Friday, April 28, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 27, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 24, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Friday, April 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 20, 2017

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 17, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, April 14, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 13, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/12/17
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”  (Henry Ford)  Bob Seger could have had flying in mind when he wrote, “Against the Wind,” but in reality he was remembering his days as a x-country runner.  There are people I know who are facing very difficult times.  How do they cope?  Some say that it is their faith that gives them a lift.  Caring friends are important, too.    ;-)  Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  For some, "difficult times" include grieving the loss of a family member.  Faith is the foundation for getting through it, but caring friends are very important.  Their condolence and expressions of personal love for the person who died bring a lot of solace, essentially becoming a member of "the family."====JACK:  Living through the Great Depression and several wars, including  one which claimed the life of a dear friend...These experiences have helped me cope with life as it unfolds daily.  I have experienced the omnipresence of God.====RI:  Your keen perception of so many things, plus your sense of humor, have helped me observe some situations differently.  You have nourished my spirit.====JACK:  Easter will probably take on a new and more personal meaning this year.  But the old message is still the same.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  God is good and, so are good friends.====JACK:  Friendship... what a perfect blendship!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/11/17
“There are millions of interesting things in this world, but they don’t actually become interesting until we devote our attention to them.”  (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)  I quoted Mihaly about a month ago.  He’s called, the Professor of Happiness.  Happy people generally are fascinated by the world around them.  Robert Louis Stevenson wrote: “The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.”  What do you find especially interesting in this world?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  That for 2017 years and especially still in America, every person, a Christ-follower or the most animate agnostic or atheist, documents his life from birth to death and every time he or she documents any date as a verification of authenticity, they do so after the recognition of Jesus Christ as coming to this world and the giving of His life for the remission of our sin. Please don't share this with the ACLU====JACK:  In the Jewish calendar the year is 5777, and in the Islamic calendar it's 1438.  Oftentimes CE (Common Era) is substituted for AD (Anno Domini - The year of our Lord) after the year number.====REV:  Which calendar do the Jews of West Bloomfield use when writing their checks?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's hard to narrow down the things I find interesting and I'm interested to see what other people find interesting.  I love to watch the interaction of the birds at my bird-feeder.  I love to hear of true stories of the history of the Oregon Trail, the Orphan Train, the history of our country and the founding fathers, geography, flowers, gardening, scrapbooking, grandkids, kids, outhouses and many many other things!    What do YOU find interesting?====JACK:  You are an interesting person in many ways.  Through the blog exchange we find out a variety of information about each other.====OJ: You learn a lot about me but I don't learn a lot about you except snippets.  I talk too much about myself.

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  He’s one of my favorites… his theory of FLOW really fits well with what I believe about learning… I talk about “goldilocks” learning… not too hard, not too easy… but just right. When challenge is just out of reach of current skill… that’s when the magic happens! ====JACK:  Have you ever learned to pronounce his name?  I think that the Goldilocks analogy can be applied to theology, too.  In my training for preaching, I was taught to always try to connect my sermon up with make "real life situations" relate to the Bible...not too hard or too easy.  A pastor friend of mine had a child in Sunday School whose father (a nuclear physicist) would drop her off and wait in the parking lot until Sunday School and church were over.  One day the pastor spoke to the man and said, "you know, when you come to this church you don't have to leave your brain in the parking lot with the car.  The rest of the story...That man eventually did go into the church and later became a pastor.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Good question.  I am definitely old school.  Family, books, politics, education, space, all things new.====JACK:  "All things new" doesn't sound old school to me.  I don't know many seniors who attend college classes as you do.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  PEOPLE====JACK:  That's my response, too.  Finally we can agree on something.====RJP:  Happy to see you are finally coming around to my way of thinking. Isn't elevating your game fun??????????? LOL

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  The budding and flowering trees and spring flowers are so beautiful!  But INTERESTING; Good books, programs that educate us,great movies,  people that have unique hobbies or other entertaining interests to share, etc.  The world is indeed so full of any number of things! We're so blessed!====JACK:  Early in the morning when I go out to get the newspaper (some people still read newspapers), I'm fascinated by the singing of the birds.  In fact I just stand there for a while and listen.

FROM EMT SINGS IN TC:  Everything!  In fact,when one of the grandsons was very small, he said "Grandma, don't say "isn't that interesting" again".  Now he is 19 and thinks everything is interesting too!====JACK:  Now, that caused me to laugh.  It's interesting how young children can reflect what they see in us.

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  The blessings of Easter be upon you and all your loved ones. Your faithful message brightens my life  Thanks.====JACK:  Easter is "interesting", isn't it...for those who see beyond this life?  Those who only see bunnies, chicks, candy, flowers and clothes don't know what they're missing.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/10/17
“Don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”  (Song by Cinderella)  Can you identity with this song title by the rock band, Cinderella?  While the song is about a lost love (some of you may have experienced that), there are…people, places, things…gone, but not forgotten.  What comes to your mind?  Someone, some place, something!  Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena had a final hockey game yesterday…and who was Joe Louis?   Sometimes we take too much for granted.    ;-)  Jack

FROM DEACON ROBERT:  Haha...  Joe Louis was cousin by marriage as my grandfathers brother married his mom not long after Joe was born.  My memory was of days past at the Olympia Stadium. ====JACK:  I like the huge Joe Louis Fist monument which is displayed in downtown Detroit.  To me it says, "Dee-troit!"  Most people don't know that Joe's last name was Barrow and that Louis was his middle name.====D R:  How about the Jewish Museum donation to the City?====I've often driven by that building and thought of it as an example of "Detroit" fleeing to the suburbs.  Now, I can look at it in a new and positive way.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Hard to ever forget your there a greater love ever than what she gives you?   Perhaps only with Christ.====JACK:  A Bible reading that I often use at the funeral of a "blessed" mother is from Proverbs 31..."A good wife who can find?  She is far more precious than jewels.  The heart of her husband trusts in her.  She does him good all the days of her life.  She works with willing hands.  She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out to the needy.  She opens her mouth with wisdom.  She does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children rise up and call her blessed.  Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.  Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."

FROM TARMART REV:  The older generation speak of the building or business once located there, while the younger generation is much more excited about the new one located in its place. ====JACK:  I often catch myself speaking in a language that a younger generation doesn't understand.  "When I was your age...."

FROM JOHNNY D: My wife of 61 plus years died on Feb. 2nd. I never knew how much I loved her until she was gone.====JACK:  How many times have you read these words as part of a wedding ceremony..."And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."?  They sound different when they apply to you, don't they?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We definitely take things for granted...Waking up every morning, heat and energy, good health, food, our loved ones coming home from work safely, and of course God, faith and mercy.    I do wonder if the younger generations know or care who Joe Louis was.  Several comedians have "on the street interviews" with random people and when asked the simplest questions about politics or history the answers are unbelievably outrageous!!!  They have no idea!!!  It's funny but extremely frightening!!====JACK:  I'm sure if the shoe were on the other foot and young people asked us questions having to do with "their world," our answers would be hilarious, too, but maybe not frightening.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  memory is one of God's greatest gifts to us.  even when "it" is gone,  we can still remember...tho even memory seems to fade somewhat with age.  have a good Holy Week, Jack.  plh    p.s. we had a live donkey in church yesterday.  very well behaved too.  must have been a Lutheran donkey...====JACK:  I'm sure that you've experienced it as I have...We make a visit to a shut-in whose memory has lapsed, but as we quote a scripture or a hymn, the person is able to recite the words along with us.  "Gone, but not forgotten!"

FROM JB AT LSTC:  Is that a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”? I just looked up the lyrics and, well, all these years later they still hold true.====JACK:  I can see how the "Taxi" song might relate to missing things after they're gone.  It was interesting to read the how and why it was written.

FROM GARY IN TEXAS:  Really been enjoying your Winning Words. Last night I live streamed the closing of Joe Louis arena. The weekend before, the family made the pilgrimage to Detroit to see the last game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Wings. Daughter Hannah wanted her baby Charlotte to be at The Joe before it closed. As you can guess, we are more than a little nutty about the Wings and hockey in our family. Krista tolerates it and is bemused, but the rest of us live and die by it all.====JACK:  It seems that most of the fans wear a game jersey with the name of a player on the back.  Do you have one of those...or a wingnut cap?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Those of us who have lost beloved spouses or children, especially, know you more fully appreciate what you had when it is no longer with you.! Even when the relationship has been very good, and there aren't regrets, to speak of, we have a new and deeper value for what is now missing! Make today with your loved one count!!====JACK:  I have a file for all of my funeral sermons.  From time to time I go through them...and remember.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/7/17
“Nothing recedes like success.”  {Walter Winchell)  There’s a Latin phrase, similar to this quote, “Sic transit gloria mundi,” worldly glories are soon gone, or, what have you done for me lately?”  When you live long enough you get used to change.  Walk through any cemetery.  “Here today, gone tomorrow.”  Winchell used to be a famous radio personality, but how many of you remember that?  Even today will become a history footnote.  Time marches on.    ;-)  Jack      

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  What time do you go to bed????  8:00 PM???? It's too early to think. I am still up working and getting ready to retire for the night!!!!!====JACK:  In order to get my "words" out to you and bed about 10:30 pm and up (without an alarm clock) at 4:30 am.  I write my stuff, usually a week in advance.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I remember his broadcasts..."to all the ships at sea"====JACK:  His rapid-fire delivery sounded like the pounding of typewriter keys.  Winchell's downfall came when he bought into Sen. Joseph McCarthy's Communist witch hunt.

FROM DM AT LIV:  Some may look at this and feel sad.  I look at this and think…don’t sweat the small stuff and keep your eye on the ultimate Prize.====JACK:  Illness caused a woman to make many trips to the hospital, but while there, she always tried to cheer up others.  As she registered on one occasion she was heard to say, "I wonder what God has for me to do this time?"  Much of the time the quality of our life depends on our attitude.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "Your 15 minutes of Fame" is about right.When I showed my music classes the movie "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" I introduced it telling them the BING CROSBY was the narrator and singer in this cartoon depiction of Ichabod  Crane's adventures. They looked at each other in puzzlement, like "WHO"S Bing Crosby??!"...It dawned on me that their grandparents could tell them!  :-(====JACK:  We have a channel on our TV which plays uninterrupted showtunes and swing with no commercials (24-7).  I don't think that they get many high school listeners.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/6/17
“Sweet is the memory of distant friends!  Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.”  (Washington Irving)  I attended Irving Grade School, not knowing at the time that it was named for a famous poet.  What I remember most about Irving was my 6th Grade teacher and my classmates.  As Archie and Edith used to sing, “Those were the days, my friend.”  Read again the W.I. quote.  Beautiful words…and memories.    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Very nice, Jack!====JACK:  Were you ever at a school with a "meaningful" name?====EP:  Of is interesting how sometimes nostalgia does not measure up to reality. Some treasured friendships of the past are disappointments of the present. As to memories of those who are no longer with us...heavy stuff.====JACK:  From what you've told me, your bag of memories is heavy...and many of them are good.  I think of your growing-up years.  I think of your teaching experiences...and your unique family.  Life is good!

FROM DEACON RB:  Last evening, I attended the SAE Dinner at Cobo focused on the Ford GT that won the 2016 LeMans against Ferrari taking 1, 3, and 4th place. There were about 800 engineers in attendance - more than the number of GT's that Ford will build this year. The goal to the finish line was inspired by the 50 th anniversary of Ford winning this race. The technology and spirit exhibited was phenomenal. However, my most memorable time of the night, was seeing my neighbor from Korea from 16 years ago, who has three children with similar ages to ours and sharing pictures of our children now all grown up.  Tuesday, I attended a family hour for Joan Whitaker, who went to be with the Lord. Her husband is one of the oldest serving Deacons at 83 years young in the Detroit area - Walled Lake. He has been  a constant inspiration for me in our city ministry. While sitting with him and meeting his 3 children, his son said: "are you the Bobby Brooks that graduated with me from LHW?" We embraced as never before, since it was 1979 since I had last seen him. Later, I was explaining to him how I met his dad and he reminded me that his dad knew me from our graduation.
Were you watching me when you pinned these WW's?====JACK:  We each have memories that are waiting to to be discovered.  One thing a lot of people don't realize is that we are making future memories on a daily basis.  I'm pleased that you are to be included in mine.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Our youngest grandson, Hudson, is always asking us to share memories or favorites in our lives.  This last week when we Skyped he asked me who my favorite friend was in school – Linda.  We have been friends for 71 years as we started Sunday School together and went to grade school too.  He wants us to share stories about when we were younger or as kids or tell stories about his dad when he was little.  Of all our grandchildren he’s the only one who has done this.  Fun to share those memories!  Today is another memory making day!====JACK:  Don't you wish you had had Skype when you were a child...and could have talked with your grandmother?  What I remember about my Nannie was how she, in her 90s, would read her Bible with a magnifying glass...and how she wrote a letter to me when I was ordained...and how shortly after that my cousin (who was also her grandson, and was a Catholic priest) and I conducted her funeral.  BTW, was Hudson named after Hudson, Wisconsin?

FROM HONEST JOHN:  My cousins, Karla and Steve Koelz, attended Irving.   I remember Steve showing me the slide/chute that was their fire escape.   I was a little guy and was duly impressed. ====JACK:  The fire escapes were large red tubes reaching to each floor.  As I recall, there were 3 floors, and the interior of the building was all wooden.  In the end, the unoccupied building was destroyed by a nighttime fire.  The large bell in the tower survived and is displayed on the grounds of Lincoln School.  Also surviving is a picture of my 6th grade class.  Some of them have died, and I've lost track of all of the rest...but I still have the memories of them.

FROM PASTIE PAT:  Greetings from the Baptismal site in Jordan. We will worship at the  Lutheran Church Bethany Beyond the Jordan, visit the Dead Sea, Petra and the Wadi Rum. We've just completed a Habitat for Humanity build in a village north of Amman.====JACK:  As a Sunday School child, would you ever have dreamed of spending time "walking where Jesus walked" as you are doing now?

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  I too attended Washington Irving grade school, in Oak Park Illinois. I don't remember seeing you there.====JACK:  My Irving was in Moline, Illinois...and you weren't even born yet when I was in 6th Grade.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I attended Logan and Garfield Grade schools in Moline, also named after famous people.  I still remember my kindergarten teacher Miss McQuinn. We just adored her, enthusiastic and fun !  Remember two Garfield teachers for different reasons, our 3rd grade, Mrs. Gryce (sp?) crabby and sarcastic, and Miss Vanette Johnson, 5th grade, pretty, fun and adored by all. She married the year after we had her, and no longer taught there....Yes, so many distant school chum memories. Miss Becker in H.S. gave me my push toward teaching Music, by choosing me as student director of our choir concert my Sr. year. Lots of mostly very good memories of past friendships!  We were pretty naive, back in the day...:-)====JACK:  What famous person was Logan School named after?  I can't locate a school named, Blaser?====OAKS:  I really don't remember...It seems he was an essayist and writing critic, in the late 1900's educated at Harvard and Oxford...but I don't know if that is accurate at all!

FROM JB AT LSTC:  I attended a grade school named for explorer Richard E. Byrd. I wonder if anyone remembers him now. Writers have greater longevity, don’t you think?====JACK:  I suppose your school cheer was, "We're for the byrds!"  I think that genes have more to do with longevity than one's profession.  John Keats died at 25 and Anne Bronte at 29.  I think you've got them beat.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  We were lucky growing up when we could just be out all day paying with our friends and walking and bicycling all over town.  How different life is today.====JACK:  Each generation has pluses and minuses.  I think ours was on the plus side.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  You also went to Wm. Carr. For the  life  of me, I can't find who he was. Can you? I'm sure you remember Miss Wilson. "Dear Teacher, Go jump in the lake."
====JACK:  No wonder my sister laughed when I said that someone suggested that I become a pastor.  I think Miss Wilson over-reacted.

  FROM FACEBOOK LIZ: had no idea either!  lovely words...====JACK:  When you live long enough you learn some things.  For example. in my 6th grade class there was a girl named, Bessie Mae Coleman.  It wasn't until I was an older adult that I learned...Bessie Mae Coleman was the first
woman of African-America descent to pilot an airplane.  She died in 1926, about a year before my classmate was born.  I'd like to be able to ask her if she was named after that famous person.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  We lost this week a very dear friend – he died very unexpectedly – alone in his warehouse.  Apparently we tripped and fell on his head –he lived for a few hours.   He didn’t return home when he was due, his wife called him on his cell phone a couple of times, but he didn’t answer so she called their daughter who lived only a mile from the warehouse – she found him lying on the concrete floor.   He was airlifted to the medical college in Wauwatosa, but there was nothing they could do for him – he died at 8:45 PM on Tuesday.  His funeral is Saturday at The Lutheran Church of the Resurrection (ELCA) here in Racine!  A prince of a fellow, 85 years old.    Your word today applies to Ray and his wife, Louise.====JACK:
 "The clock of life is wound but once  And no one has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop,  At late or early hour.  
Now is the only time you own;  Live, love, work, and with a will;
Place no faith in tomorrow, for  The clock may then be still."

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/5/17
“None of us can change our yesterdays, but all of us can change our tomorrows.”  (Colin Powell)  As I read this quote I began thinking about how choices we make affect the direction of our life.  Every day we come to a fork in the road.  Colin P came to one of those forks when both political parties wanted him as their candidate for President.  For a variety of reasons he chose not to run.  But, what if….?  Forget the “What ifs”!  Let’s live our chosen way.    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Powell will go down as one of the most interesting people in the Iraq War era after 9-11.  So intelligent..and mislead. He never fully recovered in the public view.  Such an interesting person!====JACK:  No one is above reproach, but I think that the "public" has admired Powell more than any other candidate in recent history.  I've read that his wife had an influence on his decision not to be a candidate.  Wise husbands often listen to their wives.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  The way to forget the "What ifs" is to never look back.  Maybe we should look ahead with "Suppose that..." and then do all we can to achieve a chosen goal.====JACK:  I like the figure of the god, Janus, a head that can look forward and back at the same time.  To be able to look back (memory) is a great gift.  To be able to look ahead (to foresee what might/can be) is also a great gift.  However...I do like your (Suppose that...) point.====RI:  You are correct that memory is a great gift.  It enables us to keep with us past pleasures we otherwise would be unable to enjoy.  From here on I'll depend on memory for support in my remaining years.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Guidepost magazine had a quote appropriate to today's thought:"Nothing you've done in the past is wasted. It's all grist for your future". Habitat Changers (M.J.Ryan). One of the valuable spiritual insights I've learned is that God does not reveal His future plans to us, but we discover them along our journey of faith,  trusting that we are living in his caring, loving presence. The decision to try to follow Christ affects every nook and cranny of our lives!====JACK:  I know what a nook is, but I've never seen something referred to as a cranny...even though I'm familiar with the "nook and cranny" phrase.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  What if you are turning 67 and you decide to buy a farm?  The possibilities are unlimited.  Forget the realities and go for it!  We are having a great time, sleep like the dead (because we nearly are half of the time), are muddier than we've ever been, and love it!!! ====JACK:  As a slang expression, "buying the farm" referred to using death benefits to pay off the mortgage on the farm.  In your case I hope that it means having a happy and peaceful life.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Life is all about making decisions everyday,isn't it? Think of all of the years we have lived and what we have lived through.  We are all still here for a reason, and we just have to remember that every day. By the way, the Rays had a great opening game with the Yankees, but not so great last night. C'est la vie.====JACK:  The Greatest Generation lived during some exciting and interesting times.  I'm glad to have been a part of it.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/4/17
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”  (Carl Sagan)  Are you familiar with the term, Luddite?  It refers to someone who’s opposed to new technology, like driverless cars.  A Luddite is opposed to robots in factories.  And how about the new robot who’ll play ping pong with you?  Scientists are now working at developing a manufactured eye, growing human organs, bringing back the woolly mammoth…and stuff like that.  Are you a Luddite?    ;-)  Jack

 FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  Trying not to be ... but realize daily how I'm falling behind on tech. A friend at work chuckled at me when he sent a twitter link to a science article that I should read. I don't have a twitter account. But now it's something I'll have to learn ... for work!  Now is when I want to bust out the "i remember when I got my first email account" stories. But this easy connection is what will let me telework and not move jobs though I'm moving cities. So I can't be a grumbling Luddite. ====JACK:  I avoid putting Winning Words on Facebook, because the e-mail blog seems more personal to me.  For the same reason, I don't Tweet, much ME and not enough WE.  ====LBP:  I remember finding you on email way back when I got my first email account. Were you doing WW mailings already then? I remember spending a long time drafting those email letters to you. I think you gave me a little ribbing for the ridiculous formality that gave to the text. Ha! Now I'm typing this on my phone while walking on the treadmill in my basement. No more special trips to the university computer lab!====JACK:  The early days with the riding a bike with training wheels!

FROM HONEST JOHN:  W/o that technology, I would be stone deaf.   I have a cochlear implant.    We just have to adjust to it...and find a way to deal with the financial and ethical consequences. ====JACK:  The next needed to make implants like yours (and other advanced medical care) available to all who need it...instead of spending the dollars on military stuff.  I will always remembering the warning by General Eisenhower..."Beware of the military-industrial complex!"====HJ:  Isn't it interesting that our great generals ....Washington, Jackson, Grant, Eisenhower...all, when elected President....cut back on our military.   The draft dodgers have tended to increase it.   Irony.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  And they thought Chester Gould was crazy when he gave Dick Tracy a radio wrist watch!====JACK:  Something that I look forward to is teletransporting.  For now, it's science Dick Tracy's watch was.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I'm not a Luddite when it comes to robots and progress but messing with making hybrid babies makes me a Luddite!!====JACK:  If your child's gene pool had a gene that anticipated cerebral palsy (for example), would you approve of genetic engineering that would remove that gene?====JUDY:  Health issues are entirely different story.  But trying to have a little boy with blond hair and blue eyes....designer utterly ridiculous and unacceptable.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  One of my grandsons is working with robots, and it all sounds very interesting.  Otherwise, science is not my forte.  I prefer the simple life but the new electronic stuff is fascinating.====JACK:  Someday I'd like to ride in a driverless car.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 4/3/17
“Baseball season is here.  I think I’m going to cry.”  (Charlie Brown)  Is there anyone reading this who cannot sing, “Take me out to the ball game?”  I was surprised to read that the song was written by two guys who’d never attended a ball game.  Harry Caray, Chicago Cubs’ announcer popularized singing the song at each game.  You can listen to him on YouTube.  After his death, celebrities like Ronald Reagan and the Goo Goo Girls were invited to lead the song.    ;-)  Jack

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  my song for the day will be,"the baseball game" from charlie brown's musical!====JACK:  I remember hearing that song for the first time.  It was in your family's living room....
"There is no team
Like the best team
Which is our team
Right here
We will show you
We're the best team
In the very Little League this year
An in no time we'll be big time
With the Big League baseball stars
For all we have to do is
Win just one more game...
...And the championship is ours!!"

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  Remember last year we talked about the quote, “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains”… Crash Davis   What was it that Ernie Harwell used to quote from  the bible I think, about the turtle and spring on his first game of the year.====JACK:
Ernie would begin the first spring training broadcast of each season with a reading from Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (KJV): "For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land."  He is also the one who recommended that Jose Feliciano sing the National Anthem at a 1968 World Series game in Detroit...and he almost got fired because of that.  IMO, one of the great renditions of that song...ever!====HH:  I remember that it was Ernie that brought in Jose. I remember the grief he caught also, very unwarranted.  What does the voice of the Turtle refer to? Is that a reference to  God, Is it a reference to something else, or did turtles have voices then?====JACK:  Interesting!  "The voice of the turtle" translation probably should be, "The cooing of the dove."  It probably should read, "The voice (cooing) of the turtle(dove)."  That makes sense to me.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I hope the Cubbies can come close to 2016 wins.====JACK:  I saw my first Major League game at Wrigley Field.  My pastor drove me from Moline to Chicago and bought my ticket to see the favorite team.  What a great day!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's such a fun song!  We grew up with a "side lot"...that's what we called.  Now it's called "Chappel Field" after our family.  We played baseball everyday all Spring, Summer and Fall.  Our family would have huge backyard parties and all of us cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents would play.  Even the little ones.  There would be galvanized buckets with beer in one and Faygo pop in another.  The BBQ would be going and hot dogs and hamburgers would be on.  Big bowls of potato salad and all the fruit and veggies you could eat.  Baseball was the main attraction.  But the highlight would be my grandpa's Model A.  We'd take turns getting rides in it and holding on to the sides and standing in the running boards!  Oh what wonderful times!!!  Take me out to the ballgame!!!====JACK:  Take me back to those times.  Memory is a  great gift.====JUDY:  Both Gary and I grew up with Grandpa's and Dad's who loved baseball.  There was always a Tiger Game on the radio during those summer days!====JACK:  Radio forced us to use our imagination, and that wasn't all bad.  Maybe this world needs more imagination.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: Well, our Cubbies are off to a rough start, in their opening game with Cardinals, losing 4-3 in the ninth...:-( Think it's going to be pretty iffy batting in a "Re-peat" for the World Series, but too early to be discouraged, yet!:-)  Outhouse Judy's memories sound fun, re. baseball! Our big Blaser reunion in August always involved a family baseball game, including all ages, and it was a highlight, playing ball with our dads, grandpas, uncles and cousins. Not many of the women actually played, but cheered us on! Family Fun!  Bill and all the Oaks boys were catchers on their teams, and now my great g.son Tyler is an MVP catcher on his! (Mark's g.son). Yep! Baseball season is here, once again! Cheers!====JACK:  My favorite season was 1984 when the Tigers were never behind in the standings and won the World Series continuing never to have to catch up to someone.  I have a newspaper front page hanging on my wall which reads..."Gr-r-r-reat!", probably mimicking Tony the Tiger's famous line.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  Those two guys were misguided. They didn't realize how lucky they to not have attended. Watching baseball is like watching paint dry.====JACK:  If baseball isn't your favorite spectator sport, what is?  Personally, I prefer playing a sport, rather than watching it.

FROM JB AT LSTC:  I go back far enough to remember when Harry Caray was the announcer for the White Sox and Jack Brickhouse was the Chicago Cubs’ announcer. Harry Caray did his sing-a-long when he was with the White Sox. That’s when they still played in Comiskey Field, later US Cellular Field and now sadly named Guaranteed Rate Field.====JACK:  When I lived in Moline, the local baseball announcer was Bert Puckett.  He changed his name and went on to be the Chicago Cubs' announcer, Bert Wilson.  Did you know that?  ...and did you ever attend a Cubs' game on Ladies' Day when women would get in free?