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...


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