Monday, August 07, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 8/7/17
“I feel related to this country, and yet I don’t know where I fit in.”  (Sam Shepard)  The feeling of not fitting in is painful.  I read of ways to handle that, but I like Edwin Markham’s advice best:  “He drew a circle that shut me out…But love and I had the wit to win.  We drew a circle that took him in.”   There’s a verse in the Bible:  “Don’t be overcome by evil.  Take the offensive.  Overcome evil with good.”  Today’s a day for drawing new circles.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I congratulate you on your daily WINNING WORDS. How many years have you been doing this?  I certainly enjoy reading them.====JACK:  Winning Words began in 1992 when I retired from the "active" ministry and began sending positive quotes occasionally to a small group of friends and family members.  It has evolved into a weekly 5-day mailing of quotes and commentary to over 500 people worldwide.  In reality, it began when I was a teen-ager.  Our pastor would often include witty sayings in the Sunday bulletins.  I would cut out some of them and save them in a cigar box.  The first one that I remember:  "Virtue is learned at mother's knee.  Vice is learned at other joints."  I consider my daily mailings to be a kind of cyber-ministry.  Sometimes I call it Congregation WithOut Walls.

FROM RVB:  Perfect words as we start a week of evening VBS at ODF tonight.  Yesterday's focused sermon was on "Are we volunteers or Missionaries?"  You are making great circles, my friend! ====JACK:  Speaking of circles...You're too young to remember a radio-host, Major Bowes, who used to say, "Round and round she goes, and where she stops, nobody knows."

FROM MT IN PNNSYLVANIA:  Great message there! Thank you.  This concept is very close to what our technology addresses. It identifies the different circles in which people DO fit (in terms of meaningful and satisfying team contribution), and provides guidance for optimizing those contributions.  News!  Through our work with Pastor Darryl King, we have aligned ten gifts of the Spirit with the ten modes (Roles) of teaming, and we plan to launch the TeamSpirit(R) version of Teamability this fall.  Very exciting, and will be very helpful in addressing many challenges that Christian congregations are facing.  Best regards,====JACK:  Although "Teamability" is directed mainly at the business world, "church" work is probably one of the great example of team work.  When I started out as a new church developer, the slogan for what I (and others like me) were doing, was this: "People are our only business."

FROM ANNE McC:  Where is that verse from?====JACK:  The quote is from Romans 12, where Paul speaks to the Christians (and to us) about forgiveness.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:   *The Hartford Catholic HIGH School* (Archdiocese of Hartford, CT) published this 2-minute video in response to a senator's remark about "*Where is God in all the tragedy in the world?*”   It is an excellent video made in the last few weeks by high school students who don’t say a word.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  LOVE that Markham saying, and hadn't thought of it for ages! As Corrie Ten Boom once wrote "And so I  discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on God's. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself!"   Being a Holocaust survivor, and losing her beloved sister Betsy during internment) she was finally able to encircle the SS guards with love and forgiveness, which she'd not thought possible when first released!====JACK:  C.S. Lewis had it right when he said:  “Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until he has something to forgive.”

FROM OUTHJOUSE JUDY:  Evil can suck you in so easily.  It's a fight for the strong.  I love the quote about drawing the circle!====JACK:  Speaking of overcoming evil...Somethings we can't do by ourselves.  We need God's help.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  To me, Shepard makes more sense than does Markham.====JACK:  They were writing to different generations of people living in different situations.  If we were preaching as contemporaries of Edwin, the content would be different than it is now...or, at least the presentation.
====JOHN:  Sometimes we have to go on the offensive against evil...just like WWII.....there is no dealing with it...right now seems like one of those times.====JACK:  Sometimes it takes perspective to make sense of a the Great Depression, World War 2, the Civil Rights Movement, a re-examination of "What is religion?"  Having lived through those events, I think that I understand them better now.



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