Friday, June 30, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/30/17
“There is music in a rest.”  (John Ruskin)  Mozart said that the most powerful effect in music is no music…the pause.  It can be like that in life.  Vacations re-energize employees to do better work.  I know of people who’ve had accidents or illnesses which have caused them to “rest” from the day to day routine…and become better.  For me, such a rest resulted in mv becoming a pastor.  Beethoven’s 5th (Da,da,da,dah) is an example of a pause’s value in music.    ;-)  Jack

FROM SF:  So happy you took that rest. You impact so many people every day! I also value (require) quiet, restive times. They feed and restore my soul.====JACK:  Speaking of "restoring the soul," I'm reminded of the 23rd Psalm...
א  מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד:    יְהוָה רֹעִי, לֹא אֶחְסָר. 1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
ב  בִּנְאוֹת דֶּשֶׁא, יַרְבִּיצֵנִי;    עַל-מֵי מְנֻחוֹת יְנַהֲלֵנִי. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters.
ג  נַפְשִׁי יְשׁוֹבֵב;    יַנְחֵנִי בְמַעְגְּלֵי-צֶדֶק, לְמַעַן שְׁמוֹ. 3 He restoreth my soul; He guideth me in straight paths for His name's sake.
ד  גַּם כִּי-אֵלֵךְ בְּגֵיא צַלְמָוֶת, לֹא-אִירָא רָע--    כִּי-אַתָּה עִמָּדִי;
שִׁבְטְךָ וּמִשְׁעַנְתֶּךָ,    הֵמָּה יְנַחֲמֻנִי. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; {N}
Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
ה  תַּעֲרֹךְ לְפָנַי, שֻׁלְחָן--    נֶגֶד צֹרְרָי;
דִּשַּׁנְתָּ בַשֶּׁמֶן רֹאשִׁי,    כּוֹסִי רְוָיָה. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; {N}
Thou hast anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
ו  אַךְ, טוֹב וָחֶסֶד יִרְדְּפוּנִי--    כָּל-יְמֵי חַיָּי;
וְשַׁבְתִּי בְּבֵית-יְהוָה,    לְאֹרֶךְ יָמִים. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; {N}
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

FROM LIFE COACH LS:  Good morning.  I conduct one hour podcasts each month on   I would be grateful for the opportunity to interview YOU- who provide me with an inspirational way of awaking each day.  I look forward, as I awake,   to giving thanks for another day and then opening my email to find a thought provoking message from YOU.    I was intrigued this morning when I was reading your winning words about YOUR life's story.
I would be honored to bring your life's experience, vision and knowledge to my audience.
====JACK:  Thanks for your interest in Winning Words.  Many people from many parts of the world read them each day.  I purposely give only glimpses of my life, focusing not on me, but on the message for the day.  Suffice to say, my special rest happened when I was 16 and contracted polio.
The treatment for me, at that time, was to spend 3 months in the hospital, followed by home confinement for the better part of a year.  Since both parents worked, I was home alone for most of the time.  That experience allowed me to be creative in coming up with interesting things to do.   As the saying goes..."We are who we were."====LS:  Thank you for sharing.  I find providing the opportunity for others to find inspiration, confidence and hope through sharing our stories is a gift.  That is why I interview and share the opportunity that I have experienced.  Those that are meant to hear and take away meaning in their own life will be guided to seek out and listen.  Please let me know if you are open to being interviewed.  Wishing you a good holiday weekend and thank you for your quick response this morning.  It feels good to be responded to.====JACK:  If you take the time to write, I take the time to respond.  I commend you for the work you are doing to help people.

FROM STARRY KNIGHT:  This is absolutely true in music! A producer on one of my songs chose a spot in the was silence for a few seconds :)====JACK:  I like the words of Jesus: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  One of my favorite radios would play for an hour then shut off.  Every night I would turn on the Classical Music station and listen until I fell asleep.  Music means so much to our family.  My great great uncles never could read music but played any instrument they picked up including banjos, piano, drums, guitars, trumpets etc etc.  They were very eccentric....they lived in a small house in Pinconning, MI.  They loved pillars so they built 2 of them in their little house.  They were strange but so fun!  We could listen to their music all day.  Anyway, it added down through the family and each one of us played an instrument and sing in choirs and groups.  Even each grandchild sings!  We are blessed!!====JACK:  I. too, would often fall asleep with the radio playing.  One program I liked was "Night Flight" with Jay Roberts on WJR.====JUDY:  I don't know "Night Flight" but I certainly listened to the radio a lot.  Dick Purtan was my favorite radio program for years and years. ====JACK:  Purtan and I have the same barber.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/29/17
“Our knowledge is a little island in a great ocean of knowledge.”  (Isaac Bashevis Singer) A little boy kept dipping a pail into the sea and running back to pour it into a hole.  “What are you doing?” someone asked.  “I’m emptying the ocean into this hole.” He replied.  Basically, that explains our quest for knowledge.  Do you want to know more, as I do?  The fact that the ocean is so vast doesn’t discourage me; it only intrigues me.  I will not give up my pail.     ;-)  Jack

FROM SHALOM JAN:  Thank you for an early morning smile.  I won't give up my pail either.  Life is too fascinating!====JACK:  So much to learn.  So little time.

FROM LEE AND MARIE:  Hi Pastor Freed,  I would like to thank you for putting out your winning words as the first thing I do in the morning is grab my cup of coffee and turn on the computer to see the winning words  for the day and send them on to select friends.  Thanks again, God bless, ====JACK:  The next best thing for me would to sit down with you for a chat...with my mug of coffee.  Today, it's Peet's.  Have you ever tried that brand?

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  Last night we went to see Joseph and his amazing Technicolor dream coat with our church senior group. Great production. Kathy said she learned more about the Joseph story.  learning can be fun.====JACK:  Did you sing along  with your part?  Were you the King?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  You're going to need a bigger shovel!  I agree, keep bailing!====JACK:   Pail!  Bigger pail!  Shovels are for cleaning the barn.


 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  That is the fun of living so long-to keep on learning new things. ====JACK:  Your participation in Florida's LifeLong Learning opportunity is an inspiration.  You are a teacher walking the talk.  

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/28/17
“The only moral lesson which is suited for a child—the most important lesson for every time of life—is this: Never hurt anybody.”  (Rousseau)  One of the pledges that doctors make is, “Primum non nocere,” meaning: “First, do no harm.”  Jesus taught something similar when he said, “”Love your neighbor,” meaning: “Do everything you can for a person in need.”  Basic human morality is to treat others as you would like to be treated.  Do no harm!     ;-)  Jack  

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good words for sure.  would that the whole world would now heed them!====JACK:  If the physician's pledge is "do no harm," what should the pastor's motto be? ====SP:  do some good!???   or just do something:):):)====JACK:  Sometimes pastors are referred to  That ain't so bad!====SP:  better than do-baders!====JACK:  As with any organization, there are "baders", if you want to look for them.  I'd rather concentrate on the good ones and try to follow their example.====SP:  i once heard this illustration about the church.  there are the shirkers,  the jerkers, and the workers.  the shirkers shirk their responsibilities,  the jerkers jerk the rug out from under those who are working,  and the workers get the job done!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/27/17
“You have to be able to laugh at yourself and to take it with a grain of salt.”  (Khloe Kardashian)  See!  You can even keep up with the Kardashians by reading WWs.  Don’t laugh!  It’s Khlohe’s birthday, so I searched for a suitable quote.  I think that each of us could come up with a laughable story about ourselves.  I once was stopped for speeding.  In questioning, the officer learned that I was a minister.  “Rev’rend, you guys are supposed to scare the hell out of people by your preaching, not your driving.  Be careful!”   Any self-laughs for you?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TRIHARDER:  I find my humor has evolved to self-deprecating anecdotes and comments. When I met and started dating my girlfriend, we found that we had a significant number of friends in common. One woman friend described me to her as "a very nice guy. Quirky, but very nice." I commented that it was "an apt description." I celebrate my my quirkiness by pointing it out and making fun of it.====JACK:  Are you sure that she din't mean that you were good at quirky dancing like Miley Cyrus does?====TH:  There is a photo of me on a local website of me dancing last Saturday night.

FROM DR JUDY:  You gave me one giggle after another today. 😂😂Well done.====JACK:  You and Khole...laughing together... Is that "Keeping up with the Kardashians?"====DR J:  That's so funny

FROM TARMART REV:  I'm enjoying yours too much this morning to laugh at mine!!====JACK:  Doesn't anything funny happen to AG ministers?  Even Sarah laughed when she was told that she was going to have a baby...when she was 90.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Not that good! ====JACK:  How about when you were a teacher?

FROM LBP:  Lots of laughing lately. Can't think of a singular instance. On the spot. Oh no! ====JACK: .How about when you were walking through the corral...which reminds me:.Harry Truman liked to tell of campaigning on an Indian Reservation. After each promise of what he’d do for Indians if elected, the crowd shouted, “Oompah! Oompah!” The louder the chorus grew, the more inspired Truman’s speech became. As he left, the president has to cross a corral which had been filled with horses. “Careful,” his Indian escort told him. “Don’t step in the oompah.”====LBP:  Hah!   ====JACK:  OOMPAH!  A NEW WORD FOR YOUR KIDS TO LEARN.  I USE IT A LOT…AND SO DO MY KIDS (BUT NOT MARY!) ====LBP:  Oh, here is one. Last week we had nice weather. Andy wanted to take a bike ride. Big sis was still nervous about her new bigger bike and took convincing to come, then her tire was going flat. So Finally after much to-do Sissy was ready and now Andy was mad. Tired I said we WERE going on a bike ride (!). Crying Andy peddled slowly down the sidewalk. Yes, he assured me, he would cry the whole way.  Big sis wobbled along. I tried to stay between them wondering what the neighbors were thinking of this nutty mom forcing her kids to go biking the way my granny would have us eat our greens. It's good for you so do it. They were both fine. Sis got the hang of the bike. Andy found a pine cone to show off. And the next day I had a ridiculous story to tell at work about how I'd lost it on the sidewalk and tortured my kids by making them play outside in the summer. Hah!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I have a framed picture of the saying Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused!"  It shows a cat with red poppy flowers all around.,.and isn't that the truth?  I think of the many names I have been introduced by, when I was Pres. of AB Women, and spoke in many different churches.  I've been Mrs.Wood, Mrs. Elm,  Mrs. Tree, Mrs. Birch, Mrs.Marilyn Ash, etc.  I would laugh, and say it is OAKS, but you were close"!   Once I introduced a lovely lady who taught in Colona Grade school, named Mrs.Wren, to my mother as, "Mother, this is Mrs HAWK." (Unfortunately she did have quite a large beaked nose!)  She laughed and said, "It's Wren, my dear, but I know what you mean!" I nearly died of embarrassment!! Bill was ass't. principal at the time with Principal Viola Mahoney. Do you remember Mr. Mahoney that taught at  John Deere Jr.Hi? His wife.... ====JACK:  I missed my Junior year at MHS, but was able to keep up with the help of tutors.  When I was able, I went to the Mahoney house where Phil tutored me in math.

FROM STARRY KNIGHT:  That is so funny! I bet you were in your bright red race car :) My boys Luke and Matthew still talk about it!!====JACK:  I still have that red car...a 2000 model.  My first speeding ticket was in my first car, a used Ford Model A.

FROM HS:  Brilliant line.  Thanks====JACK:  I don't know about brilliant...but it felt "right" like the feeling you get after preaching a particular sermon.

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  That's a good one.====JACK:  And it's true, too!

FROM TN IN ILLINOIS:  Yes, I was going to a storage facility near Yolanda I jumped on I 80/94 and discovered that I was headed in the wrong direction (toward Mi)====JACK:  Maybe you have a self-driving car that's trying to tell you something.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/26/17
“Don’t waste a minute not being happy.  If one window closes, run to the next.”  (Brooke Shields)  Before OMG, there was the expression “Jumping Jehoshaphat.”  Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Jehoshaphat.  He was a king, mentioned in the Bible, who leaped for joy over the miraculous help of God.  Sunday School children sing, “If you’re happy, and you know it, clap your hands.”  Name some reasons for jumping with Jehoshaphat today!    ;-)  Jack

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  At the airport flying to Seattle to visit Jonah====JACK:  When he hears that grandpa's coming, he'll turn into Jumping Jonah!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  the sun is now coming up and i am in pretty good health.  there are two good reasons!====JACK:  Do you remember Mr. Roger's singing: "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood?"

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  But don't run before the window closes. "Some" anticipate the next window and make the "next window" their focus.====JACK:  The rest of the quote is: "...or break down a door."  We each have our own room and our own reasons for either being resigned to staying there or trying to get out.  I should research the background of why Brooke said what she said...but I guess that her business.====JON:   Ahh, yes context. Makes all the difference.====JACK:  Often the Bible is misunderstood because of out-of-context quoting.

FROM TARMART REV:  A brand new week, never lived in before . . . and we have the pleasure of experiencing it!!====JACK:  "This is the day (week) that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it."  (Psalm 118:24)

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  At this meeting downtown with the Detroit folks and Bishop (3 of us Southfield people hooked up) the Bishop gave a serious opening that we have all been transformed, Martin Luther was transformed, he was transformed and he is not ready to give up on that, we are called to go out with others as others are being transformed. Our supply Pastor yesterday gave a sermon in which she stressed Jesus' instructions to us to "Do not have fear." Afterwards, the table in the Fellowship hall I was sitting at was full of negativity. It was all so upsetting yesterday, it was upsetting this morning until I prayed and the thought popped into me that all of our spirituality/theological foundation isn't just concentrated on worship and fellowship Sunday morning, it seems like God told me "I am working on you folks all week, do not have fear, I am busy transforming you and I am God--don't ever forget that." God being God makes me happy. ====JACK:  I like Paul's advice to the Roman Church (12:21): "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."  I also like that petition in the Lord's Prayer..."Thy will be done on earth."  God has ways of showing up how good can overcome evil.  

FROM PEEZEE:  Good message to read first thing in the morning!====JACK:  Because of people like you...I choose to get up before 5 and head to the computer.  I enjoy sending and am glad to know that you enjoy reading.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I woke up! It's a beautiful cool, sunny, summer day!! My family and I are all reasonably healthy!!!  I am in my right mind!!!!  And so much more....I knew the phrase Jumpin' Jehoshaphat but did not remember this king! Learned something new!!!!! :-) Thanks for WW, Jack! ====JACK:  When I was young I was sometimes accused of DRIVING LIKE JEHU.  Have you ever heard that expression?  Jehu was a king of Israel who was known for his reckless chariot driving.  (2 Samuel 9)

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  1)  I'm reading this so that's a good thing!
2)  Got back yesterday from the U.P.  (Lots of outhouses....some still in use!)
3) It's a beautiful day today!
4) We're taking the kids camping with us for the week in a few minutes.  We have a cabin and the three little ones will stay with us.  Kimberly and Neil will be bringing their camper.  It will be a blast!  (We will need a week to recover!)
5). Well, we have a God will love us and take us to the great Campground in Heaven...hope he has a cabin for us!!
====JACK:  I've never thought of this before.  Will that Campground in Heaven have outhouses?  ...and mosquitoes?====JUDY:  I'm ok with camping as long as I have a cabin with a shower and bathroom.  I don't imagine there will be the need for an outhouse in Heaven but if there is  need, there will be one!  And definitely no mosquitoes!

FROM RUTHIE IN ILLINOIS:  Good morning!  I hadn't thought about jumping Jehoshphat for a looong time! Went out for my morning walk and out of the trees comes a mama deer with her baby! ! It was such a gift!  I was very still while mama checked me out. Then off they ran and my heart jumped too!  Jumping Jehoshphat!  Have a wonderful day Pastor Freed!  ====JACK:  I was mystified.  Every morning the bird feeder was empty.  How could the birds eat that much food?  The, one morning I looked out and a deer was standing there sticking her tongue into the feeder opening.  She jumped and ran off when I rapped on the window.====RUTHIE:  Oh that's funny! They are survivors for sure- we take away their spaces, and they adapt....there's a form of hope in that

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  4 1/2 years ago my life took a miraculous turn so I can "jump for joy" with Jehoshaphat every day.====JACK:  God has some interesting ways to bring joy into our lives just when we need it.

FROM VW MARY:  Long daylight hours, great weather, tiger lilies and day lilies in bloom, lunch this week with some high school classmates, to name just a few….. ====JACK:  I like Tiger Lilies, too...especially the name.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/23/17
“Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.”  (Annette Funicello)  Do remember Annette as a Mouseketeer?  She was so perky!  But life has its problems.  At age 50 she was diagnosed with a disease which changed her way of looking at life.  She was determined to help find a cure and set up a foundation for that.  At her death her daughter said, “She’s now dancing in heaven.”  Have you ever thought of heaven as a perky place…with laughing and dancing?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Sure do!!====JACK:  When I was a child...and there was lightening and thunder, I was told that it was the sound of bowling in heaven.====REV:  I was as well?!?! ====JACK:  No gutter balls or splits, either.

FROM LBP:  V is scared about heaven because it goes on for forever. It's too hard to wrap our simple brains around. I don't try because I'm sure I'm wrong.====JACK:  For us, who live in a time-constrained's hard  (particularly for children) to imagine timelessness.  One of my favorite quotes: "God doesn't wear a wristwatch."

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  My mother, in her later years, suffered from every type of arthritis imaginable it seemed--rheumatoid, osteoporosis, so forth. In the end, she was completely bedridden. But I always remember her wish, even early on, that she only wanted to be able to cross her legs again and when she got to heaven she would enjoy crossing her legs. Probably she hadn't gone dancing even once in her life--coming from the sort of plain puritannical background she came from but I feel absolutely sure and positive that on her seat on the cloud, she is having the perfect freedom to cross her legs again. And doing it perkily with a big giggle like the fun-loving mom I remember so well====JACK:  Some of the best-loved Gospel songs had their origin with the slaves who saw heaven as a place where there would be no more burdens.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  How true that is!====JACK:  I'm impressed by those who are able to take the bad and find a way to make it good.

fFROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  My sisters and I loved the Mouseketeer and Annette was our favorite.  Kimberly had an opportunity to be in a Disney World production of the mouseketeers when we were down there on vacation.  They saw many actors who are famous today but weren't then.  She wasn't impressed.  A lot of standing around or sitting around waiting.  Heaven will be filled with dancing and laughter!====JACK:  It's interesting how we try to imagine the unimaginable...streets of gold, dancing, laughter, wings...when heaven is beyond imagination.  I guess we just have to work with the "tools" that we have.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Yes, I have, and I hope it is true!!  We don't know what to expect, but in our mortal way, we envision HAPPY place!====JACK:  Calling heaven a "Happy Place," describes it well.  Do you happen to have this song in your hymnal?
Soon and very soon,   We are going to see the King,
Soon and very soon,   We are going to see the King.
Soon and very soon,   We are going to see the King,
Hallelujah, hallelujah,   We are going to see the King.
Other verses...
No more crying there.  We are going to see the King.
No more dying there.  We are going to see the King.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  it's the only way i think of heaven.  one beautiful continuation of the musical of life!====JACK:  YouTube the James Brown worship service clip in the Blues Brothers movie to see a version of musical happiness in heaven.====MARY:  i love that scene!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/22/17
“Mountaintops inspire leaders, but valleys mature them.”  (Winston Churchill)  Have you ever had a mountaintop experience, something that has truly inspired you?  But in reality, most of us spend our time in the ordinary valleys, doing the day to day routine.  Here are some ideas on how to escape the rut.  Today…Make it a point to converse with someone you don’t know.  Do a random act of kindness.  Compliment someone.  Oops!  Time for a coffee break.    ;-)  Jack

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I've been fortunate to have many mountain top experiences both here, and on Mission trips to Congo, India, Thailand, Japan, Indian work in Oklahoma, etc. But yes, the hard times of loss or disappointment do mature you in your faith. To see the need in many parts of the world, and in the ghettos here is sobering, and often calls for a bit of sacrifice to try to make a difference!  Bill Oaks was good at "doing without" so others had something to "do with"!====JACK:  Reflecting on the mountaintop experience when Jesus was transfigured before the disciples...They wanted to stay on the mountain, but the work of the disciples was in the valley below.  The spirit (in-spiration) comes to us so that we can do a better job of sharing that spirit.  (That sounds like minister-talk). But, you know what I mean.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: We went antiquing in several tiny towns up here.  We traveled on back roads as usual and met a bunch of good Michiganders!====JACK:  Well, you must have conversed with some people you didn't know,  Cross that off of the list.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/21/17
“People will accept your advice much more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first.”  (David A. Comins)  Some sources credit Ben F. for saying, “God made beer because he loves us and wants us to be happy.”  He didn’t say it.  A moralism should be quoted for its thought rather than for who thought it up.  Even in the Bible some books are attributed to someone who never wrote them…which doesn’t necessarily affect the content.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  A lot of that happens on the social media....stuff being passed off as though it came from a famous person....Some of it is so bogus that you know it can't be right.====JACK:  I think that there is less independent thought these days because of the ease of cut and paste...and the proclivity to accept as true whatever comes out of a "favorite's" mouth.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  .....And equally true of Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, and  I'm sure many others; saying attributed to them Not true!  So David A Comins has hit upon a nugget of truth! :-)  It shakes some folks up when you mention discrepancies in the HOLY Bible; But if you do research, they are there!  I recall a very persuasively written best-selling book,pointing out the many flaws in our Bible, I think the Title was something like "Almighty God - NOT". I'm sure it had its affect.  The heart of our faith remains the resurrection, and Jesus' teachings!====JACK:  I've found that Bible Study people, in general, just want to have a "feel good" experience and not be faced with information which causes them to their faith stretched.  A book that I like is written by Rob Bell: What We Talk About When We Talk About The Bible.

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  I hope so!====JACK:  Feeling sorry for someone and Trying to put yourself in their place is the difference between sympathy and empathy.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/20/17
“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.”  (Anton Chekhov)  Are you a winter or summer person?  Each season has its pluses and minuses.  Chekhov had it right when he wrote that happiness depends on what makes you happy…or sad.  The old song says, “When you’re smilin’, the whole world smiles with you.”  Think today about the things that make you happy…What can you do to make this world a smiling place?    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  they will notice today in Phoenix.  its supposed to be 120 degrees there.  small planes will not fly and people are being warned to not touch exterior pipes,  door knobs, playground equipment  etc.   and that moron Rick Perry just stated yesterday that global warming is something of a myth.  what fools inhabit the White House.====JACK:  Do you think it's hotter than Hell in Phoenix?  We turned on the furnace in Michigan today to take the chill out of the air.

FROM LBP:  “People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when The air conditioner is on.
Nothing metaphoric here. Just a statement that I dislike wearing a sweater indoors in the summer. When it's just me at home I turn the ac off and open the windows. Yesterday i told V how I love the smell of summer. She didn't get it. I breathed in "mmm.. summer". Then I did it again. On the third breath she looked at me with a smirk that said "really mom??" and said "summer?" "Yup ... summer ..."  I like the smell of each season. They each smell different. I've heard that smell has a strong link to memory. Summer is vacation from school. Working in the garden. Playing in the yard with friends. Hanging in the kitchen. Cooling off in the basement. Popsicles and kool-aid. Mm... summer memories ====JACK:  How do your children like the smell of the barn?  the smell of a skunk?  the smell of Thanksgiving dinner cooking?  Jesus was advised not to open the tomb of Lazarus because of the smell of death...but Jesus knew something that they didn't know.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I like all the one a little variety in life....JACK:  You and Sir Thomas More have something in common.====JOHN:  Yes, but, I have no desire to persecute you are safe!====JACK:  Whew!

FROM TARMART REV:  Enjoyed so many years now I forget how old I am and what year it is!! ====JACK:  Some people make others happy wherever they go, while other make them happy whenever they go.  You are the "wherever" kind of person.

FROM BB:  Autumn – though today is wonderful in Chicago.  I hope your sister still gets to the UP on occasion.  A special place and they were so “at home” in the cabin!====JACK:  I like autumn, too, but it's a reminder of what's ahead.  Personally, I like May, with the chirping birds and the longer days and the refreshing rain and the not-too-hot temperatures.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  BRIGHTEN THE CORNER WHERE YOU ARE (Sing, it brother!) :-)   I just told a teen girl who handed me our chicken tenders from the drive-through window at Hardees,, that she had a beautiful smile, and she lit up like a Christmas Tree.  This was not lost on my great g.daughter (7) "That made her happy, Nana!"  Spring and Fall are both beautiful seasons in the Midwest, and comfortable temperatures, too. But I would miss any one of the seasons, if it did not occur ; As you say, all have their plus & minuses...A really good round in golf also made me happy!! ====JACK:  Brighten the Corner...Now, that's a real rouser!  We used to belt out the chorus when we were kids in Sunday School.  Do kids sing in Sunday School anymore?  Maybe you and your g.g.d. can sing it the next time you're in the car together.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Used to be a winter person and I still like it when I go outside in the deepest cold and breathe in and my nose hairs freeze.  However, arthritis causes me to be very happy when it gets here.====JACK:  Outhouse people usually don't like either the cold, cold winter or the hot, hot summer.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/19/17
“Love could change the world in a moment, but what do I know?”  (Ed Sheeran)  Sheeran’s song, “What do I know?” has to do with sticking up for people.  Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”  Think how the world would change if we’d put ourselves in the other person’s place.  Try working two jobs; try living without health insurance; try being a refugee.  Putting yourself in another’s place could change the world…but what do I know?    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  please stop w/the liberal agenda... health insurance, refugees... there is more to life than politics.====JACK:  I'm sorry if I offended you, but sometimes I get carried away when I think about how bad some people in the world have it.  When Jesus says "Love your neighbor as you love yourself," I just wonder what that means.====LIZ:  you didn't offend me, but thank you. i am weary of all the drama of the world.  everyday normal people matter, too. we do not need to live a life of guilt bc some are worse off, some better.  why did god make so many crummy people, is my question. the ones who need to feel guilt never will anyway.  my two cents for the day!====JACK:  If I could only put myself in your place...then I would understand.  Love begins with trying to understand.  Personally, I don't think that God created crummy people.  God has created people and given them free will.  They are not be be robots manipulated by him.  I believe that God has also created people to help (love) one another.  I see Jesus as God creating a human being with a spirit (his Spirit) to show us how we are to live and treat other individuals.  Of course, there is more to Jesus than that, but his life and teachings are an example for me to the words, "Love your neighbor (care about people in need)" are very important to me.  Having said that...We each have our relationship with God.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My thought for the day in S.S. yesterday was "The purpose of Life is to convert time into love. Love keeps us going; Hope moves our feet." (Maria Goff's book: Love Lives Here) We have people in our church congregation struggling with all those challenges you mention here, and are good hard working folks who haven't had the opportunities others had, or sometimes made poor decisions along the way. Love and being appreciated go a long way to lighten their load!  I forget the name of the woman, now, who said, "I long for the day when a child can say, "Mother, what was War?!"  Amen!====JACK:  Sometimes folks do such a good job explaining why people are poor and needy that the explanation becomes an excuse to do nothing.  I think of the man born blind and how Jesus was asked for the reason.  Jesus didn't explain the reason; he just healed the man.

FROM LS:  John I do and it is painful.  Immediately,  I need help for a woman in auburn hills that is without.  Yes, in auburn Hills.   I have tired churches, community agencies et al all have been no help to her for various reasons.  Do you know any charities or persons that help those who have no where to turn?====JACK:  Part of the "helper's" job is to know the resources that are available.  In our area there' an organization called, The Lighthouse, which does a good job of helping meet the needs of people in a variety of ways including, referrals.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  "But what do I know?"  I know that hate has changed the world and it will take more than a moment to change that.  It's sad to watch as so many evil and perverse forces are on the attack in society today.  A simple example is the road rage that is so common these days.  The adage "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" has almost been obliterated.  John Lennon thought love could change the world, but the words of his song "All You Need Is Love" have been sadly misinterpreted by today's youth.  I think a paraphrase of Martin Luther King would be that so many who knew better, stood by and watched but did nothing to stop it.====JACK:  St. Paul had a good answer..."Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."  It's a real  battle to give voice for the voiceless, but as the song says: "We shall overcome."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  What a wonderful thought, everyone loving everyone.   In Heaven, that will be the case.====JACK:  The needs of the poor these days are being made into a political issue, when, in reality, it's a religious (moral and humanitarian) issue.  WWJD?====JUDY:  Unfortunately, by helping people the wrong way, we made a mess of things.  There are many groups doing the best they can and those are the people we should help.  Send vaccines, food, clothing, care packages, animals and help the poor learn to help themselves.

FEOM KANSAN DON:  Ask the CEO at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.====JACK: Don't you have a CEO in Kansas with similar ideas anout caring for the poor and needy?.BTW, How's your tax experiement turning out?

FROM LA VIE EN ROSE:   Thanks for sharing! I have been listening to this song a lot lately :) ====JACK:  I like it...the words...the beat.

FROM LBP:  :)====JACK:  Be sure to read the blog.====LBP:  I did. One other person knew the song.  Interesting reactions it elicited. It can be tiring to love your neighbors and walk in their shoes. I guess I take the "in a moment" to be less of a magic wand for an instantaneous global fix than a reminder in each moment. Your comment about an open mind is more of my interpretation. And I cannot save the world myself. It's too overwhelming to contemplate. Think of the x-men origin stories when Dr Xavier realizes his empathetic ability can scan the globe. The cacophony is overwhelming. I regularly remind myself to focus on my place in the picture.  Here is an example. I was excited for strides toward precision medicine in cancer when a colleague who serves displaced teens in the city grilled me on this use of funds. Frustrated she asked How can the perfect treatment for one outweigh the needs of so many who struggle to get basic care? Would such precision science be available to them?  We talked. In my world of cancer research "everyone" wants the fix for cancer. But outside that bubble are worlds I didn't even know, like lgbtq teens living on the streets of Detroit. I support her efforts and I believe she now sees the value of mine in the bigger picture. And what do you know... we got funds from the hospital for both. I cannot do it all. None of us can do it alone. But if we each take a part and are open to listening .... maybe love can change the world in a moment ... but what do I know?====JACK:  There's an old song with the line..."And, if everyone lit just one little candle,  What a bright world this would be!"  Thanks for being a candle lighter.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/16/17
“One’s first book, kiss, home run, is always the best.”  (Clifton Fadiman)  Today’s quote is one that causes us to try and remember…pause.,,Oh, that was good!  Maybe the first isn’t always the best, but we generally do remember the best times in our life.  “Those were the days!”  And,  maybe “the best” is to be in the future.  Who knows?  My wife and I received a cutting board as a wedding gift.  On it was written, “Grow old along with me.  The best is yet to be.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM TRIHARDER:  I was just talking about my/our "first kiss" with my beautiful girl friend last night. Very coincidental, Jack.====JACK:  Your response is the first received today, and, so far, it's the best.====TH:  It took me a second. :-)====JACK:  I thought you'd like it.====TH:  Wasn't the first time.

FROM TARMART REV:  Happy Father's Day, Jack!!====JACK:  Where's the necktie?

FROM VOLUNTEER JB:  Your choices are always good, but today is special for Louise and me.
Today is our anniversary and there has been many special "firsts" in the past 50 years.====JACK:  50 years ago on June 16...The Monterey Pop Festival began, featuring Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, Janis Joplin and The Who.  It was Hippie time.  The Vietnam War was raging.  There was rioting in Detroit.  And your wedding took place.  Wow!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  First kisses are usually pretty chaste...think they probably improve with experience! :-)  Lots of good and sometimes funny stories about "first dates"...I remember my first date with Bill was on a Sunday night (because I had plans for both Friday and Saturday, but did want to go out with him!) to see the movie "They Were Expendable" a war story about Eddie Rickenbacher!  The first thing he did when we went out for a bite, after the show, was pull out pictures of his two little nieces and talk about them. I thought, "He'd make a great father!" :-)  They were flower girls at our wedding 8 months later!====JACK:  Which twin had the first date, or was it a double date?====OAKS:  No double date this time...but way back when we turned 15, and were allowed to go on a date, we both had dates, and went to a school dance! :-) Big Whoopie! Or so we thought at the time. Bob Hosier was my date, and he brought me a rose corsage and a box of Chocolates, as it was our 15th bday, too! 

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i think that quote is from Rabbi Ben Ezra...====JACK:  The quote, "Grow old along with me...", is by Robert Browning from the poem, Rabbi Ben Ezra....I think!

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  It wasn't the first kiss that was memorable.====JACK:  Maybe the most memorable (and best) was the last.====GEORGE:  Every day with my wife.====JACK:  Does she ever read the blog?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/15/17
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in.”  (John Muir)  The Crazy Tourist lists the 50 Most Beautiful Places in the World.  I wonder if “your” place is one of them?  A calendar, one year, showed 12 beautiful country churches.  The best, to me, was the one where I served as pastor.  In your mind, what makes for a beautiful house of worship?  Oh, and BTW, the C.T. says that Halong Bay in Vietnam is the #1 beautiful place.    ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP:   I look for the sense of community as the "beauty"====JACK:  "Home is where the heart is!" said Pliny the Elder (AD 23-79).

FROM TARMART REV:  ...blooming where I'm presently planted...still working towards a "transplant?!" 0;-)====JACK:  Do you have a favorite among the places you've lived?  the churches you've served?====REV:  Willmar's AG would serve as the welcomed harvest of a lifetime of preparation and fulfillment  . . . Temple Kol Ami and and the WB First AG the most unique experience. (I will always wish I had studied that title more thoroughly . . . if I had, I would most likely have chosen a much shorter and simpler one then that one)====JACK:  From Jeremiah 1...
Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,
     5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
            And before you were born I consecrated you;
            I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
      6Then I said, “Alas, Lord GOD!
            Behold, I do not know how to speak,
            Because I am a youth.”
      7But the LORD said to me,
            “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’
            Because everywhere I send you, you shall go,
            And all that I command you, you shall speak.
      8“Do not be afraid of them,
            For I am with you to deliver you,” declares the LORD.
9Then the LORD stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me,
            “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  my best place to worship has always been outside. nature is my temple.====JACK:  Oh, rats!  I thought that you might say, "Shepherd of the Lakes." back in the days when..."====MARY:  it was back in the day of freed. it's not my choice now with the big screen worship. I need simple surroundings. maybe you spoiled me;)====JACK:  I'm not into "big screen" either, but I've learned to adjust...and I can remember and appreciate the good times I've had in ministry...and the great people I've encountered (like you).

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Our Church has beautiful stained glass windows; a huge one as you enter the church, of Jesus, lambs, and "Come Unto Me"...just gorgeous, and in front a cross surrounded by many colors of glass which the sun causes to shine brilliantly, and panels along each side of the sanctuary. It is very worshipful to me, as well as the people who become "church family", floral arrangements, and inspirational banners.  I definitely need beauty as well as bread, it feeds my soul.  Outdoor worship venues certainly  inspire as well, communing with nature !  We have been so blessed in America not to sustain horrible damage with warfare and bombs, (aside from the Trade Center, and 9/11..) as many other countries have had to deal torn asunder! So Sad! So many priceless treasures lost forever.  How gratifying to have your country church featured among 12 beautiful ones!  Where was it located? The well maintained, rural churches are always picturesque, when you drive by them!====JACK:  The country church was like many people...plain, but beautiful in its simplicity.====OAKS:  Beautiful indeed! Sadly many of these (and even city) churches are being dissolved. Our  "big" church is struggling,  too! Complete change of neighborhood, in the 40+ yrs. I've been there...

FROM SUNSHINE:  Jack, good to hear about your "best" church. Joanna and I appreciate your "Winning Words" even though  we don't participate in the blog.====JACK:  You're participating now!  I am also proud of the Grayslake church that you designed.  As you know, it was named one of the outstanding small churches built that year.  I'm sorry that the congregation was not able to follow the master plan.  Oh, well.  The design is in my mind.

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  ;Should this be added  to Luther"s  explanation of  "daily bread"? ====JACK:  If I happen to see him, I'll let him know of your suggestion.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Probably the Chapel at Hartwick Pines.  I love it!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/14/17
“You can’t prove you’re an American by waving Old Glory.”  (Helen Gahagan Douglas)  It has been a sign of patriotism that politicians wear an American flag pin.  Personally, I look at the causes a politician supports (or doesn’t support) to determine my vote.  I remember a church member who would always wear a gold cross in his lapel, but, more importantly, he lived the teachings of Jesus.  I like to see flags waving, but I like real patriotism even more.    ;-)  Jack

FROM COMMERCE LOU:  Happy Flag Day, Pastor!====JACK:  Oh, say, can you see...that Old Glory is waving from our house today?

FROM TRIHARDER:  Absolutely! Or how honest one is by proclaiming religious devotion to Gd.
====JACK:  It's sad when a symbol, such as Old Glory, is used for personal gain.  More than disgusts me.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  those flag pins (& their requisite wearing) is silly.====JACK:  There's lots of silliness in this world today.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  What is a real patriot?====JACK:  As with beauty, the definition is in the eye of the beholder.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/13/17
“There’s an old saying in business:  You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”  (Peter Diamandis)  Think about it…What people have influenced you the most?  A family member?  A friend?  Someone at work?  A teacher?  A TV commentator?  Jesus?  Who are your five?  Author Robert Rohm says that they’re the ones who believe in us the most.  Now that’s something to contemplate.  We are more than we seem to be.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Geneticists say you are what your DNA is.    Environment plays a role but genes are determinative.    I think that is accurate.=====JACK:  I think that it sounds better to say that I was influenced by some person, rather than by some gene pool.  BTW, is there room for the spirit in the pool?====JOHN:  It sounds better but it appears to be an "alternate fact".    One would imagine that the Spirit's power is not limited by any combination  of DNA.   I like the words "power of the Holy Spirit" in the Creed.====JACK:  That's one of the reasons why "Holy Spirit" was chosen as the name of our West Bloomfield congregation.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My children, my husband, Philip Yancy, C.S. Lewis, my best friend, Sarah Reed, Mrs Honeywell (pastor's wives) to name just a few; I must be the average of way more than five!!  Interesting idea to contemplate... In recent years, I'd add your name!====JACK:  The truth is....we are continually being influenced by people....And, don't forget: We are influencing people, too.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Wow, that's an interesting thought!  And probably very true.  I'd like to think those around me believe in me.  I will be pondering that thought for awhile.  It's a true blessing! ====JACK:  Think of those Sunday School teacher days.

FROM VW MARY:  I have to tell you that a quote you sent(date unknown) by John Wesley  –Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, etc.,--came up in Bible Study today.  See,  Winning Words do have an impact and can go on forever….====JACK:  I went back and tried to find that Wesley Winning Words.  No success...yet.

FROM INDY GENIE:  Food for thought.====JACK: And, you don't have to worry about overeating, either.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Jack’s Winning words 6/12/17
“One message at just the right moment can change your entire day.”  (Megan Murphy)  Do you need an uplift during these days of unease in the world?  Maybe you’ve  heard of the Kindness Rock Project.  M.M. picks up stones during her daily walks.  She paints a positive message on each and leaves them in various spots for others to find.  Finders will often put them in places all over the world.  One that I like reads: “It doesn’t rain forever.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM VW MARY:  A neat thing to do!====JACK: It starts with an idea.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  More good words, Jack.====JACK:  What would your rock say? ====GEORGE:  "A winner never quits & a quitter never wins."====JACK:  That's appropriate.

FROM TARMART REV: rocks, for sure!!' 0;-)====JACK:  I'm sure that your pet rock is the Rock of Ages.====REV:  I could not have come up with a better follow-up line then that One?! 0;-)

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Was that one written to. Noah? ====JACK:  Noah was optimistic..."I'm singing in the rain!"

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  What a novel idea! I've seen rocks with painted messages in craft shows and gift shops, even have  a couple with HOPE, and BELIEVE, and ...THE STONE IS ROLLED AWAY...HALLELUJAH!. But not strewn along hiking paths, etc.  Love that idea! How about Jimi Hendrix message, "When the Power of Love overcomes the Love of Power, the world will know peace."====JACK:  FROM BLAZING OAKS:  What a novel idea! I've seen rocks with painted messages in craft shows and gift shops, even have  a couple with HOPE, and BELIEVE, and ...THE STONE IS ROLLED AWAY...HALLELUJAH!. But not strewn along hiking paths, etc.  Love that idea! How about Jimi Hendrix message, "When the Power of Love overcomes the Love of Power, the world will know peace."====JACK:  You'd need a pretty big rock for Jimi's message.  Here's an idea....Why not leave a "message rock" outside of your pastor's office door.  Wait to see if he wonders about it or comments on it.====OAKS:  Our pastor is a SHE..Cana Roth...She would no doubt comment on it, but wouldn't know who set it there ...====JACK:  That's your assignment.  I wonder what your message will be?====OAKS:  My message will be:"You are Loved and Appreciated!"  Now to find a rock!

FROM JLF:  I read about the kindness rocks, I thought that was a nice idea.====JACK: Maybe you could leave a "rock" on someone's desk when they're not around...and see what the response might be.

FROM STEVE KENT:  I bet you WW is a message people have 'found' at just the right moment all over the world. Can you imagine what you'd have thought if somebody told you back in your early days as a Pastor that you'd minister and spread the Word to all sorts of people over great distances on a daily basis? If St. Paul was here today he'd knock on your door and ask you to school him on proper email message writing!  I rarely respond, but I assure you, my morning routine begins with a cup of coffee and WW my first five minutes at work, and I am certain many others do the same. Thanks for the WW. ====JACK:  I'm amazed when I think that I "preach" to more people daily with Winning Words than I ever did from the pulpit...even on an Easter Sunday.  ...and the sermons are shorter, too.  ...and no offering, either.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's a great idea and I love the saying.  I may cross stitch it for my scrapbook room!  And, I needed the uplift too!====JACK:  "You are not alone in this world!" is another good one.====JUDY:  When I think of our problems I remember those who have much worst thing to face.  We're grateful for God who cares and loves us just as we are!====JACK:  Who knows who will find "your rock (x-stitch) and truly appreciate it?

Friday, June 09, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/9/17
“Hope means to keep living amid desperation and to keep humming in the darkness.”  (Henri J. M. Nouwen)  Nouwen was a Dutch Catholic priest whose books are printed in more than 30 languages and read by millions of people.  One of his themes is, “How can we make our religion relevant in our daily life?”  What’s the answer to global warming, terrorism, renewed racism?  Is it enough to keep humming, “My hope is built on nothing less…?”     ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP:  I found this poem among some old HS papers while cleaning last week. It's Emily Dickinson it seems. And looks like we were encouraged to add a verse. Ha ha.  Anyhow I decided to put it on my board at work. A nice image of hope.
"Hope" is the thing with feathers--  That perches in the sand--
Sings the tune without the words--  And never stops--at all--
====JACK:  That poem was written in 1861 at the onset of the Civil War.  If ever was a time in need of hope, those were the days.

FROM ANNEM:  I enjoy reading Nouwen's works too.  Just met them last year.====JACK:  Do you ever hum?  I whistle more than hum.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/8/17
“New day, new hopes, new life!”  (Lailah Gifty Akita)  Lailah is an inspirational writer from Ghana whose basic message is: “Think well of yourself and try to act positively.”  She has a passion for getting this message across to young people.  But, older people can use the message, too.  A doctor recently told me, “You’ll never ever be as young as you are right now.”  So, in that sense, we’re all whippersnappers.  (Do you know what a whippersnapper is?)    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Learning more of this while drafting and redrafting and redrafting again my resume and collecting "positives benefits and blessings" of being a chaplain.====JACK:  Here's a verse from the hymn, "Search me, O God, and know my heart today..."
Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine;  Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine;
Take all my will, my passion, self and pride;  I now surrender, Lord, in me abide.

FROM CPA BOB:  I don't know what a whippersnapper is.  I could go to Google, of course, but I would rather hear the answer from you.====JACK:  As I recall...In the horse and buggy days, young boys would "show off" by snapping the whip really loud to scare the horse and make him go faster.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  A young person who knows what is going on and intends to enjoy life.  Enjoy each day.====JACK:  Do you know anyone like that?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  The words today have a "joyous" sound, and enthusiastic verve! My kind of gal! In Ghana it is probably needed more than here in the USA, but it truly  reflects a great way to arise in the morning! I'm putting it on my fridge!  (At 87 I need all the help I can get, though I am usually a very positive person!)  Thanks for the lift...====JACK:  You are proof that there is such a thing as an 87-yr-old whippersnapper.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/7/17
“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”  (John F. Kennedy)  Our pastor often challenges us at the close of worship:  “Go in peace.  Remember the poor!”  The reasons for poverty are many, but the fact remains that being poor is no fun.  Jesus’s parable, the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31), suggests a role reversal in the life to come.  I’m not blaming nor excusing.  I’m just advising, “Remember the poor!”    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Amen to that, Preacher!!  i think there may be some really surprised folks come the judgment... JACK:  That's what God's judgment is all about...surprises.  I like the Luther quote:  "When I get to heaven, 3 things will surprise me.  First, I'll see some people there I didn't expect to see. . Second, some will be missing that I expected to see..and third, that I am there myself."  (or something like that).

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  My father was out of work for a few years during the depression in this country in the 1930's.  We children didn't know that we were poor, but my parents struggled, providing for us was difficult.  Later I understood we were "poor", and how Mom and Dad suffered from it.  There were a few in the community who were "better off" and they gave my father work tending their homes and gardens.  My mother did the laundry and ironing for others in the town to help with some additional income.  There were compassionate people who chose to help my parents' plight.  It's reprehensible what's going on these days.  Corporate executives getting multi-million dollar incomes, yet unwilling to keep workers employed, paying a fair income to the men and women doing the work.  Even those executives who can't keep the profits up get terminated, then handed millions of dollars in severance pay, their so-called "golden parachute".  It's a sad commentary on American society.====JACK:  I'm thankful for pastors who remind their congregation to "remember the poor."  Without seeming to be judgmental, I hope that the "religious right" ministers do that, as well.  The Great Depression was hard on my family, too.  In retrospect, I'm glad for the remembered experience.  It reminds me of the quote by Edward Noyes Wescott:  "They say a reasonable number of fleas is good for a dog--keeps him from broodin' over being a dog."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How true!  However, the Bible tells us there will always be the poor.  Wouldn't be wonderful if they all had jobs and a place to live?  Something to work towards!! ====JACK:  That quote is often used for not facing up to the needs of the poor.  (ie:  The problem is too big.  It will never be solved.)  I think the correct interpretation is that there will always be situations where we need to help out people in need.  There are "poor" people who have jobs and have places to live.  There are different kinds of poverty.  I continue to keep my envelope of dollar bills in the car for when opportunities arise to hand them out.  Thanks for the suggestion.====JUDY:  I understand the passage but it is a reminder of the fact we will always have someone to help.  Glad you keep money in hand,  my grandkids take turns passing it out and that way we always have it available.  It definitely is more of a blessing to give isn't it?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  We can just do our little bit to alleviate poverty and help those in need in the corner where we live; If everyone did that, what a bright world this would be! +As JayZ expressed it: "The burden of poverty isn't just that you don't have what you need, it's the feeling of being embarrassed every day of your life, and you'd do anything to lift that burden."  From one who knows firsthand...====JACK:  It's been my experience that the really poor don't often walk through the church least to worship. Maybe they don't feel that they can afford it, or that they don't have good enough clothes to wear.  BTW, my son often chides me when we collect food for the poor..."Dad, did you buy the store brand food?"  I justify it that you can buy more when you don't buy the name products...but he's got a point.

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  Kennedy said some amazing things; I wish I was old enough to appreciate some of them at the time.====JACK:  "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."  Can you imagine that being said today?  The Kennedy presidency was a challenging time.====BB:  Society today is so focused on the self.  Kennedy’s quote is marvelous and remains timely.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/6/17
“What you put into your mind before you are 21 is like a bank account.  You will be drawing on that for the rest of your life.”  (Yo Yo Ma)  Today is National Yo-Yo Day.  Can you do yo-yo tricks…walk the dog, around the world?  But on to YoYo Ma, the famous cellist.  He sees knowledge as an important investment that will pay dividends for a lifetime.  Thinking back…morality, a spiritual life, family values, basic education…all learned before 21.    ;-)  Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Yo Yo Ma is one of the brilliant talents in the world, and his philosophy about early influences in our lives is brilliant too.  I thank my parents again and again for their guidance with morality, spiritual life, family values and basic education.  They invested in me, but I'm the one who continues to receive the dividends.====JACK:  I see your parents as "salt of the earth" people.  We don't hear that expression much anymore, but it has a biblical origin.  Matthew 5:13  "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."  Salt also expresses negative concepts; for example, in the Middle Ages, salt was spread on land to poison it, as a punishment to landowners who had transgressed against society in some way.  In a positive sense,  'the salt of the earth' referred to the value of salt. This is shown in other phrases, for example, the aristocratic and powerful of the earth were 'above the salt' and valued workers were 'worth their salt'.  'The salt of the earth' was first published in English in Chaucer's Summoner's Tale, circa 1386 (Ye been the salt of the erthe and the savour).====RI:  Thanks for that response regarding my judged rightly.  I know of the biblical reference about salt, having read it just recently in my daily scripture reading.  Salt has forever been vital in making our food palatable.  From our years of residing in the Detroit metro area I often heard that the city was built over a vast salt deposit, and that they took  advantage of it for de-icing the roads every winter.====JACK:  Don't you wonder how all of that salt came to be under Detroit?  This world is ever changing in ways we can't imagine.

FROM PR CH ON CAPE COD:  He’s also an incredible person.  My music minister’s sister-in-law worked in the offices of Carnegie Hall for years.  She said when Yo-Yo came, he treated the custodial staff with the same respect he treated other musicians, anyone and everyone.  While at Swarthmore College, I went in to the Curtis Institute of Music once to listen to a cello masterclass.  6 students played- one I didn’t think played very well.  And I was thinking, “OK. Yo-Yo, pick up the cello and show us how it’s done!  And he did what he did for the other 5.  He complimented one thing, and focused on one thing that needed work, and picked up the cello only briefly to demonstrate something without showing off at all.”  A lesson in being kind, considerate, and an excellent teacher. Blessings to you this day.  JACK:  I'll bet he puts his pants on, one leg at a time, too.  My home pastor got an honorary D.D. degree and people began to refer to him as "Doctor" instead of "Pastor."  I remember him saying that he got the degree, because he raised some money for them.  "The D.D. stands for, Donated Dignity."  As a college student, I would often lead the liturgy wearing his robe with the velvet stripes on it.  The college/seminary people didn't think that was too cool.  His response was, "Jack, do think that Jesus cares?"

 FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good words today.  Jack.  thanks.   would that the whole world knew and believed this.  i am concerned about all the crap that is being put into some young minds these days.====JACK:  Put your mind at ease.  God is still God.  I remember "America First" as a rallying cry for isolationist prior to WW 2.  I also remember when the RSV came out as a translation of the Bible into modern language....  A pastor said, "If the King James Version was good enough for Saint Paul, it's good enough for me."  (true story)  My young mind survived.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Clem could do all kinds of tricks with a yo-yo.  Me—I can make it go up and down!====JACK:  ...but I'll bet that you could jump rope better than he could.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  "They" say a child's personality is complete by age 4 including his learning path.  That's scary for a lot of children who don't get the chance to develop their abilities.  But I do believe you can learn as long as you are alive.  Basic morals are learned also and hopefully by 21 you have learned positive morals.====JACK:  It's an old proverb..."You're never too old to learn."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I read in Benjamin Bloom's book on early education, that a child's capacity for learning is pretty well set by the age of THREE! He was instrumental in getting pre-schools for disadvantaged children for that reason, to give them a fighting chance in school...I think our generation, with more stay-at-home moms, had an advantage in learning family values, and cultural values and morals were certainly more unified and raised the bar much higher than exists now. The WW words today seem to ring true, and YoYo Ma is worth listening to!====JACK:  We usually think of exploring in terms of finding new lands.  There's much exploring yet to be done in the human mind,,,and in the gene pool, too.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/5/17
“It’s hard to beat somebody when they don’t give up.”  (Babe Ruth)  An adage of baseball is that you never give up on a ball.  “Things” happen.  It works that way in life, too.  Maybe we need to hit the “replay” button to recall how God has been with us in some difficult times, to hear again his words, “I’ll never leave you.  I’ll always be with you.”  St. Paul’s words assured some frightened people: “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I think about God's grace in my life each and every day. I'm sure you do too.====JACK:  Some church hymnals have changed the hymn, Amazing Grace, to read:"that saved a soul like me."  I think the original: "that save a wretch like me,"  puts it more accurately.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  That was one of several messages in "The Shack."  Have you seen the movie or read the book?====JACK:  Started the book but (for one reason or another) didn't finish it.  Haven't seen a movie since Inspector Gadget.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  God generously gives us memories to spend time to think back on both blessings and blemishes.  Blessings far outweigh the blemishes!====JACK:  I think that some people have a better assortment of memories than do others.====JUDY:  Yes and some have great memories but no memory left to bring them to light.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  That's the secret isn't it? Perseverance! Just read the story of Mariam Sobh, a Muslim woman, very attractive, with a Master's degree in broadcast Journalism, born and raised in America, but because of wearing the scarf (hijab) has never found a job in television (her dream) as a news anchor, talk show host or anything else.  When she sends out tapes of her work, she gets many interviews, across the country, but when meeting in person, they find a reason not to hire. She says she will never give up, and if she doesn't become the 1st Muslim TV anchor, perhaps her daughter (she's 6) or someone's daughter will achieve that goal, and she will have paved the  way. She certainly has the personality and intelligence to do the job!====JACK:  A young Muslim woman in our community explained to me why she chooses to wear a hijab.  From her point of view, it's a matter of choice.====OAKS:  Yes. She made that very is a choice; To her it is the symbol of her commitment to her faith. I think that is why she titled her article "Just a scarf away". She realizes that station managers probably think when an audience would see a Muslim woman anchoring the news, it will be biased reporting, but she knows she would bend over backward NOT to biased. She broadcast for 3 years on the U. of Illinois network while a student and grad student there, and her professors lauded her work, and thought she would go far in TV broadcasting, but if so, not yet!  She makes her own videos and I guess puts them on the internet...====JACK:  Things aren't fair when you're profiled.  So, we sing..."I shall overcome!"

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Everything happens for a reason. But sometimes it isn't easy to think about that.  My grandson with the broken foot and ankle is getting his hard cast today.  He has already had six surgeries.====JACK:  Even Jesus (on the cross) called out:  "My God, WHY?"

Friday, June 02, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/2/17
“A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something.”  (Wilson Mizner)  Mizner was a raconteur (a fancy word meaning, someone who says things in an entertaining way).  Brainy Quote has a long list of Mizner stuff.  Ellen DeGeneres is an example of a modern raconteur.  This may seem odd, but I see Jesus as a raconteur, one who tells entertaining stories.  Which of his do you like the best?    ;-)  Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  There have been times when I wished I had listened more and talked/acted less.====JACK:  I think that the early disciples of Jesus felt that way, too, after the Ascension.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I really disagree with you on seeing Jesus as a raconteur...."one who tells stories in a skillful and amusing way."   I think that demeans the great parables.    Most of them are not very amusing.   They, instead, impart a lesson to us through the use of story.   And, they have incredible depth to them.   Thirdly, it is a teaching that reveals God's word to us.    Way more than what some of these inspirational speakers could ever imagine!====JACK:  It seems as though you are surmising certain things.  ...that Jesus didn't have a sense of humor.  ...that the parables weren't crafted in such a way as to first get the attention of the listeners.  ...that a raconteur is only trying to amuse people.  Mizner, the raconteur, taught many lessons in an amusing way.  The lessons were taught, no matter how.  (Sometimes the end justifies certain means.)  We, in our sermons (and in our children's messages), first try to get the attention of the listeners and then give them the message.  BTW, I think that you and I have the same goal in mind.  We sometimes use different routes to get there.====JOHN:  For me...and apparently Merriam-Webster...Jesus' parables are on a whole different level than are amusing little stories that teach a lesson....I t would be like labeling Dostoyoevsky's Grand Inquisitor story as an example of a raconteur.   I just don't buy it.====JACK:  Your response shows that people who look at things with different eyes will often see different things.  I purposely used the word "raconteur" and connected it with Jesus, anticipating some thoughts from you.  If one were to compare our theological thoughts with beer, mine would be classified as lite and yours as full-bodied and hearty.  I'm OK with that.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  Just the "word picture" of a camel trying to squeeze through the eye of a needle can make me laugh.  Yes, I know the "needle" was a "gateway" that a fully loaded camel couldn't possible get through, not something to sew tents with, but still . . . ====JACK:  Sometimes pastors have a hard time breaking out of their theological shell and enjoying things realistically.  I know that reality TV is often a waste, but sometimes I look in to see what Honey Boo Boo is up to.
====SJ:  Good for you!

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  Kathy and I think you qualify as a raconteur.   I think your sermons did too.====JACK:  ....but what about Jesus?  The word, raconteur, often posits a less than holy image.====DAZ:  Jesus. Yes, I like the prodigal son story because it has so many different messages.
====JACK:  I like the one where the beggar, Lazarus, is sitting at the city gate eating scraps from the rich man...and,how, in heaven, their roles are reversed.

FROM SA IN WASHINGTON:  Zaccheus, come down from there! Haha! Be at peace with who you are. Jesus has got you!====JACK:  Did you ever sing this song?
Zaccheus was a wee, little man,  And a wee, little man was he.
He climbed up in a sycamore tree,  For the Lord he wanted to see.
And as the Savior came that way,  He looked up in the tree,
Spoken: And he said,"Zaccheus, you come down from there,"
For I'm going to your house today.  For I'm going to your house today.
====SA:  Oh yes! And our kids also sang that song. That's a good one. I'm humming the tune at my desk today.  Thanks for the reminder!====JACK:  If you put your mind to it. you can probably remember some others, too.
Rise and shine and give God your glory, glory!
Rise and shine and give God your glory, glory!
Rise and shine and (clap once) give God your glory, glory!
(Raise hands to shoulder level and sway back and forth.)
Children of the Lord.

The Lord said to Noah, "There's gonna be a floody, floody."
Lord said to Noah, "There's gonna be a floody, floody."
"Get those children (clap once) out of the muddy, muddy!"
Children of the Lord.

So Noah, he built him, he built him an arky, arky.
Noah, he built him, he built him an arky, arky.
Made it out of (clap once) hickory barky, barky.
Children of the Lord.

The animals, they came on, they came on by twosies, twosies.
The animals, they came on, they came on by twosies, twosies.
Elephants and (clap once) kangaroosies, roosies.
Children of the Lord.


It rained, and poured, for forty daysies, daysies.
Rained, and poured, for forty daysies, daysies.
Nearly drove those (clap once) animals crazy, crazy.
Children of the Lord.

The sun came out and dried up the landy, landy.
Sun came out and dried up the landy, landy.
Everything was (clap once) fine and dandy, dandy.
Children of the Lord.

Now that is the end, the end of my story, story.
That is the end, the end of my story, story.
Everything is (clap once) hunky dory, dory.
Children of the Lord.


FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Probably the woman who touched Jesus' robe and the Roman who believed Jesus would just say the words and his beloved servant would be healed. ====JACK:  Oh, if it could happen that way today!  People would be standing in long lines.  But...were those stories of healing, or stories of faith?====JUDY:  Faith then healing.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 6/1/17
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”  (Norman Vincent Peale)  Peale is famous for his book, The Power of Positive Thinking.  Maybe it works; maybe not, but the fact remains that the way we look at a situation can turn it into a positive or a negative.  I try to find the good in a happening, in spite of the bad.  My thoughts affect my world.  Even when faced with the bad…what can be done to make it better?  Does that make me a Pollyanna?    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  btw, what is the origin of that word?====JACK:   Do you mean, Pollyanna?  A children's series called, The Glad Books, featured Pollyanna, a little girl who always looked on the optimistic side of things.  A "Pollyanna" came to be known as someone who always looked on the bright side of life.====SP:  thank you.  i must have missed that story somewhere along the line tho i did know the general use of the term pollyanna.====JACK:  Some see P as a negative name.  Those people are called, Negative Nellies,====PAUL:  or Donny Downer or Pouty Pauly:):):) ====JACK:  Have you ever been a Pouty Pastor?  I remember one who told the Church Budget Committee that his wife would be mad if he went home and told her that he wasn't getting a raise.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  Dear Pollyanna,   Today is the first day of the rest of your life. I choose to make the best of mine.   Love, Pollyanna====JACK:  It seems as though there's more than one Pollyanna in the world.====MARY:  We can only hope. I think we should all get together and play the "glad game ".====JACK:  I think that it would be fun (and a learning experience) to spend a day at the Peppermint School.

FROM INDY GENIE: Yes, I think that makes you a Pollyanna. In my book, that's a good thing. :) I love the "glad game"!====JACK:  "I'm glad...that we're still in touch after so many years!"

FROM LH:  So many of your ‘winning words’ help bolster me during this transitional and hectic time in my life.  Bless you!====JACK:  Josh Groban sings this song:  (I think it's about God)

When I am down and, oh, my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

There is no life - no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

You raise me up to more than I can be.
====L:  Thank you.  I’ll try to remember these words.  Think He was with me again today, because the several frustrations I encountered didn’t get me down.  My goals for the day aren’t necessarily His goals.====JACK:  He'll raise you up to walk on stormy seas!