Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 9/27/17
“I don’t necessarily agree with everything I say.”  (Marshall McLuhan)  Sen. Everett Dirksen of Illinois was once criticized for changing his vote on a certain issue.  His response: “The only people who do not change their minds are those in asylums or cemeteries.”  Looking back, I see that time has allowed me to change my mind (or come to a better understanding) of biblical and theological and social issues.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m wishy-washy.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  then why do we so often  severely criticize politicians who also change their minds?  truly we are a strange lot...  also, recall McLuhan's other big line: the medium IS the message.   i.e.  people don't always choose a hymn because it fits the liturgical calendar.  the choose it because the melody does something for their soul and they could care less what season of the church year it is or what the lyrics are.   i found that out at SLLC where the congregation always chose the last hymn of the service.  sooo,  we would sometimes be singing a Christmas hymn in July or a Holy Week hymn during Advent....the medium (melody) was the message and not the lyrics.   we are a strange lot...====JACK:  Sometimes in church, it's a fine line between what the customers want and what the customers need.  I've always liked the quote:  "The role of the pastor is comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable,"  You've done a pretty good job of that in your ministry.
FROM TARMART REV:   I believe we all have a little hypocrisy found to be alive within us...never beyond the process of change, knowing we will eventually grow into full maturity and be like Him.====JACK :  A little hypocrisy?   

FROM BB:  You make a fine distinction; thanks for sharing.  Think we need to be more forgiving of folks who change their position on issues, even when they disappoint us?====JACK:  Change is REALLY hard for some people.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 9/26/17
“When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover that they are not in it.” (Bernard Bailey)  When I was growing up, the expression, “He’s full of himself,” was used to identify egotists.  In today’s world the braggart is called a gasbag or a blowhard.  Steering away from politics…Jesus advised humility.  “The humble will be exalted.”  Pride is one of the 7 deadly sins.  Smugness could be number 8.     ;-)  Jack

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  i witness this scenario each year when the new little ones join our school group.  some adapt quite quickly and are happy to part of a bigger vision.  some need more time and extra love and guidance to make the leap.  the sooner learned and accepted...the better for their world and the world's future.✌❤😊====JACK:  You probably don't teach them this song...
School days, school days, Dear old golden rule days.
'Readin' and 'ritin' and 'rithmetic, Taught to the tune of a hick'ry stick.
I was your queen in calico, You were my bashful barefoot beau,
And I wrote on your slate, 'I love you, Joe,'  When we were a couple of kids.
...especially the part about a hick'ry stick.

FROM BB:  Big Smile.  Watched a pilot TV show last night called, “Good Doctor” about an autistic physician who’s applying for a surgical residency at a hospital.  After doing emergency procedures on a child at the local airport, he’s allowed into the OR under the surgeon who will be his mentor.  At one point, after being slammed for his thoughts/contributions, he tells the lead surgeon something like, “I’ve noticed you are very egotistical; do you find this trait makes you a better surgeon?  Does it get in the way of working well with your colleagues?”  I found the discourse and the whole show interesting – told from the point of someone socially uncomfortable and, very blunt/honest.  Wish there was a bit more of that trait and a bit less ego….====JACK:  Some people probably confuse your name with that of water filter.  Incidentally, that filtration system was founded by a German man who named it after his daughter.

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA:  That’s a great quote, Jack.  …and your subtle gag was LOL!
Regarding the ‘center of the universe’ theme — here is a hilarious and brilliant piece of standup satire by the former Saturday Night Live writer and ‘news’ commentator, A. Whitney Brown.
====JACK:  I'm glad to know that someone reads between the lines of my postings.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 9/25/17
“There’s a point when patience ceases to be a virtue.”  (Thomas Morton)  Patience and Prudence McIntyre, were singers in my younger days.  Their unusual names trace back to the Puritans who named children after virtues, like:  Faith, Hope, Charity, Grace and Verity.  I once knew a Loyal and a Constant.  But I’ve never met a Calm, a Silence or a Helpless.  On the 2017 list of popular baby names, not one Virtue Name is there, unless you count Sophia.    ;-) Jack

FROM RVB:  You will get a kick out of my Sunday school brothers names:  Sir, DaMan, JaMere, and Sincere====JACK:  I not only got a kick out of it...I got a smile, too.

FROM LBP{  Yay. V :)  Grace was popular about 10 years ago. We knew a few that age. We actually met another kid named verity too. ====JACK:  Jesus said, "Verity, verity, I say unto you.."  Oh, I guess it was verily, verily."  Verity means, "the fundamental belief."

 FROM HONEST JOHN:  How could I not count Sophia?====JACK:  Sophia is fortunate to have a modern-day sophist for a grandfather.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i love the virtue names. grace has made a comeback in recent years. ====JACK:  Grace (God's undeserved love for us) has never gone out of style.  I rely on it every day.

FROM KF:  Hmmm....not even Grace?====JACK:  Wasn't Gracie a member of your "family?"

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  now that was an interesting bit of history regarding the Puritans...  ====JACK:  History also reveals that the Puritans weren't always so pure.  BTW, they are said to have invented shuffleboard.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Sarah's best friend named her daughter Sarah Grace, and we have a Faith, and a Hope among our church children, so some names do live on. I knew a Charity, also, about my age. I was surprised to find Imogene in the top 5 names for 12016! Who knew? I was surprised when my great g.son was named SAGE, but actually there are several Sage's around now that I notice it!  Like fashions, names kinda go in cycles, it seems.We just need to "take the name of JESUS with us". ====JACK:  If Sage could find someone named, Rosemary and a guy name, Tim (pronounced with a long i), they could form a singing group and called themselves, "Sage, Rosemary and Tim."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I knew a Penny Nickles and a Larry Krapp.  I do know a bunch of Faith, Hope and Graces though.====JACK:  Another Judy asked, "What kind of a Judy do you know who is referred to as "Outhouse?"

Friday, September 22, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 9/22/17
“Most of us are pretty good at keeping promises to others and pretty bad at keeping promises to ourselves.”  (Lawrence LeShan)  The Optimist Creed has a line…”Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.”  Self-promises, like that, are often easier said than done.  12-Step Programs, designed to face addiction problems, call for a decision to seek the help of “a higher power” and the help of others in keeping self-promises.    ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP:  A New book out by one of my favorite podcast hosts, Gretchen Rubin, posits that people can be classified by how they respond to expectations. One of the largest groups she dubs the obligers which fits today's quote. But it's interesting to think about how others struggle (or don't) with inner and outer expectations. Her motivation is not to box people but to figure out strategies for yourself and your interactions with others. If nothing else it reminds us that people aren't one size fits all and helps us think about some other perspectives.
What is your tendency?  "Much obliged" is an expression you don't hear much anymore.  In today's world it's "Thanks, man! or "Thanks, maaaam!"  I saw a picture of Jesus giving the thumbs-up sign and saying, "Thanks, dude!"

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  That is a great idea!👍👍👍====JACK:  It's always a great idea to seek the help of the higher power.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Promises to others are strong words.  We shouldn't promise unless we DO the thing we promise.  But, the promises we make to ourselves are often broken.  Not sure what the answer is but I promise I will try to be better at it! 😊====JACK:  "I promise, so help me, God!"

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 9/21/17
“There is no harm in repeating a good thing.”  (Plato)  In my ministry I preached one sermon at least a dozen times…Come Before Winter (2 Timothy 4:21).  “Do that thing that needs doing before it’s too late.”  There’s no harm in repeating the warning that “too late” means “too late!”  A letter that needs to be written; a fence needs to be mended; there’s unfinished business.  Procrastination can be a soft bed.  There comes a time when tomorrow is too late.    ;-)  Jack

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I like Garrison Keillor's comment "Nothing you do for a child is ever wasted." To make time for your Children, "Grands", and "Greats", neighbor kids, church children, is to leave a kind impression and the warmth of love, with another generation. I love it when I come into church, and little kids run to give me a hug!! And to hear my Grands and Greats enthusiastically yell "NANA" when I join worth the time invested a thousand X over! Jesus loves me, this I know....!====JACK:  I like the song, Jesus Loves the Little Children, All the Children of the World.

FROM SA IN KENT:  I bet that sermon was a favorite. I have a 2" button from the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. that's black with white lettering, "What you Do, Matters". It states the obvious, but people still ask me about it, and usually respond with a nod.====JACK:  We all need a reminder to do what needs to be done, before it's too late.  A poke, a nudge, a string on the finger, a post-it, a beep, a pop-up, a calendar date name it.

FROM KANSAN DON:  Glad to hear your good experience.  I don’t doubt that I may have sounded the same tune more than once. But one time in Lindsborg I looked back on old sermons.  So I brought it to the pulpit.  I could not get any juice out of it.  Never again!====JACK:  I was just listening to a concert movie, Monterey Pop, featuring rock groups and their famous songs.  They've repeated many songs, and their fans clamor for them.  My congregations came to expect "Come Before Winter" at the close of the church year.  It was not a word for word repeat, but the message was the same...the same as in Winning Words today.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Enjoy each day!====JACK:  That's on my To Do List each day.

FROM KLM:  Good advice.  Thanks.====JACK:  Did you notice that today's quote is from Plato?  Now, that' "old" advice, and I'm sure it's been repeated many times.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 9/20/17
“Knowledge of the world is only acquired in the world and not in a closet.”  (Lord Chesterfield)  Simeon Stylites was a monk who was so distressed by the world that he chose to escape by living on a small platform on top of a 50’ tall pillar of stone for 37 years.   When the world looks bleak to you, don’t hole up in a closet.  Look for even little ways to make it better.  Take the Biblical advice, “Don’t be overcome by evil; overcome evil with good.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:when i feel depressed, i go somewhere, anywhere... even if only a drive to walgreens to buy some coke or milk.  it breaks the chain.====JACK:  I came across this interesting quote.  "Often we tell ourselves, 'Don't just sit there, do something!' But when we practice awareness, we discover that the opposite may be more helpful: 'Don't just do something, sit there!'"  (Nhat Hanh)  Sitting and meditating can be good, at times, too.

FROM DR J:  Thanks... needed to hear that today!====JACK:  Motivation is somewhere...when you look for it.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I think again it is not "either/or" but "both/and".    We need to be there to see and experience the world and we need to withdraw from it at times to think about what we have seen.====JACK:  Kierkegaard had it right, but I  don't remember reading about him sitting on a pillar of stone.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How very appropriate words for today.  Facing evil head on!
We pray for guidance as we face this evil ridden world but we know...we are sure...God is stronger than any evil we face!!!====JACK:  "God is stronger than any evil we face!!!"  Keep repeating that!

FROM TL:  Thanks, Jack.   That really helps!====JACK:  When i push "Send" I never know what's going to happen, hut I hope it's for the good.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: The world does often look bleak these days, but we can, as you point out, do our little bit to brighten the corner where we are, and  invest in world-wide mission efforts, and charities who can minister and heal where we can't.  Tons of opportunities are there, if we have the health and energy to "do" and prayer is a powerful force....I think we have very little idea how powerful, actually! There are so many inspiring stories of answered prayer!====JACK:  While Googling around, I saw that some have taken 'closet prayers' literally.  They set aside a room or a quiet corner in their homes, furnish it with a comfortable chair, table, Bible, and maybe a notebook, and use that corner for a regular prayer time. A “prayer closet” might be a daily commute, a bench in the back yard, or the kitchen table. John Wesley’s mother is said to have sat in a chair and thrown her apron over her head as a sign to her kids to leave her alone. Jesus usually went to a secluded hillside. The point is that the “closet” is free from interruption, distraction, and listening ears====OAKS:  I think I remember that Mrs. Wesley had either 10 or 13 children. Probably the only privacy she had was under that apron!! I often pray in the car while commuting from one place to another...and while I walking around doing household chores!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 9/19/17
“The worst thing about new books is that they keep you from reading old ones.”  (John Worsley)  I just finished reading a new book.  But, Worsley reminds me not to forget the old ones on my library shelves…like, Your God Is Too Small, written in 1957 by J.B. Philipps.  It begins, “The trouble with many people today is that they have not found a God big enough for modern needs.”  Hey!  That sounds interesting and up-to-date, and it’s only 140 pages.    ;-)  Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  I remember years ago you recommended Your God Is Too Small  to me.  I bought it and have it here on my shelf, handy to look into every once in a while.  I've also recommended it to others.  And about "old books", on vacation this summer I read David McCullough's book about the Wright Brothers and their commitment to finding the means for man to fly.  It's been out for a while but was a good read.====JACK:  A "new" book that is similar is Rob Bell's, WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT GOD.  It's worth a read.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I try to read at least one classic each year.    Read Jane Eyre a couple of months ago.====JACK:  I still have my 2-volume set of The Dialogues of Plato.

FROM LK IN OHIO:  GM, Jack!  Indeed!  I carried Phillips with me during my college years. Lots of re-reading.====JACK:  Phillips' Translation of the New Testament into Modern English in a favorite of mine.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I just reread my C.S. Lewis books, which are still current, in my opinion, and  one of my favorite novelists' "The Shell Seekers" and "Coming Home" as I loved the stories, and had forgotten the details....But your WW guy is so right, There are a ton of good NEW books to delve into! As I  said earlier, As Long As We Don't Know When the Lights Will Go Out, Might As Well Read!====JACK:   Have you ever read by candlelight?  The invention of the electric light was real boon to reading, but, of course, not as important as the printing press.====OAKS:  I have, when the electricity has been out for extended periods, and by flashlight at camp, etc.I hope I can keep my eyesight into old, old, age! :-)Yes, aren't we the lucky ones to live in an era when books are inexpensive or can be borrowed at the library?!!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i recall that "classic" too.   also,  Are You Running With Me, Jesus?    and Black Like Me.  and Lord of the Flies.  there were some great books that came out of that era (when we were in our prime:):):)====JACK:  How did you do with cuneiform when it came out?   ====PAUL:  Jack,  my writing is sooo bad,  that cuneiform would be a breeze to read!  my Dad said my writing was so bad he could hardly read my typing!

FROM KANSAN DON:  That reminds me.  Screwtape Letters should come off my shelf again.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 9/18/17
“A wise man hears one word and understands two.”  (Yiddish Proverb)  Did you know that the phrase, reading between the lines, originated with secret messages written in disappearing ink between the sentences of a letter?  At least, that’s what I’ve read.  Sometimes conversations with people are like that…hidden meanings in what it being said.  While truthfulness is good, I think that sensitivity is better.  The proverb is good advice for both speaker and hearer.   ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  You just gave me the intro for the sermon this week.   I am baptizing my granddaughter SOPHIA on Sunday at St. Andrew and. Will preach on the subject of wisdom....found in her name and in Isaiah 11.     Thank you.====JACK:  What a great baptize Sophia. and what a great name for a granddaughter of yours.  Here's another Bible verse that you might use - Hosea 11:4 - "God leads his people with human kindness and love.  He is like one who lifts a little child to his cheek."  You can quote that as you lift up Sophia at her baptism.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  If u can't say something good,just don't say anything

====FROM BLAZING OAKS:  What an insightful proverb! Yes, understanding the hidden emotion or "truth" behind what is said, (in your word, sensitivity) is the art of a good that has to be honed. It's like Alan Greenspan is quoted as saying, "If I seem unduly clear to you, you must have misunderstood what I said."

Friday, September 15, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 9/15/17
“May your coffee be strong and your burdens light.”  (Quote for Selichot)  My Jewish friends know about Selichot, the prayers said late at night or in the early morning, confessing and asking for forgiveness…as the New Year (Rosh HaShannah) begins.  The drinking of “strong coffee” at this time is meant to keep the praying ones awake.  But whether it’s the Selichot, or a simple, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner,” prayed by anyone…It’s a great way to begin a new day (or new year).    ;-)  Jack  

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 9/14/17
“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.”  (Peter Marshall)  Raise your hand if you’ve heard of Epaphroditus.  He was the “unknown” who brought a gift to the apostle Paul when he was in prison.  There are many “unknowns” in this world who do simple good deeds, not expecting recognition, only to make life better for others.  Kagawa tells of one who planted a violet outside of his cell window.  Jesus said…“the unknowns shall inherit the earth.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM DEACON ROBERT:  Was he an Ethiopian?====JACK:  Nope!  I remember how much fun I had trying to pronounce it for the first time.  ee-PAFF-row-DIGH-tuss.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  No one can argue with that! Kagawa is also the one who said, (at our  AB Nat'l Convention years ago) "I read in the Bible that Jesus went about doing good, and I am convicted that I am so easily content with just going about..."  Which I'm sure was not true of him, from all I've read of his life!  I gave a children's message on Epaphroditus, the kids chanting the pronunciation of his name, to set it in their heads. Fun to say!  Praying we will continue to do small deeds and create smiles in the world!====JACK:  It was said that Kagawa could never keep a shirt.  As soon as someone would give him one, he would find another person greater need and give it to that person.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 9/13/17
“It is only when the rich are sick that they fully feel the impotence of wealth.”  (Ben Franklin)  What’s your health plan?  HMO?  PPO?  EPO?  POS?  Maybe you don’t have one.  Even with the Affordable Care Act, 27 million Americans have no health care.  When it comes right down to it, sick is sick, money doesn’t buy health.  Oh, it might buy classier care.  But in the end, the survival rate for all is zero.  Jesus had it right when he said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM TRIHARDER:  Her, Jack, I worry about running out of funds to take care of myself with dignity when I approach the end, hoping that I don't end up in a Medicare facility.  In that case, wealth would be a nice thing.====JACK:  A doctor was writing out a prescription for me.  "Some of my patients can't afford these, so I save the samples for them."  Mixed feelings....====TH:  Wealth, or lack of it, is also linked to mortality ====JACK:  The profligate life can also lead to an early death.

FROM ESTWING JR:  Amen to that Jack!====JACK:  Health IS wealth!

FROM LGam:  So true!====JACK:  This more than a truism...It's really true!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 9/12/17
“The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around.”  (Thomas A. Edison)  A little boy was asked by his mother, “What is the most important part of the body?”  The ears!  “No.”  The eyes!  “No,”  The heart!  The brain!  “No.  The most important part of the body is the shoulder.  Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on at some time…and I hope that you will always have a shoulder when you need it.”  I wonder if Edison ever needed a shoulder?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TL:  You have provided a shoulder for many in your day; I hope you now have what you need.  You remain in my thoughts…and prayers.====JACK:  In one of his writings, Carl Sandburg called Chicago, the City of Broad Shoulders.  The Church has been that for many people...a place of broad shoulders.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I'm sure he did!  He failed a lot which probably left him needing a shoulder!  Don't we all?====JACK:  I like the song, Lean On Me...
Lean on me, when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need
Somebody to lean on

FROM PZ:  Thank you for sending this food for thought. It gives me a mini-vacation every day. ====JACK:  From one writer to another...Thanks!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  We've probably all been "the shoulder", and all needed "the shoulder" if we've lived very long! Thankful that my son John, came through his hip-replacement surgery to day in good shape. Spent most of the day from 7:00 A.M. on in the hospital with his wife, Jan.  Prayers for complete and swift recovery appreciated!!====JACK:  I'm sure you remember when you carried your son on your shoulder.====OAKS:  Yes, indeed I do...and now he is 65, so many years ago!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 9/11/17
“2 teach is 2 touch lives 4ever.”  (Sent by Laura B)  A recent article ranked Michigan Elementary Schools from best to worst…1452 of them.  I don’t know about you, but I didn’t go to any “top” schools, yet I had some great teachers.  Children generally succeed because of their teacher.  Technology and class-size are fine, but, in the end, a teacher who is knowledgeable and can motivate is “the best.”  Miss Erickson was like that for me.  Did you have one?    ;-)  Jack

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  mrs. korell is my earth angel.  she was my 5th grade teacher and the mother of a dear friend so i had the gift of knowing her outside of school as well.  she just celebrated her 101st birthday!====JACK:  Your song for today!
Earth Angel, Earth Angel...
I fell for you and I knew  The vision of your love, loveliness
I hope and I pray that someday  I'll be the vision of your happy, happiness

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I was fortunate to have some great teachers at all levels....Augie was a wonderful place for me....the Sem was a major disappointment.     Your point is well taken. ====JACK:  I had only one pastor before I was ordained, and, fortunately, he was a good teacher, preacher and friend.  On the whole, my seminary professors were good ones, too.

FROM AA:  you would love mine ... Mrs Lord====JACK:  I suppose that when she gave commandments, you and the others paid attention.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I had more than 1—small towns are the best!!! ====JACK:  A school is only as good as its teachers.  Small towns , like Lake Woebegone, are places "where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average."====MARLYS:  You got that right!  Ha!  Teachers that teach in small towns do it out of love for teaching—OK—some of them could not get into a big city and they need a job—but most of them stay for years which they do not have to do.  I had some wonderful teachers!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There were no school teachers who really stood out to me but I had a wonderful Sunday school teacher.  Mrs. Woike made a huge difference in my life.  She told me how much Jesus loved me.  I had her several different times as a teacher...when I was 4 and when I was 17.  She was a blessing!====JACK:  Sunday School teachers don't always have the "correct" theology, but the good ones have something more important...a caring heart.  Do you remember singing the song...
I've got the love of Jesus, love of Jesus
Down in my heart
Down in my heart!
Down in my heart!
I've got the love of Jesus, love of Jesus
Down in my heart
Down in my heart to stay.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 9/8/17
“The water is rising, the rescue truck is coming, you have 5 minutes.  What to bring?”  (Stephanie McCrummen)  This happened to Dale Crumbaugh in Elgin, TX during Harvey.  What would YOU take?  Right now!  Begin making a list!  They’re calling…Hurry up!  Medicine.  a pocket knife,  cellphone,  a paperback.  That’s it?  That’s what Dale took.  What’s on your list?  That happened often during Harvey.  A Bible, toothbrush, insurance papers, flip flops, lipstick.  Left?...lots  of stuff… a Trump sign, a diamond bracelet “They’re just rocks!”    ;-)  Jack

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 9/7/17
“Two great rules of life:  #1 Never tell everything at once.”  (Ken Venturi)  The Optimist Club has a creed which begins, “Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.”  That’s a pretty good rule of life.  So is, “Think, before you act.”  Another suggestion…”Forget about the money (, sort of),”  A man asked Jesus for the most important commandment…”Love God, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  What's the second thing????====JACK:  Read the first rule again!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  one of my sem profs used to tell  us not to tell your congregation everything you know the first month you are there!:):):)====JACK:  Great advice.  For some he might have said..."in the first week."  Have you ever gone into the barrel for a sermon?

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I will go with Jesus' saying....easily the best====JACK:  Sometimes people will substitute other names for Jesus.  I remember hearing...Geez Louise...and, as a kid, I would say (instead of swearing) Jee-Zoo.  You probably never did that.====JOHN:  I still say "Geez-Louise".   Often have wondered from whence it came.    What did poor Louise do to end up being part of a corruption?

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  😉====JACK:  "By George, I think she's got it!"

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  HA! Had to think a minute on that one! :-)   Harold Pinter (in the Wall Street Journal) observed:"One way  of looking at speech, is to say it is a constant stratagem to cover nakedness"....that gives one something to think about too! Ahem! So Think before you speak?! ====JACK:  Rule #2...Don't try to put something over on Marilyn!

FROM KF:  My favorite "rule".......Think before you speak (or text : ))====JACK:  ...or, before you press, Send!  I've broken that rule a few times.  Noooooo!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  What wonderful creed.  Today, and half the time I could never live up to that statement.  We've had a very traumatic year and I sink into despair.  I know my God is with me and that keeps me strong but not strong enough that I can handle life by myself.  We keep plugging along knowing things ARE in God's hands and we will overcome this life for an eternally "happily ever after!"====JACK:  "Yea, though I walk through the valleys...thou art with comfort me."

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 9/6/17
“After I’m dead I’d rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one.”  (Cato the Elder)  The word, monument, is from Latin meaning, “to remind” or “to warn,” which seems to relate to what’s going on in our world today.  Are statues warnings or reminders?  I guess it depends on the interpreter and which interpretation appeals to you.  Kurt Vonnegut wrote: “Symbols can be so beautiful…sometimes.”  So…a reminder or a warning?    ;-)  Jack

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Your WW today, Pastor Freed, are so thought-provoking. "Reminder" or "warning". With all the devastation and pain and suffering from war, the loss of life and property, destruction in a country, it simply hadn't occurred to me that war statues could be seen as a "warning", I suppose because people only seem like they like to make statues, monuments of people that look heroic and not un-heroic. Even crucifixion statues of Jesus hanging on the cross become heroic and not un-heroic. Because we know the reality of that hanging on the cross. Can it be that many people in the South never saw the reality of the Civil War in a similar way to the rest of the country? as a loss and a warning but rather that their cause was just? Symbols can be.....beautiful but symbols based on fairy-tale wishes are very disturbing.====JACK:  I guess that the crucifix is a statue, although I've never thought of it in that way.  Even the 10 Commandments are statutes (statues)...and flags, too.  Reminders or  warnings...The statues are what we want them to be.

FROM KF:  I like Mt Rushmore. That dynamic foursome often made decisions that were not 'popular'...but they pushed on....====JACK:  When Mary and I were married we visited Mt. Rushmore.  It was cloudy and rainy the whole time we were there.  We never got to see it, but we knew that it was still there.  It's sort of that way with God.

FROM TARMART REV:  ...all in the eyes of the beholder..."do this in remembrance of Me" 0;-)====JACK:  Many theological discussions with regard to the Lord's Supper as a remembrance or a sacrament,  It is what it the one who participates.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Interesting...I guess I'm not the only one who got up early this morning! ====JACK:  Interesting things happen when we put our brain in gear and step on the gas!

FROM SG:  Thank you so much for your Winning Words!  I, like so many others, look forward to reading it every day to give me a fresh start to our morning!  Have a wonderful, fantastic, super day!!!====JACK:  Strange...but I look forward to sending out WWs each day.  The creation of each can sometimes give the brain a workout.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I think that they should have a monument of us....two fairly successful heretics!====JACK:  I came across this quote today..."The bourgeois today burns as heretics..those who he erects monuments tomorrow."  I wonder how POG will recognize your ministry after your name appears in the obituary column?====JOHN:  It is odd to say...but I don't really care....I hope I have been faithful

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  is it judgmental to put all recipients of monuments in one category... undeserving?  i am more concerned w/hurricanes, wildfires & the lunatic in north korea than someone's hurt feelings over historical statues, frankly.====JACK:  Cemeteries are filled with monuments, usually "reminders" of loved ones.  Right now I'm working with my family on a similar one.  As for the weather and international politics...I'm concerned, but these things are beyond my control, except in the broadest sense.

FROM HAPPY TRAIL;S IN NOVA SCOTIA:  Did you happen to see Kurt Vonnegut's cameo appearance in Rodney Dangerfield's movie "Back to School" (not 100% sure of the title)? Rodney tried to buy his way to academic success (later reformed and succeeded) and hired a ghost writer for a report on some Vonnegut creation. No less than Kurt himself turns up at the door to exchange the paper for a check. Later Rodney gets his paper back with a poor grade and a comment that "It is obvious you don't understand the work of Kurt Vonnegut." Rodney turns around to his bodyguard/chauffeur and says "Stop the check!"  Another of several funny scenes in that movie was when Rodney didn't want to wait through the long lines at registration. Shortly after he arrived, the chauffeur in uniform showed up with a sign "Bruce Springsteen" (I think) and walked through the registration hall. Almost all the students followed him like the :Pied :Piper.====JACK:  Rodney's expressions win me over.  I liked him in Caddyshack.  Vonnegut is one of those names you know, but have a hard time wring a paragraph about him.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  I was in Gettysburg with Sue a week ago. There are scores of monuments from both sides. They line seminary ridge(confederacy) and cemetery ridge ( union) as if the solders stood there waiting for battle. These are both warnings and reminders of the problems we had and thought we solved but continue to battle. Too many don't understand what these represent. Have you ever been to visit?====JACK:  Why is it that some want to refight that war?  Thinking that the outcome will be different? As Peter, Paul and Mary sang..."When will they ever learn?"  BTW, the Gettysburg Seminary is one of our Lutheran schools, dating back before the Civil War.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 9/5/17
“No one ever climbed a hill just by looking at it.”  (Dr. Phil)  It’s not a mountain, or even a hill.  It’s a pile of papers on my desk that need to be attended to.  I can look at it every day, but it’s not going away until I decide to do something about it.  I know that I’m not alone.  We all have that hill that needs to be climbed.  What is it that needs doing in your life?  I wonder if Dr. Phil has some things that need doing?  I’d be surprised if he doesn’t!    ;-)  Jack

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Why is it that ‘stuff’ collects on our desks?  I have a stack that needs filing; I really dislike filing but love it when the job is done.====JACK:  Quilters have stacks of stuff, too....but quilters seem to be more organized than ordinary people.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We always have those piles!  Whether it's writing those letters, laundry, keeping my scrapbook room picked up or...paperwork!!  Have a good day!!!====JACK:  I once went into a pastor's office....stuff all over the floor, on window sill, on side chairs.  "It's always like this!"  We laughed about it.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Oh my, yes, I still have boxes in my garage from moving 2 yrs. ago; Continue to slowly lessen the Mountain to  small hills! :-(  But a long Labor Day weekend in Chicago seeing Tony award play MOBY DICK, and WI on Lake Nagawicka at son Fred's is so much more fun than tackling moving boxes!! :-)  There's always an excuse...!====JACK:  If you don't need it, leave it in the box.  That's like it is with with words...If they don't need saying, leave them in the (voice) box.

FROM KANSAN DON:  Sorted miscellaneous stacks yesterday.  Permanent placement to be determined — but it’s a 'bit' neater.  Much empathy.====JACK:  It's Wednesday, and I'm just getting around to yesterday's e-mails that needed responses yesterday.  Which reminds me...I like the song, "Yesterday!"

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  my "hill" today  is opening up my preschool, (aka home away from home), and then shortly afterwards traveling to san fracisco, (aka new home away from home), to climb up and down the hills with a stroller cradling our darling grandson.  it needs doing to keep him in the arms of family as long as possible.  life is good...change for me is hard...i know you've been through your share.  you are always with me reminding me to keep the faith.  thank you! ====JACK:  Your song for the day...."Climb Every Mountain!"====MARY:  been humming it all day!  you know me well.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  tackle the pile w/this strategy... first, sort pile into smaller piles, such as:
bills  correspondence  magazines... you get it.  then tackle one pile at a time, till finished====JACK:  The word, beatnik, referred to a messy lifestyle.  The word, neatnik, became its antonym.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 9/1/17
“God has no hands but our hands to do his work today.”  (Annie Johnson Flint)  God’s hands/Our hands is a poem written to define the need to rebuild Europe after the devastation of WW 2.  Annie’s words can apply to the task of rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey.   Many groups, secular and religious, are collecting funds to help rebuild after Harvey.  Our gifts are a way to be “God’s hands.”  I’m looking at my hands…now…and my checkbook!    ;-)  Jack

I can change the world, with my own two hands
Make a better place, with my own two hands
Make a kinder place, oh with my, oh with my own two hands
With my own, with my own two hands
With my own, with my own two hands
====JACK:  Yes, that's the message I wanted to convey.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  this is the america we know & love!====JACK:  I've always admired Jimmy Carter for actually using his hands in the Habitat for Humanity housing project.  ====LIZ:  yes! me, too. glad he is ok... keeps on going thru his adversity. admirable, indeed.

FROM TARMART REV:  Our church and denomination are actually involved as well. We sent a group down to New Orleans last time . . . I won't be surprised if we send another team to Houston when called for====JACK:  That "team" might also need a chaplain who knows how to use a hammer.====REV:  They might; but he just may be out of town by then?====JACK:  While we're making plans, sometimes God is making other plans.

JACK:  Someone sent the lyrics for Jewel's "Hands,"  which say, in part:  "We are God's eyes
God's hands  God's mind  We are God's eyes  God's hands  God's heart  We are God's eyes  God's hands  God's eyes  We are God's hands"