Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/31/17
“Right or wrong, make a decision.  The road of life is paved with flat squirrels.”  (Anon)  I like Ella Fitzgerald’s song, Undecided, but I don’t like the feeling of being undecided.  Do you ever have a problem with decisions, especially ones that involve life changes?  Paul Brodie, in his book, Just Do It!, describes ways to take action…”Taking the 1st step is the hardest.”  My way is to make a list of options, pray, and then pick the one that seems best.    ;-)  Jack

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  I'm with her.... Lady Liberty!====JACK:  She's a BIG girl.  She can take it.  Her message isn't going to go away.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Dick Smith and I had done great debates with Lawrence Tribe and his partner...I see that Tribe is now suing Trump for unconstitutional practices.   Tribe was John Roberts' teacher in Law School....crazy out there.====JACK:  You've had a "wonderful" life and met some very interesting people.  I'd like to know if Tribe remembers those debates.  Have you ever tried to contact him?  BTW, in a debate (for example, with Trump), how is bombast controlled...and is there a fact-checker?  The Presidential Debates aren't really debates, are they?

FROM TRIHARDER:  My --wife's family had, in essence, a family motto, driven by their father: "a poor decision is better than no decision at all." I couldn't disagree more. My response was, and continued to be, "Procrastination is a means of avoiding a poor decision"; or its cousin, "Never be in a hurry to make a poor decision. "  I think I've shared those with you in the past.====JACK:  Your response reminds me of Hobson's Choice...or Henry Ford's:  "You can have the Model T in any color you want, as long as it's black."  When two women came to Solomon claiming to be the mother of a child (1 Kings 3), he was wise in his judgment, and the real mother was wise in her decision.
====TH:  Coincidentally, I made a choice last night of how to solve a major problem involving the closest of friends. I was going to act on it first thing in the morning. When morning came, I procrastinated making the move. Suddenly, a different, better solution came to came to mind. ====JACK:  The workings of the mind can be mysterious.====TH:  Sometimes it requires clearing out so that an idea can pierce the skull.  Like trying to think of that actor -- and later, it pops in.

FROM WATERFORD JAN:  I, too, am a list-maker by beginning with a line down the middle of a sheet of paper.  Pros and Cons are listed and then contemplated, discussed, prayed about, not necessarily in that order.  The interesting outcome is often the list with the least items.  Sometimes the fewer items are stronger reasons for being chosen.====JACK:  There's also a middle column which is neither pro nor con...flip a coin.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  :-) Those lilttle critters do sit up and "think" when a car is approaching, leading to some of them being flattened! Roy Disney says "It's not hard to make decisions if you know what your values are."  I think this is valid...at least limits our options!====JACK:  First, you have to make a decision about your values.  When does that decision take place?====OAKS:  I think we pretty much absorb values we're raised with and see around us, and our conscience is pretty vocal when we have serious options!  Most of the "Greatest Generation" had sound moral core values which influence our decisions.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Your way is the best way!  List, pray, decide!====JACK:  I like the petition from the Lord's Prayer..."Thy will be done on earth..."

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:   I used to be indecisive but now I'm not so sure...====JACK:   sometimes its just a gut feeling and that may not always be the best route either...   but sometimes it is...====JACK:  Are your decisions based on circumstances?  Yes or No...depending..."====PAUL:   sometimes its just a gut feeling and that may not always be the best route either...   but sometimes it is...====JACK:  I think that the Holy Spirit can speak through the gut as well as through the mind and the heart.



Monday, January 30, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/30/17
“Everyone has two eyes, but no one has the same view.”  (Unknown)  I once said to my eye doctor, “I’ve heard that eyes are windows to the soul.  When you look into a patient’s eyes, do you ever see their soul?”  As I recall, her answer was a, “No!”  Why do two people look at the same life situation and see it differently?  Psychologically, our own history and beliefs (our soul) are a big part of the reason.  Today’s a good day for doing some soul-searching.    ;-)  Jack

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  That is for sure!  I wish I could have been a fly on the wall when you asked your eye doctor if they ever see the soul’s of their patients!!!!!!====JACK:  Philosophy is not everyone's "cup of tea."  However, my internist often begins our visit by asking, "Well, what do you think about the world today?"

FROM TARMART REV:  Here's an old church chorus, not sung as much nowadays, if at all.  0;-)  "Search me, O God, and know my heart today; Try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray;  See if there be some wicked way in me; CLEANSE ME from ev’ry sin, and set me free."====JACK:  I know that song.  We used to sing it while sitting around the fire at Bible Camp.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Ha! I'm going in for my annual eye-ck today; wonder what MY doctor would say if I posed that question?!  It's often been noted how several different eye witnesses to the same event vary considerably! Just recently I was with a group who toured 315 creche scenes from around the world, and I was the only one who "saw" the one  with Joseph holding the baby Jesus!  It made an impression on me because it was so different, but the others didn't single it out, tho some did recall it when I talked about it...I would guess it's good that we don't all have the same "view"!! ====JACK:  Ask the question and see where it leads.  BTW, did you see a manger scene where Joseph was taking a selfie of him, Mary and the baby....and the wise men bringing gifts in 3 Amazon boxes?====OAKS:  She said her machines didn't scope THAT far, but she saw two small cataracts, in eyes that she once again gave gold stars to. Very grateful for my good eyes! Glad Dr. Steggeman has a sense of humor! :-)

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  continuing on a previous WW to 'build bridges' but also on today's to see through someone else's eyes...  I found this podcast an interesting to given an interesting perspective that I didn't really 'get', living here in the northern mid-west
http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510308/hidden-brain; episode from Jan 24, 2017
====JACK:  As I pulled up the site I saw that it was about a half-hour long. (Shall I spend the time?)  I'm glad I did.  What a great example of empathy...of seeing life from the other person's view.  Bridge builders would like it; wall builder's would not...regardless of your political persuasion.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  And as we age we should be growing wiser, don't you think?====JACK:  Ben Franklin said, "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."  He didn't say anything about wisdom coming from old age.

   


Friday, January 27, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/27/17
“What’s important is to keep learning, to enjoy challenge, and to tolerate ambiguity.  In the end there are no certain answers.”  (Martina Horner)  Neuroscientists say that the brain does not like ambiguity.  “Give me a straight answer!”  I’ve found that out in leading Bible studies.  People, in general, want “yes or no” answers.  No equivocation.  But life’s not like that.  Some things are best answered, “yes and no.”   Learning is going beyond the obvious.    ;-)  Jack  

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Appreciate very much today's WW. Can't exactly put my finger on why I believe they are true, except that experience has taught me that on every side of an opinion, there is another opinion which also carries some validity and my own being opinionated has been humbled again and again. Googled Martina Horner and enjoyed reading her bio on Wikipedia. Thanks for passing these WW on--I'm sure the wisdom in them helps us all to pause in the midst of the craziness going on in this world and be strengthened in our hope and prayers for learning how to live more faithfully wherever we have been placed and to get along with others better.

FROM TARMART REV:  "Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife for better, for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health for as long as you both shall live!" 2017-- "I hope so?!"====JACK:  What if they were able to look into the future before answering....?====REV:  I suppose it would be those who think they could change the other person that would carry through with their vows that nothing could separate them.====JACK:  I meant....If we could look into the future, some of our present decisions might be more formidable.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Yes, a LOT of things are best answered "yes and no"!  We like black and white, but most things have a lot of gray. and who among us hasn't changed their minds about issues, once held?  Life is constantly seeking, learning, and adjusting to new concepts or a new "take" on old ones!  There seem to be immortal things we cannot know for certain in this mortal life, but we hold on to our faith in an unchanging God!====JACK:  To my mind...Many of the "growing" churches these days are ones where people are given black and white answers.  "Gray" does not necessarily mean untrue, but sometimes that's hard to explain...or to get across.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We've been doing Bible studies everyday.  Paul Mayer and a lot of others have worked on proving Jesus not only lived, died and rose from the dead but it has been recorded down in many places in history, over 100 records of "Christo".  The archaeologists have found the grave of the high priest Caiaphas.  The different records are written down by several historians, Pliny, Josephus are two.  We love learning and the more we learn the more we search.  Of course, we believed in our Lord and Savior before the proof but it helps when I go to lunch with my gnostic friend.====JACK:  Does relying on proof make one a gnostic?  "I know!"  Does relying on proof take away the need for faith?  ....ambiguous questions!

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Could not agree with you more…and, the grey/gray area is actually interesting if you give it a chance.  To me, one of the best things about growing older is the ability to hold different ideas at the same time and appreciate the merits of each.====JACK:  Blessed is that person who can appreciate their own beliefs, which letting others hold on to their's.  I don't like to play the game..."Mine is better than yours."

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  Right. I am reading a new biography of  Eddie Rickenbacker....and that was his attitude toward so many difficulties in his life.====JACK:  We are influenced by our own experiences.  If we had gone through what Eddie experienced...  I wonder.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/26/17
“Always show more kindness than seems necessary; the person receiving it needs it more than you will ever know.”  (Colin Powell)  General Powell would have made a great President.  Both parties wanted him to run.  In the end, I read that his wife didn’t want him to run…which says something about him, too.  Parade magazine listed his 13 Rules of Leadership.  A couple that I liked were – Remain calm and be kind – Avoid letting your ego get in the way.    ;-)  Jack  

FROM TARMART REV:  ...good advice, not only for others, but for us pastors as well (at any age)! ====JACK:  "Pastoral Care" was taught in our seminary.  Did you ever have a course like that in your training, or were you just naturally nice?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Colin Powell would have made an excellent president!  His demeanor, his kindness, his great inner strength and his love of country could have helped both parties.  I pray our new president will use his strength to help us get over this huge divide.====JACK:  We've all seen the bluster.  I'm waiting for a show of kindness.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Agree about Colin and…enjoy his words.  Your sister’s a big fan of kindness.  I’m a big fan of your sis!====JACK:  She learned kindness the hard way...having to put up with me while she was growing up.  She has some stories to tell.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  One of my Mom's adages, given many time: "It doesn't cost anything to be kind!"  So Jan and I tried to be nice to everyone, not just our "gang", in school. It seems it is often human nature to want to be negative and critical, but habit and one's will, can change that. We are all humans (and even animal pets) with feelings! Good WW to remember today and every day! ====JACK:  It's surprising how often Winning Words and responses remind me of songs.
Try A Little Kindness - Glen Campbell

If you see your brother standing by the road
With a heavy load from the seeds he's sowed
And if you see your sister falling by the way
Just stop and say, you're going the wrong way
Chorus
You got to try a little kindness
Yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness
Then you'll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets

Don't walk around the down and out
Lend a helping hand instead of doubt
And the kindness that you show every day
Will help someone along their way
Chorus



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/25/17
“Optimism for me isn’t a passive expectation that things will get better; it’s a conviction that we can make things better.”  (Melinda Gates)  Bill and Melinda may be the richest couple in America, but they’re also the most generous…giving away $28 billion to help eradicate polio and malaria in the world.  But generosity isn’t just for the wealthy.  We each can do something, in our own way, to make this world a better place.  Have you seen “generosity” lately?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Actually I see it, try to share it and experience it from others towards me so very often . . . a great reward for those who live in obedient generosity . . . trying to be better at it, as well!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  We can all give a generous gift that doesn't cost a thing: Our friendly smiles!  Smiles are infectious and usually very much appreciated. Give one to everyone you meet today! :-)  BTW, I LOVE the song you posted, "I can't sit still" .  It is good "rap" is you don'[t know the tune. Can't wait to use it with g.grandkids and church little ones! :-) New to me!====JACK:  There was a lady in our church who could have paid the complete bill for the new stained glass windows, but she made a "typical" contribution to the project, saying that she wanted the whole congregation to feel that they had a part in the project through their pledges and contributions.  People never realized her quiet, but substantial, support of the church.  I'm sure that the bell choir and the people who hear their music have no idea where those bells came from.  I like this poem:
THE POWER-HOUSE
Out for my evening stroll
I discovered on 84th Street
A power-house, quietly humming to itself,
And though I lived near-by
I had never known it was there.
(Christopher Morley)

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's funny how people don't mind the rich when the wealthy are given good press.  Optimism is also an action word which means get off your duff and start spreading it around!====JACK:  In the Bible, the widow with only two mites gave ALL that she had.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/24/17
“Compliments are the helium that fills everybody’s balloon.”  (Bernie Siegel)  Most people like to be complimented.  I saw a list of nice things you can say to people.  You really have a nice smile…I appreciate you…You’re a great listener…You inspire me…You’re the gravy on my mashed potatoes.  I don’t know about that last one, but we all like to feel appreciated.  Look around you today.  Maybe it’s a fellow worker or a family member.  Fill their balloon!    ;-)  Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Great idea!  Will do!  Thanks for the Winning Words!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  So true, and a nice visual to picture that. I enjoyed Dr. Bernie Siegel's books; I often remark on a nice smile from a server at Drive Through Food places, etc. They're almost always surprised, and of course, pleased!====JACK:  The usual comments I hear at the checkout are more general (Have a nice day!) than personal (You're doing a great job!).  I'm going to have to remember to be more personal.

FROM CS IN RO:  Good advice in these divided times!====JACK:  If you were to meet the President, what compliment would you give?

FROM TARMART REV:  You are definitely "the gravy on my mashed potatoes" this morning!! ====JACK:  That should read..."You're the extra sugar on my Frosted Flakes!"

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  I had a friend who is gone now who used to say " Who's better than you, nobody."  My Mother had a phrase," he/she is like bread, so good."====JACK:  Did your mom ever bake bread?  Mmmmm.  How good was that?  What a compliment!

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Your the Schmaltz on my rye bread!====JACK:  Schmaltz!  The rendered chicken fat?  I've heard that word before, but in a different context.  Thanks====PAUL:  It's a delicacy that no Dr. Wants you to have! But those of us who have been raised on it...love! ====JACK:  I grew up thinking that it meant something "corny" or "syrupy."  I wonder where that idea came from?

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  Looking for compliments to give,  i.e. something nice to say, is kind of mood boosting for me as a giver too. I find it's hard to compliment someone when I'm in a bad mood.====JACK:  My sister-in-law once said to a "moody" bank teller..."Are you having abad day, or are you always this way?" ====LBP:  Ouch. Not sure that it helped the teller or your sister-in-law. I know sometimes I sound grumpy or stern when I'm trying to be focused. I rely on my family to call me on it when I don't catch it myself.====JACK:  It probably got the teller's attention.  I wonder what was her response.  I never heard.



Monday, January 23, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/23/17
“When you pray, move your feet.”  (African Proverb)  Some of my friends walked yesterday in DC, Boston, Ann Arbor and NYC.  We may, or may not, agree with marches, but they have been a way of expressing beliefs…Joshua leading a walk around the walls of Jericho, 1773 Boston Tea Party, 1913 Women’s Suffrage Parade, 1963 Civil Rights March, 1969 Viet Nam Protest, 2009 Tea Party Rallies…and the one on Palm Sunday.  Beliefs often require action.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I like the reference to Joshua and Jericho....good analogy====JACK:  I can just imagine that the folks on the other side of the Jericho wall were thinking..."What are Joshua and those crazy people doing?"  Time will tell if Saturday's march was a prelude to a wall that will come a-tumblin' down.

FROM TARMART REV:  ...been walking in the Spirit by faith for just shy of 70 years now, if I can count the younger formative years established by my faithful parents.====JACK:  Have you ever marched for some cause?  Holy Spirit people joined other community people in protesting the plan to turn the Keego Movie Theater into a X-Rated movie house.  Our marching worked.====REV:  One time here in Willmar with a bunch of evangelical church folks...but for the life of me, I can't remember the cause any longer. 0;-/

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Rabbi Abraham Joshua Herschel said that when he marched for civil rights with MLK that he was "praying with his feet".====JACK:  I have a saying posted by my desk..."Get Tough...Get Off Your Duff!"

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  "A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step." In your own way, Jack, you are encouraging people to express themselves, but to take some action.  Great advice.====JACK:  My friend in the Boston March had written on her hand the reasons for being there...Dignity, Equal Rights, Freedom from Discrimination.====PAUL:  It disturbs me that my right wing friends are promoting the perception that women who were “Pro Life” were asked not to attend.  I heard a couple of interviews from organizers that said that the march was not about for or against abortion but for women’s rights.  I could see how the march could have turned into something quite different if organizers encouraged one group over another.  After thinking about this for some time, I believe that the essence of the march was to promote exactly what you wrote.  Having it morfed into the abortion issue would have been extremely destructive. The Right is looking to discredit the event because it is such a threat to their agenda. It’s like just talking about Madonna instead of the throngs of people who would were very clear on why they were there.====JACK:  It reminds me of the preacher who wrote in his sermon notes these words...."Argument weak here.  Pound the pulpit like hell."  So..."Argument weak here...Go after Madonna and overweight people!"

FROM GS IN SH:  That’s a good one!====JACK:  Have you ever marched for some cause?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  This is a free country so everyone is able to walk.  It was peaceful I think.  I didn't watch any of it.====JACK:  It was reported by the D.C. police that was not one arrest among that large group of people.  Both Gandhi and MLK Jr believed that peaceful marches were more effective than riots.  Some "followers" of Jesus wanted him to be more forceful in response to those who opposed him.  Even today there are some "Christians" who are not in favor of "turning the other cheek."

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  i can't stay still in church or any other gathering.  i feel the beat of the music and/or prose and i sway.  always have, always will, and i am old enough to have confidence and comfort in it.  i love marching with those of like mind.  solidarity is a wonderful thing!  we shall overcome!  this train is bound for glory!====JACK:  Do the children in your school sing this song?
Well, if you can't sit still, here's a game we play Listen to the words and do what we say

I got my fingers wiggling to the rhythm
Got my fingers wiggling to the rhythm
Well, I got my fingers wiggling to the rhythm
And I can't sit still
I got my shoulders wiggling to the rhythm
Got my shoulders wiggling to the rhythm
Now, I got my shoulders wiggling to the rhythm
And I can't sit still
I got my nose wiggling to the rhythm
Got my nose wiggling to the rhythm
Got my nose wiggling to the rhythm
And I can't sit still
I got my knees wiggling to the rhythm
Got my knees wiggling to the rhythm
Oh, I got my knees wiggling to the rhythm
And I can't sit still
I got my chin wiggling to the rhythm
Got my chin wiggling to the rhythm
I got my chin wiggling to the rhythm
And I can't sit still
Now touch your head
Touch your shoulders
Touch your knees
Now your toes
Touch your shoulders
Now your toes
Touch your knees
Now your head
Listen now - head, shoulders, knees, toes
Touch your shoulders, knees, now your toes, touch your head
Shake your body all about, now everybody FREEZE!
I got my head shaking to the rhythm
Got my head shaking to the rhythm
I got my head shaking to the rhythm
And I can't sit still
I got my toes wiggling to the rhythm
Got my toes wiggling to the rhythm
I got my toes wiggling to the rhythm
And I can't sit still
I got my elbows wiggling to the rhythm
Got my elbows wiggling to the rhythm
I got my elbows wiggling to the rhythm
And I can't sit still
I got my hands clapping to the rhythm
Got my hands clapping to the rhythm
I got my hands clapping to the rhythm
And I can't sit still
No, I can't, can't sit still

FROM AS IN MAINE:  ! My daughter Willow and I went down to DC to march. I did it in support of those whose voices have been silenced or disrespected, those who are in fear because of the color of their skin or their religion or their sexual orientation. I did it for women. I did it because I wanted my daughter to see what democratic expression looks like in all its forms (she also comes with me every time I vote!). It was exhilarating. I wish there had been more diversity there--it's something that the women's movement has to contend with, that mainstream feminism has been a mostly white undertaking and not a comfortable place for all women. But I hope it's a way for women who weren't engaged in the myriad issues to get engaged, to go home and find a place and a way to be a part of a solution to the discourse and the dismissivness and the rhetoric. (not to mention the blatant racism and sexism)  It's a shame my mom wasn't able to join us--her ride fell through, but she'd been planning to be there. It was most certainly a multi-generational event. Women of all ages, from babies to 90+ year olds. I'm so glad we did it.====JACK:  Somehow, I'm not surprised that you were part of the throng...and that your daughter would be with you...and that your mom would be supportive.  Some people are consistent in their life-style.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  peaceful protests are the american way!====JACK:  I agree...but it's soooo hard to remain peaceful when someone mistreats you.  How do you react to Jesus saying, "Turn the other cheek?  What do you think he meant by that?

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  Reminds me of this song: "If We Are The Body"  Writer(s): John Mark Hall

It's crowded in worship today
As she slips in trying to fade into the faces
The girl's teasing laughter is carrying farther than they know
Farther than they know

But if we are the body
Why aren't His arms reaching?
Why aren't His hands healing?
Why aren't His words teaching?
And if we are the body
Why aren't His feet going?
Why is His love not showing them there is a way?
There is a way

A traveler is far away from home
He sheds his coat and quietly sinks into the back row
The weight of their judgemental glances
Tells him that his chances are better out on the road

Jesus payed much too high a price
For us to pick and choose who should come
And we are the body of Christ

Jesus is the way
====JACK:  Jesus was born to show us "the way" to live.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My daughter marched in Chicago; there were thousands participating, marching around the loop and in front of Trump Towers, both men and women! She said it felt good to express her feelings, and do something beside just "vote"...the Women's Marches around the world seemed to be very successful!  Hopefully, it will have some kind of impact.====JACK:  It was a show of force in a peaceful way.====OAKS:  P,S. Bill and I, Jan and Hal all marched in Chicago with Martin Luther King way back when; Now the newer generation takes over...:-)====JACK:  The MLK Jr walks were dangerous.  I didn't feel that way about the ones last Saturday.

FROM RUTHIE L IN ILLINOIS:  I sing a song called Living Prayer.  It's  from an Allison Krauss cd."take my life,and let it be, a living prayer my God to thee"  I work on living every day like that. Yes, sometimes we need action :) peace ====JACK:  The church hymnal puts it this way.
1
Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
2
Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee,
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
3
Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee,
Filled with messages from Thee.
4
Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold;
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose,
Every power as Thou shalt choose.
5
Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart; it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne,
It shall be Thy royal throne.
6
Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee,
Ever, only, all for Thee.

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA: my daughter Annika and two of her daughters marched in Mpls. as did our daughter in law in Seattle.   wonderful experience for them all!====JACK:  "The apple doesn't fall very far from the tree."

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  That adage was used in my house as a child.  Funny.  A & I were at the epicenter of the Women’s march on Saturday.  I thought the 50+ photos in the digital NYTimes of marches all over the world….Asia, Antarctica, Europe  and Africa were fascinating.  The Chicago march doubled the expected crowd and was very mellow and positive – few angry voices; much solidarity expressed and reminders that our concerns are all interconnected, what affects women, native americans, marginalized, immigrants etcetera, affects us all.  Not too difficult to see the face of Christ in the faces in the crowd====JACK:  I did see Jesus in the crowd...disguised as a woman.
























Friday, January 20, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/20/17
“Make America Great Again!”  (Donald Trump)  These words were first used by Reagan in his presidential campaign, so the idea that America could benefit by changes is not new…think Abe Lincoln!  The fact is, our country could benefit by doing some things differently.  Improvement is good for America, just as it is for each one of us.  As the old song goes…”Accent-u-ate the positive,  Elim-i-nate the negative.”  Do you have some bridge-building thoughts?    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  It figures that a couple of dinkledorfs like Reagan and Trump would use that slogan.    What is "greatness"?====JACK:  What is greatness?  A Pharisee asked this question of Jesus and got an answer that explains why some people are so passionate in advocating for the needy of this world.====JOHN:  I would never equate greatness with love.   Love may include it but extends beyond it.====JACK:  God's "greatest" commandment is to love (which is not a stand alone word, but is one connected with actions).====JOHN:  Within the framework of the English language, "greatness" is attributed to folks like Alexander and Tsar Peter....hardly examples of love. ====JACK:  Words take on different meanings in different contexts.  Great is one.  Truth is another.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  the only bridge story that comes to mind is the old "i got a bridge i'd like to sell you" one.  i'm trying but pollyanna is having a hard time with this one.====JACK:  Think of how difficult it must have been in Lincoln's day.  Dr. Seuss put it this way, "Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!"  To do nothing is a choice, too.====MARY:  I am perplexed, not immobilized.====JACK:  I'm advocating bridge building rather than continuing to build walls.

FROM QUILTING CAROL: Bridge building thoughts…do away with the TV media and their agenda.  I think all of us could/would get along a lot better if the media wasn’t feeding us junk that just agitates people.  As for me, I am trying harder to say ‘hello’ to everyone I meet or pass; wish them a good day if there is time and maybe listen a little better when people I’m with are talking.  Like the song about Accentuate the positive; eliminate the negative.  Our pastor suggested recently that when people ask you – “how are you” that we should reply “Blest”.  It accentuates the positive and eliminates any negative.  I wish you a day of many blessings!====JACK:  I think that the current situation for many is like a death.  There has to be a period of mourning before moving back to the reality of life and dealing with it.

FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA:  I wish. Not sure that bridge building is on this man's resume. Planning to watch and listen and respond when needed.  Hard to believe a "man of faith" as they have called him this morning uses words to harm and insult others so frequently.====JACK:  I cannot control what others may do, so I don't expect a man of "walls" to turn into a man of "bridges."  My Winning Words today are a first step for me to do more than sit back and wring my hands.  I also want to be available as a "bridge" when things do not go as planned.  As Robert Burns wrote, "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry."  It will not be an easy presidency...worse even when the electorate is not unified.  I'm afraid that there may be darker days ahead and that there will be a need for Americans to come together at that time.====DONNA:  Thanks Jack. Speech today included God. Wonder what his relationship is with God?====JACK:  God doesn't mean the same thing to all people.  So, I don't pay much attention to the word when it's used in political speeches.  I do pay attention when it's used in places like Sandy Hook

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  At the dinner table in mid-December my little guy (5yo) says to my little miss (9yo). "I'm sorry sissy... I know you wanted Hillary to win." This was not totally out of the blue. My daughter was discussing her 4th grade lesson about government and the electoral college vote that day. It was the sincerity of this remark and the thoughtful conversation that followed between these two kids, much to our surprise, that made it stick in my mind. As a bridge-building thought, it is a reminder to see things from another person's perspective and to also remember that their perspective is valid and real for them. My son was a huge supporter of his made-up "Mr Kittypants" for president, but recognized my daughters real interest in this 'grown up' thing. Which is the other thing to keep in mind... the little ones are watching, listening, and living the things around them. Reactions to life, for better or worse, are worth talking about with them. Oh how many times I've been the one learning in those conversations.====JACK:  You were fortunate enough to see the Bible (Isaiah 11:6) come alive at your dinner table.  " In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all."  There's an old saying, "I do not know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future."  ...God, of course!  But, also little children like yours. ====LBP:  I was listening to the NPR Politics Podcast about the inauguration and was struck by remarks from attendees that were interviewed. The feeling of "I feel safe now" and the woman who had said the way liberals are feeling right now, is how she's felt for 8 years and now the country is on a better course.  With all the fears people have stated with President Trump coming into office, there was a large group opposed to President Obama ... and I guess fearful... perhaps for 8 years.  Fear is such a strong emotion. It's such a hard one to counter too. Somehow I never equated Obama with fear. Maybe that shows my political leaning. But the more I can try to see the other side the better I hope I can do with bridges.====JACK:  I think that it's possible to build a bridge over a wall...not easy, but possible.====LBP:  Don't know. Could be easier than over a chasm. At least you can climb the wall brick by brick.

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Think positive and say prayers! πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ====JACK:  Too many Godly people are acting as though God is on vacation.  There are times when my "faith" needs a kick in the pants.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Yes!!! Watch episode "Lemons" of "Black-ish." So well done! Episode 12 Season 3. No matter how you voted, it will make you think. It actually made me feel better. ====JACK:  There was a time when Martin Luther was in a dour mood.  His wife came into the room, dressed in black (mourning clothes).  "Why are you dressed like that?" he said.  "Well, you've been acting like God is dead," she replied.  Sometimes we need someone to help us see the BIG picture.

FROM CZB IN THE BRANITE STATE:  I'm good with making America great as long as we consider making it great for everyone! I'm off to the women's march in Boston with 100,000 of my sisters!  The Boston Women’s March will gather peacefully to show the world that we stand for dignity, equal rights and freedom from discrimination for all.  Ps - read a very interesting book for my book club- Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. He's got some interesting views on the Bible and man's story on earth. Can't say I agree with it but good for discussion! Have you read it?====JACK:  Before we cross over the bridge we have to know that we are going to be meeting peacefully.  A commitment to non-violence is what made the Civil Rights marches successful.  PS...No, I haven't read Ishmael, but I think that people would be more understanding of Muslims if they knew the story of him.====CZB:  Hoping and believing this march will be peaceful. I'm not going in protest of Trump. He is our president now and I truly hope our country succeeds nationally and globally with him in charge. But in listening to campaign rhetoric I want to peacefully be a part of a large voice saying we must care for all people. Struggled with this.  Re: Ishmael. He is a gorilla. Yep. The whole book is a Socratic dialogue between a gorilla and the narrator. Also going to a talk in a week called ask a Muslim anything. Should be interesting.  Aren't I lucky to be able to do these things?====JACK:  I didn't know that Hagar gave birth to a gorilla.

FROM JB IN MICHIGAN:  Well said…my hope is that we come together and stop all the hate.   Have a good weekend my friend.====JACK:  In ancient times animosity was ended with a handshake (showing that no weapons were being carried).  In some instances a kiss of peace was substituted for the handshake.  In today's hostile climate we'd better be satisfied with the handshake.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  The problem with bridges is that people stand on each side and invite the other side to "come on over." I'd rather meet at a cross road where there are options a place both parties can agree to go.====JACK:  The problem, as I see it, is not bridges or crossroads, it's obstinate people who are unwilling to make the first move.  Conflict will not be resolved until someone is willing to reach out to the person on the other side.  Today people just seem to be standing there, glaring at each other and yelling insults.====CHESTER:  I agree with you 100 percent. "The other side is unwilling to talk." I wish God would do a little refereeing.====JACK:  I think that the first penalty would be for unnecessary roughness.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  I always liked that song and appreciate your giving the Reagan history for make America great. You always find the positive.====JACK:  The new President certainly wants to do things differently.  Martin Luther used a German expression which seems applicable after today's speech..."Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It was quite an Inauguration wasn't it?  I'd like to think positively about his remarks.  Maybe we should all give him a chance.  I'm willing.  How about you?====JACK:  I only saw some news segments.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I like Mark Shields and David Brooks a lot--they are journalists who are on PBS Newshour. David Brooks is the conservative one and he had some really penetrating things to say tonight. President Trump has really appealed to a large segment of our citizenry and I believe it's conservatives like Brooks and others who have a solid sense of history who will form a bridge with liberals and pull us through. Maybe it's a polyanna hope people can understand the history of our country and this can unify folks not just expecting folks to be unified over the needs of a program desired by both sides or something. My hat's off to former Presidents Carter and Bush and both Clintons and Bidens and Obamas for being at the inauguration--they seem to understand history very well. In church, I always think we should be unified by our theology and not by our outreach programs, just saying for example a sort of parallel. Have a feeling that Trump doesn't understand in a profound way the history of our country.

FROM JT IN MINNESOTA:  Only gets scarier.  Now we are building walls instead of bridges, eliminating people from our communities because they are different, preaching against abortion instead of promoting family planning,  I can go on and on.  I hope this one misinformed and small minded man can be slowed down by saner minds.  And Pence is as scary as Trump,  judgmental and biased.  Course that paragraph makes me sound biased as well.  Suppose I am.====JACK:  I think that most people have an opinion about the new President.  It's hard to be wishy-washy.  And I also agree with you about Pence.

























Thursday, January 19, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/19/17
“God created a world full of many little worlds.”  (Yiddish Proverb)  People often laugh at Yiddish proverbs, but, in reality, most are just common sense wisdom.  Like the one quoted today.  There are so many little worlds out there.  Use a microscope (or a telescope)…creation is endless.  God is everywhere.  Here’s another Yiddish Proverb that I like:  “You may feel lost and alone, but God knows exactly where you are and has a good plan for your life.”    ;-) Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  He sure "has" . . . but truer still, the best is yet to come!!====JACK:  "There's a land (world) that is fairer than day, and by faith we can see it afar...in the sweet by and by."

FROM LH IN MICHIGAN:  My heart really needed that Yiddish proverb reminding me about God’s plan.  Thank you.  That’s what I call a “GMC” -  a God manufactured coincidence.  I made a screen shot of it and put it on my desktop.====JACK:  ....and I thought that GMC was just a car company.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Love those Yiddish proverbs!  We are in worlds within worlds within worlds.  It's unbelievable how big this world is and how tiny they get!====JACK:  A good song...
This world is not my home  I'm just a-passing through
My treasures are laid up  Somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me  From heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home  In this world anymore.

FROM SAINT STEVE:  God is everywhere. Indeed!====JACK:  Don't some people refer to the northwest as "God's Country?"====STEVE:  It does provide some stunning natural scenery where we can't help but take pause. Some large cedar trees remain in protected areas. They're fragrant too. As a youngster I wondered if the cedars of Lebanon were like these in Washington. I always enjoyed working with cedar siding at the jobsite. Jobsites I was on, the electrician was 'sparky', carpenters 'sliver-pickers', sheet metal workers 'tin-benders', and there were a few others. Jesus was a carpenter. I bet he had his share of slivers.  Dad liked the ocean, but not just for the view. I think it had more to do with the sound and feel of the surf and the smell of salt on the breeze. Walking on the beach he'd turn his back to the breeze, tip his head down a little bit, and cup his hands around his pipe as he tried to light it with the Zippo. He had thick hands that never seemed to get cold.  I have Raynauds and envy people, like my wife, that are human toasters. The North Pacific coast is cold and most times of year it's windy and cloudy which keeps the crowds away. It makes sense he'd like it; fewer people and weather that makes a bowl of clam chowder and cup of coffee a bit more inviting. He used the ocean to explain the Gospel too. 'We don't go to the ocean and say, 'There is tension here.', instead we say, 'There is great power here.' In life's tensions sometimes we forget God's strength is available to us.
A bowl of chowder sounds pretty good right now. ;)====JACK:  The sea might be in the genes.  You may, or may not, know that your great grandfather was a builder of sailboats and came from some islands in the sea between Sweden and Finland.  He also crafted  violins and hand-made shoes for people with deformed feet and other foot problems.  I would not be surprised that you are able to handle tools, because of something inherited.  Life is amazing.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/18/17
“Chionophile…a lover of cold weather.  A person who finds joy and peace of mind in snowy days.”  (Sent by Lauren in WA)  The Urban Dictionary lists a snowbird as an elderly Yankee who flies to a warmer climate to avoid the cold and snow.  They drive 10 mph, wear speedos on the beach and line up for the early bird specials.  But, there are also Yoopers who love winter and who delight to take a sauna and then run out and roll in the snow.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  ...and there are those more-frequent Minnesotans, more than many want to admit, who always complain of the cold and bitter days, always asking themselves why they stay here, but will never, never move away?! 0;-)====JACK:  ...and then there are some who always brag about how far below zero the temperature is.  What's been the lowest temp in Willmar this year? ====REV:  It's the "wind chill" factor that is really felt and becomes burning bitter on one's face. When 5-10 degrees below 0 and the sun is shinning-- not really a problem as a warm house, car or building is in immediate walking distances. Add a gusty NW wind, then its 20-30 below and a whole different effect develops on the body, especially our our faces. I had a 10 minute graveside committal last week with no hat, as it would have blown off while needing two hands on the book, and my eyes were tearing, nose felt burnt and my breath was shortened getting back to my car. 0;-/ ====JACK:  A friend of mine was a pastor in Canada.  The funeral director in the community did not do winter burials.  He stored the bodies in his home, sitting them in chairs and sofas until spring.  His wife eventually divorced him, because she did not like to have the bodies in the house.====REV:  That one is hard to imagine . . . a funeral home in the caskets, but not someone's private home?! Reminds of the ol' country western song-- "Prop Me Up By The Jukebox When I die!"

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I like the Winter....up to a point.    If it knows enough to just take one fourth of the year...it's allotted time.....when it gets greedy and demands extra time, I get fed up with it.====JACK:  For me, Feb 2, Groundhog Day, starts winter's downward slide.

FROM PASTY PAT:  I'm clearly a disgrace to my Finnish/Yooper heritage --- I hate the cold and always have.====JACK:  I guess, then, that you've never tried a sauna and a roll in the snow. ====PAT:  Both but separate!

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  this is me! (i?)====JACK:  Which one?  Rolling in the snow or driving 10 mph?====LIZ:  neither. i don't roll in it, but i love every flake of it!====JACK:  Do you have a walk or a driveway to shovel?====LIZ:  my driveway is over a block long... deep in the woods here. we only hire guy w/truck to plow for 6" plus.

FROM MY LAWYER:  I fall into the first category.  But my speedo is an XL!!!====JACK:  I can just picture it now!

FROM DAN THE SAUSAGE MAN:  Once again,  your timing is impeccable.  My wife & I are in Arizona for a week. Tomorrow we are spending with Jeff & Barb, who are snowbirds.  BTW, Arlove is a Yooper who grew up taking weekly saunas.====JACK:  I remember only one sauna...in the basement of a Calumet parsonage.  No rolling in the snow.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Thanks for the smile; there are also some of us that enjoy the “first” snow or a “big” snow but have less patience for the grey and dirty stuff that lingers for days and weeks and months to follow.  What do we call ourselves?====JACK:  Sometime snow is a lot like life.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I think it also means "cold and flu sufferer"!  πŸ˜€. Just kidding!  Even though we are usually snowbirds (staying at home this year because we are moving Feb 10 to our new house) but we don't drive 20 miles an hour.  However, I do like be the snow!!!....JACK:  Don't forget to pack your snow shovel when you move.

FROM INDY GENIE:  Love the snow...love the winter ...and winter to me means cold temperatures, wind and snow for at LEAST 2 months, 3 months even better:) Not happening for me this year(yet:) ====JACK:  That probably comes from the years you spent in Hurley.

FROM U of M BM: You can call Margie and me "snowbirds", but I don't have any speedos

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/17/17
“You didn’t pick me.  I picked you.”  (P.J. Fleck)  P.J. used these words when speaking to the Univ. of Minnesota football team.  They hadn’t chosen him as their coach, but he had chosen to be their leader.  These “good words” were originally spoken by Jesus to those on his “team”, the disciples, who would be responsible for spreading the news of God’s love for people.  You have to feel energized when the leader says, “I picked you, and I’m counting on you.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  I wonder if the Disciples called Jesus "Coach."====JACK:  Some Green Bay Packer fans still consider Coach Vince Lombardi to be...God.

 FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  Jack, very appropriate, as we read in epiphany of our Lord Calling some disciples!====JACK:  I wish that some congregations would realize that their relationship with a synod and the larger Church is like being part of a team.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/16/17
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”  (Gandhi)  MLK Jr called Gandhi, “The greatest Christian in the modern world.”  We often make the mistake of equating “Christian” with being a member of a church.  Jesus said that you will know them by how they express love for society’s oppressed.  A recent survey, using church growth/decline as the yardstick, might have come up with a different result if the pollsters had used the measure suggested by Jesus.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I wonder if Gandhi believed in Jesus as his savior?!?====JACK:  Is someone a Christian who says that Jesus is his Savior, but doesn't show love for the oppressed?

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i think you are correct, & spirituality is coming back into vogue. ====JACK:  What is spirituality, from  your point of view?====LIZ:  believing in a power greater than oneself, & striving to be a good person, whatever that means to the individual.  no church, doctrine required, necessarily.====JACK:  The Church helped sort out spirituality for me, to understand the background of "religion" and to learn a system of values.  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/13/17
“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to live with the ordinary.”  (Jim Rohn)  How did an Idaho potato farm boy become a famous motivational speaker?  For Rohn, it was taking a risk to leave the farm, to meet new people and to move to California.  Look at the twists and turns of your life, the people you’ve met, the opportunities that came your way, the risks you were willing to take.  Don’t fear change.  We are the choices we make!     ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  Thanks. Lots of change ahead for me and my immediate family in the next 6 mos. maybe I'll put this one on the fridge.  An interesting podcast to check out that's sorta related: Hidden Brain -- "getting unstuck" it's about using design thinking on life.====JACK:  Planned, or unplanned, change always happens.  Successful people are those you are able and willing to adapt.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I would find a more meaningful life as a potato farmer than as a motivational speaker.====JACK:  Would you call a preacher, a motivational speaker?====JOHN:  No.  Of course, there is some of that involved but if that is all he is, I would say they are not what they should be.====JACK:  A bishop met with a congregation's call committee to hear what they wanted in a new pastor.  He told me that they wanted "St. Paul on roller skates."  We once turned our parking lot into a roller skating area for our youth group.  Recently someone gave me a picture, taken at that time, showing me on skates wearing skinny jeans.

FROM TARMART REV:  Much more comfortable now looking back at God's Helping Hand thanwalking through the changes before, pondering at times about it being really a God-thing or my own?!====JACK:  Bowling could have been your Godly-calling, too.   Have you heard of the Holy Bowlers?  Bowling was once a religious rite, almost like a sacrament.  Martin Luther is said to have determined the number of pins used in the game.  Variations of bowling go back at least 7000 years. Monks played the game in monasteries.  Churches often kept a pin on display, representing sin or the devil.  The bowler would aim at "evil" and try to knock it down.====REV:  If my memory serves me correctly, the game originated with 9 pins and the tenth was added when 9-pin bowling was outlawed because of widespread gambling becoming prevalent within the sport. 10 years enjoying the sport from out on the lanes to working behind the counter in Wichita, KS and Springfield, MO gave me a great about of experience working with the common and hard-working folk of our world. I'm still trying hard to keep my eyes "on the ball" and "out of the gutter"!!====JACK:  When you were "into" bowling, was there ever gambling, or beer-frames, or stuff like that?  Did you ever use body-English?   ===REV:  Beer frames where turned into "Coke frames" when on me . . . I did participate in the "gambling" as several of us would put $1.00 ino a pot and the high score for the evening won the pot . . . for me fortunately I won my share throughout the season that I didn't look at it so much as gambling as I did gaining experience when a little pressure was added. There were time I would bowl one on one with another bowler, say, 3 games total $10 or $20. It certainly was a "confident builder". 
In those days during the summer there were a number of what was called "Ragtime Doubles' Tournaments" with an entry of $10 per a team of two, paying back an entry fee 1 out of 8 entries and with the top three spots going with something like $300.00 for 1st, $200 for 2nd and $100 for 3rd. Along with this there were bigger single tournaments around the Midwest with higher entries and lager payoffs. A couple years during the summer months, while in the 11th and 12th grades, I pocketed between $1000.00 and $1500.00. Maybe you might like to read a little about my "good ol' days"?====JACK:  lager payoffs?  Did you mean to write lager?  Budweiser Lager Beer?====REV:  I always seem to get into a hurry and not check my spelling as thorough as I should. One of the reasons I didn't pursue the bowling, as far as in the professional sense, was due to having to explain that "Pastor Paul is away this Sunday at the Budweiser Open Bowling /tournament!" 0;-/

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/12/17
“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”  (Dr. Seuss)  Theodore Geisel died in 1991, but I’m still learning from Dr. Seuss…like, “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”  Or, “Don’t cry because it’s over.  Smile because it happened.”  Or, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.”  What memorable sayings do you have from Dr. Seuss?    ;-)  Jack

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Is this an allusion to the Obama era!?====JACK:  It could be.  Time will tell.  Sometimes we live so close to "history" that we don't appreciate it.

FROM MP IN MICHIGAN:  A line from the movie "Cat in the Hat": "Go have no fun somewhere else"====JACK:  In the beginning the writings of Geisel were not appreciated, so he began signing his work: Dr, Seuss.  Everyone doesn't have the same "funny bone."

FROM TARMART REV:  Not from the good doctor, but "Cheer up, things could be worse!" And they were.====JACK:  I choose to live on the "sunny side" of the street.  Things appear much brighter there.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  One of my favorite themes of Dr. Seuss was The Sneeches.  Some had "stars on thars" (stars on their bellies).  The book showed how quickly we can let small differences become matters of animosity and put-downs or, in other words, a matter of superiority.  I have done a sermon series based on "O, the Places You'll Go" which has been a favorite graduation gift book to many a high school grad, too.  Blessings to you this day!====JACK:  It's been said of those who magnify small differences..."They major in minors."

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  one fish, two fish  red fish, blue fish  the first book i recall reading. dr seuss was brilliant!====JACK:  I discovered the good doctor later in life.  Robert Louis Stevenson wrote for my childhood.

FROM KANSAN DON:  I have a Seuss book on my shelf:  “You’re Only Old Once!” — given to my Dad on his 90th birthday (1995) by one of my confirmands in Bemidji.====JACK:  Books have the magical power to turn us into children again.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  There are no memorable sayings that I remember. What I do remember is reading all of his books over and over again. My memories are of LaJolla,CA where his museum is now located.  Shirley Peterson and I went to La Jolla by train in the summer of 1946.  How beautiful it was and still is. We were visiting a friend of mine who had married the Marine recruiter in Moline after the war.  It was all great fun.  Also in Safety Harbor, a little town near Tampa, there is a little art venue which has had a Dr, Seuss exhibit pretty often. Thanks for the memories.====JACK:  Through the magic of Google, I plan to visit that California museum...and maybe Safety Harbor, too.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/11/17
“You can only wear one pair of pants at a time.”  (Charles F. Feeney)  C.F. Feeney grew up during the Great Depression and learned the difference between a want and a need.  He doesn’t own a car.  He rents an apartment.  He was a billionaire, but has given away most of his fortune.  He wants to die “broke.”  Warren Buffett calls him, “My hero!”  When TV ads try to tell us that a want is a need, click on, MUTE!  Learn from Chuck…Every want is not a need!      ;-)  Jack  

FROM TRIHARDER:  You can only dance at one wedding at a time.  Mine:  you can't ride two horses with one tuchas.====JACK:  I'll bet there's a Yiddish term for just about everything.

FROM TARMART REV:  I "needed" to be reminded of that this morning!!====JACK:  Have you heard the story of Kagawa (Google him), the Japanese Christian?  He could never keep a shirt on his back, because he always seemed to find someone who needed it more than he did.

FROM TL IN MICHIGAN:  So good today!  Thank you!====JACK:  I suppose you've heard the saying: "There are no pockets in a shroud."

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  good words today, Jack.  thanks!   separating our needs from our greeds is a very important lesson to learn in life.====JACK:  Pastors can be subject to avarice, too.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Sounds to me like he has a great guilt complex.====JACK:  If that's the case, more people need a complex like that...because most of us seem to have a non-guilt complex when it comes to the inequality of wealth.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Boy, that's the truth.  We actually have very few needs but the wants are long lists!!!====JACK:  Jesus said, "Where your heart is, there is your treasure."


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/10/17
“There’s not a day goes by when I don’t get up and say thank you to somebody.”  (Rod Stewart)  For lyrics, I like Rod singing, Have I Told You Lately, and for the beat, it’s Maggie May.  Today’s his birthday, and the quote I’ve chosen shows a human side.  He remembers that others have influenced his life.  We probably each owe gratitude to people like that.  Too often, we neglect to say, “Thank you.”  Have I Thanked You could to be the right song.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  "Thank you"====JACK:  Is that singing I hear in Willmar?

FROM QUILTING CAROL: Thank you for getting up so early every morning to begin our day with wise words of wisdom!  You always amaze me with your knowledge of all kinds of music venues, books choices/memories and your wish for us to be good Christians in our daily lives. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!  Praise and Thanksgiving…====JACK:  The pleasure is mine.  Over 500 people receive Winning Words each day, and I have a friendly relationship with almost all of them.  For me, what a great way to begin the day ... by being in contact with friends (like you).

Monday, January 09, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/9/17
“People of deep faith are focused on wearing down hate-filled souls through beautiful acts of love.”  (Peter Marty)   Once, when Tiger Woods won a tournament, a fellow golfer made a racist comment and was widely criticized for it.  Tiger responded: “Everybody makes mistakes.  Let’s move on.”  I’ve told of my sister who, when she has been wronged, will give a plate of home-made cookies to that person at their next meeting.,,with a smile, too.  Ouch!    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Right now the hate filled souls appear to be winning!====JOHN:  As General McAuliffe told the Germans when they demanded surrender at Bastogne..."Nuts!"

FROM TARMART REV:  My kind of sister!!  I've told folks over the years that "holy rollers" were those who wake up on Sunday mornings and roll over to the other side of the bed!!====JACK:  I suppose you know that The Shakers were a religious group known for violent shaking during their prayers.  People also handle poisonous snakes as part of a religious ritual.  I've not seen either of those, but I have seen people roll in the aisles and heard them speak in tongues.  As Pope Francis has said in another context, "Who am I to judge?"

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I only wish I could do the same as Tiger and your sister.====JACK: Is something holding you back?                      

Friday, January 06, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/6/17
“If Jesus had been born to hipsters…”  (Zlati Meyer)  I saw a modern depiction of the Nativity.  Joseph was taking a selfie of him, Mary and Jesus.  Mary was giving the peace sign.  I think that God might approve, especially if the purpose of Christmas was to make us see that he really understands what it is to be human.  There’s a song: “If the Christ should come to me, would I know that it was he?”  God is a master of disguise.  Have you seen him lately?    ;-)  Jack

FROM SUNSHINE:  Joanna and I continue to appreciate your "words" . . . many thanks.
Today's words reminded me of something I wrote last year.

HE WAS SEEN            
poorly dressed
a dark-skinned
bearded foreigner
an Arab
probably Muslim
actually a Jew

in front of Walmart
leading a protest
a rebellious activist
probably a socialist

ranting about
not helping the poor
about our culture of desire
self indulgence
materialism
even capitalism

he was arrested
disturbing the peace

after all it’s the Christmas season
time to get a tree
buy gifts for family and friends
oh and  pocket change for the bell ringers

====JACK:  That's exactly the point that I was trying to make.  Thanks!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Cooll! I think I told you that at a Christmas display of creches from all over the world, there was ONE with Joseph holding the baby, and Mary looking upon them...Had never seen that before, but you know Joseph did hold that baby!  I doubt we'd recognize a modern day Jesus, until he gave us some sign, don't you ?    wonder if he would be "at home" in ANY of our churches?!====JACK:  It would be interesting to see Jesus holding the baby Jesus, but shared care of infants seems to be more of a modern thing...but who knows?

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/5/17
“Praise the Lord! but remember, he can tell the difference between praise and flattery.”  (Ashleigh Brilliant)  Here’s another one from my favorite quoter, Ashleigh.  We’re hearing a lot these days about “fake news.”  There’s also something called, “fake praise.”  In Isaiah, God says, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”  In religion, bigness is not necessarily success.  God isn’t fooled.  He can tell the sheep from the goats.    ;-)  Jack

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  Sometimes in my life I found it easier to Praise God than other times. Now is a good time and I thank God for it.====JACK:  Sometimes we just take things for granted, when, in reality, we should be saying, "Praise the Lord!"

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Ashleigh Brilliant is brilliant!  He is my favorite too.  God knows our heart and he definitely knows the the real us inside and us.  Perfunctory prayers are heard as loudly as the rest!====JACK:  This week there was a news article about which churches are growing and which are not.  I wonder which ones Jesus would attend?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  How devastating to hear the Lord say, "I never knew you"!  We'll keep on serving and praising, hoping our motives and attitude keeps us in the sheepfold!! Ashleigh is usually "spot on", bless him !====JACK:  It just occurred to me...The goats wouldn't be disappointed that Jesus didn't choose them.  They never wanted to be with him anyway.

FROM TARMART REV:  That's a tough one, pure praise vs praise out of respect. Kind of like "I love you" spoken each morning before leaving the house, especially just after an argument of some kind. ====JACK:  Where would we be without the grace of God?  or the grace of a spouse?  Amazing!



Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/4/17
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”  (Charles Dickens)  I read recently that loneliness is as much of a health risk as obesity and smoking.  Holidays seem to make loneliness even worse.  Perhaps you know of someone who could be cheered by a call or a letter.  Why not act on that urge to “get in touch?”  The Blues Brothers or The Stones, I like the song, “Everybody Needs Somebody.”  The tune is catchy; the title is even better.    ;-)  Jack

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  I like that song too, and I  also like the hymn   "When I  needed a neighbour were you there, were you there.  When I needed a neighbour were you there.   And the creed and the colour and the name won't  matter, were you there?"====JACK:  Today, you introduced me to Sydney Carter (When I needed etc).  I'm going to suggest to our pastor that we sing it some Sunday at Holy Spirit.  I was interested to learn, also, that he wrote, "Lord of the Dance," another favorite of mine.====BS:  Lord of the Dance is a big favourite  at weddings these days. ====JACK:  I wonder if Jesus ever danced?====BS:  I think he did, and laughed and sang.  We know he enjoyed friends, fish barbecues on the beach and wine!====JACK:  Do you mean that he was human?

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  song of the day.  i liked both versions of the song!  happy new year!
 ====JACK:  BS in England refers to another song that you might like to hear (and sing)...When I Needed a Neighbour".  YouTube it.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  We all need somebody, sometime, don't we?  I make calls to shutins, and nursing home patients from my church, and they are so glad to see someone and chat for awhile. As one 93 yr. old lady put it, "Everyday's the same here, holiday, or no; If you can't get out, you see the same scenery, the same staff, etc day after day. A card or visit definitely brightens their days ! ====JACK:  Do you ever sing a little song for someone?  I'm sure that they'd like that.  If it were "What a Friend," they'd probably sing along with you.====OAKS:  a 97 yr old man that I take communion to in the nursing home is blind and almost deaf but I found he'll sing along with me on hymns, and he knows them by heart...The Old Rugged Cross, Just as I am, Make me a blessing, etc. So that has been a way to communicate with him! A great old guy, very devout.====JACK:  I remember calling on a very old lady who always wanted me to tell the story of the rich man and Lazarus...time after time after time...and I'd do it.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Great idea.  Will do it today!====JACK:  A card with a handwritten note is something that a "lonely" person can enjoy reading, day after day.  Including a poem or a prayer makes it even more special.====JUDY:  One of my hobbies is making cards.  I love to send homemade cards and sentiments.  Cards can be made to match the person....my sister lives in the U.P. and she loves flowers.  My grandson loves trains.  It's easy to make special cards for friends and family!!!

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Give me Barbra Streisand and "People."====JACK:  Yes, that's a good one, too...although not as bouncy sd the Blues Brothers or Stones.



Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/3/17
“You can change your world by changing your words.”  (Joel Osteen)  “Xenophobia” is the Word of the Year according to Dictionary.com…fear of the unknown, fear of people different from you.  The Word of the Year is meant to capture trends in society.  Denmark’s Word of the Year is “Hygge,” a sense of contentment.  Personally, I’d like to see less xenophobia and more hygge in my world.  Of course, my world and your world start with our attitudes.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Ostensibly (and Freed!) tend to forget that there is a reality out there that impacts us.    Yes, attitude is important but when you are hanging on a cross "hygge" is a tough word to mutter....more appropriate might be "Eli, Eli, Lama sabachthani."====JACK:  Different situations call from different responses...as referenced in Ecclesiastes.  There's a time for "sabachthani" and a time for "hygge."  Both words are hard to say...but their use in a particular situation is the important thing.

FROM JT IN MINNESOTA:  It does take a lot of faith.  I have faith and hope.  And the good men in the right places that God guides and who trust in Him.  Thanks again for the WW====JACK:  There are some times when we question, "Why?"  That's where faith and hope come into the picture, like in the OT, where Job in the midst of suffering that he doesn't understand, says: "Though he slay me, yet will I trust him."  Eventually, it all worked out.

FROM TARMART REV:  Enjoyed reading this morning, especially, "I’d like to see less xenophobia and more hygge in my world" -- My contention exactly!!====JACK:  "Hyyge" has a relation to the word, "Hug," which should be right up your alley.  The world can be changed with more hugging.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Thanks, Jack!!  ( Me, too!)

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  I’m with you… MORE HYGGE!====JACK:  It starts with getting rid of xenophobia.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Always inspirational; thanks!====JACK:  There are times when I wonder how and why my fingers move to certain keys?  In-spiration?

FROM DM IN LIV:  My word for 2017 is Positivity.====JACK:  Are you positive about that?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My word this year is HOPE.  Without it we couldn't go on with any kind of optimistic attitude. And it is hard to be optimistic right now!  Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever, but our world sure is not!  Hygge would be most welcome!====JACK:  Another good word is...patience.  God's concept of time is not the same as our's.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  "Hygge"....love it!  We all need to find more Hygge in our lives.  It's a good time of year to start working on it!====JACK:   Danes love it when things Danish are mentioned.  Like---Danish Pastry!

Monday, January 02, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 1/2/17
“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.”  (Andrew Carnegie)  I wonder if Carnegie every made New Year’s resolutions?  Part of his success had to do with setting goals and working to achieve them.  I came across this acronym for being successful with resolutions…S-M-A-R-T.  S-be Specific!  M-make it Measurable.  A-be sure it’s Attainable.  R-be Realistic.  T-set a Time.    ;-)    Jack

FROM TL IN MICHIGAN:  A great quote you selected, Jack.  Happy New Year !  Thank you for your ministry of WW.  We on the receiving end have little conception of what you put into the daily inspirations.   They start my day, and are often shared.  What may I do for you?====JACK:  What may you do?  A cup of coffee at Bosco's would be nice.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  "A vision without a plan is just a dream"  Joel Baker====JACK;  Dreams and plans are just dreams and plans, until they are followed by action.  I once preached a sermon..."Wake Up To Reality!"

FROM TARMART REV:  Happy New Year, Jack . . . Here we are again for little further ride down here on earth!! Enjoying your company--====JACK:  What kind of ride?  Roller Coaster?  Merry-Go-Round?  Loop-the-Loop?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Using goals to motivate is a goal itself.  Everyday I set a goal for myself.  Sometimes on painful days when I can't even hold a book, I'll set a little goal...and when I'm feeling great, I'll tackle the big things. Works for me!====JACK:  There are different kinds of pain.  That was expressed in the movie, Field of  Dreams.  It has a famous line..."Ease his pain."  The pain of separation, of misunderstanding, is painful, too.  But in the end, pain is a pain.  I'm sure that you can attest to that.====JUDY:  I know pain, definitely a few different kinds.  But pain in the body is not half as hard as pain in the heart.  I'm sure you know what I mean by that, being a person and a pastor.  Physical pain is nothing compared to mental pain.  God bless you for bringing joy and the Word to people as a chaplain and pastor and through your Winning Words.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Good way to start the year. Have a Happy!====JACK:  Carnegie's name was on the front of the library that many of used in Moline.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  A LOFTY goal, indeed! I  remember my father-in-law taking his course, "How to win friends and influence People" many years ago. He was president of the school board, and of Rotary in Peoria at the time, tho he  only had an 8th grade education, he was a life-long learner.  Mr. Carnegie was a wise and certainly philanthropic person! Good words to consider; I'll remember S-M-A-R-T!====JACK:  Dale and Andrew are sometimes mixed up.  Andrew was the philanthropist who gave money to many communities to establish a library.  Dale is famous for conducting seminars, teaching people (especially salesmen) "How to Win Friends and Influence People."  Both Carnegies did good work, each in his own way.  Do you remember the Carnegie Library in Moline?

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I still write my goals every year.====JACK:  Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur.