Monday, July 31, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 7/31/17
“Your presence is a present to the world.  You’re unique and one of a kind.  Your life can be what you want it to be.  Take the days just one at a time.”  (Collin McCarty)  These lines are from a book I received this week.  They’re a reminder that each of us is a special creation.  Dr Seuss said, “There’s no one alive who’s Youer than You.”  So…that means that each of us is important in some way in this world.  It remains for each of us to find our niche.    ;-)  Jack

FROM THE DEACON:  You... are blessed to be a blessing to all those who see your light shining!
Psalms 89:15 "Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord."  Wishing you a spectacular day in His light,====JACK:  You probably recognize today's quote.  It applies to you, as well.  "If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another."  (1 John 1:7)  Do you know the hymn, Stepping In the Light?  The chorus goes like this: "How beautiful to walk in the steps of the Savior,  Stepping in the light, stepping in the light,  How beautiful to walk in the steps of the Savior,Led in paths of light."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  We r all still here for a reason and we certainly have to appreciate each day we have.====JACK:  One of my favorite poems is The Clock of Life.   "The clock of life is wound but once  And no one has the power   To tell just when the hands will stop,  At late or early hour.  
Now is the only time you own;  Live, love, work, and with a will;   Place no faith in tomorrow, for  The clock may then be still."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We are all precious in His sight.  I loved the Dr. Seuss reference because he had such a loving grasp of humankind.  If we could just see ourselves as God sees us and Dr. Seuss imagined us as humans.  Imagine how this world would be!====JACK:  Isn't it an amazing thought...There is no one Youer and You!...only ONE Outhouse Judy in the whole, wide world!

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  I’m so happy you are a presence in my world – what an awesome present!====JACK:  Do you remember the hymn, "Blest Be the Tie."  It reminds me of the bond between our families.  You probably can sing it!
Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
Before our Father’s throne,
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
Our comforts, and our cares.
We share our mutual woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.
When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Love Dr. Suess; He found his niche! :-)  Yes, even identical twins are each unique !  And we each found our way as pastor's wives, teachers, and mothers of 4 unique kids! We had a lot in common! :-) We each make a difference in our little corner of the world. Thankful to still be "of service'  in some way!====JACK:  Yes, twins have a special bond, but Seuss got it right, "There's no one YOUER than YOU, Marilyn!

FROM SHALOM JAN:  I love that you often quote Dr. Seuss since he's one of my favorites.  I have done two sermon series for the Pentecost season(s) on texts from Acts and Seuss's "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" to encourage congregations to be the church wherever they are during the week.  Blessings on your day!====JACK:  I like the Brother Lawrence book, "The Practice of the Presence of God," in which he describes God being present in the monastery kitchen, among the dirty pots and pans.  God is omnipresent in our lives, isn't he?

Friday, July 28, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 7/28/17
“It takes a noble person to plant a seed for a tree that will sometime give shade to people he may never meet.”  (Elton Trueblood)  “Tree-hugger” is often used as a derogatory term, but, in reality, it refers to someone who cares about the environment…what it is now and what it will be in the future.  A friend of mine (John Hartig) has devoted his life to preserving a wild life refuge on the Detroit River.  He’s an example to us of that “noble person” in the quote.    ;-)  Jack

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  I'm a tree hugger... proud to speak for the trees!====JACK:  Not only for the trees, but for the whole environment.  Someday I'd like to arrange for you to meet John Hartig and to see what he has accomplished.====DR J:  I would enjoy that!====JACK: As it says in the Bible, "Ask, and you shall receive."

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Our use of the term "noble" has changed over the years.    In the 15th century the nobles of England wasted the land and killed thousands in a senseless grab for power.    I like the use of it for a "tree hugger."   My Dad was a tree hugger.   He planted all kinds of oaks that are there now....enhancing the environment.====JACK:  Noble can have a variety of meanings.  "Honorable" is the one I like the best.  In that sense, your father, beyond being a tree-hugger, was a noble man.  You seem to have inherited that quality from him.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  proud tree and brick hugger here...====JACK:  Person-hugger, too? ====LIZ:  i try to avoid it, but i love all people.====JACK:  I save the hugs for special occasions.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  I would like to meet John someday.====JACK:  It can be arranged.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  What an appropriate message!  My sister Kathy gave Gary a gift of enrolling him in the Arbor Day Foundation.  For $10 they will send you 10 trees.  We plan on rejoining very year to plant trees!====JACK:  That's a great idea...especially if some of them are fruit trees.  The area in which we live used to have many apple orchards...hence, the name Orchard Lake, Old Orchard Trail, Apple Blossom Lane, etc.====JUDY:  This year we ordered oaks and maples.  Next year we will order fruit because we have two apples and a pear tree already!

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  at my school we all learn to hug trees first thing. it is one of our three rules. be kind to everything. ====JACK:  Do you ever teach them to hug themselves?====MARY:  yes. another of our three rules. be kind to yourself. 

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  some years ago a Boy Scout, at my request and for his Eagle project, planted 45 pine tree seedlings around our church.  he was supposed to come by weekly to water them as it was a hot, dry summer but he did not.  by the time i realized what was happening,  30 of them had died.  so i got a bucket with a rope and went down to our pond and started watering the remaining 15 like mad!  today they are all big beautiful trees between the church and the two ponds to our south.  i only wish i had been able to save all 45 but 1/3 is better than nothing:):):)   PLH     (i still wonder if that Scout ever got his award???)====JACK:  It's sort of like the people who have been placed under our pastoral care.  They need watering, too.====PAUL:  yes indeed.  also like Luther's comment that when we wash our faces in the morning, that too should remind us of the waters of our baptism.  some good old fashion earthy theology... 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 7/27/17
“Make kindness your modus operandi and change your world.”  (Annie Lennox)  I like the sound of some phrases, and modus operandi is one.  Translated from Latin, it means, “way of operating.”  We each have “certain” characteristics that set us apart.  I know a folk song with the words, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love.”  When you’re checking out who are the Christians these days, it would be good to use that measure.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Oh Oh.   A touch of judgmental isn from Jack Freed!   ( btw, I agree with you)====JACK:  They've hijacked "evangelical."  But, I draw the line at Christian.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Margaret's message to the world has always been this: learn to be kind to one another.  Trump's baseball cap should read,  make America kind again!.====JACK:  A friend of mine hands out magnets to be attached to the back of cars.  They read, "Kindness Matters."  It really does. 

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Today would be a great day to practice what we preach.  I'm going to ask Gary what he thinks my modus operandi is and my character traits are.  Think he'll tell me the truth?!?====JACK:  I think that Gary will give a kind answer.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  How true that is!

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  ...all you need is love...====JACK:  Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.====MARY:   It's easy

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 7/26/17
“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”  (Confucious)   It’s said that, ”beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”  Mary showed our newborn son to someone and he said, “Aren’t babies homely?”  Some people think that pigs are homely, but one of my favorites on the TV show, Green Acres, was Arnold, the pig.  He was cute…and smart.  The song goes, “All thing bright and beautiful, the Lord God made them all.”  God is the ultimate beauty judge.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  "With the acceptance of God's love for each of us . . . the weariest and most hardened heart can come alive and flourish with a beauty and grace found beyond any measure!!"====JACK:  Yesterday I gave some money to a woman standing at an intersection with a sign saying that she needed food for her children.  Was that Jesus in disguise?====REV:  . . . the one giving or receiving?!====JACK:  From Matthew 6...the words of Jesus: "So when you give to the needy, do not sound a trumpet before you...  When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret."====REV:  ...some times though, we are the ones that leave that needy person pondering if we were "Jesus" with skin on. I still am reminded of the lady passing by me at Target some years ago saying, "You remind me of Jesus sitting there." (That was, of course, the last day I ever wore the robe, sandals and prayer shawl out in public.)  0;-))

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Maybe, I am cute.....who knows?====JACK:  If you are mage in the image of God, does that mean that God is cute?====JOHN:  Who would have thought it?====JACK:  Do you remember when Sallman's "Head of Christ" was really popular?  As I recall, it was called, "Beautiful Savior."  What do you think about when you sing the hymn, Beautiful Savior? ====JOHN:  I think of the St Olaf choir .====JACK:  Yes!  I think that they end every concert with it.

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  Poor David!  I liked the pig on green acres too..====JACK:  As I recall, there were some episodes depicting Arnold going to school.  Did you ever have any Arnolds in class when you were teaching?====J:  yes… I did have some Arnolds… no pig however!

FROM KG IN MICHIGAN:  I loved the books by James Herriot - All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Things Wise and Wonderful, The Lord God Made Them All, and Every Living Thing. He wrote additional books after the series of five and I believe there was a PBS series about him too.====JACK:  Both Mary and I enjoyed reading those books.  In fact, they're worth reading again.====KG:  I have recently re-read the first one and probably enjoyed it more.  I should start reading the rest of them.  One of the ladies Ron works with named her son after James brother, Tristin.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Isn't it something when people call babies names?  Physically, Kimberly wasn't the most pretty baby but she was beautiful to us.  And that little comment stayed with you all this time!  That's why we must think before we throw out a casual comment.  "God doesn't make junk" was a popular comment and I believe it!  The platypus and the anteater are questionable.====JACK:  At the time, Mary didn't like the comment, but through the years we've gotten lots of laughs, remembering it.  BTW, I think the platypus and the anteater think that their babies are cute.====JUDY:  Those moments are always funny afterward!  You have to laugh.  Someone told me to put Kimberly back in because she wasn't done yet!  I still smile at that one.  Someone else said she looked like a wet rat!  I tease her to this day.     I'm sure those animals love their little ones too.  They are very a good way!

FROM SHALOM JAN:  Interestingly, I've found that most of the homely babies I've seen turn out to be handsome adults.  I am so impressed with how beautiful our children are today.  They have all the advantages of good health care, good nutrition, opportunities for physical exercise in safe environments, etc.  Still, the loveliest of children and adults are those whose spirits are touched by the Spirit. ====JACK:  I thought that it was unusual phat the first baby I baptized was named, Rocky.  It was sort of like baptizing Peter, the Rock.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:   The books of Dr. Herriott (sp?) were great reading and sometimes so funny!! We sometimes read them aloud  to family or each other...Do you remember our Science teacher at MHS who tried to tell (and show) us how beautiful rattlesnakes were? In the eye of the beholder...!  Usually  in our society the Pretty and Handsome get preferential treatment, but eventually people learn to look "inside" to judge worth.  Good WW to ponder today!====JACK:  Yes, those were "read aloud" books.  I'd say to Mary: "Hey! listen to this."  

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 7/25/17
“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.”  (Vince Lombardi)  I think that Coach Lombardi was talking about football players.  Some make better use of their talents than do others.  Biblically the word, talent, describes a kind of money.  The differences between people can sometimes be seen in the way they use their money.  I admire Warren Buffett for encouraging other rich people to be benevolent.  See if  “benevolent” applies to you and your “talents.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE: Good words====JACK:  Lombardi seemed to have a knack for saying the right words.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I've seen Warren Buffett interviewed and I admire his honesty and integrity. Some people have a lot of money but don't seem to have good values or honesty about it and aren't good role models. All up and down the scale of blessings, a person can be or see others who are good role models and that reality makes this world a nicer place to live in, in my opinion. Enjoyed your WW. ====JACK:  I once read..."You can tell a lot about a person by reading his/her checkbook entries."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I have his book, and have admired him  for years...yes, our checkbooks show our priorities. At t imes , when I somewhat wistfully mentioned to my husband that  one or another of our friends were on a cruise, or European jaunt, Bill would say, "We all make choices...we tithe to church and the Homeless Food Pantry"...!
And God is good, and made a way for us to spend 3 weeks in beautiful Hawaii, and take a 2 week cruise to and through Alaska, (our retirement gift from the church) and to many mission trips around the world!!  Great Is Thy Faithfulness...!====JACK:  Today, I was singing (to myself) a few bars of "Great Is Thy Faithfulness."  It's one of my favorites.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We tell the kids all the time that they are getting their inheritance right now.  What we have we share but I absolutely know we could do better.====JACK:  When my mother would buy something costly, she'd say..."There goes your inheritance."  But, left us memories more precious than jewels.====JUDY:  Your mom and I think alike!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 7/24/17
“Good Grief!”  (Charlie Brown)  This was a familiar expression in the Peanuts comic strip when Charlie expressed dismay.  A pastor that I knew, Granger Westberg, wrote a best-selling little book, titled, Good Grief, in which he, as a counsellor, explained the steps of grief.  Perhaps you can identify…depression, loneliness, guilt, hostility, resentment.  But there is hope.  Given time and a nurturing of faith, things get better.  More good news!  The book is still in print.    ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP:  Our thoughts and prayers are with you today.====JACK:  Things get better with the words from friends...and their presence, too.

FROM TARMART REV:  Over the weekend, your son, Dave's post popped up on Facebook along with your name (as you. I was able to read his kind tribute to his mother and your wife, Mary. From his post I was then able to read of her fall and eventual passing. My sincere condolences Jack and a promise my prayers and thoughts will be with you at her memorial service a Holy Spirit Lutheran church this morning.  Now you are at the receiving end of all the expressions of love and condolences, prayers, related Scriptures of hope and comfort you have so faithfully shared with others over the countless years of being a pastoral presence in their lives at such at time as this. It caused me to even more appreciate your words this morning as you search out the "good news" in the midst of grief and now the temporary separation of being one in spirit and love all these years you've experienced life together.====JACK:  It feels strange to be on the "receiving" end.  As a pastor, you know that we are frequenting on the "giving" end  I'm thankful to know that people care.

FROM  HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  et cum spirito tuo in these difficult days, Jack... ====JACK:  It's been a while since I took Latin, but I think the quote begins with the words, "Dominus vobiscum" (the Lord be with you), followed by "et cum spirito tuo" (and with your spirit).  Thoughout this experience the Lord has made his presence know through many people and in many ways.  Thank you for being part of that.====HT:  exactly right on the Latin--the tuo being singula
There was an old joke that the Pope's telephone number was Et cum spirit 2 2 oh

FROM DR JUDY:  There are no words... so you remain in my virtual hug, and in my prayers. ====JACK:  Snoopy was known for giving hugs, too.

FROM KS:  I love Charlie Brown….one of my favorite comic books growing up….had every one of his books till a house fire wiped out several of them.  I said “Good Grief” many times during that period.====JACK:  "Rats" is another of Charlie's expression, and it fits this situation, too.

FROM AW IN ILL:  Granger was a good friend of mine and especially Judy"s  family. He is the father of the modern hospital chaplain movement.  at the present time, by daughter Beth, a student at Gettysburg Sem, is in a required program of 11 weeks study and ministry in a  hospital training  program.  It is a very full ...with hardly a moment to yourself    program.====JACK:  It is good when people care enough to stop by and visit the sick and bereaved, but it is also good when people are trained in ways to make the visit even more effective.

FROM QUILTING CAROL IN RICE LAKE:  I know you and your family are surrounded by loved ones and friends today. Please know that there are many others who are not with you in person who are wrapping you in their thoughts and prayers today.  God knows our pain when parting with someone very dear to us, but He also is quietly there holding our hands and hearts as we grieve.
Yes, grief comes in many forms – good, bad or indifferent, but as you said thankfully there is hope.  Hope in the resurrection, hope in our faith, love shared by others and God’s never ending love for all of us.====JACK:  During Communion the worshipers kept singing, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom" (the words of the thief on the cross).  It was spiritually haunting.  The reassuring words to that request (not part of the hymn) were, "Today, you will be with me in Paradise."  Thanks for your care and support.

FROM JT IN MILWAUKEE:  Yes, Granger Westberg's book is helpful. I learned to know Granger while taking training under his direction at Augstana Hospital in Chicago. Jack - in your good grief time I hope you could share more about Mary. Sorry I never met her; so whatever you wish to share I'd be glad to know more about her life - Christian, for sure.====JACK:  In today's world, you, as a pastor, would probably not date someone from your own congregation.  But, 60 years ago it was a different story.   It was not her desire to become a pastor's wife.  She was a wife in the ordinary sense of the word.  These words from Proverbs 31 were quoted at her funeral..."A good wife who can find?  She is far more precious than jewels.  The heart of her husband trusts in her.  She does him good all the days of her life.  She works with willing hands.  She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out to the needy.  She opens her mouth with wisdom.  She does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children rise up and call her blessed.  Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.  Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."

Friday, July 21, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 7/21/17
“It is not so much our friend’s help that helps us, as the confidence of that help.”    (Epicurus)  This may seem strange, but I’ve never seen an episode of “Friends.”  The good news is that I am living a daily episode of being with friends.   In my reading, I came across this from Cicero (63 BCE): “A friend is a second self.”  Think of the word, symbiotic…meaning, two benefitting from being with each other.  Thank God for second selves…and symbiosis!    ;-)  Jack

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 7/20/17
"Borta bra men hemma bäst"  (Swedish Proverb)  I first saw these words on a library wall at college.  Curiosity led me to a translation:  “Away is good but home is best.”  “Dorothy” gave another…”There’s no place like home!”  We each have our “home” thoughts.  They might be the place where we grew up, the place where family is.  Even baseball has its “home” plate...Home is best!  Songwriters have often used “home” as a theme.  What comes to mind?   ;-)  Jack

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 7/18/17
“Mary was crying beside the empty tomb when Jesus appeared and said, ‘Mary!’  At first she was puzzled, but then recognized him.  With joy she ran to tell the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord.  He is alive!’”  (John 20 paraphrased)  The resurrection and the promise of life beyond death has a miraculous way of turning sadness into gladness.  “Fear not”, said Jesus.  “Where I am, you will be also.”    MARY (ANDERSON) FREED  3/7/1930 – 7/18/2017    Jack

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 7/18/17
“Too blessed to be stressed.”  (Paul Torn)  Do you think that God plays favorites?  The word “blessed” means to be favored by God.  Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and others claim to be blessed by God.  Are some groups or individuals favored by God over others?  Why are the prayers of some answered and others are not?  Who are we to know the mind of God?  Simply, count your many blessings and know that God loves you.    ;-)  Jack

Monday, July 17, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 7/17/17
“Accept life and what it brings, I hope tomorrow you’ll find better things.”  (The Kinks)  Peter Marty wrote recently about the difference between wishing and hoping.  Wishing upon a star is different than placing hope in God.  Hope seems to have a spiritual tone to it.  It’s what sustains us when we’re not ready to give up on God.  The Kinks’ song came out of the writer’s down time.  As I read the lyrics I see more hoping than wishing.  What do you see?    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  now faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not yet seen... Hebrews 11:1====JACK:  Someone said to me last week.  "What if heaven is all make believe?"  Have you ever wondered about that?"====SP:  not really.  it seems to be the natural conclusion to our mortal lives.  either we are just dust in the wind (as the rock group Kansas sings it) or we are creations of God and i have a hard time believing that it all just ends meaninglessly at the grave.  as God has provided for all our needs in life,  so too in death.  that is surely a leap of faith statement but one that i willingly and joyfully take.  short answer to a very profound question. ====JACK:  Maybe it's my interest in philosophy which causes me to question beliefs.  I think that questioning leads to a stronger belief...or to ask more questions.  As my old seminary religious philosophy used to say..."You can't unscrew the inscrutable."  When the person asked about heaven and "make believe," it was only out of wonderment, not out of doubt.SP:  i also think that faith and doubt are two sides of the same coin.  still,  if we had all the answers and no uncertainties,  there would be no need for faith.     Fred Buechner says that doubts are the ants in the pants of faith! ====JACK:  I was just wondering if you'd ever had ants in your pants.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Definitely more hope.  Wishing is like asking for something to stop in your lap.  Hoping is knowing God is with you and with sustain you with his grace!

FROM CR:  Thank you!  Just thought you would want to know that with time, love, hope, and faith .... I'm doing very well.  Divorce is nothing I saw coming in what life would bring but it did and I'm here, alive, well and finding better tomorrows.====JACK:  As the old hymn goes..."Be not dismayed whate'er betide, God will take care of you."

FROM TARMART REV:  I do, as well.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 7/14/17
“When my arms can’t reach people who are close to my heart…I always hug them with my prayers.”  (Snoopy)  A confirmation student once asked me if her dog would go to heaven.  I made the mistake of trying to give a theological answer.  I might better have said, “If dogs have a heaven there’s one thing I know…old Shep has a wonderful home.”  One thing I like about Charlie Brown’s dog is the way he expresses his feeling of happiness…by dancing!    ;-)  Jack 

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  it would not be heaven without dogs.  the pope even said so recently. for what that's worth!====JACK:  I saw a couple of Therapy Dogs in the hospital recently.  They were angels!====LIZ;  you won't see therapy cats.====JACK:  Maybe not in hospitals, but I know of some people who have them in their home.====LIZ:  cats are very therapeutic for their owners.
gisela told me cats can shed spontaneously due to stress. it is true. like a porcupine throwing quills or something!

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  God bless Snoopy. I do the "Snoopy Dance " when big projects are done. It's been witnessed by many. I am sure they would testify ♡====JACK:  As the years pass, is it more like :slow dancing?"

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  God knows every little sparrow who falls.  If he cares that much, surely he would take of them always!!====JACK:  It is comforting to know that God is omniscient!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  That's what I told my scattered grandkids, "I hug you with prayer every day".! Good  ol' Snoopy!  For some of the elderly, a hug hurts due to sore shoulders, etc. So we clasp hands and say, :Hugs"! In the nursing home I hug very gently when I call on them. But hugs are so affirming, aren't they?!  Prayer is, too, so hope Snoopy and we keep on dancin'. There is usually SOME reason to be happy during a day!====JACK:  One of the associates in my doctor's office is Dr. Hug.

FROM LH IN FH:  This is wonderful.  How is it that I never saw it before???  I always read Peanuts. I’m going to make a screen shot of it and add it to my “quotations” file.====JACK:  There's something new to learn every day, if you keep your eyes and ears open.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 7/13/17
“Wishing are the dreams we dream when we’re awake.”  (Buddy DeSylva)  The head of a mortgage company said, “We aren’t just doing mortgages, we’re helping people make dreams come true.”  We all have our dreams.  “You have your dream, dear; I have one, too.”  As times change, so do our wishes.  That’s normal.  Yesterday, Jan wrote to me about change…”In 1966 it was going to a hip joint; in 2016, it’s getting a hip joint.”  Do you know of more?  ;-)  Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Lots of top golfers are here this week and dreaming of wining the John Deere TPC tournament====JACK:  I suppose you've played that course.  If so, how do your scores compare with those of the pros?

FROM TARMART REV:  ...working towards one, even today!!====JACK:  Joseph had dreams, too, and God was able to turn them into reality.

FROM VW MARY:  I was thinking yesterday that I've spent over 50 years acquiring stuff; now, I want and need to get rid of it----JACK:  As I look over at my desk I see lots of stuff that should be organized,  Only 5 days worth, but it's daunting!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 7/12/17
“Success can be defined in three simple words: And then some."  (Darnell Johnson)  The top people did what was expected, were considerate, kind, helpful, were good friends, and then some.”  (Darnell Johnson)  I looked in on an internet conversation where people were trying to come up with adjectives meaning, “more than expected.”  Someone suggested, “Amazing.”  It must have been a jock who said, “110%”  Another said, “A+.”  The one I liked was, “Prodigious.”    ;-)  Jack

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 7/11/17
“If you scatter thorns, don’t go barefoot.”  (Italian Proverb)  There’s a book,,,”How to speak Italian when you don’t know Italian.”  If I ever go to Italy I’m taking that book.  A good word to know is Boh (I don’t know) said with a shoulder shrug.  Andiamo (Let’s go) is also the name of a restaurant near where I live.  (Lasagna vito aperto è fantastico!.)  My favorite Italian saying is Ancora Imparo (I’m still learning), spoken by Michelangelo.    ;-)  Jack

FROM COPPER COUNTRY PASTOR:  I’m preaching at Pelkie on Sun.  It’s the story of the generous Sower of the good seed.   thus, I will use your word as a   “no - no”  comparison. ====JACK:  I'm glad that you can use it.  Don't forget to use your "artificial inseminator" illustration, too.

FROM KC:  I'm going to read that book.====JACK:  I suppose you're the only one in the family who needs it.  You can loan the book to me after you're done.

FROM TARMART REV:  The Italians have a thin waffle cookie that appears during the holidays called a Pizzelle. Fran made some to share with the ladies of the church on an occasion and our daughter brought a few up to the church office to share with our Scandinavian secretary. She said that looks like "Krumkake" (she pronounced it as if "krum ka ka" to which our daughter looked puzzled.
In our home we often heard Fran say, "That looks like cucka (poop)." Maria thought secretary was calling Fran's Pizzelles "coon cucka". A laugh enjoyed by all!!====JACK:  It must be a barrel of laughs to be married to an Italian, or is it the other way around?  ...for an Italian to be married to you?  Do you use a lot of hand gestures?

Monday, July 10, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 7/10/17
“This world would be better off if everyone had a front porch.”  (William Martin)  Yesterday I read about a man who honored his mother by starting a neighborhood library.  At the end of his driveway he placed a box called, The Little Free Library.  A sign says, “Take a book.  Leave a book.”  Other places are now doing the same thing.  What a great idea to promote neighborliness and to encourage reading.  What’s it like to live where you live?    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  In Québec City, there is a neighborhood who made great use of a closed school. It was turned into a community center and "a toy library."  People came in and checked out toys just like they did books.  Kids loved it and parents saved tons of money.  The library was started with donations and grants. Everything was very clean and always in working order...big and small.  Stimulated my imagine as you may guess.====JACK:  When opportunity and need and imagination come together, great things can be done.

FROM LS:  Sam Pernick ( he was honored the evening you gave the invocation at the 14th district Democratic dinner a few years ago) the young Democratic Party  leader's father Nat Pernick has one in front of his house in Huntington Woods on Ludlow.  So cool.  Children  in the neighborhood are curious about it.  My grandma had a front porch and often she was preparing beans and visiting with anyone and everyone who had the time to sit with her .    I wish to this day to have a home with a front porch where all those that seek comforting conversation and love could gather. I ask and I receive.  Now, my front porch travels with me wherever I go!  I have enjoyed this moment on your front porch this morning.  Have a good day.   Thank you for being here for the conversation. ====JACK:  We have the front porch.  I'm now working on getting one of those little libraries built and installed in front of our home.====LS:  One day I look forward to sitting with you on your front porch and sharing words of wisdom 

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I have seen several of those in Ann Arbor====JACK:  Somehow, I'm not surprised that AA has them.  I hope to get one in our neighborhood.

FROM MY LAWYER:  Raining!!!====JACK:  Right now we need the rain more than a Little Library.  If we want a book we can always go to the big library.

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  We are using the old fashioned  red phone boxes (now defunct due to mobile phones ) in villages as libraries.  Take one, leave one.  Great idea!====JACK:  I like the idea of recycling the unused phone boxes.  I'm putting on my thinking cap to see if I can come up with a similar idea.

FROM TARMART REV:  ... one such box is seen in our community, as is another placed in a walk-up fashion, filled with small food items.====JACK:  During the Great Depression my wife's grandmother lived next to the railroad tracks.  Hobos would sometimes jump off the train and appear at her door asking for food.  She never turned them away.====REV:  I'll bet there was a "hobo marking" somewhere that indicated a "welcome sign" of sorts in their language.===JACK:  She didn't mind.  She just saw them as hungry people.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  We were just remarking on that on our trip to MI; LOVE those roomy porches like most of us grew up experiencing, and it often led to neighborly conversations. Ours was screened in, so pleasant to sit out there in late afternoon and evenings. In my present neighborhood, many retired folks have chairs on front patios or in front of garages, and sit out and visit, as most homes don't have porches as we knew them.  We have many Little Free Libraries around Springfield and the area, built by boy scouts to earn badges! They are really nice, and seem to be used a lot. Agree with Wm. Martin today!====JACK:  Ours is one of the few front porches in our neighborhood.  Most houses have private patios and decks in the backyard, shielded by shrubbery or fences

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:   SaWe all sort of watch out for each other. I have the same neighbors on both sides as we had when we moved here in1970!====JACK:  That's 47 years ago.  I thought that old people, not kids, moved to Florida.====SHIRL:  We moved here in 1963 from Ann Arbor. Our new home was about a mile from that in 1970.  It was in a wooded area where people used to come to shoot wild boar.  The builder was putting up 30 houses each month. Lots of military and lots of children! What a wonderful life!====JACK:  Life consists of all ages.  Age is just a random number.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  We have one of those libraries in our neighborhood.  There was a big article in the Star/Trib just yesterday about a neighborhood in Edina who are adding “front patios” to their homes to get to know their neighbors better.  Good idea I think.  I am going out to lunch today with my neighbors.  We do it once a month!====JACK:  The thought just occurred to me...Leave a music CD; take a CD.

FROM KF:  When we downsize (working on our house so we can sell), #1 on my list for a new place is a front porch and screened in back porch so we can be outside even more. Rose and I used to count 100 fireflies at night in the summer before we'd go in. Our neighborhood is in transition ... we are one of the few original homeowners .... the 3 other houses on our little block have turned over 12 times in 25 years!  About the "take a book, leave a book", we do that often with our vacation rentals! And participate in Bookstock every year - donating and buying. I have lots of "book friends" at church, too : )    My girls are big readers, too - we're working on Mark (I think he reads so much at work every day it has less recreational appeal for him).====JACK:  We could even have a "Leave a book, take a book" table at church.   Maybe "you" can start one.

FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA:  So true. Love this!====JACK:  What book would you leave? ====DONNA:  The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah!  Amazing book about a woman who saved many lives during World War II. Amazing characters.

FROM SUNSHINE:  "neighbors" reminded me of the attached, which I wrote some time ago, ====JACK:  It was fun to read about your "new" neighbors when you moved from the city to Appalachia.  I'll forward it to any Winning Words people who want to read it.

FROM FOXY ROXY:  We have a neighbor who just did this last week as her son requested it. Great idea====JACK:  My question....Have you used it?

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  This is something that is done throughout many Seattle neighborhoods. When I first saw this on a walk with My grandson when he was an infant I was startled that a box with books for the taking were just out in front of someone's house. It made me feel a connection to the community.====JACK:  Have you noticed any difference in the neighborliness in Seattle compare to that where you live in Michigan?====HOWIE:  Where I live now there is a whole new crop of kids running around, I like that. The neighbors are friendly and watch out for all.
In Seattle Laura and Blair live on a similar street. Lots of kids. The neighborhood formed a group and have permission from the city to actually close the street on Friday afternoon for four hours so they can play in the street.  That's unusual.  So, no difference in attitude or caring

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We've run across many of those little Libraries!  We saw several in and around Cadillac this weekend.  I was thinking of starting one out front.  We live in the middle of farm country.  Most of the vehicles traveling down our road are tractors, trailers and other farm equipment. Our neighbors are "front porch" people when they're not in the fields.  They have helped us numerous times with stuck tractors, leveling around the barns, felling dead trees, cutting down brush...many tasks.  We love it!!!====JACK:  Your Little Library could be built in the shape of an outhouse., and big enough to hold a Sears catalog.

FROM CS IN RO:  I have seen these all around Detroit for a few years--great idea!!====JACK:  Have you ever used one?  Here's an idea.  Keep a book in your car.  When you see a box, stop and make an exchange.Have you ever used one?  Here's an idea.  Keep a book in your car.  When you see a box, stop and make an exchange.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  our neighbors are more likely to leave wine in the box... we love them, & they're all well-read, too!====JACK:  You could dig a hole, put the box in the hole and call it "The Little Wine Cellar."

Friday, July 07, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 7/7/17
“A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.”  (Unknown)  My wife still has the book, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, which her father gave to her after one of his business trips.  Also important are the letters he wrote to her when he was away.  What things have you saved since childhood that bring back pleasant memories?  And, when adding up riches, don’t forget those who care about you…especially God!      ;-)  Jack

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  For years I had my Nancy Drew collection of mystery books, and a scrapbook of all the "goings on" during my school years! A few years ago Mrs Hultgren sent me the program of our High School graduation (Her husband was principal of John Deere Jr High, and they were our neighbors in Moline)...I still look at it and remember singing the duet "Gay Butterfly" with my twin (very operatic!) that night, and received the "Outstanding Music Award" for that class...sweet memories now. As V.Pres I got to bring greetings, Whoop, Whoop, big deal! Ha!  And Yes, my husband was that kind of  rich man with his four children, especially his baby girl, but the boys as well. Family is the greatest blessing!!====JACK:  I remember when the Hultgrens were dating.  Big deal!  He was one of my teachers at John Deere.  As times change, I don't suppose the school would put on "Gay Butterfly" these days.  The age of innocence.!

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  God thoughts.  Yesterday a got an email from a guy I met at my first duty station in 1960. We have kept in touch via email for some 20 years. His wife had just died in his last mail. Some things are hard to accept, but I can more easily because of what our Lord has promised us.====JACK:  The hymn, "O God, Our Help" has this stanza...Time, like an ever-rolling stream,    Bears all its sons away;  They fly forgotten, as a dream    Dies at the opening day...While death comes to all, God is our help, our hope!

FROM RVB:  That's true wisdom!  On the 4th, Amara was over but I didn't hold her. While Crystal was holding her she continuously gazed into my eyes and watched me among 5 others at the table. Although Crystal made a point of it, I knew it was because I had begun reading with her the Lord's Prayer and praying with her on my lap on early Saturday mornings. Until she is baptized I also have been making the sign of the cross on her forehead.  Thanks for your encouragement and wisdom! ====JACK:  Sometimes God's gifts to us come in unexpected packages, at unexpected times.  One of the hymns that is often sung out of the ELCA Hymnal is this one by John Ylvisaker...  You can hear it on YouTube...Borning Cry

"I was there to hear your borning cry,
I'll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized,
to see your life unfold.
I was there when you were but a child,
with a faith to suit you well;
In a blaze of light you wandered off
to find where demons dwell."

"When you heard the wonder of the Word
I was there to cheer you on;
You were raised to praise the living Lord,
to whom you now belong.
If you find someone to share your time
and you join your hearts as one,
I'll be there to make your verses rhyme
from dusk 'till rising sun."
In the middle ages of your life,
not too old, no longer young,
I'll be there to guide you through the night,
complete what I've begun.
When the evening gently closes in,
and you shut your weary eyes,
I'll be there as I have always been
with just one more surprise."

"I was there to hear your borning cry,
I'll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized,
to see your life unfold."

FROM KANSAN DON:  My most comical discovery was a letter from my Aunt written days after I was born.  It was from "Uncle Miriam" to "Little Niece Donald.”  (I didn’t know that about myself!)  Miriam was 12 years old.  Swedish was the language at home, but she tried English for her first nephew.  You may know her.  She was the widow of Carl Manfred and celebrated her 100th birthday in May.  We’ve had a good laugh.====JACK:  I think that ,ost Americans are missing out when only one language is spoken in the home.  BTW, in our community's high school, over 60 different languages are spoken in the homes of the students.  I doubt that one of them is Swedish.

FROM BB:  Always loved Mary and appreciate your sharing the story about her father.  Thanks! ====JACK:  Her father was also a very good singer and soloist.  She has a CD of him singing songs, including I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked and There Is A Balm In Gilead.  There's also a CD of her father and mother singing a duet.  Priceless!

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 7/6/17
"Your best friend is the one who brings out the best in you.”  (Henry Ford)  A young Norman Vincent Peale asked Henry Ford what advice he would give to a young person starting out in life.  Henry told him to choose his friends carefully.  You want them to be people who bring out the best in you.  A good friend will respect and encourage you, will not put you down, or desert you.  Avoid the negative person, the gloomy one.  Ford knew more than how to build cars.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  very true indeed!==== JACK:  Henry Ford was a very complex man.  Aren't we all?

FROM TARMART REV:  ...blessed with one for sure from West Bloomfield, MI, I am!!====JACK:  I remember when you first walked through the door.====REV:  "Old men dream dreams" . . . I've collected many of them myself while visiting Holy Spirit Lutheran Church weekly with the WB Parks and Rec during those 5 years using the church facility and visiting with the Right Reverend Jack Freed!! It was a "whale" of an experience!!====JACK:  I'd almost forgotten the "reason" for my whale collection...a reminder that God has ways of causing his will to be with Jonah, as with each of us.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Some of my best learning has come from folks who have been critical of me...not always optimistic about my prospects.    We need more than one kind of friend.====JACK:  Constructive criticism is good, but usually looks better in the rearview mirror.

FROM DR J:  indeed!====JACK:  A friend in need is a friend indeed.  God seems to send friends among us when we need them the most.

FROM BB:  Interesting quote. I think my father read Norman Vincent peele when he was alive.====JACK:  NVP wasn't the first to espouse the power of positive thinking.  Epictetus was an advocate in the 1st century.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  God knew what he was doing when he made Eve or Adam.  He gave Adam a best friend.  Yep they messed up but they held together and had each other's backs.  Best friends aren't perfect but they are there for each other.====JACK:  Harry Truman supposedly said:  "In Washington, if you want a friend, get a dog."  Why do you suppose dogs are referred to as...Man's best friend?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Be optimistic! We r all here for a reason!====JACK:  Have you figured yours out, yet?

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 7/5/17
“Excellence takes time.”  (John Wooden)  John Wooden was probably the greatest of all college basketball coaches.  He was particularly concerned with the way his players put on their socks.  “His” way helped prevent blisters.  He was listened to, because he was focused on excellence.  Whether it’s a sports team, a business…even a church.  Success goes along with paying attention to the details.  I’ve been fortunate to have had some “Woodens” in my life.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Prof Holcomb....that's why he won....over and over again====JACK:  Did he teach you how to put on your socks (or how to dress) before a debate?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Are we ever excellent at anything?  I got to thinking about it and I'm not sure I'm excellent at anything.  I do things very very well but excellent?  I'm not sure anyone is excellent.  However, striving for excellence is a wonderful goal.  I shall strive for excellence today!!!  Forward!====JACK:  Usually we don't grade ourselves.  It's the teacher who does that.  In grade school our grading system was E (Excellent), VG (Very Good), G (Good), P (Poor).  I remember once getting a P in Deportment (Do you know what deportment is?)

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  ..and Coach Wooden was a great role model and leader for the young men fortunate enough to have played for him.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 7/3/17
“America’s a family.  We all yell at each other, and it all works out.”  (Louis C.K.)  I’m not a fan of TV’s Family Feud; in fact, I’m not a fan of feuds at all.  There’s too much animosity in our world.  Don’t you agree?  I’d like to see people try to get along together.  If there’s hope for an end to all of the feudin’ and fussin’,  it’s with those who seek to be conciliators.  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will called, the children of God.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Amen, and again I say, Amen!!====JACK:  It sound like I've gotten into an AG auditorium.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I'm not a fan of any of the sitcoms of today.  Too much sex, violence and stupidity!====JACK:  Family Feud is a game show...and you wouldn't like that one, either..I'm sure! ====MARLYS:  I have watched it and I don't like it.  Whatever happened to shows like "What's My Line"?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  "Family Feud" is not a program we watch at all but I do love "Pyramid".  I loved it when Dick Clark was the host.  Now they have suggestive titles and it ruins it for me.  Do you notice how much suggestive sexual material is everywhere?  So many programs are unwatchable to us!====JACK:  TV shows program that sell.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Amen to that!!

FROM WATERFORD JAN:  You are so timely!====JACK:  Some fireworks are fun to watch.  Others are just disgusting.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  You and the Moravian Daily Text are on the same page today.  Blessings to you and yours as we celebrate our independence, our freedoms, and our opportunities for peace.
Heavenly Father, you bring us together in community and in friendship. May we honor each other with your love, and may we live more in the fullness of a humble life at peace with your glorious salvation. Amen====JACK:  You may recall that the ELCA and the Moravians entered into full communion in 1997.  Someone said that "They are from the same sheepfold.":