Wednesday, May 31, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Friday, May 26, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 25, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, May 22, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, May 19, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday, May 18, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

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

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

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Sounds good!!!


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

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

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

Monday, May 15, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, May 12, 2017

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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 11, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'm currently participating in a five-evening seminar, of dialogue between Muslims and Christians, to explore the differences and similarities of our faith. Tonight will be our outlook on Jesus. It's been very informative and interesting, but the main thing is, we all do "imagine" a world where both (and all  other) religions can live together in love and peace. One of the leaders is a rare woman Muslim interfaith chaplain, who has a fantastic ministry in the Washington D.C. area. Not many women Muslim clergy!  She is Arab/African born in Kenya, but U.S. citizen for 30+ years. If we could all live the teachings of our faith, we might achieve Lennon's Imagined world! ====JACK:  When John Lennon writes, " religion," I imagine that he's referring to the "religions" that divide us rather than the "religions" that unite us.

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

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

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

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

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

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

Monday, May 08, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, May 05, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, May 04, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, May 01, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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