Friday, March 31, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/31/17
“Some days I wish I could go back in life, not to change anything, but to feel a few things twice.”  (Unknown)  I recently closed a door and saw my old clergy robe hanging on a hook.  I had some good times wearing that robe--sermons, baptisms, confirmations, weddings, even funerals.  Refrigerator magnets hold memories, too.  Do you have “memory joggers” around your place?  Thank God today for a mind that allows us to feel some things…twice.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM RI IN BOSTON:  What a novel idea!  I think there were some events in my life which I didn't recognize at the time as being so special.  Would be nice to relive them.  Alas, things just don't work that way.  As they say, "this isn't a dress rehearsal".  We have to settle for getting it right the first time.====JACK:  Thomas Wolfe wrote, "You Can't Go Home Again," but, thanks to "memory," we can re-feel them.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I would love to see you in your robes....preaching a sermon.   I bet you are still up to it!====JACK:  When I was ordained, I wore a black robe, similar to what Martin Luther wore.  A few of the "high church" classmates wore a cassock and surplice.  Eventually I packed the Luther Gown away (I still have it) and bought a c & s.  Some years later the style changed again, and I bought the robe which now hangs on the door.  I think it's called, an alb (with a rope belt).  In reality, it's not the robe that matters, it's what the robe represents...a symbol of one who is ordained to preach the word and administer the sacraments.====JOHN:  I wore a c and s right from the beginning.   It was what Con Trued told me to get.   I didn't know it was associated with The high church movement.   Did you know Glenn Stone?   I think he was about your age.   He was a leader in that Una Sancta movement.   He published a couple of my articles in Lutheran Forum.    That magazine has, I think, been on a bit of a downhill run.   I am reading a biography of Innocent III....interesting about high powered!       Have a great weekend.   Peace====JACK:  The Luther robe was typical wear for the Augustana pastors, pre-1950s.  Things were more casual then.  When I was a college freshman, my pastor asked me to do the liturgy each Sunday.  He had me wear his doctor's robe (with the velvet stripes).  He also had me wear a stole.====JOHN:  Do you think the high church direction by our church was a good thing or did it contribute to the present malaise by elevating our supposed dignity to the point where pastors felt too. Good to do trivial things around a congregation?====JACK:  As Pope Francis said in another context, "Who am I to judge?"  Let the high-churchers do their thing....and the Shakers....and the Quakers....and the Swedes.====JOHN:  How can one live w/o judging?   You have to judge what course of action works best.   You do that, in part, by looking at what has worked well in the past and what has not.====JACK:  Putting the Pope's words into context...Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli asked the pope how he might act as a confessor to a gay person in light of his now famous remarks in a press conference in 2013, when he asked: "Who am I to judge?"  His reply..."On that occasion I said this: If a person is gay and seeks out the Lord and is willing, who am I to judge that person?" Further... "I was paraphrasing by heart the Catechism of the Catholic Church where it says that these people should be treated with delicacy and not be marginalized."

FROM TARMART REV:  "Jack’s Winning Words" certainly keeps fond memories of West Bloomfield, the Jewish community and Temple Kol Ami in the forefront of my mind during this season of my life.====JACK:  I "feel again" that time when you came into my office and talked about starting a new ministry in our community.  It evolved, probably not as you had dreamed it would, but our dreams are sometimes improved on by in this case.

FROM COPPER COUNTRY BOB:  If  God has a frig your picture is on it!====JACK:  I don't know about the frig, but I trust that my name is written in God's Book of Life.

FROM EMT SINGS IN TC:  Memory joggers?  I have a million of them!  I have always kept pictures, scrapbooks, etc.  I have pictures of you--the most recent was at the 40th anniversary of Holy Spirit, on Sunday October 10, 2010.  It is a cute picture of Rick and I with you in the middle.  I love my "memory joggers"!====JACK:  Memory kicks in for me every time I pass the Aspen Ridge condos...was it Breckenridge?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Ah yes! To go back and savor how special some of these moment really were! At the time you are so engrossed in all the details, things race by, and so do the years; But as you say, my fridge door is loaded with  "memories" and many, many pictures and items of sentimental value surround me, and that does jog special times and places. I've been privileged to travel throughout the world much more than I ever dreamed of, as a child!! Good WW!====JACK:  My grandson gave me a football helmet, exactly like the Augie ones, only 6" in size.  I remember "your" Bill being Little All-American while I was at Augustana.  A memory jogger...

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There are memories nearly everywhere you look:  from photos, paintings, folded flags, candlesticks, wedding toppers and of course, scrapbooks!====JACK:  Speaking of memories, do you have a working privy on your estate yet?

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN:  Thank you for today’s WW.  I would love to relive my wedding day, and yes, some special funerals.  I don’t know if you realize what your WW have meant to me over the years.  I read them all and keep some of them that I want (and need to remember.)  Today’s ends up being in the middle of page six.  God bless you.====JACK:  We often thank God for the gift of memory.  I can't remember thanking God for the gift of emotions.  That's special, too.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/30/17
“Life is a lot like jazz.  It’s best when you improvise.”  (George Gershwin)  Did you know that some of Gershwin’s music is based on what he heard at the synagogue?  But a lot is simply improvisation.  Bach, Mozart and Chopin were improvisers, too--just doing what comes to mind.  In comedy, I think of Jonathan Winters and Robin Williams.  Sometimes, in life, we are called upon to act without warning.  That’s when common sense and a value system come into play.    ;-)  Jack  

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/29/17
“Part of making good decisions in business is recognizing the poor decisions you’ve made and why they were poor.”  (Warren Buffet)  In some way I have believed that everything W.B. touches turns to gold.  Not so!  I read a series of articles about the investing blunders Buffet has made.  I guess it’s true about humans…”All have sinned and fallen short.”  Warren’s like the rest of us.  The secret of success (in any situation) is learning from your mistakes.    ;-)  Jack

FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  Do you think we should send him the "updated" Optimist creed of "Learning from the mistakes of the past"?  mmm.====JACK:  First, Optimist International has to buy into the change.  Iffy!

FROM TARMART REV:  "...we are definitely a work in the process.====JACK:  Have you seen the new gender compliant sign?...DANGER!  PEOPLE WORKING.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  As Ruth Graham said, "We are all "under construction" until the day we die: On her gravestone, at the foot of a garden-shaped like a cross, are the words,, "End of Construction. Thank you for your patience!". I loved it, as I'm sure most do... ;IF we don't learn from our poor decisions, we are doomed to continue dealing with endless negative situations.  We've probably all known a few people who don't seem to "learn"! Frustrating!====JACK:  That reminds me of the person wearing a tag...PBPGINFWMY.  When asked what it meant, the person replied.
"Please be patient; God is not finished with me yet."

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Warren B is not afraid to TRY.  No pain,no gain.====JACK:  I'm sure that you took some risks in the business world.  Hopefully, there were more successes than failures.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We'd like to think the rich have the Golden Touch but they don't.  They go through the poor phase also.  The difference is they never give up on their dreams...blunders and all.====JACK:  I've always liked the story of King Midas.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/28/17
“When you own a lot of rubbish, it’s tough to simplify your life.”  (Leon Logothetis)  Not long ago, I was told of L.L., the author of The Amazing Adventures of A Nobody.  Leon tells of how he simplified his life by getting rid of “stuff” and replacing it with new life experiences.  He decided to ride around the world on his yellow motorbike, seeking examples of kindness.   He’s living the Dr. Seuss quote: “O the places you’ll go, and the people you’ll meet.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  Funny how minimalism is the new "in" thing. I've been following this blog for a couple of years. I didn't get through the "2015 in 2015" but I made a good go at it. Have you heard that a new thing for Lent is donating one item (or one bag!) per day for 40 days? She also advocates decluttering schedules not just spaces.  I also like the mantra of Gretchen Rubin "outer order for inner calm" (her blog is here:, but I follow her podcast "Happier")
====JACK:  Last year I tried that "giving up 40 things."  It started out easy, but got harder and harder, until I quit before reaching 40.  Life's a lot like that in a variety of ways.

FROM GOOD SAM LEE:  The key words here as I see it, is seeking examples of kindness (compassion) Sometimes it is  hard for some of us to see this in this un-compassionate world that we live in today)  Many are focusing on ourselves for survival and keeping what we got. (not giving back)    WWJD (What would Jesus do?)====JACK:  It should be an inspiration (and a challenge) to belong to a church named, Good Samaritan.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It was very inspiring to watch his program.  We are always trying to get rid of stuff and trying do hard to simplify.  Kindness is always on our agenda.====JACK:  To me, the challenge would be to start off on a journey with nothing and relying on the kindness of others to be able to live.  The Bible speaks of the disciples of Jesus going off in such a way.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Owning "a lot of rubbish" well I know about that!  When a person ages, it becomes clear that most of the "stuff" we accumulated was really of little value.  Mostly it distracted us from what would have been so much more significant, to ourselves and to others.  I think I'll do like Leon and look for some new life experiences.====JACK:  (Pause) while I look around this room where I sit.  The "rubbish" includes...a braid of Jeanne's hair from when she was in grade school...a picture of my father in his baseball uniform...a carving of Luther...a billy club...a 1954 license exercise ball.  Lots of precious junk that I'm not yet ready to part with.  ====RI:  If I looked around the room and listed the "rubbish" that could be disposed of, I think my computer would have a melt-down.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/27/17
“Of the five most important things in life, health is first, knowledge is second, and wealth is third.  I forget the other two.”  (Chuck Berry)  I checked out some lists of things that people consider most important in life.  As expected, it depends on the person.  Some, agreed with C.B., and had Health as #1.  Others named, Friends, Family, Faith in God, Love.  What’s your #1?  In a way, life is like a machine.  There’s no #1.   When things work together, life is good.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I like your final two sentences.====JACK:  I'm turned off by fans screaming, "We're number one, we're number one."====JOHN:  And usually, they are really only No. 536... They are simply better than the other woeful team they just beat!====JACK:  I take it that you don't have one of those "WE'RE #1" foam rubber hands with the index finger sticking up 

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Faith in Jesus Christ is most important to me.====JACK:  I like Joshua's words to the people: "Choose this day who you will serve....As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."  You and Joshua are on the same page.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  I believe most people put health first or second, yet some of our best hymn-writers, who wrote to encourage faith inside of themselves as well as inside others, would have put faith first, even though they had all sorts of physical health problems.  They are a blessing to me in my darkest days!  Thanks for the thought-provoking words, Jack!====JACK:  I've often thought that it would be good to give a brief background of some of the hymns before we sing them in church.  We often take them for granted.====SJ:  I have actually used hymn backgrounds for "sermons" on Hymn Days, usually one Sunday a month in the summertime.  I collect people's favorites/suggestions, do the research, tell the story of the hymn and then we sing the hymn, or several verses.  Usually I do three songs as the message for the day.  It is a lot of fun.  The Swedish woman in my last congregation was thrilled to have the whole congregation know that "How Great Thou Art" is Swedish.  She even taught the first verse in her native language to the choir for Hymn Day.

FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA:  Love. Always love.====JACK:  I like the Burt Bacharach version of "What the world needs now is love.====DONNA:  Love that song!  How about the Beatles "All You Need is Love"====JACK:  That's one of my favorites, too.

FROM KANSAN DON:  Not the Jayhawks today.====JACK:  After March Madness is over, the losing teams will say..."Wait til next year."

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Knowledge and wealth don’t hit the top 5 for me.  Integrity?  Contentment? Peace? Faith?====JACK:  As the old saying goes..."We are who we were."  I think that goes for Chuck Berry and explains, in part, his choices.  His was not an easy life.

FROM WATERFORD ANNE:  One is most peaceful when God is first.====JACK:  The greatest of the Commandments is the first...

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  the gods of this world are power, pleasure, profit, prestige, and popularity...====JACK:  Don't forget priggishness.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/24/17
“Whenever I complain that things aren’t what they used to be, I always forget to include myself.”  (George Burns)  George Burns died when he was 100.  How appropriate for one who’s 2nd career was comedy about growing old.  A signature song of his was, “I Wish I Was Eighteen  Again!”  Ahh…the younger days.  What are your memories of back then?  But times change, and we have to change with them.  Life is a matter of adjusting to whatever comes.    ;-)  Jack

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/23/17
“There are moments in life when you miss someone so much that you just want to pick them from your dreams and hug them for real.”  (Charlie Brown)  When I was a child I recall sitting on the front porch with my dad who was telling me of the things he did when he was young.  I remember saying, “Tell me more!”  Do you ever wish that you could go back and pick up where you left off?  One of life’s great gifts is the ability to remember--and re-live.    ;-)  Jack

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  Love that story.   Happy Resurrection.  Heard one clergy say..too many Christians look like Lent, when they should be looking like Easter.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/22/17
“A good laugh is sunshine in the house.”  (William Makepeace Thackery)  I smile when I read Thackery’s name, but I really laugh when I see Chuck Berry do the duckwalk…and Monty Python’s skit on silly walks.  The Giggle Twins, separated at birth, were reunited 43 years later.  The same things made both of them laugh…in the same way.  This world, at times, can be a pretty doleful place.  What is it that brings a smile, even a laugh, into your life?    ;-)  Jack

FROM GOOD SAM LEE:  Watching puppies or kittens play with one another😊====JACK:  I smile when I remember your toddler daughter (I think it was Angela) scooting around on the church office floor when I was the serving as pastor of your church.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/21/17
“Well, write poetry for God’s sake, it’s the only thing that matters.”  (e.e. cummings)  Did you know that today is World Poetry Day?  One of my favorite poems is The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.  I recall seeing him read one of his works at the JFK inauguration.  Some business schools require students to take a course in art appreciation.  What do you suppose is the value in that? There’s a reason why the arts are called the humanities.  Do you know why?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TRIHARDER:  e e cummings wrote very visual poetry -- literally visual. Describing a falling leaf, in a phrase that looked like a leaf.====JACK:  I thought that I could come up with a quick answer as to why e.e. cummings used lower case letters for his name.  The more I read about him, the more I understood the "why".  Sometimes he did; sometimes he didn't.  He was a unique person.  He did as he felt like doing when he felt like doing it.  I would never have found this out about him if it weren't for World Poetry Day.  BTW< E.E. stands for Edward Estlin.  I'll bet you didn't know that. ====TH:  I studied him in 11th grade English; then, again in college. So, I may not have come up with it on time to get it right on Jeopardy, at one time, I knew. And now, because of you, again.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  One of the best classes I ever took was " Humanities." It was an introduction to art, music, and literature. It was suppose to be a filler do nothing class to complete class work on my doctorate degree in education. This LA class turned out to be one of the best and most fun classes I ever had.====JACK:  Don't forget!  The humanities also include philosophy, the study of thinking.  One of my favorite quotes is by June Taylor.  "Though man a thinking being is defined, Few use the grand prerogative of mind. How few think justly of the thinking few! How many never think, who think they do!"

FROM TARMART REV:  The humanities include ancient and modern languages, literature, philosophy, religion, art and musicology. ... The term "humanist" also describes the philosophical position of humanism, which some "antihumanist" scholars in the humanities refuse. The Renaissance scholars and artists were also called humanists.  I went to the Michigan Renaissance one year while living there-- interesting to see the "humanist" in individuals played out during the festival. --Poor example. I know, 0;-)====JACK:  One of my philosophy classes which benefited me as a pastor was the study of various religions, of which Christianity was just one.  Humanism was another.  "By accident," I was born into Christianity (and Lutheranism).  Through my studies, I'm comfortable with that...but I'm also comfortable with friends who may not believe as I believe.  I believe that "my" God is an understanding God.

FROM DR SCIENCE (HE'S NOT A REAL DOCTOR):  My best science students were also somehow involved in the arts. They could see the details in biology that others missed. I used to say “others looked at things, but my art students saw things”. The literature students seemed to have more creative solutions to problems. They were not as confined by the answers they thought I wanted. They were a lot more fun to have in class.====JACK:  While science is not considered to be part of the humanities, scientists are human and do their thinking as humans.

FROM DAN THE MAN:  The big part of my concern with education policy is that there is very little room for other disciplines outside of subjects that are the focused on state requirements and standardized testing, which is centered on college preparatory subjects. There is very little flexibility in the schedule for young people to explore skilled trades, arts, and foreign languages.  It is my basic belief that there should be more career preparedness options in a high school student’s career than college preparedness, especially when you consider only one-third of future jobs will require a bachelor’s degree.====JACK:  I believe that "skilled trades" people are human, too, and it is to their benefit to know what it is that makes them human.  I think that a "welder" would be a better welder if he/she knew what makes for a better human.  Is there some way to shoehorn a basic humanities course into your educational curriculum for the non-college student?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  My favorite course in college was Humanities.  We were required to attend plays, symphonies, art museums, etc etc.  My children's schools had Picture Ladies, of which I was as one.  We got copies of art from the Detroit Art Museum.  We studied the artist and the medium and presented the works to the children free in Kindergarten to 8th grade.  We loved it and so did the kids.  Studying humanities is so important.====JACK:  How does the thinking arise that only the elite are able to appreciate the humanities?  And yet, when funds are short, the first classes to be cut are usually the arts.====JUDY:  Supposedly the tri-counties pay taxes do everyone can enjoy the Art Institude.  It seems to me a lot more people's have taken advantage too.  But I do agree the schools cut the arts out as the first thing for budget cuts.  That's a big shame too!!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Poetry seems more abstract now, than it did when I was growing up, and teaching literature. I suppose we've all tried our hand at it, if only to paraphrase a song for a special occasion, or deliver an "ode" to a loved one. Bill was pretty good at that!  I don't know a specific reason why arts are called humanities, but would it have something to do with feelings and moods and feeding of the soul, that art inspires?  Robert Frost, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, etc. etc. all so appreciated!====JACK:  You don't have to be a poet, an artist, a musician to appreciate the humanities.  You only need to be human.  Although I have read about an elephant that enjoys painting.  People pay good money for some of his work.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  He's a poet  and doesn't know it.  But his feet show it.  They are Longfellows.      Remember, God is creative. And the humanities all come from creativity
====JACK:  I see that you appreciate the classics when it comes to poetry.  But since you are also trained in art, you know about creativity.  I appreciate creative people.

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  why?   now you have made me curious...====JACK:  "Put on your thinking cap," as elementary teachers used to say.  (I wonder if teachers say that anymore?)  The humanities are those things that add to the condition of being human...the study of languages, art, philosophy, music, history, literature, dance.  Part of today's social problems is that too many people skipped class when it came to the humanities.  They don't know what it is to be human.

FROM CS VISITING IN CALIFORNIA:  Well, it certainly has softened my opinion of George bush--interesting article about his painting in the New York Times .  As you probably know, there is a book out about his paintings.  Some well known critics are surprised about the humanity in them.  He has had  some excellent painters coaching him.  I think it was in yesterday's Nyt.  I saved it and will send it when I get to a wifi location.====JACK:  That's it!  The humanities help us to understand human beings.  George is more than an ex-President; he's a human being.  I especially see it, because he is painting...and I love painting.  There's a human side to him.  I like this song...and it's melody.
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It's the only thing that there's just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
No not just for some but for everyone.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/20/17
“Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.”  (Victor Hugo)  One thing leads to another.  I expected to make comments on aging when I read, “Winter is on my head…”  But then I came across, “Winter Is On My Head,” a group of musicians and artists who offer a yearly album of music and art to be used as a fund-raiser for needy causes.  One album featured gospel music by The Gospel Whiskey Runners.  I’ll leave an aging quote to later in the week.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM COPPER COUNTRY BOB:  Last night Deloris and I attended a  Music For Sacred Space  concert put on by Mich. Tech. U.   It was a wonderful part of my 2017 Lenten journey.   One of the songs which fertilized my soul was   LAY ME LOW   by Kevin Siegfried.     You might Google the text to experience the  truth of God laying me low to “find, own and bless me.”====JACK:  I did go to Google...and I was able to hear, as well as read, the lyrics  of the song.
Lay me low, lay me low, lay me low
Where no-one can see me  Where no-one can find me  Where no-one can hurt me  
Show me the way, help me to say  All that I need to  
All that I needed you gave me  All that I wanted you made me
When I stumbled you saved me  Lay me low...
Throw me a line, help me to find  Something to cling to  
When the loneliness haunts me  When the bitterness taunts me  
When the emptiness eats me.  Lay me low...
It does have a Lenten theme about it, doesn't it?

FROM VW MARY:  Word association made me think of a my high school chorus whose repertoire included this verse from a madrigal:
April is in my mistress’ face  And July in her eyes hath place;
Within her bosom is September,  But in her heart a cold December.
====JACK:  Brrrrr!  Cold December!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Loved the quote.  "Hope springs eternal" on my head and in my heart." ====JACK:  That quote by Alexander Pope goes back to the 1700s.  Hope means that you haven't given up.  A father arrived late for T-ball game and asked his son what the score was.  "It's 18 to nothing and we're losing."  "Well, don't feel bad," consoled the father.  The boy responded enthusiastically, "Feel bad?  I don't feel bad.  We haven't been to bat, yet!"  Hope springs eternal!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Good thing we keep eternal Spring SOMEWHERE, isn't it? If winter comes, can Spring be far behind? I hope not! Yes, we always need to keep hoping, even when Winter is on our heads. It enriches our lives...JACK:  What?  No comment on the Gospel Whiskey Road Runners?  Since they sing Gospel music, I wonder if they're members of some Baptist church?

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  There are Summer who won't Fall for that. Sorry about that, Couldn't resist.====JACK:  It's Spring...time for you to wet your plants!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  That is the good thing about living in Florida-it is mostly summer or spring all year long. Speaking of aging, I was feeling like 49 until I got a coughing bug  that lasted for a month or more.  Now I am almost normal after 10 days of an antibiotic. It is a marvelous world in which we life-one day at a time.====JACK:  Since you live in, what seems to be paradise, does that mean there will be no changing of seasons in heaven?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/17/17
“Did you see NYT article regarding what the Pope said about giving to panhandlers?  He wants us to look them in the face, share a kind word and…not judge them or decide if they “merit” our help."  (BB in Illinois)  Have you ever pulled up to a city intersection and seen someone standing there with a sign, “I Need Help”?  The light usually changes before I can get to my wallet.  A Winning Words reader keeps an envelope of money handy for such occasions.  Yes, some may be undeserving, but we’re encouraged to see panhandlers as people.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Right-On!!====JACK:  Are there any panhandlers in Bettendorf?

FROM LS IN NYC:  A timely message - in NYC babysitting my grandson.  Walking we noted a homeless veteran siting with his small dog.  What drew my attention were 2 Young teen age girls nicely dressed  engaged in conversation with him.  Perhaps they heard the Pope's message. ====JACK:  Wouldn't it have been interesting to hear "the rest of story."  To talk to the veteran about his experiences?  To talk to the girls about why they stopped to talk with the man?  There are so many interesting situations out there with stories waiting to be told.

FROM CZB:  So many homeless on the corners in Denver. I spoke to a woman who runs an innovative business there called So All May Eat. They serve delicious dignified meals to all. The patron gives what they can. If someone has no $ they volunteer for the biz. I asked her whether to give $ to the beggars. She suggested giving food instead. So we tried to have nutritious food in our car. Having said that, bill says who am I to tell them how to spend $? He preferred to give them $$.
Here is the info on SAME.  Such an awesome organization! ====JACK:  Weren't you the one who would make an extra lunch sandwich and hand it to "beggar" as you walked to work each day?  Wasn't that in NYC?  BTW, I think that the Pope might side with Bill.

FROM TARMART REV:  Ours usually call the church while passing through . . . I have a card given me by the DQ in town that will treat a panhandler to a free meal. I must admit, seeing so many of them in Minneapolis with what I'm told by others living there of "self-designated rights" to certain corners, I'm not moved that much anymore to participate. 0;-/====JACK:  While you're sitting there at Target, do you ever ever offer to buy a meal (or a bag of popcorn) for someone who stops to talk?

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Our church assembles bags of helpful items and we can pick them up and carry for distribution on those very occasions.====JACK:  Does anyone from the church actually hand over to the needy the bags that have been assembled?  It would be a good (and perhaps unsettling) to look them in the eye and see them as real persons.  I'm musing this for myself, as well. ====MARLYS:  They carry the bags in the car and when they get a chance they hand them out.  The SS kids assembled the bags and they are placed in a box in the Narthex for anyone to pick up to give away.  I remember Clifford going down to the bus station in MPLS where he would actually buy a bus ticket for someone who had called for a handout.  He was a real soft touch tho.  
FROM JACK:  JLF asked about the origin of "panhandle."====ANSWER:  Meaning "an act of begging" is attested from 1849, perhaps from notion of arm stuck out like a panhandle, or of one who handles a (beggar's) pan."

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/16/17
“Every gain made by individuals or societies is almost instantly taken for granted.”  (Aldous Huxley)  Let’s see….a Top Ten List of things I take for granted…Nature, Power, People who care, Health, Mind, Food, Clean water, Freedom, Senses, Protectors.  There are more.  Maybe your list would be different.  There’s discussion these days about giving up some things we take for granted, because of cost.  Few people like to see gains turned into losses.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  The problem is that they affect us differently. Those of us who are older and economically secure (we think) don't care that the losses will be by we jut go ahead and vote for them. That, historically, almost always amounts to losses for everyone. WE are too short sided to see that.====JACK:  It's a common failing not to see our neighbor's predicament as our predicament.  That's why only the Good Samaritan stopped to help the wounded man by the side of the road, while members of the establishment passed him by.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  Wow!  You hit the nail on the head with this one.  I keep a journal each night at bedtime wherein I give thanks for ten things each day.  Sometimes those items are "leftovers", "a warm bed", "clean water" and other such prosaic things that I am reminded of by a gracious God for which to be thankful.  The tenth item is always a thank you to God for some quality, characteristic, or action of the Spirit. Journaling helps me to be more aware and grateful.====JAN:  I admire you for having the discipline of saying "thank you" every day.  Most of us just go blithely (I like the sound of that word) on on way taking "life" for granted.  I glad for Rachel Carson and her book, Silent Spring.  Birds, bees and butterflies are more important than we realize.

FROM TARMART REV:  "Few people like to see gains turned into losses" . . . seems to be the ongoing controversies before us in today's health care and troubled immigrants coming to America from their home country's war-faring experiences-- our nation's amounting debt in covering the expense of both challenges in being all-inclusive as possible and with the affordability of taxation to the public for paying for it all. Easier to pray about it than to fix it!?!?====JACK:  I've quoted it before.  "I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day."  As a follow-up, "I'd rather see someone work with God to put their prayers into action...than hear their prayers any day."  Many people complain about taxes, but few of them want give up the things that taxes pay for.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Great quote. I have not read Huxley in decades and it makes me think I should read him again.====JACK:  I wonder how many of us became acquainted with Huxley by way of assigned reading?  It was that way for me.  "Huxley was a humanist, pacifist, and satirist. He later became interested in spiritual subjects such as parapsychology and philosophical mysticism, in particular universalism. By the end of his life, Huxley was widely acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent intellectuals of his time. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in seven different years."

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  Huh.  ... something to think about ... those things we forget to think about ...====JACK:  We are bombarded with so much new information each day that we seldom take the time to reflect on yesterday and the day(s) before.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  As R.L. Stevenson said in his bio, "Keep your eyes open to your mercies. The one who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life."  If we are thinking at all we are thankful for some things, even on a bad day ! I am thankful that well into my eighties, I can be in my cozy little bungalow with all the amenities needed, and able to drive my car, & know the love of family and close friends. Eyesight, hearing, we have a plethora of mercies!  One feels guilty to think of all the world's people who have such terrible circumstances, so we do what we can to alleviate the suffering in our little corner of the world!====JACK:  Illness plagued RLS most of his life, but he found that imagination was one way to deal with it.  His poem, "The Land of Counterpane" showed one way.  BTW, do you know what a counterpane is?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/15/17
“How dreary this world would be if there were no Santa Claus.”  (Unknown)  Santa Claus was born in Turkey on this day in 280.  Santa Claus is a contraction of the name, St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, who is remembered for his kindnesses toward the poor, especially children.  The dreariness of the world can sometime be oppressive.  Let the spirit of St. Nicholas be an inspiration to do something for the poor and needy.  What are some examples?    ;-)  Jack

FROM GOOD SAM LEE:  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm     The transportation of Scrooge   to a giving individual???    Give back!!!! (Especially if you are able)====JACK:  Jesus commended he poor widow's gift.  Everyone is able, even if it's only a helping hand or a kind word.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  good message!====JACK:  Who would have guessed that Santa Claus would come from Turkey?

FROM TARMART REV:  A smile, affirmation they are well thought of and loved by God Himself and sharing your presence in their life as they walk past you while perched on the hightop table inside Subway at the rail and by the entrance of Walmart!!====JACK:  You can't always tell who are the poor and needy by their looks, can you?  Sometimes lack of money is not the real measure of who are the poor and needy.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I had no idea he was born in 280!  There is a program on Netflix about this fellow who decided to go around the world on a motorcycle with a side car.  He planned to live on people's kindness for food, gas and a place to sleep.  In turn, if he found very kind people, he would help them out.  It's a wonderful program that my grandson Noah found and loves.  I don't remember the title but it has the word "kindness" in the title.====JACK:  He's Leon Logothetis, and his book is The Kindness Diaries which describes his quest to "ignite good will and kindness around the world."  I've got to learn more about him.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Virginia probably said that.====JACK:  Her name was Virginia O'Hanlon.   I think that she was Swedish.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Our church picks us 10-18 children from unstable and dysfunctional homes on Sundays for church and S.S., giving them breakfast. They are taken on many field trips such as local parks for picnics and swimming, the pumpkin patch, corn maze, historical sites, the circus, State fair, youth retreats and concerts, etc. We have a big Christmas party for them, where members take a name to buy needed items and wished-for games, etc. I'm sure it has widened their world, and made them feel someone really cares about them!  Birthdays are always remembered, as well.  St. Nick lives on...====JACK:  "Suffer the little children to come..."  I think that most people would not understand "suffer" used in this context.  But they would understand "suffer" as it relates to living in unstable and dysfunctional homes.  Santa Claus can be a church, too.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/14/17
“Every burden is a blessing.”  (Walt Kelly)  NBC News closes its broadcast with a segment, Inspiring America.  Recently, the story was of an 8th grader who was born with one arm and has become an outstanding basketball player.  In an interview, he said, “You are who you are, and you can’t change that.”  That goes for all of us.  My mother-in-law would say to her children, “Just do your best!”  Good advice!:  Do your best…whatever the circumstances!    ;-)  Jack

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Do your best and god will do the rest! That is one of postings on my bulletin board!====JACK:  I saw this quote which seems to relate..."Pray as if it's up to God.  Work as if it's up to you."

FROM SHALOM JAN:  A retired pastor from Baltimore, Dr. Wolfe, filled in at my childhood church in Arlington, VA for quite a while.  He was the first to stand on the chancel step and speak to the children in the congregation.  Several times he said, "Do your best!  Angels can do no better!"  That has stayed with me when I struggled with classwork and in other endeavors even to today.....JACK:
One of the first words I learned in the study of Greek was ἄγγελος (angelos), someone who serves God.  An angel is someone who does their best to serve God.  I know some people like that.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  You know the words..."somebody said, oh you'll never do that, but he with a chuckle replied, that even if he couldn't, he wouldn't say so till he tried."  Even then you don't give up.  You try...try...again!====JACK:  Did you know that W.E. Hickson, a 19th century English educator wrote the words..."'Tis a lesson you should heed:  Try, try, try again.  If at first you don't succeed,  Try, try, try again"?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Guidepost magazine often brings stories of people who have "survived" and made their lives count, like the young basketball player. Reader'sDigest this month has the story of a young woman, an avid and skilled skier who, through a bus accident was badly burned over 96% of her body, given a 1-1,000 chance to survive, and beat the odds, and is skiing the most challenging courses again, in spite of some permanent disability.  These people's stories surely do inspire, and cause us to evaluate what WE'RE doing with our own abilities!!  Our burdens often bring out the best is us, as we "cope'.====JACK:  Maybe a good prayer would be:  "Dear Lord, help me learn to cope."  I wonder if that was the prayer of Jesus on the cross when he prayer..."Into thy hands I commend my spirit."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Red Skelton would always say "Goodnight and God Bless"!  He could have added "Do your best" into the middle of his statement.====JACK:  ...or, "do your best and God will bless."  His original closing was, "So until next week I'll say good health, good life, and may God bless. Goodnight."

FROM A FRIEND:  Walt Kelly’s quotation is an especially well-timed reminder this week of negotiating.  Thank you.====JACK:  Negotiate...Finding as way over, through, around an obstacle or a difficulty.  I like the hymn, "Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me."

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  good words, Jack, thanks.   Garrison Keillor used to end one of his shows with:  Keep in touch,  do good work, and one other admonition which I can't recall right now:):)====JACK:  The line I always liked was, "Well, that's the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average."

Monday, March 13, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/13/17
“It’s just a journey I’m on, discovering what my connection to and relationship with God is.”  (Sam Worthington)  Perhaps you’ve experienced certain events in your life that have brought you closer to God.  For actor, S.W., it was during the filming of The Shack.  A church member told me that when he was in the hospital, Jesus appeared at the foot of his bed and said that everything was going to be OK.  Be on the lookout for the omnipresent God!    ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  The kids theme for lent is "journey to the cross" because lent is our time to discover "how much we need God's love".  I take my lesson plans from another source. But I'm happy to borrow that perspective.====JACK:  One of my seminary professors wrote a book of Church history for children called, Little Journeys in His Kingdom.  It's a great book for adults, as well.  When I find it (it's a little red book) in my library, I'll let you know.

FROM LS IN MICHIGAN:  I have heard stories to this effect only instead of Jesus appearing it was an Angel that appeared.====JACK:  There are several stories in the Bible where an angel of God appeared to someone.

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  Our family motto, coined by my wife Judy, and now on our tombstone is: "It's all part of the great adventure."    That thought has gotten us through difficult and joyous times....and it was the theme for the sermon at her funeral. Indeed, Judy  was a wise woman. ====JACK:  You were the wise one.  You picked her.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I love both the book and the movie of THE SHACK, especially the dialogue between WISDOM and the grieving father, dealing with Judgement! Seeing and empathizing with God's "impossible" task of condemning one of his beloved children to Hell from the viewpoint of choosing which of your own children will go to Heaven or Hell was powerful!  And the idea that sometimes God is a nurturing, loving mother, sometimes a counselor, or Guide and loving father, depending on your need, is depicted so well in that book!  Some very traditional religious folks don't seem to "get it", but it is a gold mine to those who do...  I have experienced the presence of God, not in a figure, but being enfolded in an overpowering love, and once, hearing an actual voice of encouragement and care during intense prayer.====JACK:  Since I've only read part of the book (I didn't "get" into it) and have not seen the movie, I can only take the word of others that it's a spiritual experience.  And, I'll go with that.  I also agree that God can provide answers in prayer.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Many things can bring us closer to a God but a few real hardships seem to be the overwhelming times to push us ever closer.====JACK:  Job's story in the O.T. is a good example of that.  "Though he slay me, yet will I trust him."====JUDY:  Job is truly the Bible book that I know I could never live up to but I love his deep faith.====JACK:  "Could never live up...?"  What do you think Jesus meant when he said, "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect"?

FROM QUILTING CAROL IN WISCONSIN:  We have a Crosstalk session between our worship services on Sunday morning – many different topics are chosen during the year for discussion or to inform us of community issues.  Our leader who happens to be a physician asks us to share any “God sightings” we might have had during the week.  It is always interesting to hear what members share.  I’ll send you some pictures of what could have been a God sighting for me had I been with Michael and his boys recently.====JACK:  God sightings!  I like it.  I also liked the pictures you sent.  I had an aunt who would always say, "Keep your eyes peeled," when she wanted us to especially look for something.  I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for a "God sighting" today...or tomorrow.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/10/17
“Music has charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.”  (William Cosgrove)  I’ve mentioned before that I sometimes listen to “Mozart for the Mind” when I’m writing Winning Words.  I also enjoy Bach and Beethoven.  Just for fun, I like Buck Owens’ “I Got a Tiger By the Tail.”  I saw a poster:  “It was a good day when God thought up music.”  A friend of mine has this license plate..."GOD ROX.”  What charms you?    ;-)  Jack

FROM LS IN MICHIGAN:  Music for sure inspires me!    I luv elevator music along with the other's of course😊 (Old Time Rock and Roll 60's along with Jazz)====JACK:  I've never heard Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll" while riding in an elevator, but it's one of my favorite songs.

FROM TARMART REV:  Southern Gospel, four part harmony . . . listening most of any day and singing the fifth part sometimes to help them all out!!!====JACK:  In another life, you might have been a member of the Hee Haw Gospel Quartet.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  I love Taize music.  And Reggae!====JACK:  You don't seem to have that reggae look.

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  I like the phrase,  he who sings prays twice.    I also found another good quote for you, Jack.   it reads:  Kindness is a language the deaf can always hear and the blind can always see.====JACK:  I've always appreciated hearing good singers.  George Beverly Shea was a favorite of mine.  I sometimes pull him up on YouTube.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/9/17
“Many problems in life are caused because we act without thinking or because we think without acting.”  (Unknown)  Have you ever written a computer message to someone, hit “Send”, and immediately regretted doing so?  ThinkThink!  Even worse is to choose to do something without thinking of the consequences.  StupidStupid!  On the other hand, there are times for immediate action.  Luther once said, “How soon, not now, becomes never!”    ;-)  Jack

FROM SHALOM JAN:  "How soon not now becomes never."  No commas necessary, nor present, in this quote.  Glad to see it used today!!  I was on the phone last night till 12:30 a.m. with a man I'm helping to mentor into seminary (he lives in another time zone so it was only 11:30 for him).  He has puttered around with these ideas for years and there are now three wise women urging him that NOW is the time to act!  One of those women is on the candidacy committee of his synod of residence, so, in a way, he should already know he's an acceptable candidate or she wouldn't have been spending her time consulting with him.  Thanks, Jack, not just for today but for every day of your "Winning Words"!====JACK:  Someone recently re-translated Luther's "How soon not now..." for me, using
these words: "You snooze, you lose."

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I think that happens way too often when we are in our cars on the street. ====JACK:  Not only inattentive driving, but inattentive living, too.  "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."

FROM TARMART REV:  I tangle at times with being in a hurry to reply to someone's request and having spell-check helping by applying its interpretation of my misspelled word . . . wishing I had taken an extra moment to check what I had said again before realizing what I just inappropriately "sent"!====JACK:  Slow me down, Lord... Let me take time to "smell the roses," to appreciate all this world has to offer.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  One thing I have learned is to write angry responses in draft mode and put them away for a day to settle. Often they never get sent. Unfortunately the written word can never convey inflection or facial reaction and is also more easily misinterpreted. Older, wiser means don't react, let things settle and have a clearer view at another time. Good lesson today!!!!====JACK: I don't TWEET, either.  It's too much "spur of the moment" thinking.  In fact, I often pause before I write a response to a Winning Words response.  I try to be sensitive the other person's feelings (most of the time).====RJP:  How come you aren't  sensitive to mine???????? You seem to have great pleasure in giving me the occasional jab........ Oh well if you can't jab your friends who can you jab?????====JACK:  You're a target too big to miss.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Such wise advice! As Michel de Montaigne observed, "We can be knowledgeable with another person's knowledge, but we cannot be wise with another person's wisdom"...!  We have to monitor our own thoughts and actions, and often experience makes us wiser in that regard !  Good Luther quote I had gleaned from your blog before, and used with my S.S. lesson! Keep the  WW coming!====JACK:  Knowledge and wisdom are "a different breed of cat."  See if your Bible Study group knows that expression.  And, don't forget Paula Poundstone.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/8/17
“A joyful life is an individual creation that cannot be copied from a recipe.”  (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)  Mihaly Whatizname is a real person, a former professor at the University of Chicago.  He’s known for his study of happiness and positive psychology.  “People are happiest when completely absorbed in what they’re doing.”  …like someone in a jazz combo  …like a scientist in his lab.  Is there some task that completely absorbs you, that gives you joy?    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  life must be pretty darned bad for most people or why would we be barraged w/all the "be happy" tips everywhere we turn? "life sucks, & then you die" perhaps is more accurate than we care to admit...====JACK:  Your response caused me to look up "Why people are unhappy."  A list started with these three, and it seemed to make sense. 1) We worry..about a lot of things.  2) We feel that there is so much that we can't control.  3) We continue to hold grudges. ====LIZ:  i worry non-stop... exhausting!====JACK:  Sometimes songs, like "Don't Worry, be Happy," don't seem to cut it.  (pause)  I decided to look up the composer of that song, Bob Marley, and saw that he lived with cancer for four years before his death.  I can see how someone in his situation might write such a song.  It is said that he tried to connect a  spiritual meaning with his songs.  How about taking "cuteness" out of that song and making it a kind of "hymn?"  Don't worry, be happy, because God is always with you...good times and bad.  Marley's final words to his son were: "Money can't buy life."

FROM STARRY KNIGHT:  Singing and Music. I'm going home later this mirth for (my mom's) Birthday 💗 i miss home.====JACK:  One of my favorite lines from The Wizard of Oz is:  "There's no place like home, there's no place like home."  There's so much good in that movie!

FROM TARMART REV:  When I awake every morning!!====JACK:  An old song that I like
starts with these words..."Roll out of bed in the morning with a great big smile and a good, good morning.  Get up with a grin.  There's a new day a-tumbl-in' in."

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Many things I do completely absorb me....which probably has helped me to have a fulfilling life.....preaching....teaching....woodworking....gardening....reading....writing.....TV tends to bore me so my mind rests during those times.....====JACK:  I suppose that works with listening to some sermons...and political speeches, too.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Working with the poor and homeless tend to give you an insight into why some are beset with anxiety and unhappiness!  Completely absorbed in trying to survive!  I love to get absorbed in a really good book, or bridge game, or music concert, and loving family gatherings! . Because my life has been so blessed, I tend to be optimistic and happy, but of course "into each life some rain must fall", so thankful for a faith that sees me through....I'm wondering who was brave enough to become MRS. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi! Quite a moniker!====JACK:  Beethoven was one of those self-absorbed obsessive people.  I enjoy his music, but I didn't know...he counted out 60 coffee beans (exactly!) each morning for his cup of coffee, and developed his compositions through walking and obsessive bathing. 

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA:  So true!  Even though I really miss making artwork that serves others, I’m happy every day because our technology and methods (Teamability) can serve millions, and we are making more progress than ever towards that goal. In January, the global accounting/auditing/management consulting firm Ernst & Young (previously our biggest client) began selling pilot Teamability projects to its own clients. And yesterday we began a working relationship with the MLB San Francisco Giants organization.  Interestingly, Mihaly C’s comment is fully aligned with concepts that underlie what we are doing. The word ‘creation’ is of particular significance because, in order to be healthy and happy, one needs to be continually adapting and adjusting to changing perceptions, situations, and relationships. That’s an act of creation, and it has infinite possibilities. So, where personality tests (Myers Briggs, DISC, etc.) usually identify 16 different personality types, the online Teamability exercise captures variations numbering in excess of 10 to the 40th power! It then aligns a person’s desire to team with (to serve) one of 10 different fundamental team needs. This mode of teaming, called ‘Role', is further influenced by other measured qualities, called Coherence and Teaming Characteristics.  So indeed…there are many guiding principles, but no fixed recipe!====JACK:  It's interesting that you now have an actual team, the SF Giants buying into your team concept.  The Univ of Michigan's football coach, Jim Harbaugh, is an innovative person.  Maybe he'd be interested in hearing about teamability, or maybe it could be part of an academic course for athletes.  You never know.  

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  With my wife still ill – work around our apartment, like cleaning, doing the wash and ironing!====JACK:  ",,,in sickness and in health."

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I know a Medical Dr. that has had conferences on “laughing”!  He is affectionately called “The Laugh Dr.”  He passes out smiles.  It is so true!  Laughter is good for the soul!====JACK:  People are often identifiable by their laughs.  Clem had a great laugh.  He and I really shared some laughable experiences when I was in St. Paul.  Even now, as I think back, I smile as I remember those and he singing a duet in a service that I conducted in an old people's home.

FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  Singing, gardening====JACK:  Here's a song to sing while you work in your garden...
"Inch by inch
Row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground
Inch by inch
Row by row
Someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below
Til the rain comes tumbling down" 

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Does completely absorbed is an ice cream Sundae count?====JACK:  Did you know that ice cream concoction that you wrote about was originally called, an "Ice Cream Sunday."  The city of Evanston, Illinois, outlawed its sale on Sundays, so those who were selling them simply changed the spelling of Sunday to Sundae, and it became legal.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/7/17
“I’m thankful for the 3-ounce Ziploc bag, so that I have someplace to put my savings.”  (Paula Poundstone)  I once had a piggy bank with only a slot as an opening.  I learned to stick a knife in the slot when I ran short of money.  I read of a man who has 401K money deducted from his paycheck.  “My hands never touch it, because, if they did, I’d find other uses for it.”  Good choices today can make for a better tomorrow.  You don’t want to outlive your money.    ;-)  Jack

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  I bought my great grandson a bank that looks like a safe and has a combination. Every time he visits we put money in the bank, then when it is heavy we have him use the combination to open it take out the coins, roll them and we go to the big bank. There the kind ass't mgr takes his hand and walks to the teller to deposit the money. Then she takes him into the vault to assure him it will be safe for his future. We have started a lovely tradition and he looks forward to putting his money in the bank. He will turn 4 this month and I pray that the account will help him in life.====JACK:  Pretty soon you can begin teaching him about compound interest.====RJP:  First someone has to teach me??????????????????????====JACK:  I learned that in high school.  You went to high school, didn't you?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Perhaps we should all learn to live on our actual paychecks.  I don't know where we would be without our savings...including our 401k.====JACK:  One of Ben Franklin's best known pieces of advice..."A penny saved is a penny earned."

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I am by nature fiscally conservative...tight.   ML likes to spend.  We compromised by having our savings deducted from our checks and put in untouchable accounts.   Worked well.====JACK:  I've read that on any list of causes for divorce a significant one is "How to handle money."  It seems that you've reached an agreement on that.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  HA! FUNNY WOMAN!  Savings sure do not net interest these days, and probably most of us fear  a costly debilitating illness that will wipe out what poor savings we have!  I suppose that is why Mark Twain expressed that he'd choose a 1,000 friends over $1,000....In a crisis, each friend should be worth at least a buck, to help when needed!  My son keeps me on a budget (in a nice way) to help me not to dip into back up funds. Good idea. Thankful to be able to live comfortably and have some to share...====JACK:  It would be interesting for you to ask your Bible Study Group: "How many of you have heard of Paula Poundstone?"  Let me know the percentage. ====OAKS:  MOST WOULD KNOW SHE IS A COMEDIENNE (SHE'S BEEN AROUND ABOUT 40 YRS HASN'T SHE?) BUT DON'T IMAGINE MOST HAVE TAKEN IN HER SHOW. I'VE ONLY SEEN HER ON TV...

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  amen to that!!    I read recently that for almost 65% of Americans,  Social Security will be their PRIMARY source of income upon retirement.  and the average monthly SS check is less than $1300.  this is why you now see 80 years olds working at Walmart and Costco, etc.   not a good sign of things to come.====JACK:  The widening gap between rich and poor is evident among retirees, too.  I remember the days of the Great Depression when there wasn't Social Security, either...and the criticism of FDR when he proposed it.====ST PAUL:  i like to remind people that nearly ALL our progressive social legislation,  SS,  VA benefits,  Medicare,  Medicaid, OHSA,   railroad worker's pensions, etc.  all came from Democratic Administrations.  and now the GOP want to take it all away!!   yikes.

FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  I love piggy banks: )   Still have a few actives ones. When I was young I had quite a collection - really nice ones handed out by the banks where we did business.  I knew how to break into all of them - and yes, I knew the knife trick :)  I still have money stashed around for things like trips, Christmas, emergencies........====JACK:  Curiosity got the better of me.  I had to find out why banks are shaped like pigs.  "Pygg is an orange colored clay commonly used during the Middle Ages as a cheap material for pots to store money, called pygg pots or pygg jars. There is dispute as to whether "pygg" was simply a dialectal variant of "pig." By the 18th century, the term "pig jar" had evolved to "pig bank". As earthenware was supplanted by other materials, such as glass, plaster, and plastic, the name gradually began to refer specifically to the shape of the bank, instead of what was used to make it."

Monday, March 06, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/6/17
“Warren Buffet has always said the measure (of success) is whether the people closest to you are happy and love you.”  (Bill Gates)  The TV ad says that you might win $7000 a week for life.  Have you thought of winning that prize?  Rich men, Buffett and Gates, say that money is a poor measure of success.  Warren once took Bill for lunch at McDonald’s and paid the bill using coupons.  Friends do goofy things like that.  What’s your measure of success?    ;-)  Jack

  FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  Our adult study yesterday had the topic of 'money.' One of the first questions was what does success look like. The group in the room all were 60+ (execpt me leading it) and their answers were all 'it's changed a lot over the years.' A question later was what does 'enough' look like.====JACK:  Even churches fall into the trap of equating success with measurables...the number of members...the giving level.  Here's an interesting idea.  At pledge time...Instead of just asking members for a  pledged amount of money for the next year, ask for a pledge of getting a new member for the church during the year (preferably a non-churched person).

FROM TARMART REV:  "Spending time with Jack on those rare occasions at Panera's in West Bloomfield, Michigan!!"====JACK:  It's being willing to pick up the tab without remembering (or caring) who did it last time.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  True, true.====JACK:  Yes...but how did you measure success when you were running your business?  And, how did you measure success on the basketball court? ====GEORGE:  The balance sheet, new friends, employee attitude.====JACK:  I can see how that translates to basketball...the standing, the teammates and the team spirit (pos or neg).

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  This morning I was notified of the death of a longtime friend.  I got to know him when we were in graduate school together.  He was Scottish, with a charm and good humor that was enviable.  When we were in the UK we stayed at his home in his village in Scotland, and he stayed with us when he traveled here.  Once we went to lunch together and he ordered more than he could eat, so he asked if I would like to take some of it.  As a Scotsman he was frugal.  Then true to his heritage he expected me to pay for part of his meal.  As you said, "friends do goofy things like that."  I'm not sure what my measure of success is...but it isn't how much money you have. ====JACK:  Taking home someone's half-eaten leftovers is goofy.  Some friends of mine took me out for lunch and secretly told the waitress that it was my birthday (when it wasn't).  As we were finishing lunch the waitresses came to our booth with a lighted birthday cake and singing the birthday song.  Talk about goofy!  (BTW, they did pay for the cake.)

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:   He's right on target.  Money is nothing compared to love of family and friends.====JACK:  In Greek, the word for missing the target is translated, "sin."

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  Happiness with a sense of accomplishment.====JACK:  Added to that is hearing the voice of God saying to you on Judgment Day: "Well done, good and faithful servant.  Enter into the joy of the Lord."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  That was a topic in our SS. class yesterday!  As we've aged, "enough" has become much simpler. Wily Satan (and the TV. newspaper and magazine ads) is always whispering "you need a little more to be really happy" ...but if we can pay our bills, have enough to share some, have food and a roof over our heads, we are blessed! If you can travel a bit, and enjoy some recreational actvities, that is frosting on the cake, but not under the "need" column.  But love of family and friends, and respect of others, and reasonably good health, sure tops the list!  Interesting insight into W. Buffet and B.Gates!====JACK:  I remember, as a teen-ager, when I made my first pledge to the church.  It was $1 per week.  In my ministry we once had a tithe-test Sunday, when each member was encouraged to "tithe" their income for the week.  WOW!  The offering that week was significantly higher.  After the test, it was back to normal.

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  did i ever tell you that Margaret's nephew,  Douglas Anderson, was Buffett's chief legal counsel, for over 20 years.  he just retired in January.  has traveled the world with Warren.  knows him well, obviously, and has only good things to say about him.  among other things,  he is challenging the richest people in the world to give away at least half or more of their wealth.  Doug is a really good man too.====JACK:  In this case, the words from Jesus Christ Superstar can apply to Warren Buffett,,,"He's a man  He's just a man."  But, he's a good man.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Warren Buffet was asked why he bought Union Pacific and replied that his dad wouldn't  buy him a train set when he was a kid.====JACK:  I tend to think that you're into writing fiction.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/3/17
“Life is like a 10-spreed bicycle.  Most of us have gears we never use.”  (Charles Schulz)  An old song says, “You can be better than you are.”  We all have potential…unused abilities.  I’ll never forget a high school teacher who handed a test back to me, saying, “Jack, you can do better than this.”  He was right.  We all can do better!  In school, at work, at home, in relationships.  Is today that day when we begin to use a new gear?  I can do better!  I will do better!    ;-)  Jack

FROM TL IN KEEGO:  Thanks for another great injection of positive change.====JACK:  I try to keep in mind that these are supposed to be Winning Words.

FROM EDUICATOR PAUL:  Sometimes it seems that all the gears are working just great, then all of a sudden one or two gears just don't mesh well. Time for an adjustment before things get worse. ====JACK:  Most of my bike riding has been done on a 1-speed Hawthorne.  In fact, while I've ridden 10-speeds before, I can't remember doing a lot of gear shifting.  Perhaps that says something about my life.====PAUL:  You are a much better shifter than you thought!====JACK:  I tend not to be impulsive.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Was that my Uncle Carl?     Holcomb pushed me gone better.====JACK:  You're right!  That was your Uncle Carl, my chemistry teacher.  I remember him giving this advice:  "Here he lies, calm and placid, he poured water in the acid.  Here he stands, as he oughter.  He poured acid in the water."

FROM TARMART REV:  I'll see if I can get mine out of that proverbial "Granny Gear" today!? ====JACK:  When the mother-in-law grew older, she began to drive more slowly.  Once, as she was waiting for the traffic signal to change, some teen-age boys drove up beside her and  yelled,"Get her in gear, granny."

FROM TRIHARDER:  22 speeds now.====JACK:  Have you heard of the NuVinci, a bike with an infinite number of gears?   Your busy life reminds me of the NuVinci.====TH:  I've heard of infinitely variable gearing on bicycles, kind of like on go-carts.  Not popular because you can't choose your own gear to make pedaling more difficult or less difficult, depending on terrain, wind and strength of rider.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Amen!  I once nearly went over the top of my bike trying all of my gears on my new bike.====JACK:  I never was a serious bike rider. I just wanted to get from point A to point B.  The bike was transportation.  I did have a handlebar accident once.  I was reading the newspaper while riding no-handed.  I crashed into the back of a parked car and went over the handlebars.  No injury.====JUDY:  We had one big blue bike for all 5 of us growing up.  My turn to ride it was every Saturday.  We lived near 8 mile and Harper and my grandpa and grandma lived at 6 mile and Gratiot.  The bike had one gear....if you stopped peddling the bike stopped.  It wasn't an easy ride but I did it.    It wasn't until I was a teenager that I got a Schwinn.  Riding that bike was a breeze until I tried to change gears the first time.    I never could ride no-handed. Only a few kids in the neighborhood.  You were "cool"!

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/2/17
“Work won’t hug you when you’re old.”  (Bob Dotson)  Dotson tells of a man whose work caused him to be away from home for extended periods of time.  While gone, he’d plan “Daddy Days” with his daughter when he got home.  Those were special!  We need to be alert so that in our making a living, we don’t neglect to make a life.  As I recall the old days with my children when we were “younger,” they bring a smile to my face .  Those were the days!    ;-)  Jack

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  When I see young parents with babies or young children, I tell them to enjoy every minute of that age because in a blink of an eye they will be as old as you are.  It happens so quickly and you look at your children being parents and then seeing your grandchildren begin to be the age where they could become parents. YIKES!  Every day is a blessing to be cherished.  Sometimes we lose one of these children and then you truly only have the memories.====JACK:  I've often quoted this poem by Robert Smith...
“The clock of life is wound but once,  And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop  At late or early hour.
The present only is our own,  So live, love, toil with a will,
Place no faith in "Tomorrow,"  For the Clock may then be still.”
====CAROL:  Think I’ll tuck this poem in my special book of quotes that sits next to me each day.  Have some cherished memories in that book.

FOM BLAZING OAKS:  I remember reading a quote about having regrets at the end of life, "No one ever says, 'I wish I had spent more time at the office'..."  Just yesterday Bill Self, coach at Kansas, mentioned how little time he'd gotten to spend with his son, Tyler, a Sr guard on the Kansas team, (who rarely got floor time, cheering from the bench,  and running the scout team,) except for the 5 years he coached him, making the past 5  years the best of his coaching career; He said, "Every parent probably  wishes they could spend more time with their kids growing up, while you're chasing the carrot, and I've chased it. And you can't get that time back. But it's special when you get more time. My time was later in life, when most parents have it earlier. It's not an even trade, but I'll take it!"  His son will always be his favorite "Jayhawk", and was a big favorite of the crowds who came to the games, somewhat like a cult hero:  they'd chant his name to get into the game, and cheer like crazy when he (rarely) did!  And Tyler, who chose to walk-on at Kansas rather than take offers from smaller schools, where he'd play more, obviously was devoted to, and adored his Dad!  It does  take extra planning, when both parents have jobs, etc. but it is worth the effort, and pays life-long dividends in hugs, respect and love! And "grandparenting"...don't get me started!!====JACK:  One of the great things about my job was that I got to be the Confirmation teacher for my children.  With flex-time, I also got to attend most of their sporting events.  

FROM TARMART REV:  Those memories with our children early on are long lasting for sure!! ====JACK:  I'm also appreciating the opportunity to see our children grow into adults.  Memories can be made at any age.  And, let me tell you about my grandchildren......

FROM RJP IN NAPLES: And indeed Children remember when Daddy was away on business and missed a special day or event. I traveled extensively during much of our younger days and my kids still remind me of things I missed. Parenting of younger children is very special and I see my grandson turn down better jobs because he works nights and can be with his children all day before they are ready for school. I see my son now works from 5:30 AM to 3:00 PM so he can pick up his daughter from school and take her to auditions in the afternoon. Those sacrifices bring great rewards when framed in the proper perspective. I can't regret what was past, but can respect what happens today.====JACK:  Each generation has its own way of parenting.  I like what Dr Benjamin Spock
advised parents..."Use common sense!"  You and Chris had a lot of that, and your kids benefitted from that.

FROM CH ON CAPE COD:  I resonate.  Feel so grateful for the year and  a half I had as a stay-at-home Dad when transitioning from MI to MA and then the on-going times, special “Dad-dates” with Joanna and Lydia!====JACK:  As I recall, one of the reasons for moving back east was to have sailing time with your dad, or was it a recalling of those sailing days?  Parent/child quality time spans generations.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:   We loved those days too!  We love when our grandkids are over and the family is together.====JACK:  Now, as you move into your "country estate," it's time to begin making new memories.  #1 - Start digging that outhouse pit out behind the barn.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 3/1/17
“Your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.”  (Unknown)  One of the things I like about Jesus is how he sees value in what some call worthless.  “Come to me, all you who are poor and heavy-laden.”  He’s the shepherd who goes after the black sheep.  He’s the one choosing love over hate.  He was criticized for hanging out with the riff-raff.  In the Bible I read that, at the end of time, there are going to be some surprises.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Happy He has found a place for me . . .====JACK:  Have you ever sung this Sunday School song?
I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart (Where?)
Down in my heart (Where?)
Down in my heart
I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart
Down in my heart to stay
And I'm so happy
So very happy
I have the love of Jesus in my heart (down in my heart)
And I'm so happy
So very happy
I have the love of Jesus in my heart
Subsequent lyrics include:
I've got the peace that passes understanding down in my heart...
I've got the far out faith that freaks out the farmers down in my heart...
I've got the glorious hope of my blessed redeemer way down in the depths of my heart...
I've got the mighty Messiah that manifests miracles down in the depths of my heart...
I've got the far out feeling that freaks out the Pharisees down in the depths of my heart...
I've got the love of Jesus Christ my savior down in my heart...
I've got the wonderful love of my blessed redeemer way down in the depths of my heart...
And if the devil doesn't like it he can sit on a tack, ouch, sit on a tack, ouch, sit on a tack. And if the devil doesn't like it he can sit on a tack. Sit on a tack to stay.
I've got the brightest light in the depths of my heart...
I've got the infinite love of the living lord down in the depths of my heart...
I've got the love of Jesus, love of Jesus down in my heart...
====REV:  Many times in my younger years growing up and during those youth pastor years leading it.====JACK:  We had fun with the "tack" verse.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  This is one of my favorites, ever.  Great thought for Ash Wednesday.
I’ve been enjoying Jesus’ equanimity lately as well.  Reading His words.====JACK: Lent seems different this year.  I don’t know what it is.====BB:  Interesting; perhaps the political climate?  I feel like the ideals of peace and justice are now in such stark contrast to exclusion and bigotry that it is a challenge.  Our pastor remarked that this strained time could be seen in a positive light …as an opportunity to “let our light shine” and that it’s easier to deal with evil out in the open than when cloaked in the shadows.  Hmmmm.

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  I think we will all be surprised since we know virtually nothing of what to expect....the only thing we are told is that the Lord will be there....that's enough for me.====JACK:  One of my favorite Bible verses is...1 Corinthians 2:9...“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man  The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” ====JOHN:  Paul's Wisdom is sometimes overwhelming

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Reminds me of the saying, "Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused".  (I have it framed in my family room!)...but as Eleanor Roosevelt sagely said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission." So heads up, smile, and know you are precious in God's sight, loved with unconditional love, always! ====JACK:  I'm sure you've seen it before...but it seems to fit today.
The Touch of the Master's Hand - Myra Brooks Welch
'Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.
"What am I bid, good people", he cried,
"Who starts the bidding for me?"
"One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?"
"Two dollars, who makes it three?"
"Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,"
But, No,
From the room far back a gray bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said "What now am I bid for this old violin?"
As he held it aloft with its' bow.
"One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?"
"Two thousand, Who makes it three?"
"Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone", said he.
The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
"We just don't understand."
"What changed its' worth?"
Swift came the reply.
"The Touch of the Masters Hand."
"And many a man with life out of tune
All battered and bruised with hardship
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters' Hand.
====OAKS:  I used to sing that in churches...I have a recording of me singing it on tape;, and am amazed in my old age, how good I sounded at one time Now looong ago. ! HA! LOVE THE SONG AND POEM... I still sing in my little church choir...:-)

FROM JT IN MICHIGAN: Good morning, Jack.  The following quote appeared in the Prince of Peace bulletin this past week.  I am copying for myself and thought it is worth sharing                     “To escape the distress caused by regret for the past or fear about the future, this is the rule
to follow:  leave the past to the infinite mercy of God, the future to His good Providence,
give the present wholly to His love by being faithful to His grace.”
Jean-Pierre de Caussade  (spiritual writer, author of Abandonment to Divine Providence)
====JACK:  Lent...a time to focus putting life's cares in God's hands.