I also remember when the RSV came out as a translation of the Bible into modern language....  A pastor said, "If the King James Version was good enough for Saint Paul, it's good enough for me."  (true story)  My young mind survived.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Clem could do all kinds of tricks with a yo-yo.  Me—I can make it go up and down!====JACK:  ...but I'll bet that you could jump rope better than he could.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  "They" say a child's personality is complete by age 4 including his learning path.  That's scary for a lot of children who don't get the chance to develop their abilities.  But I do believe you can learn as long as you are alive.  Basic morals are learned also and hopefully by 21 you have learned positive morals.====JACK:  It's an old proverb..."You're never too old to learn."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I read in Benjamin Bloom's book on early education, that a child's capacity for learning is pretty well set by the age of THREE! He was instrumental in getting pre-schools for disadvantaged children for that reason, to give them a fighting chance in school...I think our generation, with more stay-at-home moms, had an advantage in learning family values, and cultural values and morals were certainly more unified and raised the bar much higher than exists now. The WW words today seem to ring true, and YoYo Ma is worth listening to!====JACK:  We usually think of exploring in terms of finding new lands.  There's much exploring yet to be done in the human mind,,,and in the gene pool, too.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/5/17
“It’s hard to beat somebody when they don’t give up.”  (Babe Ruth)  An adage of baseball is that you never give up on a ball.  “Things” happen.  It works that way in life, too.  Maybe we need to hit the “replay” button to recall how God has been with us in some difficult times, to hear again his words, “I’ll never leave you.  I’ll always be with you.”  St. Paul’s words assured some frightened people: “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I think about God's grace in my life each and every day. I'm sure you do too.====JACK:  Some church hymnals have changed the hymn, Amazing Grace, to read:"that saved a soul like me."  I think the original: "that save a wretch like me,"  puts it more accurately.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  That was one of several messages in "The Shack."  Have you seen the movie or read the book?====JACK:  Started the book but (for one reason or another) didn't finish it.  Haven't seen a movie since Inspector Gadget.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  God generously gives us memories to spend time to think back on both blessings and blemishes.  Blessings far outweigh the blemishes!====JACK:  I think that some people have a better assortment of memories than do others.====JUDY:  Yes and some have great memories but no memory left to bring them to light.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  That's the secret isn't it? Perseverance! Just read the story of Mariam Sobh, a Muslim woman, very attractive, with a Master's degree in broadcast Journalism, born and raised in America, but because of wearing the scarf (hijab) has never found a job in television (her dream) as a news anchor, talk show host or anything else.  When she sends out tapes of her work, she gets many interviews, across the country, but when meeting in person, they find a reason not to hire. She says she will never give up, and if she doesn't become the 1st Muslim TV anchor, perhaps her daughter (she's 6) or someone's daughter will achieve that goal, and she will have paved the  way. She certainly has the personality and intelligence to do the job!====JACK:  A young Muslim woman in our community explained to me why she chooses to wear a hijab.  From her point of view, it's a matter of choice.====OAKS:  Yes. She made that very clear...it is a choice; To her it is the symbol of her commitment to her faith. I think that is why she titled her article "Just a scarf away". She realizes that station managers probably think when an audience would see a Muslim woman anchoring the news, it will be biased reporting, but she knows she would bend over backward NOT to biased. She broadcast for 3 years on the U. of Illinois network while a student and grad student there, and her professors lauded her work, and thought she would go far in TV broadcasting, but if so, not yet!  She makes her own videos and I guess puts them on the internet...====JACK:  Things aren't fair when you're profiled.  So, we sing..."I shall overcome!"

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Everything happens for a reason. But sometimes it isn't easy to think about that.  My grandson with the broken foot and ankle is getting his hard cast today.  He has already had six surgeries.====JACK:  Even Jesus (on the cross) called out:  "My God, WHY?"

Friday, June 02, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/2/17
“A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something.”  (Wilson Mizner)  Mizner was a raconteur (a fancy word meaning, someone who says things in an entertaining way).  Brainy Quote has a long list of Mizner stuff.  Ellen DeGeneres is an example of a modern raconteur.  This may seem odd, but I see Jesus as a raconteur, one who tells entertaining stories.  Which of his do you like the best?    ;-)  Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  There have been times when I wished I had listened more and talked/acted less.====JACK:  I think that the early disciples of Jesus felt that way, too, after the Ascension.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I really disagree with you on seeing Jesus as a raconteur...."one who tells stories in a skillful and amusing way."   I think that demeans the great parables.    Most of them are not very amusing.   They, instead, impart a lesson to us through the use of story.   And, they have incredible depth to them.   Thirdly, it is a teaching that reveals God's word to us.    Way more than what some of these inspirational speakers could ever imagine!====JACK:  It seems as though you are surmising certain things.  ...that Jesus didn't have a sense of humor.  ...that the parables weren't crafted in such a way as to first get the attention of the listeners.  ...that a raconteur is only trying to amuse people.  Mizner, the raconteur, taught many lessons in an amusing way.  The lessons were taught, no matter how.  (Sometimes the end justifies certain means.)  We, in our sermons (and in our children's messages), first try to get the attention of the listeners and then give them the message.  BTW, I think that you and I have the same goal in mind.  We sometimes use different routes to get there.====JOHN:  For me...and apparently Merriam-Webster...Jesus' parables are on a whole different level than are amusing little stories that teach a lesson....I t would be like labeling Dostoyoevsky's Grand Inquisitor story as an example of a raconteur.   I just don't buy it.====JACK:  Your response shows that people who look at things with different eyes will often see different things.  I purposely used the word "raconteur" and connected it with Jesus, anticipating some thoughts from you.  If one were to compare our theological thoughts with beer, mine would be classified as lite and yours as full-bodied and hearty.  I'm OK with that.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  Just the "word picture" of a camel trying to squeeze through the eye of a needle can make me laugh.  Yes, I know the "needle" was a "gateway" that a fully loaded camel couldn't possible get through, not something to sew tents with, but still . . . ====JACK:  Sometimes pastors have a hard time breaking out of their theological shell and enjoying things realistically.  I know that reality TV is often a waste, but sometimes I look in to see what Honey Boo Boo is up to.
====SJ:  Good for you!

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  Kathy and I think you qualify as a raconteur.   I think your sermons did too.====JACK:  ....but what about Jesus?  The word, raconteur, often posits a less than holy image.====DAZ:  Jesus. Yes, I like the prodigal son story because it has so many different messages.
====JACK:  I like the one where the beggar, Lazarus, is sitting at the city gate eating scraps from the rich man...and,how, in heaven, their roles are reversed.

FROM SA IN WASHINGTON:  Zaccheus, come down from there! Haha! Be at peace with who you are. Jesus has got you!====JACK:  Did you ever sing this song?
Zaccheus was a wee, little man,  And a wee, little man was he.
He climbed up in a sycamore tree,  For the Lord he wanted to see.
And as the Savior came that way,  He looked up in the tree,
Spoken: And he said,"Zaccheus, you come down from there,"
For I'm going to your house today.  For I'm going to your house today.
====SA:  Oh yes! And our kids also sang that song. That's a good one. I'm humming the tune at my desk today.  Thanks for the reminder!====JACK:  If you put your mind to it. you can probably remember some others, too.
Chorus:
Rise and shine and give God your glory, glory!
Rise and shine and give God your glory, glory!
Rise and shine and (clap once) give God your glory, glory!
(Raise hands to shoulder level and sway back and forth.)
Children of the Lord.

The Lord said to Noah, "There's gonna be a floody, floody."
Lord said to Noah, "There's gonna be a floody, floody."
"Get those children (clap once) out of the muddy, muddy!"
Children of the Lord.

So Noah, he built him, he built him an arky, arky.
Noah, he built him, he built him an arky, arky.
Made it out of (clap once) hickory barky, barky.
Children of the Lord.

The animals, they came on, they came on by twosies, twosies.
The animals, they came on, they came on by twosies, twosies.
Elephants and (clap once) kangaroosies, roosies.
Children of the Lord.

Chorus

It rained, and poured, for forty daysies, daysies.
Rained, and poured, for forty daysies, daysies.
Nearly drove those (clap once) animals crazy, crazy.
Children of the Lord.

The sun came out and dried up the landy, landy.
Sun came out and dried up the landy, landy.
Everything was (clap once) fine and dandy, dandy.
Children of the Lord.

Now that is the end, the end of my story, story.
That is the end, the end of my story, story.
Everything is (clap once) hunky dory, dory.
Children of the Lord.

Chorus

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Probably the woman who touched Jesus' robe and the Roman who believed Jesus would just say the words and his beloved servant would be healed. ====JACK:  Oh, if it could happen that way today!  People would be standing in long lines.  But...were those stories of healing, or stories of faith?====JUDY:  Faith then healing.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/1/17
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”  (Norman Vincent Peale)  Peale is famous for his book, The Power of Positive Thinking.  Maybe it works; maybe not, but the fact remains that the way we look at a situation can turn it into a positive or a negative.  I try to find the good in a happening, in spite of the bad.  My thoughts affect my world.  Even when faced with the bad…what can be done to make it better?  Does that make me a Pollyanna?    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  btw, what is the origin of that word?====JACK:   Do you mean, Pollyanna?  A children's series called, The Glad Books, featured Pollyanna, a little girl who always looked on the optimistic side of things.  A "Pollyanna" came to be known as someone who always looked on the bright side of life.====SP:  thank you.  i must have missed that story somewhere along the line tho i did know the general use of the term pollyanna.====JACK:  Some see P as a negative name.  Those people are called, Negative Nellies,====PAUL:  or Donny Downer or Pouty Pauly:):):) ====JACK:  Have you ever been a Pouty Pastor?  I remember one who told the Church Budget Committee that his wife would be mad if he went home and told her that he wasn't getting a raise.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  Dear Pollyanna,   Today is the first day of the rest of your life. I choose to make the best of mine.   Love, Pollyanna====JACK:  It seems as though there's more than one Pollyanna in the world.====MARY:  We can only hope. I think we should all get together and play the "glad game ".====JACK:  I think that it would be fun (and a learning experience) to spend a day at the Peppermint School.

FROM INDY GENIE: Yes, I think that makes you a Pollyanna. In my book, that's a good thing. :) I love the "glad game"!====JACK:  "I'm glad...that we're still in touch after so many years!"

FROM LH:  So many of your ‘winning words’ help bolster me during this transitional and hectic time in my life.  Bless you!====JACK:  Josh Groban sings this song:  (I think it's about God)

When I am down and, oh, my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

There is no life - no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

You raise me up to more than I can be.
====L:  Thank you.  I’ll try to remember these words.  Think He was with me again today, because the several frustrations I encountered didn’t get me down.  My goals for the day aren’t necessarily His goals.====JACK:  He'll raise you up to walk on stormy seas!


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/31/17
“You should never be surprised at getting surprised.”  (Kirk Gibson)  I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of surprises.  Yet, life is full of them…both negative and positive.  It could be a telephone call, a diagnosis report, breaking news!  Gibson was right when he told recent college graduates that the unexpected was going to impact their future.  As I look back, even the bad has had a way of turning to be good.  …and it’s because there’s a God who is always with me.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  are you surprised to get this response 12 minutes after you sent it?:):)====JACK:  Let's see..Are you an early riser, a late go-to-bedder, or a can't sleeper?

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  One surprise...I love the way Kirk Gibson analyzes the game. As a player, he didn't talk much and was surly. As an announcer, he is articulate, bright, and teaches us nuances of the game I never heard before. I'm pleasantly surprised.====JACK:  I agree.  He's my favorite of the announcers, because he knows his stuff and presents it without being a pedant.  I'm pleasantly surprised when I see no signs of Parkinson's.====PAUL:  Because he holds the mic with his left hand....sometimes his speech slurs.  I give him so much credit.====JACK:  He's a baseball hero to me.  I have a picture of him (hanging on my wall) raising his hands in celebration as he circles the bases after hitting a game-changing home run in the 1984 World Series when the Tigers went wire to wire, never behind any other team.  My kind of season!  My kind of player!

FROM TARMART REV:  "The best is yet to come!!"====JACK:  Will you be surprised when heaven is NOT what you expect it to be?  Remember what Paul wrote:  "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."====REV:  Pleasantly surprised, indeed!!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Just recently my daughter surprised me by showing up at my doorstep on Easter weekend to celebrate with me and the family. She had alerted me to "expect a pkg. to be delivered by 8:00 P.M". that day, so when the doorbell rang, I, of course, thought the pkg. was delivered, opened the door to find SHE was the present! :-)  Negative surprises not so wonderful, but Gibson is certainly right, life bestows many surprises upon us, and we deal with them, either way! Thank goodness for Faith, and a Heavenlyl Father!!====JACK:  The first Easter was certainly a surprise for Mary and the disciples.  Our "first day" in heaven will have some surprises, too.

FROM WB IN WB:  I've always liked this one:  “In every job that must be done, there’s an element of fun. You find the fun, and SNAP, the job’s a game.”   Mary Poppins    It's like what my Dad use to tell me "There is both good and bad in everything and everyone, it's our job to find the good"  Hope all is well with you and yours,====JACK:  Your dad was not only a good businessman, but he knew something about people, too.  The quote you quoted certainly fits today's WWs.

FROM MY LAWYER:  You deserve only the best. I'm with you, too!!!====JACK:  I've had the best of many things...and your friendship is one of them.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  I guess you are not a Crackejack.====JACK:  The dictionary says that a "crackerjack" is someone who is known for being excellent in things that he does.  You're right!  I can't remember that I've ever been called that.  







Tuesday, May 30, 2017

?Jack’s Winning Words 5/30/17
“One message at just the right moment can change your entire day.”  (Megan Murphy)  The 1st e-mail message was sent in 1971: “QWERTY(U)IOP,” or something like that.  E-mail ushered in a whole new form of communication.  It’s estimated that 269 billion e-mails are sent each day. But, I would say that the most welcomed message for most of us is a handwritten letter.  Here’s an idea!  Pick out someone and change their day by writing them a personal note, letting them know that you’re thinking about them…that is, if you can find a stamp.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  this all reminds me of the first phone call ever made between Bell and Watson.  how technology has changed our world and our lives.  some for the better and some not for the better...====JACK:  My impression is that the modern pastor tends to spends too much time at the computer.  Am I just an old fogey?====SP:  you are sooo correct, my old wise friend!   one of my challenges was to tell the staff to "get out there with the people" and develop those all-important relationships.  the church, after all, is a family;  an organism and not just an organization.  we have now raised a whole generation that lives and dies by the "screen" thinking this is their essence of life.  i also wonder if this screen addiction isn't also promoting a introverted person,  just the opposite of what parish leadership needs most.  my two cents.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I just sent a hand written letter to Fred Overdier...he was in the hospital. ====JACK:  What's his phone number.  Or, maybe I can Google it.

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA:  Good morning, Jack. Good advice!  I still send handwritten notes from time to time — mostly on birthday cards and thank-you’s. But I also find that physical letters, signed by hand, are very effective for making business connections with people in senior management (which is where we sell Teamability).====JACK:  It's all about the personal touch.  Our pastor is very good at that.  Personal acknowledgement notes, handwritten and signed and addressed by him.  In the businessworld (and in church) people could benefit from taking a course in "little things that can make a big difference".  ====MT:  That would be a great title for a seminar…or a TED Talk.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Good idea...then expect an email..."just got your note in the mail...Is something wrong?"====JACK:  Yes, a hand addressed and written would certainly get attention.  Going back to the days long before e-mail, letters usually meant news.  A song that I know is an example of this.  "The Letter Edged In Black"====PAUL:  Well.. that was thought provoking!
  ====JACK:  Does that mean that I'm a provocateur?

I was standin' by my window yesterday morning
Without a thought of worry or of care
When I saw the postman comin' up the pathway
With such a happy face and jolly air.

He rang the bell and whistled as he waited
Then he said; "Good morning to you, Jack"
But he little knew the sorrow he had brought me
When he handed me a letter edged in black.

With trembling hand I took this letter from him
I broke the seal and this is what it said:
"Come home my boy, your dear old father wants you
Come home my boy, your dear old mother's dead."

I bowed my head in sorrow and in sadness
The sunshine of my life, it all had fled
When the post man brought that letter yesterday morning
"Saying come home my boy, your dear old mother's dead."

"The last words your mother ever uttered
Tell my boy I want him to come back
My eyes are blurred, my poor old heart is breaking
So, I'm writing you this letter edged in black."

"Forget those angry words that we had spoken
You know I didn't mean them, don't you, Jack
May the angels bear as witness, I am asking
Your forgiveness in this letter edged in black."

FROM DR:  Dear Jack,  What is your address so I can send YOU a personal note? 😝====JACK:  5644 Dunmore Dr   West Bloomfield, MI 48322.  One of my favorite things to do each day is to watch for the mail carrier.  Now, I'll wait, expecting more that just advertising stuff and requests for money.

FROM WATERFORD JAN:  The advantage in not being an early riser is that there are some good responses to your daily words long before I get up and online any day.  When I counted more than 50 birthday names on my list, I switched to colorful card stock with matching envelopes and hand-written notes.  I also included a crisp dollar bill (although a worn one will get the same response).  The reactions have ranged from sincere appreciation to questions about what to do with the dollar.  I suggested that the dollar be used any way they wish--including buying a lottery ticket.  The written message gets higher praise than the dollar.
P.S.  Being a modest man, you omitted the U on the Qwerty line.====JACK:  Who would notice the missing U?  You!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  One  of my responsibilities at church is to send cards and notes to Nursing home residents, home-bound, those ill or celebrating special occasions, etc.in our church family, so I always 'can find a stamp"! It's time consuming  but very much appreciated, especially, as you noted, when you write a personal note with it.  When I returned from Chicago this weekend, there were 2 postcards from my traveling, rock and MT. climbing,nurse granddaughter! What a day brightener! :-)====JACK:  You are the consummate "Church Lady"!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Great idea!  I will do just that!  Thanks!====JUDY:  Did you write a letter today?====JACK:  Even before I read your response, I was thinking: "I really should write a letter, too!"  Today is yesterday's tomorrow!"

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  Agreed.  And yours often do just that.

FROM JB AT LSTC:  Sorry that this is not a handwritten note, but I thought I’d let you know that I still send handwritten notes. During my niece’s four years in college, I sent her a card or note each week. She often forgot to pick them up from the mailbox and would get three at a time. I wanted to do for her what my aunt had done for me when I was in school – let her know that I was thinking about her and to stay connected in that physical way.  I also send handwritten letters my members of congress and the president so they know it’s a real human being writing the letter. I hope that makes them pay attention.====JACK:  My grandmother sent me a beautiful hand-written letter when I was ordained.  It's in my 4-drawer file somewhere.  (I've got to search for it one of these days.)  Her grandson (a Catholic priest) and I conducted her funeral shortly after I received that letter.


 


Friday, May 26, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/26/17
“I remember the time I knew what happiness was.  Let the memory live again.”  (Lloyd Webber)  Have you ever seen/heard the musical, Cats?  One of its great songs is, “Memory.”  I can imagine it now..the words..the tune.  Of course, Monday is Memorial Day, a day when some of you will walk through a cemetery..and remember, or look at a picture..and remember.  What a great gift is the ability to recall, and what a great loss when not.  “Memory..” (sing along with link)!    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-L6rEm0rnY      ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  a quote from Rabbi Harold Kushner:  memories is one thing that death cannot take away.====JACK:  So..."Let the memory live again."  Choose one...right now!  Isn't it great to be able to do that?====SP:  how true.  btw,  one of my favorite memories from Michigan days was being asked to do an invocation down by the Sylvan Lake Boat Club memorial day morning.  there was a band,  a fly-over (small plane that dropped fresh flowers into the lake), a short speech or two, and lot of good people from the community,  some of whom attended SLLC.  we were young then and in our prime.  all good memories!

FROM LBP SOON TO BE IN K-ZOO:  That may have been the first musical I saw. I used to know all the songs.====JACK:  I like the religious undertone of Lloyd Webber's compositions.====LBP: Ed sheeran What do I know?"  Just heard it. Worth looking up :)====JACK:  I, too, looked him up.  Lots to read.  I liked the lyrics to "What Do I Know."  Especially..."We could change the world in a moment with a piano, a bass, a guitar, a beat and love.  But, what do I know?"

FROM HONEST JOHN:  We always went to the graves when I was a kid.    Mary Lou and I were up in Saginaw two weeks ago and decorated her parents' graves.   Mine are buried in Moline Memorial (used to be Valhalla) so I don't get to them.   We plant a flower here each year to honor our parents.   I think we need to do those things.====JACK:  What a great idea...to plant a flower each year to honor your parents!  Valhalla...the great hall in Norse mythology where heroes who die are received.  IMO, something is lost when a burial place named, Valhalla, is changed to Memorial Park.  My memories of Decoration Day include going to Galesburg to visit the graves of the grandparents I never met... and bringing peonies to place on the graves.====JOHN:  That's interesting...we always brought peonies to the graves, also....they bloom about this time of year....one memory Zi have of Memorial Day is listening to the Indy  500 on the radio.====JACK:  Indy's not the same when it's not on Memorial Day.  Son David and I once attended the event.  It's certainly different in person, both inside and outside of the track.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  I never saw "cats",but I know the music.  Beth and Thom saw it when they visited Auntie Pat on their own. they were middle schoolers and it made a big imprint on them.====JACK: I hope that you played the "Memory" link attached to the WWs.  I could see you doing that song.====MARY: I did and sang and hummed it all day long.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How wonderful it is to remember those special memories!  The song is a classic too.====JACK:  One of the benefits of aging is the chance to pile up more memories... especially the good ones.

FROM COPPER COUNTRY BOB:  I bet I’ve shared this with you before, but it is worth repeating.
When Ronda died the Jewish Rabbi at Chicago used this analogy.    If you get your toe cut off by a lawnmower but if you pick it up and go to the hospital where the surgeon sews it back on.....  what has the surgeon done?   He has re---membered your body and made you whole.  That has had a powerful impact upon my understanding of Holy Communion.     I am a member of Christ’s family, often cut off by sin but  I recall the Christ who comes to re-member me and make me whole. ====JACK:  No, I hadn't heard that story before...nor did I hear how the rabbi became involved.  In Merrill, a funeral director told me of a man who wanted his amputated leg buried in his cemetery plot so he would have it with him at the resurrection.

FFROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Applause, Applause!====JACK:  What's with the apple sauce?
 
     




Thursday, May 25, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 5/25/17
“The first to apologize is bravest.  The first to forgive is strongest.  The first to forget is happiest.”  (David Fournier)  Whenever I come upon the idea of forgiveness, I think of what C.S. Lewis wrote:  “Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until he has something to forgive.”  Are there some things/people that you find it hard to forgive?  Forgiveness begins when someone asks to be forgiven.  Then, it’s deciding time.  God sets the example.    ;-)  Jack

FROM DR PHIL:  Jack. Well done today. This is in the Grand Slam arena. Pray our clergy preach, teach , and do this.====JACK:  I'm trying to recall a time when I've been in the position of being a forgiver.  Usually the shoe is on the other foot.====PHIL:  Jack,  I must be  more proactive than you because I can think of so many times when I had to circle back and say I'm sorry.  The best times for me were when I was able to catch myself and come back and share with one of my kids that I was sorry. for what I said or did.  My practice in the ministry was to make 15 calls a week and some of them were simply me calling and saying I was sorry for what I said or for my involvement in an act. It truly made a difference. My practice was to do this-rarely- as well from the pulpit when my action let down the congregation. . In Jesus name  Keep us the ministry.  I am working on a first person Luther for worship services. Having some fun.====JACK:  I think that most of us see ourselves as "the forgiven" rather than as "the forgiver."

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I think that any times forgiveness precedes the act of acknowledging that someone needs to ask to be forgiven.   It is the forgiveness that makes the apology possible.    I also think that forgiving and forgetting are two separate deals.   I believe that sometimes it is wise not yo forget lest you create the ground that encourages others to repeat their errors.====JACK:  We're usually pretty good at pointing out the need for others to ask for forgiveness.  It's an old illustration, but it's true:  When you point a finger at someone, you have three fingers pointing back at you.
====JOHN:  But you see the act of forgiving is not an accusation but an opportunity.====JACK:  If the Pope were to have asked for forgiveness, would Luther have forgiven him?  We'll never know! ====JOHN:  I think "Yes" on that question.   And I think it would have provoked a confession from Luther that he was not exactly exemplary in everything either.====JACK:  I think that you have modernized Luther...and I expect that you will disagree with that...but that's OK with me.====JOHN:  I really think that I have not modernized Luther.   A modern church leader dies nothing wrong...at least in his own discernment.   That is why we have all one sided debates and votes at our conventions.   I think from reading him, that Luther would have been more likely to admit a mistake if the case against his position was valid.====JACK:  I guess we'll never know what Martin woulda done.

FROM LS IN MICHIGAN:  Thank you for the words.  I teach in my classes that forgiveness is the key to living as a human being on this rich planet.  It is the fountain of youth   integrityinactionllc.com .  The practice, for me,  is believed to be intention,  life long and required each and every day with prayer.====JACK:  If forgiveness is to be real, does it have to be followed by forgetting?  I'm just wondering.  It seems to be humanly impossible.====LS:  No forgetting is not to follow forgiving.  Forgiveness is the way to process memories that are destructive to our well being.  With the practice over time of forgiving, remembering is processed in a more gentle way, with compassion and understanding. The practice of forgiving may take a lifetime of practice.  Forgiving of one's self as well as others is a gift.  I strive  to learn from the past, live in the present and walk into the future unknown with intention guided by the desire to be the best human being knowing I shall always receive an abundance and that all of life works together for good when I believe. ====JACK:  Good words...and a good target to aim at.

FROM DM IN MICHIGAN:  Good Morning Jack.   Today’s words hit a little close to home……again.   Sometimes it’s the hurt from those you love that keeps us from forgiving as easily.  ====JACK:  Have you ever heard of the song, "You Always Hurt The One You Love"?
You always hurt the one you love  The one you shouldn't hurt at all
You always take the sweetest rose  And crush it till the petals fall
You always break the kindest heart  With a hasty word you can't recall, so
If I broke your heart last night  It's because I love you most of all
====DM:  But in the midst of all the hurt that last line is so invisible and hard to accept.   You may be able to forgive but not forget.  Can you really do one and not the other and be free of guilt??? ====JACK:  As Shakespeare wrote..."Ah, there's the rub," meaning, "there's the difficulty."  Some things are difficult (seemingly, impossible) to forget.  But, when we concentrate on the positive, rather than the negative, the negative can begin to fade away.  If we continue to pick away at a sore, it's never going to heal.  "Ah, there's the rub."  Easier said than done...but keep on trying.  

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Ludwig van Beethoven was probably right when he said, "Nothing is more intolerable than to have to admit to yourself, your own errors". (I'm looking forward to hearing his 9th symphony in Chicago this weekend.) But Forgiving and being forgiven is a part of life, and human nature doesn't change much that way!  Good words to remember today....sometimes it takes both courage and strength to get the job done!====JACK:  I believe that as we age it becomes easier to admit that we don't have all of the answers.  At least, it's that way with me.  I think that I'd have a hard time teaching a class in Dogmatics.====OAKS:  Yes, a lot harder than when I was Young, and "knew everything"!  Now I'm not young enough to know everything!!=====JACK:  I baptized Daniel about 50 years ago.  Daniel is now Danielle, and I'm OK with that.  Times and opinions change.

FROM KANSAN DON:  I like it.  I’ve heard “Forgive and forget.”  Ever try forgetting?  It must be a gift from God.  Or, is the forgiving only half dome?====JACK:  I turned in a paper late to Art Arnold with a notation, "I forget."  He gave me a D, with the notation, "I remembered."  At the bottom of the last page he wrote, "I forgave," gave me a B.  I still have that paper as a reminder of the meaning of "grace."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  For your own sake, you should forgive someone even if they don't ask forgiveness.====JACK:  You can say, "I'm willing to forgive you," but if the other person does not "your forgiveness", you can't force it upon them.  I don't believe that God would force someone to be in heaven who does not want to be there.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  is forgiveness really within our control? i think it may or may not evolve out of a situation, but we can't choose emotions.====JACK:  I believe that what sets us apart as humans is our free will.  To me, that would include the willingness to forgive or not to forgive.  But it's a matter of opinion/  So, if you believe otherwise, that's your will.====LIZ:  i don't think you can change how you feel. you can work on it, but it's not a conscious decision that you can make at will...

 

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

FROM HY YO SILVER:  When i read this the first time, i read it as "rabbis" not "rabbits". In my opinion, it still works!====JACK:  Have you heard of "Task Rabbi" (not Rabbit)?  On the internet you can hire a rabbi to pray for the completion of any unpleasant tasks facing you...unclogging a toilet, getting rid of hedonistic thoughts, etc.  The site is not available on shabbat.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Wherever, however, you come up with ideas for Winning Words, keep them coming.  Each day they are a little nudge to think about things or observe them in a different light. ====JACK:  General Motors once hired a man whose job was to sit in his office each day and come up with ideas for the company.  I'd like that kind of job.

FROM CHAPLAIN PAUL:  So Jack, does this mean you get your ideas in the bathtub.====JACK:  I've read that Martin Luther came up with ideas while sitting on the toilet.  People who visit his home in Germany will find the toilet area roped off.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  I didn’t know about “Here Be God” – I like that the image of God fills the unknown.====JACK:  Have you heard of Mr Know-It-All on TV's Bullwinkle Show?  When it comes to God, be careful of those who claim to have all of the answers about Him and His will.

FROM DP IN MINNESOTA:  That is a great one!  ! !  ! ! Among many others even if I don't respond!====JACK:  Cartoonist often show the origin of an idea by drawing a light bulb over the head of a person.  My faith says that G-d is the source of power for that light.

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?====HG:  My prayers were to do the best I could.

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 🔔====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.