Thursday, November 30, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 11/30/17
“In life you have three choices…Give up…Give in…of Give it your all.”  (Charleston Parker)  In checking him out, I’ve learned that Parker is a self-taught theologian who, through personal study, has discovered many truths about God.  Since theology is an “imperfect science,” C.P.’s thoughts are worth considering.  Many of us are searching to “know” the unknowable…like on a treasure hunt.  So, we look for clues…maybe in Barth, Bonhoeffer or even Parker.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  and even in Christ Himself! I'll have to "Google" Charleston Parker and read of his discoveries.====JACK:  E.B. White wrote a book, "One Man's Meat Is Another Man's Poison."  I guess that goes for theological opinions, too.

FOME MIKE:  The latest National Geographic has an extensive article about archeologists trying to scientifically prove site of Jesus tomb.  And that he truly walked around Jerusalem.  I haven't read entire article,but plan to.  Thought it would be something you would enjoy.====JACK:  Yes, I saw that headline, but didn't follow up.  I suspect that in the end it will come to a choice: either you believe it, or you don't.  When it comes to "proving" God, the search will always end with a person's faith.  As the man once cried out to Jesus: "I believe, help my unbelief."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  All or nothing!  Maybe I’ll look him up!  Sounds interesting! ====JACK:  I'll stick with Barth and Bonhoeffer....and my seminary profs.

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Inspiring as ever.  Thanks!====JACK:  When our children were small they were always excited when I planned a Treasure Hunt for them...hiding things around the house and giving them clues.  Those were the days!====BB:  I had no idea you did this for the gang.  Did you know that I did the same when visiting the cabin I the UP?  We hid things under swings, in the tree stump where the toad lived etc.  We wrote little poems/rhymes  to get them from place to place.
One year the whole operation got foiled as the poem notes to go from one place to another were with the “treasure”.  That year, there was a plastic film canister with dimes that had the paper and it was 10 paces toward the lake from the neighbors blue bike.  Only the kid moved the bike so the whole thing got derailed.  Tim & I knew where it was and dug a bunch but never found those dimes.  Imagine someone else did and, if it was a little one, they were elated!====JACK:  Did you ever see the Twilight Zone episode, "Kick the Can?"  (You can YouTube it)  Maybe when you have a gathering of adults, you can have a Treasure Hunt and relive the good old days.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Love those choices!====JACK:  You are a "GIVE IT YOUR ALL!" type of person.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  As Jonathon Swift said, "I hope you live every day of your life!" I think we're dancing as fast as we can, as old age creeps up...Hopefully it takes one look at us, and backs away! :-)  Today's discussion made me think of your old professors saying, "You can't unscrew the inscrutable". So true, in regard to our many questions, but that's where faith comes in, isn't it ? I've had enough "miracles" to merit the adventure! Today was a full one!====JACK:  If not miracles, what Bible words inspire you the most? 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 11/29/17
“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.”  (Victor Hugo)  I’ve never thought of Victor as having a sense of humor.  “Les Misérables,” for example.  But, who knows?  We’re each born with a “funny bone,” but not all laugh at the same thing.  Molly said to Fibber, “’Tain’t funny, McGee”  (Only a few of you will get that one.)  I laughed at Steve Martin in The Pink Panther the other night…Oh, and Monte Python’s Silly Walk, cracks me up.    ;-)  Jack

FROM PASTIE PAT:  I got it😏!====JACK:  Do you have a closet like Fibber's?  I do.====PAT:  No --- even people who like me think I'm a neat freak😉!

FROM LP IN PORTAGE:  Didn’t know fibber McGee was a real character. My grandma just used to say it when we tried to trick her. “You’re just a Fibber McGee”. And I adopted it with my kids. Will have to google that.====JACK:  Thanks to YouTube you can show your kids a picture of the "real" Fibber.  And while you're at it, show them Monte Python's "Silly Walk."

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i get that one... 😉  dad & i howled when steve martin first appeared on johnny carson w/the arrow through his head... and never stopped.====JACK:  I liked his movie, "The Jerk," a comedy with a message.====LIZ:  dad LOVED monty python. i never got their humor, however.====JACK:  Don't tell me you've not laughed when watching MP's Silly Walk.====LIZ:  monty python is “boy humor,” as i tried to explain to my dad as to why i never cracked a grin. ====JACK:  I don't see "Silly Walk" as boy humor, unless you might refer to the scene where a man asks the secretary to bring coffee...but she adds to the skit when she comes back with the coffee, doing a silly walk. ====LIZ:  we loved national lampoon vacation... you?====JACK:  I liked it.  Lots of funny scenes.  But, I liked Christmas Vacation even better.====LIZ:  i know of no women who find monty python funny.====JACK:  I came across this article..."Why do only smart people find Monty Python funny?"  That's a silly headline, isn't it?====LIZ:  i resent that... tee hee! ====LIZ;  ok. i will youtube it, & get back to you...(Getting back to you)...sorry, i never cracked a smile. dad would be rolling on the floor over this, however.  no, “one thin mint” doesn’t work either.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  have you noticed that Trump never laughs??  he may crack a smile or smirk once in a while but i have yet to see him truly laugh.  another possible sign of a mental instability....====JACK:  The old song seems to apply here..."Smile, thought your heart is breaking."
====PAUL:  Are you sure the guy even has a heart??====JACK:  That's referring to you...and I'm sure that you have a heart.  I read an article today that says you rarly ever see Trump smile or laugh.  It's a sign of something or other.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Ah Yes, Fibber McGee's disastrous closet! In the early days of TV we thought they were hilarious.:-) Most of us love a good laugh, but as you say, some are more inclined than others...I can usually see the funny side of most situations, which sure saves the day many a time!: Something that cracked me up recently was the story of a man walking into a New York Public Library, marching up to the librarian at the desk, and saying, "I'LL HAVE A CHEESEBURGER WITH EVERYTHING, CURLY FRIES, AND SMALL COFFEE.." She, aghast, replies, "Are you crazy?! This is a public library! He:"Oh, sorry! then whispers, "I'll have a cheeseburger with everything, curly fries,etc....You don't even have to finish it to start smiling!====JACK:  You've pointed out one example of why something is humorous...Incongruous juxtaposition!====OAKS:  Not familiar with that phrase, but it did make me laugh!====JACK:  I think that the recent quote of a baseball headline is an example:  "Whiffs of Colon too strong, 7-2."

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Fibber mcgee wow you are old although I think the show ran into the early fifties====JACK:  Fibber and Molly were an actual married couple...Jim and Marian Jordan.  Do you recall these recurring characters on the weekly show...Gildersleeve, The Old Timer, Mayor La Trivia, Nick DePopulis and Myrt?  You sort of remind me of Gildersleeve.====RJP:  As the water commissioner he was very important his town as I am here sooooooo heeeeee heee  as he said, yes Feebee.====JACK:  What was funny, then, is corny, now.  Each age has its own humor.

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA:  Good morning, Jack.  Steve Martin’s ‘comic era’ was a thing of wonder. Back when he was just beginning to be famous (early 1970’s), I saw him live at the Meadowbrook outdoor theatre. The audience was mostly seated and buzzing with anticipation as the clock inched toward start time. At one point, a minor rustling of the curtains sent the audience into a roar. Then another rustling, with even greater impact. At least a minute passed…and then, almost shyly, the toe of a white shoe peeked out between the curtains and the audience (no kidding!) when berserk. It was as if the Beatles had just materialized. People were waving their arms frantically, jumping up & down, and running up and down the aisles wearing balloon hats or arrow-through-the-head clip-ons. The toe wiggled, and the activity soared even higher!  Talk about knowing how to work a crowd.  Not to be outdone by his toe…Steve's performance was flawless, and a total delight. I think that his opening line (spoken with convincing disdain) was “I’m so mad at my mother…she wanted me to give her ten dollars for some food!”(punch line: We worked it out. She got the 10 bucks for doing a brake job on my GTO.)  Many of his movies — both comic and serious — are quite extraordinary. If you haven’t seen them, I would suggest ‘Roxanne'' (in which 'Cyrano gets the girl’), and 'L.A. Story.' It’s a semi-autobiographical comedy/fantasy built around the courting of Steve’s first wife, Victoria Tennant, who plays the female lead. Unique among his cinematic works, the generally comedic storyline incorporates philosophical and intensely romantic elements. And then, for sheer fun, there’s ‘My Blue Heaven.’   p.s. Here’s a great quote from another Victor (Borge) —   “The shortest distance between two people is laughter.”====JACK:  Roxanne was a message-movie, too.  another things that makes me laugh is when Martin and Dan Aykroyd (as Yortuk and Georg Festrunk) call out, "We are two wild and crazy guys."

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  Abbott and Costello “ Who’s on First?”====JACK:  What?  Oh, that"s right.  What's on second.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 11/28/17
“I learned early that sometimes you have to dig through garbage to get anywhere.”  (Michael Hainey)  A man with a truck goes through our neighborhood each night before “trash day” picking up items he sees as valuable.  “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”  Here are some suggestions for helping to turn life’s bad luck into good:  Keep your cool!  I can learn something from this.  There’s a positive here!  There’s opportunity in this adversity.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i am going out right now to check my trash cans hoping to find a treasure:):):)====JACK:  How about going through a pile of your old sermons to see if there's a gem in there.====PAUL:  good idea!   i hope there would be a few gems in there somewhere:):):) ====JACK:  Did you ever sing this song in Sunday School?
When He cometh, when He cometh  To make up His jewels,
All His jewels, precious jewels,  His loved and His own. (Refrain)
(Refrain) Like the stars of the morning,  His brightness adorning,
They (Your sermons) shall shine in their beauty,  Bright gems for His crown.
He will gather, He will gather  The gems for His kingdom;
All the pure ones, all the bright ones,  His loved and His own. (Refrain)
====PAUL:  i recall it vaguely.  not sure i ever sang it but i have heard it sung a few times somewhere in my distant past.   i was raised in the old Augustana Synod (Swedish) and belonged to the only Augustana L C in all of St. Louis.  in fact,  the next closest Augustana L C was in Bloomington, Illinois.  we did sing from a book called Youth's Favorite Songs but i am not sure this one was in there.  i have an old copy somewhere around the house.  if i find it, i will look it up.

FROM TARMART REV:  "There's got to be a pony somewhere in that pile of manure!?!?" ====JACK:  As Isaiah says (64:6):  "All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags."  ...but God is able to find some worth in the mess that we sometimes make.

FROM CPA BOB:  A close friend of ours noticed that, in their trash, grocery stores had thrown out healthy and near healthy orchid plants.  Frequently, a few plants would remain at the end of a sales promotion and the space was needed.  The stores gave her permission to take anything from the trash, which she added to her greenhouse collection.====JACK:  People who go through grocery store trash are called, Dumpster Divers.

FROM JUDYE:  This WW is so perfect for today.  You are a very special person. Thank you for your prayers.====JACK:  So many things to do.....I started making a list today...and I've already crossed off three things.====JUDY:  Good for you!!  My lists keep getting longer, but I’m ticking things off too.  God bless you this Advent and always.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I was thinking positive all day! Our third great grandchild was born today in Ohio.  Her name is Elizabeth Grace.====JACK:  Elizabeth and Grace---two meaningful names!  What's your middle name?====SHIRL:  It is Mae.  Growing up I remember a little boy Jimmy Mason said Shirley Mae De Taeye was the prettiest name he ever heard!====JACK:  Now, I remember the Mae...and it does have a nice rhyme to it.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Isn’t it wonderful someone takes our castoffs and makes a living from it?  There is a positive to nearly everything!====JACK:  Why the qualifier...nearly?====JUDY:  Well, it’s not good news to hear you have cancer, or someone has stole your car....etc etc!  I guess you could find something good?!?====JACK:  I know it's not cancer, but when I contracted polio at age 16, I didn't think that it was good news.  In retrospect, it changed my life for the better and is probably a large part of the reason that I became a pastor.  So, given the long view (which God happens to have), garbage isn't always garbage.Very true!  But you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s of my family’s fun sayings.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 11/27/17
“Be nice to people…maybe it will be unappreciated, unreciprocated or ignored, but spread love anyway.  We rise by lifting others.”  (Germany Kent)  Google made a study of why certain teams succeed in the business world.  After lots of data, it found that team members who like each other do a better job.  It works in the home, too…and even in church.  My mom was right when she said, “Just be nice to your sister!”  Try to be extra nice today!”    ;-)  Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Good words!  It’s a good way to live to....just be nice!====JACK:  And it doesn't depend on quid pro  quo, either.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  hey,  we are full of Minnesota nice up here!!====JACK:  You're right about that.  I'm planning fly up there in December to experience some of it.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Being nice, and using good manners, never goes out of style! It is more effective than any haranguing or critical approach to a situation! My daughter has the slogan on her emails, "Be nicer than necessary, for everyone is fighting some kind of battle." Often true. ====JACK:  Did anyone have to tell you to be nice?  Probably not.====OAKS:  Yes! My mother was constantly reminding Jan and I that it didn't cost a penny be nice to everyone! She rarely had a negative thing to say about anyone, and wasn't one to pass on gossip. We learned at her knee...reminds me of that saying by Pastor Tillberg, and "other joints".====JACK:  We used to go to a cafeteria where the serve would always ask, "Would you like something nice?"  I wish that that place was still in business and I could hear the server's words again.  But, alas....  They never say that at McDonald's.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 11/24/17
“The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values.”  (William Ralph Inge)  Someone from Mr. Sparky, an electrical contractor, spoke to me about the need for a couple of electricians, or apprentices.  There are jobs out there.  It surprised me that the first qualification mentioned was honesty, not knowledge of electricity.  Where did you learn your value system?  Integrity?  Courage?  Discipline?  Faith?  Would you like to work for Mr. Sparky?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  "Would certainly be an electrifying experience, I'm sure!!"====JACK: When you preach, the bulletin should read: "Sermon by Rev. Sparky!"

FROM RVB:  In hiring many people over the years, no matter the discipline, these are the hardest traits to measure. At the entry level of any skill trade, these values are a tell tale of future performance once hired.====JACK:  It's somewhat like the calling of a pastor.  Call Committees do not always ask the right questions, or read between the lines.  However, when praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, before taking a vote, God can share in the blame/praise of the outcome.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  I always hired salesman on the basis of integrity not verbal skills. And that's what I used to preach when I did my sale seminars. The customers can see through a sharp talking individual that they feel comfort when they feel the integrity of the individual.====JACK:  I respect the response from of the premier salesmen that I've ever met....except, when he chooses a place to take a client for lunch.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  hope  you had a good Thanksgiving, Jack.  must be quite different without Mary.  i suspect that day will come to all of us sooner or later.   we are having the three kids here today with their families (total of 18 including my Bro)  for Turkey at noon.====JACK:  You are right!  The day was different,  especially remembering Mary, and how it used to be.  But, that's why God gave us be able to recall and enjoy those recollections.  ...and, you are right, again.  It will come to all, sooner or later.  Time marches on.  But the prayers of thanks continue to be offered to the one who never changes.====PAUL:  and one huge AMEN to that!

FROM SUNSHINE:  I have always told my students that what it means to be a member of a profession is to do what you believe to be right . . . regardless of the consequences.====JACK:  The client is always right...UNLESS you are called upon to do something illegal or against your sense of what's right or wrong.  Sometimes the "fee" gets in the way, but that's what choice is all about. ====SUNSHINE:  To clarify, when I said "do what you believe is right . . . regardless of the consequences" I was referring to your "Wining Words" of today, i. e. VALUES.  The client isn't always right, but the client is the client. Thus, a way should be sought to develop a design that is based on the client's needs as well as hopes and dreams. In my experience the client's contributions  lead to a better design. Certainly that was the case at Grayslake.  Now to watch the HOKIES. ====JACK: Did you know that the Hokies were originally called, the Gobblers?  It's appropriate, then, to have them play during this Thanksgivingtime. 

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Boy I’d say education failed miserably.  Is it the teachers or the parents?!!  Aren’t the parents the first teachers?====JACK:  ...and sometimes, when parents have failed miserably, there has been a teacher who has done the job.  So...the source of our value system can come from a variety of places.  The church helped shape them for me.  So did caring relatives, some teachers...and my parents...and even my sister.====JUDY:  There are a lot of reasons children are taught or learn morals.  God knows there are little of them being taught and many of them being taught wrongly.     Us kids were taught by our parents, grandparents, Sunday school teachers and even siblings.  I’m thankful for their hard work and persistence!====JACK:  There are so many more teachers "out there" media, to name just one.

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  amen!====JACK:  As a teacher and a teacher of teachers, you have had a major part in helping to determine life directions.  ...and don't forget the "mom" in you that has influenced your daughter.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Yes, that is prime: Honesty, Integrity...when Bill worked with the Judicial system,(As the pastor of a church he initiated a Fund of Renewal for this purpose)) trying to help ex-con's training and work, it was easier to place a murderer than a thief! NO business or profession wanted to deal with someone who had stolen or embezzled money! We once had a Walgreen's manager of our local store call and ask if Sarah (in H.S.) was interested in working summers there, because he felt her pastor father would have instilled honesty in her, and he had had trouble with teen age help being dishonest!  I think a prime aim of education should also be to teach kids to THINK for themselves!   So many just parrot back learned information...!====JACK:  Basically it's still the same.  When it comes to teaching morals. home schooling works best.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 11/22/17
“Lord, as we bow our heads to pray,  We celebrate Thanksgiving Day.
Help us have the right attitude,  As we turn to you in gratitude.
Thank you for our festive mood;  Thank you, Lord, for this good food;
Thanks for blessings great and small;  Thank you, thank you for it all.”  Amen
(Thanksgiving Table Prayer by Joanna Fuchs)

FROM CPA BM:  Have a nice Thanksgiving.  We’ll remember Mary.====JACK:  We have much to be thankful for.  Mary's life is at the top of the list this year.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Very good prayer.  Hope you have a blessed Happy Thanksgiving.  Remember all the good Thanksgiving’s with your family and your wife.  I’m sure there were a lot of great memories.  “Think on those things!”  God bless!====JACK:  It's one of the great holidays of the fact, every day ought to be a thanks-giving day.


FROM PR IN CA:  Beautiful.  Happy Thanksgiving.  Hugs====JACK:  A hug is always welcomed.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Both sound good.  I am purposely not talking about how lonesome it is.   God Bless!  Thanks Jack.  I may print that and use it tomorrow.  I am going to Carol’s—bringing the turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie.  Where are you going? ====JACK:  A festive mood and good food are certainly better than a bad mood and bad food.  I'll be at daughter Beth's for the turkey dinner and the Lions/Vikings football game.

FROM LK IN OHIO:  Happy Thanksgiving, Jack.

FROM KF:  Thank you for jump-starting our prayers for Thanksgiving dinner : )   We hope you have an enjoyable celebration with friends and family!!====JACK:  I don't know what customs families have with regard to praying (or not praying) before a family meal.  But the "pastor" in me kicks in when I sit down at the computer to send out a Thanksgiving message.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Thanx, Jack.  This will be in today's Champions Bible Study.  Have a Blessed Thanksgiving.  We will be having Tx Giving with 2 of our 3 kids and families. ====JACK:  Thanks for the good work that you and your friends do with the CBS.

FROM TARMART REV:  Must admit . . . T D, my favorite holiday for genuine celebration . . . C D, rather tired and ready for the N Y to begin.====JACK:  I had Thanksgiving dinner at my daughter, Beth's house.  The food tasted musty...."I musty have seconds!====REV:  "Two pieces of pumpkin pie with whip cream myself . . . a musty had to have Thanksgiving desert!!====JACK:  I thought that you were on a diet.====REV:  Father! I have sinned again!!====JESUS:  Go, and sin no more!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  This is a great T.Giving prayer...copied it for next year. Enjoyed our Chicago gathering on Thursday. Had a great feast of food and lots of fun and games.... ====JACK:  One of our grandsons used the prayer this year...and his father gave some reflections on being thankful.  My guess is that more table prayers are offered on Thanksgiving Day than at any other day in the year.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 11/21/17
“When you press the pause button on a machine, it stops, but when you press the pause button on human beings they start…to think, to reflect, to reimagine what is possible.”  (Thomas Friedman)  Best-selling author, Friedman, is an explanatory journalist who translates English into English.  In his new book, he gives advice on how to navigate in this world that seems out of control.  Don’t be swept up in the moment.  Pause….Think!    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  sometimes it is really hard to do this,  especially when the agenda for the day is quite full.  but it is good advice nonetheless...====JACK:  You made the point!  The tile of his book is, "Thank You For Being Late."  Because someone was late for an appointment, it gave him time to pause and think and ponder.  It's a book that a busy person like you should read.
====SP:  a college classmate of mine is an international lawyer whose office was on the 95th floor of the World Trade Center.  she lives in New Haven, Conn. and on the morning of 9/11/01 she was late for work by about 45 minutes.  had she arrived on time that day,  she says she would have certainly be in her office at the time of the attack.  but once the attack began,  all commuter trains into the city stopped.   true story.  her name is Connie Fardden.  one very smart woman... ====JACK:  Robert H. Smith wrote:    “The clock of life is wound but once, And no man has the power To tell just when the hands will stop At late or early hour.     The present only is our own, So live, love, toil with a will,
Place no faith in Tomorrow, For the Clock may then be still.”====SP:  what a great quote.  i have a New Year's sermon and this one will go in the file for sure.

FROM HY YO SILVER:   Beautiful.  Greetings from Israel!====JACK:  Are you having time for contemplation while in Israel?  I'm wondering if the members of Congress have a "pause" button so that they can reflect before they react.  What has been your experience?====HY:  My experience has been incredible My tenth time but still unique and special. Have you been there?====JACK:  I’ve had two opportunities to visit Israel and the Holy Lands.
1. The manager of the El-Al office in Detroit offered me a trip, but a rash of bombings took place, and the trip had to be cancelled.
2. I had arranged to lead a tour of the Holy Lands, and people indicated that they wanted to go, but, again, there was unrest in the destination and people backed out, one after another.
Soooo....I’m now content to read about it in the Bible and let you and others make the trip.
====HY:  Jack, must go.  DO IT.  It's safe and wonderful.====JACK:  I think that the El-Al guy has moved on...and so have I.  Life is that way...sometimes you miss the boat (jet).  I'm content.

 FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  If we all paused before we thought so much unnecessary pain, anger and hurt would be avoided.====JACK:  The events of the world are happening so after another...that there seems to be no time to pause, or to reflect.====JUDY:  That is so true!  It’s hard to get down to what we need to do each day because we are stuck on what happened yesterday or what will happen tomorrow.  I just want to curl up in a blanket and think about today!

FROM SHALOM SISTA:  Great quote -- maybe it's pressing the pause button.  It started some thoughts about "where two or three are together in my name ..." kind of positive thinking, positive talk, knowing that Christ is never out of touch with us.====JACK:  When you call to get help from a company, and you're put on do you spend that time?  It might help to consider it "pause" time, as Thomas Friedman suggests.  (Easier said than done!)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 11/20/1
“How ya livin’?  Ask yourself each day.”  (Dr. Rick Rigsby)  Several people sent me the video of Rigsby’s commencement address which began, “The wisest person I ever met was a 3rd grade dropout.”  He was referring to his father who had to quit school to work on the family farm…but he never stopped learning…and giving good advice.  “Always remember to be kind…Every day, ask yourself, ‘How ya livin’?’”  Today…Ask yourself: “How am I living?”    ;-)  Jack

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Yep - Dr. Rick is just up the road from us in Allen, TX - a suburb of Dallas.  'Twas a great commencement speech.  All of my wife's challenges gave me pause to think how lucky we are to have our health - and other blessings.====JACK:  One of the table prayers that might be used at Thanksgivingtime begins, "God is great.  God is good..."

FROM LBP:  I started to nit pick the details of how I’m living ... but then changed: “I am blessed”. Thanks to a friend from my recent church family for modeling that behavior.====JACK:  Of course you know what a "nit" is...and how "nitpicking" often keeps us from enjoying life!  Instead, why not "Count your many blessings, name them one by one..."

FROM DEPUTY DOG:  I sent this out to the PD last week – Great speech!====JACK:  "Always be kind!" is advice worth repeating.

FROM KF:  When S started school we worked with her on social skills and instilled "to have friends you have to be a friend". Each day after school we would talk about what she did to "be a friend" to various students in her class. She was a child that had a few good friends, and learned to be accepting of others who were not the nicest kids.====JACK:  "As the twig is bent, so grows the tree."  ====KF:  ;  )   C'est moi!!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We’re livin to the best of our ability....but there’s always room for improvement!====JACK:  I like the button that someone was wearing... reading...PBPGINFWMY ...PleaseBePatientGodIsNotFinishedWithMeYet.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I have a little plaque & a lapel pin with that saying "Please be patient - God isn't finished with me yet". It's a good thought, and so true. Our Livin' improves as we are reformed, and burnished, etc. The address of Rigsby  sounds like a winner!====JACK:  I think that you can YouTube of Google the complete address.  Bill's pin probably read: PBPGINFWMWY.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Enjoying each day and trying to be helpful====JACK:  I think Jesus would approve of that.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 11/17/17
“People ask me, ‘What about gay adoptions?  Interracial? Single Parent?’  I say, ‘Hey fine, as long as it works for the child and the family is responsible.  Every child deserves a home and love.  Period!’”  (Dave Thomas)  Tomorrow the dreams of thousands of children and adults (I know of 5) will come true as adoptions are finalized on National Adoption Day.  One reason I patronize Wendy’s is because of Dave Thomas’s support of adoptions.    ;-)  Jack

FROM PPM:  We adopted this little bug one year ago. I’m excited for all those families that will be celebrating their legal adoptions tomorrow. Such an amazing gift for the children and those families!  ====JACK:  Before my mind kicked into gear, I thought you were going to show me a video of a bug.  But it made my day when I saw that it was your child.  And since it was a year ago, the process probably was part of National Adoption Day.  What's the bug's name?====PPM:  We actually were out of town on National adoption day so we weren’t able to do so on that day. But the judge was amazing in the day he was legally adopted and made it very special for the families. He had life sized teddy bears sitting in chairs in throughout the courtroom and said it was by far his favorite day.  Our son’s name is Pearce Riley. His biological mom, Maggie gave him his middle name. We’ve definitely been blessed! :)====JACK:  Yours is a GREAT Thanksgiving story!  Thanks.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  plus they have great chili and frostys!!====JACK:  I usually get a Spicey Chicken Sandwich...and a Frosty====SP:  chocolate or vanilla??====JACK:  Chawk-lit! ====SP:  love your spelling!!   do you  recall the old Nestle's jingle.  N E S T L E S     Nestles makes the very best.......Chawk lit!

FROM TARMART REV:  . . . .it sure beats abortion rights in my way of thinking." ====JACK:  I haven't seen any people walking around with "adopt a child" signs, although I do see plenty of "adopt a pet" advertising. ====REV:  So true...perhaps health care expenses for animals runs with equal statistics as children’s nowadays?! A retired farmer friend of mine refers to all pets (goats, miniature horses, dogs, cats, etc.) as “just farm animals and are very expendable if need be!”====JACK:  Those who wish to adopt a child should be held to a higher standard than those who want to adopt a stray dog or cat.====REV:  I would surly hope so.

FROM TRIHARDER:  Smiling,====JACK: Do you handle adoptions in your practice?====TH:  No. I've never been involved with one. O. The contrary,  I've been involved where parents lose rights to being a parent -- but rarely.====JACK:  Sad to say, but there should probably be more cases where parental rights are taken away.====TH:  The options are weighed.  Whether the child would be better off permanently at various foster care facilities vs. Counseling and rehabilitating a parent.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  Amen, brother!  With Korean and Ethiopian adoptees in our family (Scott's) and my (thwarted by my husband at the time) desire to adopt a Vietnamese orphan after the airlift, I am all for adoption!  I'll meet you at Wendy's sometime for lunch!====JACK:  I once was privileged to baptize a child, born of a surrogate mother.  Does that count as an adoption, or part of one?  ====JAN:  I'm not sure what surrogate mother means, legally.  It seems to me it is at least a partial adoption, as you suggest.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  absolutely!  i like wendy’s chili & frosty.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

FJack’s Winning Words 11/16/17
“True wisdom comes…when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves and the world around us.”  (Socrates)  Did you know that the 3rd Thursday of November each year is observed throughout the world as World Philosophy Day?  I didn’t, either.  Philosophy means, “Love of wisdom.”  The day is meant to get people to stop and think and to see the need for wisdom, to fight stupidity and prejudice.  I guess we need more than a day for that.    ;-)  Jack 

FROM TRIHARDER:  Yes! The more you know,  the more you know how little you know. ====JACK:  Do you remember Mr. Know-It-All from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show?

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i am soooo sick of hearing about prejudice! ten years ago was the US “prejudiced”?  prejudice was resurrected/manufactured for political purposes.  and that is my philosophy.====JACK:  Forgetting the specific references....I can't see how you'd be prejudiced against the concept of prejudice.

FROM TL:  Thanks, Jack.  Now I understand why I woke up in such deep thought this morning!  ====JACK:  Was that before or after you listened to the news?

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  how about a lifetime??:):)   starting the Oval Office??====JACK:  The need for self-examination extends beyond the Oval Office.  Of course would look at the results of their self-exam and call it, Fake News.====SP:  funny,   i don't ever recall hearing the phrase until Trump came along.  his deep desire to discredit some of our most respected news outlets in troubling indeed!====JACK:  One of the first lessons is gaining true wisdom is learn that you might be wrong.
A good executive will often have an underling who's not afraid to say, "We'd better rethink that one." ====SP:  i doubt those words are spoken in the Oval Office these days...

FROM THE SHARK:  Amen my friend, thank you for sharing.


FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Good WW words! I had no idea today was World Philosophy Day!  There is so much in our universe to know, and so little time to gain knowledge, isn't there ??!  I read recently that 380 MILLION years ago life evolved on land! Can we wrap our minds around that, or understand how we've become educated enough to KNOW that?! Definitely we need more than a lifetime to gain wisdom, and fight stupidity, etc. Times of disaster do show the humanity and kindness of the majority of humans...that is heartwarming. We sure need it!====JACK:  There are some who think that studying philosophy is a waste of time (no certain answers).  I majored in philosophy and have never regretted it.  Did it make me money?  I doubt it, but it did help me to understand things and people better...for what it's worth.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Jack’s  Winning Words 11/15/17
“Use your voice for kindness, your ears for compassion, your hands for charity, your mind for truth, and your heart for love.”  (Fredy Paul)  There’s a hymn, “Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee.”  It goes on…”Take my hands and feet, lips, silver and gold, intellect, will, heart, love, myself.”  Giving to the needy isn’t “a handout,” as some would describe it.  It’s our opportunity to show kindness by extending God’s hand out to the disadvantaged.     ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good words, old friend.   i may use this as a quote in my sermon this coming Sunday====JACK:  You might want to take a look at Fredy Paul, just for some background for the quote.

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Beautiful====JACK:  "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."  This idea that beauty id subjective was first expressed among Greek thinkers in the 3rd century BCE.  Later on it appears in Shakespeare's writings and in Ben Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Love these Winning Words!  I think I will write them down and cross stitch them!    Is this hymn still in the Lutheran Hymnal?  They removed a bunch of my favorites! ====JACK:  Yes, I think it's in there.  One of the good things about removing "old" favorites is that it provides room for some "new" favorites...and there are several of them.====JUDY:  There’s something very comforting about some of those old hymns.  I love some of the new ones too, but draw comfort from the old ones.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'm not familiar with this person, but love the quote. Wrote it down for future devotional use! Frances Ridley Havergal's hymn "Take My Life" has an interesting story...she was a well-known concert pianist who began o think "applause" might becoming more important to her than her faith, so she prayed about giving up her career, but felt she received the answer, "No, but use your talent for ME". She then focused on religious hymns and was very effective with youth crusades. This particular hymn came about when she was staying in a lodging with six people, and prayed for their conversion before the week was out. When this did happen she was inspired to write, "Take My Life", and in so doing, gave all of her fine jewelry to finance religious charity, keeping only her mother's cameo brooch, which she wears in her photos. Take my silver and my gold" convicted her...That is the story in one of my hymn story books, at least! I hope it's accurate! ====JACK:  I've often thought that the singing of hymns would be more meaningful if we were to know the background as how they came to be.====OAKS:  Sometimes you run across more than one story about a song's origin, and then you don't know quite what to believe!====JACK:  Even if it's only one, you might wonder if it's true or not.  Whatever suits your fancy.

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  Good one!  Have you ever heard of the app called Sprinkle of Jesus? Kiki loves it… she said the messages make her feel good about the world… just like your Winning Words do for me!  There's some good stuff out there in cyber-space.  You just have to know which keys to punch.

ROM INDY GENIE:  "Two little eyes to look to God. Two little ears to hear His word. Two little feet to walk His way.  Hands to serve him all my days.  One little tongue to speak the truth.  One little heart for Him in youth.  Take them Lord Jesus, let them be.  Always willing, true to Thee."  (I didn't google it so all the lyrics may not be exact!)  I guess I was pretty influenced by Sunday School too:)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 11/14/17
“Ya either get faith or ya get unbelief, and there ain’t no middle ground.”  (Bob Dylan)  How do you remember Bob Dylan?  Folksinger, rocker, crooner or sage?  Critics have called him “arrogant” and “smug,” particularly during his “faith phase,” when Christian conversion took over his life.  For me, “Blowin’ in the Wind” will be his signature song.  Inspirational!   I have learned, through the years, to let God be the judge.  I will only have opinions.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  "Blowin in the Wind" is a rest it====JACK:  What do you mean by "a rest song"?====JOHN:  Meant to say "great"

FROM TARMART REV:  Good advice-- "I will only have opinions?!"====JACK:  Opinion is derived from the word, opine...meaning, thinking.  It's good to put on your thinking cap once in a while.  Did a school teacher ever say top you..."Put on your thinking cap."?

FROM TRIHARDER:  I'm pretty sure  "Blowin' in the Wind" was before his conversion. ====JACK:  Without looking it up, I think that you're right.  "Conversion" is a word most often used in a religious context, but we can be converted in other ways, as well.

FROM MY ATTORNEY:  Dylan's song, "Like A Rolling Stone", was voted No. 1 of the 500 greatest songs ever recorded!!!  Rolling Stone Magazine.  He had a lot of good ones.  Bryna and I just saw him at the Fox.  Disappointing, to say the least.  He didn't sing any of his signature hits and never said one word between songs.  After each song, the lights went out, and when they came back on he was at a different location on the stage and then sang another song.  When the show was over, he and his band just walked off the stage.  Zero personality.====JACK:  The job of an entertainer is to entertain.  For fans to walk away disappointed says that the entertainer needs to re-evaluate his work.  ====MA:  Doctors practice medicine, but good doctors also have a good bedside manner. ====JACK:   I'm sure that you've heard of psychosomatic medicine.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Dylan seemed to become much more introverted after he quit drinking in 1994; He surprised most of us when he won he Nobel Prize, but considering the bulk of his work, you can see why he was considered. Like most celebrities, it's complicated!  He seems to think deeply on what gives life meaning, and his songs pose some good questions! "How many roads must a man walk down, before you can call him a man?" Indeed!  There will always be doubts to resolve, regarding Faith...that's how we grow.====JACK:  "Conversion" ought to involve more than just words.  As the poet put it..."I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  He will always be a rocker to me.  Love the song too!====JACK:  Dylan as a folk singer is the Dylan I like.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I don't remember anything about bob Dylan but I was into folk songs like the Weavers and Pete Seeger. That all seems like a long time ago! We went to the Magic Kingdom on this beautiful day. Christmas was in the air====JACK:  The message of The Big Bands was not the same as the protest singers of the 60's.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 11/13/17
“There’s nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”  (Nelson Mandela)  My first parish was 3 churches…one is now an apartment building, one a museum and one sits in a farmer’s backyard (he bought it at an auction}.  The only thing remaining from those days is the cemetery…and that has changed with new graves.  The hymn writer got it right.  “Change and decay in all around I see.  O. Thou who changest not, abide with me.”    ;-)  Jack 

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Does the museum contain Jack Freed Memorabilia?====JACK:  The pulpit and altar are still there.  …and so is the Moller organ that was ordered and installed when I was there.  Mary’s grandfather was the chairman of the building committee when the church was built.  The museum received a sizable endowment and has used it to put in an elevator, re-lead all of the windows, tuck-point all of the bricks, install new rest rooms and upgrade the heating system.  While I was there the “Norwegians” located their new church on the same block as we were located.  That was the beginning of the end.  I’m satisfied that the church building is still there, looking better than ever.  At least it’s not a vacant lot or somebody’s apartment building.  I’m at peace with “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  I recently toured the museum with my son.  It's filled with memories.====JOHN:  That's a great story.  Glad I asked.


FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How appropriate!  We took a drive on the back roads of The East side of Ohio.  Gary had an account in Minerva and he stayed down at the Star Motel for the 4-5 years he was down there.  We stayed with him a lot too.  We also made very good friends with Jerry and Sue who lived in Minerva and worked with Gary.  They have a 110 year old farmhouse and 32 acres of beautiful hilly farm land.  There land was also part of the Trail of Tears.   We stopped by to see the Star Motel, believing it would never be there....but it was!  Old and falling down, but it was still standing!  The Motel didn’t have phones or TVs.  Gary would call in a pay phone down the road!  It brought back so many memories!    But it was visiting with Sue and Jerry which was such s blessing.  We’ve talking but hadn’t seen them in over 20 years!  We were all thrilled to see them. Their son Jay runs the huge farm and lives in the big farm house.  Jerry and Sue  now live in a small home on the top of the hill overlooking them farm!  What a wonderful blessing!====JACK:  Yes, there really are times when "you can go home again."====JUDY: It was such a wonderful time!  Yes we can reminisce and revisit the old days!!

FROM INDY GENIE:  I was in "Our Town" in high school. I had 2 parts. "Lady in the audience" and "lady in the 2nd row of the cemetery"  We 'cemetarians' sang "Abide With Me".....I always liked that song...good harmonies :)====JACK: "It's a good funeral song."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Certainly our old home town Moline has changed A LOT since we grew up there! I see the big down town Methodist church still strands, but know nothing other than that! Is Tillberg's Lutheran church still active? I imagine it is...All the homes I lived in are still there, looking pretty good in their old age!  Our High School is now a nice apartment building!  Yes, it's good to realize that Jesus Christ is the Same, Today, Yesterday, and Forever! Otherwise, our lives bear many losses as the years fly by.====JACK:  The home I remember the most is now a parking lot.  The first home, on 26th Ave, seems so small.

FROM JT IN MINNESOTA:  Not grays lake?====JACK:  When I went back there for the church's 50th anniversary, Dog n Suds was still there, but the town had changed in other ways.  Even the church had changed, although there were a few familiar faces that I saw.  I went through the old parsonage and relived some memories. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 11/10/17
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”  (Vince Lombardi)  Vince wasn’t the best football coach ever (people in Green Bay might disagree), so why do you suppose the NFL’s Super Bowl trophy is named after him?  Lombardi might have become a Catholic priest, except that he wanted a career where he could stomp and lose his temper.  He lived and also expected his team to always “chase” perfection.     ;-)  Jack

TARMART REV:  ...kind of like chasing after Jesus Christ, hey Jack?!?!====JACK:  Have you ever read The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson?  Google it!====REV:  I have not . . . You have uncovered one of my major weaknesses . . . Book reading .  . . Short stories are about my limit most times.====JACK:  You can read a synopsis of Thompson's book on your computer.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Yep, very successful, but at the expense of his relationship with his family.  His son said he (Vince) was never home and there for them.  Everything has a price.====JACK:  The absentee father (mother) is not only a problem for the coaching profession, it's a problem with other jobs, too.  As a pastor, most of the time I was able to control my schedule, but there were times when "duty" called.  Life is sometimes a balancing act.====RS:  It is.  I have a lot of respect for good "jugglers" who are so effective in doing so many different things.

FROM DS IN CA:  I admired him.  Guess that's why I'm always stomping and losing my temper..... but I'm trying!!!====JACK:  Like my mom used to do....when "my" team is doing something stupid, I just stomp out of the room.  I blame it on the genes. 

FROM BB:  You know I’m a Packer backer – always interesting to read Lombardi trivia; thanks for sharing.====JACK:  What was Lombardi's political affiliation?
 He never registered to vote

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 11/9/17
“Sometimes rejection in life is really redirection.”  (Tavis Smiley)   I “met” Tavis on NPR where I learned that he became interested in politics at age 13.  It made a big difference for him.  Did you know that Madonna was fired after working less than a day at Dunkin’ Donuts?  After his debut on the Grand Ole Opry, Elvis was told that he’d be better off driving trucks.  I was fired only once in my life.  When were you directed (redirected) into your “career”?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TRIHARDER:  If i was more proficient in math, I would have been an engineer.====JACK:  Someone told me that I would make a good pastor.  That was something I'd never thought of. ====TH:  Interesting the directions one takes as a result of offhanded comments made to us.

FROM LBP:  Not quite in your WW line of thought but I was “directed” into my first real job. It went something like this:  Mom: “you should probably start looking for a summer job.” Me: “yeah where do you think?” Pr Freed: “They are hiring at the Dairy Queen. You should apply.”  Uncanny timing. But I loved being a DQ girl. And I still draw on things I learned there that summer.
====JACK:  Something else you learned by working for Frank..."When you're at the window I'm not paying you to chat with your boyfriends."  Or, do I have that wrong?

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I was on a scholarship to Harvard's Summer Institute of World Affairs.    I was the youngest person there....most were grad students.   Most were also agnostics or atheists.    Had some powerful discussions on religion.....which at that point was not the center of my life.    The atheists pushed me toward God.   I went home from that program committed to Christ and his church.    God evangelized me thru the atheists!    In my ministry, I think I was always good at listening to the skeptics and the doubters....I was always one myself.    And, I always needed a good shot of skepticism to renew my faith.====JACK:  Even Jesus associated with tax collectors and sinners.  What is faith, if it is not "tested?"====JOHN:  The point was that the skeptics did not test my faith but instead changed and deepened it.  Not much there before.

FROM LK:  I was fired three times, Jack. Including one that you know of.  The root problem: my own arrogance. 20/20 rearview is helpful, is cleansing.====JACK:  I wear my "firing" as a badge of honor.  It was a job (cleaning toilets) was one that I didn't want, anyhow.====LK:  "cleansing" (toilets), haha!  Gotta smile at times, the more frequent the better.====JACK:  No brush and gloves, either.. just bare hands and a rag.  I can't believe I did it.

FROM TARMART REV:  West Bloomfield, Michigan to Willmar, Minnesota, from pastoring to becoming a church outreach staff pastor and community chaplain to a small rural city of 20,000 residents and county of 40,000 . . . at it for over 25 years now, and enjoying it as well.====JACK:  WB prepared you for Willmar, and Willmar prepared you for not returning to Michigan.  There's a saying: "Bloom where you are planted."  I'm sure that you know the song..."Where He leads me, I will follow."

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good thoughts for today.====JACK:  I can't imagine that "fired" appears anywhere on your resume.  Vince Lombardi once said to his football players, "If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm."  Do you think that a bishop would ever dare to say that?

FROM INDY GENIE:  I love sharing you and the WW's :)====JACK:  Missionary Frank Laubach had a slogan/philosophy for teaching the illiterate and sharing the message of Jesus..."Each one teach one."  I remember this song from Sunday School...
If to Christ our only king  Men redeemed we strive to bring,
Just one way this may be done—  We must win them one by one.
Refrain:   So you bring the one next to you,  And I’ll bring the one next to me;
In all kinds of weather, we’ll all work together,  And see what can be done.
If you’ll bring the one next to you,  And I bring the one next to me,
In no time at all we’ll have them all,  So win them, win them, one by one.
====GENIE:  Good Sunday School song...I'm imagining you singing it as a little boy:)====JACK:  Sunday School singing made a BIG difference in my life.  I wonder what made the BIG difference for you?  ..for your children?

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 11/8/17
“A person who feels appreciated will always do more than expected.”  (Sent by Paul McCullough)  Last Sunday’s paper had an article listing the best places to work in our area.  The top company encourages new ideas from employees.  One person wrote: “They make me feel important.”  Each worker is given a book to read which tells of a mail carrier who was known for giving consistently good service.  It pays off…for a company and for its employees.   ;-)  Jack

FROM LPD:  Very true!====JACK:  It never hurts to say..."Job well done.  Thanks!"

FROM TARMART REV:  It surely is a good quote to pass along and apply . . . blessed me that day I saw it and passed it on, and will bless your readers as well as they too invest it into the life of another. ====JACK:  Did you ever play the children's game, Pass It On?
When a kind word comes your way  Just say thanks, you made my day  Then........Pass It On
When you see a child smile  Just enjoy it for a while  Then........Pass It On
When a good deed happens to you  Feel the Holy Spirit renew you
Let it live a new life through you  Then........Pass It On
Pass It On was what we called it, but back then it was a game
Years have passed now and we're older, we are called to do the same
Pass It On is what He taught us, when He walked across this land
Pass It On the love He brought us, and make others understand
====REV:  I have not seen or recalled seeing it before . . . one for the "saved file".

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There’s nothing like a “good dinner Mom” or a good “you’re the best Monnie/grandma”!  It does make your day.  Gary always says thanks for the meal!====JACK:  In the Deep South or the Bible Belt, people might say, "Much obliged," meaning: "Thank you" or "I'm indebted to you."  Have you heard (or used) that expression?====JUDY:  Yes definitely.  We travel a lot, in-fact we are on our way down to Shipshewanna and Ohio.  But our favorite trips are our trips out West.  You still hear that a lot and even in the east side of Ohio.  We have frIends, Jerry and Sue who have a very pronounced western accent.    I love it!

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 11/7/17
“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”  (Marilyn Monroe)  A psychology study has shown that people tend to remember “the bad” more than “the good.”  It’s part of the makeup of our brain.  Knowing this can help us to focus in on the good when bad things happen.  A woman, going into the hospital for another of several procedures, was heard to say, “I wonder what good I can do here this time?”  Life is often affected by attitude.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  someone has said that life is 80% attitude and 20% fortitude... ====PAUL:  Marilyn's was not an easy life, but she did have fortitude.  However, it was sad the way it ended.

FROM TARMART REV:  Life . . . definitely affected by attitude.====JACK:  Surely, you remember the verse: "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)====REV:  ...most generally walking in that realization!====JACK:   Do the AGs know this song?  SING IT!
Trying to walk in the steps of the Savior,  Trying to follow our Savior and king;
Shaping our lives by His blessèd example,  Happy, how happy, the songs that we bring.
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.
====REV:  Unfortunately, the younger AG folk never hear it anymore . . . The few of us older ones still hold it in our hearts dearly.

FROM CS IN RO:  SO RIGHT====JACK:  You know it when you've experienced it.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Attitude is everything if it’s a good attitude!====JACK:  Who determines whether an attitude is good or bad?====JUDY:  Well, if you bark at everyone and everything but smile though you are heartbroken, it’s easy to see your attitude.  You can just look at a person’s face to read his attitude.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I remember the good things! We have just returned from a beautiful trip to Washington and Gettysburg! Two daughters one grandson and one son in law are all graduates of Gettysburg. We walked the campus saw a football game and drove the battlefields twice. I like the peace light a lot. Have u been there recently?====JACK:  I have never been to Gettysburg, even though it's the place of one of our church's colleges and seminaries, dating back before the Civil War.
I have been to D.C.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 11/6/17
“Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.”  (Goethe)  As I reread these words of Goethe I began to imagine a beautiful world, a world swept clean of all that hides its real beauty.  The lyrics of Lennon’s song came to mind.  Imagine…peace in the world…no walls…no divisions by religion or nationality…humanity not tied to possessions…no my-God-is-bigger-than-your God.  Perhaps if we each swept in front of our house.    ;-)  Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Those words from the German poet refer to the morning "ritual" that formerly prevailed in German towns.  Early every day the woman in the home would go out with broom and water bucket, and clean the entry steps of the house.  It was a practice that showed their concern for taking care of things, a commitment to cleanliness and order, with everyone doing their part in the interest of the whole community.  Too bad that it hasn't caught on across the world.  Fact is, it's not so prevalent in Germany anymore.====JACK:  Did your mother ever sweep the steps in Missouri?====RI:  My mother was a ward in an orphanage in St. Louis, from the age of 7 until 16, at which time she was assigned as a house maid to a wealthy family that supported the orphanage (the Hauptmanns...German enough, huh?).  Among her morning duties she lighted the fires in the various chambers of the house, and scrubbed the entry door steps.  At age 18 she married my father, and her life changed considerably.  I don't remember ever seeing my mother wash the steps of our home. ====JACK:  What an interesting insight into the family which was yours.  It only adds to the truism:  "We are who we were!"

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  What a wonderful thought!  Guess we would be in Eden then. ====JACK:  I suppose Adam let Eve do the sweeping...and so it began!

FROM DR JUDY:  Beautiful!! From your mouth to God’s ears Jack.====JACK:  I'd rather have it the other way around.====JUDY:  You already do Jack!!!!====JACK:  As the old song put it..."If everyone lit just one little candle, what a bright world this would be."  That's another way to translate Goethe's quote.====JUDY:  You have a million of them!====JACK:  When people would laugh at (old-time comedian) Jimmy Durante's corny jokes, he'd say: "I got a million of 'em!"====JUDY:  Loved that show!!!====JACK:  Did you know that Umbriago was Jimmy's imaginary fun-loving friend?  Just saying, Umbriago, makes me smile.  During WW 2, a B-17 crew named their plane, Umbriago, because it was their friend.====JUDY:  I did not. That’s awesome. And the word does bring smiles.  Uh oh. Looked it up to see if it has meaning. Seems to mean drunkard.   That Jimmie!

FROM MY YO SILVER:  Wow. That quote is from Goethe?  It could be from a modern day leader!  Incredible.====JACK:  Maybe I should send it to the White House. 

FROM TARMART REV:  Indeed, sounds like heaven in earth . . . I'll have to shovel a little snow at first thats covering the dirt in Minnesota.====JACK:  Do you know of any biblical reference to snow in heaven?====REV:  Not so much in Heaven, as at Heaven's Door-- One remembered from years gone by and highly recount again today-- "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isaiah 1:18 KJV)

FROM MAGGIE:  This Goethe quote was adopted by Mayor Orville Hubbard of Dearborn. When I moved there it occurred to me that not everyone is capable of keeping their own sidewalk clean. They need their neighbors help. Then...the whole world will be clean as we aid and help each other. ====JACK:  I was surprised to hear about the connection to Dearborn.  In fact, it seems like something Henry Ford would have said.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Original sin means that world is not possible.   Why dream of the impossible?    Let our dreams be possible so that we are not reaching out to grasp what us not there.    A good place to start, however, is at our own doorstep.====JACK:  Goethe  was a German Lutheran pastor.,,and you are a Swede.  Who are we to believe?====JOHN:  The which original sin is a given====JACK:  Which do you think is correct..."We are conceived and born in sin" or "We are conceived and born into sin?"====JOHN:  Yes.    I don't think we are sinful at birth.   We are born, however, into a world of sin that makes us not able to live a life without sin.    It was for this reason, Anselm tells us, that we are in need of a savior.     A price had to be exacted from us and we were unable to pay that price.   Only Christ "was good enough to pay the price of sin."    I do not subscribe to Abelard's point of view.   Abelard, the rake, of all people should have known better.

FROM KF:  good words to live by ====JACK:  Yes, they are winners!

FROM MT IN PENNSYLVANIA:  Beautiful thoughts to start the week, Jack.====JACK:  Thoughts are only thoughts, until they are put into action.  The same goes for the biblical words of advice.  ====MT:  True. So it’s a good thing that a thought can also be the stimulus for action.====JACK:  It's just like with a designer...a sketch is only a sketch until it takes real form...or, as the saying goes, a song isn't a song until it's sung."   

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  What a wonderful world in "Imagine"...human nature seems to negate that dream!  But we can do our positive bit in our little corner of the world, to create beauty and good will... .Altogether now sing "Brighten the Corner Where You are (2) Someone far from Harbor you may guide across the Bar. Brighten the Corner where You Are!" :-) Another mass shooting, this time in Texas (at a Baptist Church!~!) brings yet more news of violence and hatred. We have our work cut out for us!!====JACK:  "The Little Light Of Mine...I'm going to let it shine."  The suggestion (in response to the Texas church shooting) that we should arm more church people is insane.  "Imagine" that in your church and mine...unbelievable!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How very true!  Sweep all the dirt of the world away.  One day it will happen!====JACK:  It would be nice if all people would come to do it...but I'm not holding my breath.====JUDY:  There are more sweepers in this world than non-sweepers.  We just hear more about the latter.====JACK:  I suppose that their names are written in the Book of Life under, sweepers.

FROM INDY GENIE:  Beautiful thought. I'm going to try it..====JACK:  I imagine that will do a good job, too.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 11/3/17
“If you could stand in someone else’s shoes, would you treat them differently?”  (Whitney Hess)  This season baseball player Ian Kinsler suggested that one of the umpires get a new occupation.  Disagreements like that are nothing new…but one of the commentaries after the incident suggested that it would be good if players and umpires could benefit by standing in the other person’s shoes.  At home, at school, at work, in politics…good advice for all.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Sometimes we need to stand in our own shoes and see how imperfect we are....====JACK:  In the old Augustana Lutheran Church Worship Service, the Confession of Sins began, "We poor miserable sinners, conceived and born in sin, with all our heart confess unto Thee.."  Are you ready to go back to that?====JOHN:  Something like that might be a good anecdote to today's feel good ism.....the only sin spoken of now is our failure to follow ELCA social teaching!    We do need to know more of what Reinhold Niebuhr knew about original sin resting beneath our social attitudes and the distinction between moral man and immoral society.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Or just be kind to everyone====JACK:  I seem to recall from my childhood..."Jack, just be nice to your sister."

FROM INDY GENIE:  Perfect....I'm dealing with a "touchy" situation this morning and this is perfect for me to think about. Thanks:)====JACK:  Sometimes "touchy" situations take care of themselves, if left alone.  BUT, most of the time they don', if putting yourself in other shoes (even if they're tight and pinch), then do it.

FROM JB IN OLV:  This brings to mind a lesson I learned many years ago.  While our daughters were young I did my work for our business out of a home office so that I could be at home with our children.  The year before our eldest graduated from high school we added a second building on our property that had an office in it for me.  After it was finished I worked from there rather than from home.  All the years that I was at home I could not understand why when Bill was going to be late-he did not phone and give me some idea of what was going on...even though he had told me to go ahead and eat dinner with the girls whenever it was ready, I still tried to wait so we could all eat together.  This was a point of contention in our household.  Once I started working at the shop and saw what happens when customers bring in problems late in the day and need their vehicle to get to work in the morning I begin to understand.  No matter how well we think we understand another person's job-we don't until we are in their shoes/or have a front row seat to what is really going on.====JACK:  The phone call might have happened if he had been standing in your shoes.  But it was what it was and it is what it is.  It's always good to learn from the past.

FROM COPPER COUNTRY PASTOR:  Warm greetings from 8 in. of snow covered Calumet.    I’m supply preaching Sunday. In addition to asking folks who have been the saints in their lives who have grown them to the richness of the Gospel I’m going to ask them this 2nd question:  Rev. 7   Describes the ultimate future in heaven.  Not just 144,000 but people from every tribe, nation, and language. 
With that awareness will St. Peter ask you at the gate,  “Do you really want in?  This is Jesus house of many mansions.   Jesus has a very  blended family. You’re going to rub shoulders with Jesus’ family of native Americans, blacks,  Asians.  You’ll be with Jews who believe, Muslims who believe, Buddhists who believe.    You’ll be standing with folks who don’t dress like you, eat the same food, talk the same way or worship the same way.   Haven’t You’ve been throwing rocks at these folks much of your life? ……. been insulting them numerous times during your life.....  making fun of them on the playground...........avoiding them during your days?  Do you really want to live with Jesus in His home?    If so, might you need a reformation in your life while you are still alive down here on planet earth?”====JACK:  In heaven, do you really want to associate with a bunch of (Swedes or Finns or Norwegians) sinners?  During the time when we observe the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we might well remember what Luther said.  "When I get top heaven three things will surprise me.  I will miss seeing some people that I expected to see there.  I will see some people I never expected to see there...and most surprising of all...that I am there."  That's what grace is all about.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I wonder how many would actually want to stand in our President’s shoes with what he faces everyday...or any President?====JACK:  I'm pretty sure that if I were standing in his shoes, I would certainly do some things differently...and quickly.  But, I'm not.  ====JUDY:  I just pray for him.

FROM SA:  At risk of being emotional, or 'sappy' as Dad used to say, I aspire to your 'shoes'.  God's Peace, Wisdom, and Strength be with us. ====JACK:  You couldn't go far wrong, when facing certain "right or wrong" situations by asking, WWWD?

FROM BB:  Absolutely; both standing and walking in those shoes.  Have you ever heard of the (Sarah’s circle charity – I think) event where men walk a mile in high heels – stilettos as a way to highlight the disparate treatment receive vis a vis violence?====JACK:  Sarah's Circle Walk is a great idea, but I don't think that I'll be signing up for the February walk.  I would like to see a video, if one becomes available.  I remember, as a child, walking in my father's shoes, pretending that I was a grown-up.

FROM LBP:  Funny. My mind went to treating the shoes differently. Would I give more care to them because they belong to someone else? Now there is a different take on it. Going to think on that a bit  ====JACK:  Here's another idea.  Why not polish your husbands shoes without telling him...and see if he notices.  Or...have your children walk in your shoes...and then talk to them about putting themselves in the place of other people.====LBP:  The kids LOVE to play in mommy’s shoes... and to play mommy, well sometimes...

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  There's no doubt in the world that walking in another's shoes would create much understanding;, and more tolerance!  Husbands and wives should probablyl do that occasionally! :-) I know some shoes I would NOT want to walk in, that of being a woman in many parts of the world!! So blessed in America...Good WW to remind us to THINK before we CRITICIZE~!====JACK:  The quote question..."Would you treat them differently?"  Obviously...

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  we are just now  home from 8 days in the deep South visiting almost all of the important Civil Rights sites of the 1960s across 4 states and talking with 16 of those "foot soldiers" who were in the Movement. many beaten, spit on, imprisoned, and even survivors of bombings!   it was an amazing week in sooo many ways!====JACK:  You were too young to walk in their shoes...then.  But, you have found a way to walk in  so true!   just to put a finer point on it,  many of them actually had no shoes.  but  your point is well taken.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 11/2/17
“Everyone has a story.  Every story matters.”  (Nicole Wedemeyer Miller)  Have you ever listened to StoryCorps on NPR?  Each episode is a simple, unscripted conversation between two people, exploring what’s important in life…love, loss, family, friendship.  Sometimes I find myself blinking back tears as I’m reminded of the things that matter most…personal stories.  I’m convinced that this world would be better off, if we could learn more about each other.    ;-)  Jack

FROM SF:  Mr. Rogers carried in his wallet a quote from a social worker that says “Frankly, there isn't someone you couldn't learn to love if you listen to their story."====JACK:  I wonder if that advice still holds true today?  Maybe in this cyber-world we know too much about people.  NAH!  I seem to remember a saying...God Knows Me and Still Loves Me.====SF:  Love it.

FROM RVB:  Ooooh so true...Thanks for sharing your stories!====JACK:  As I grow older, each day provides new what happened at Sunny's yesterday.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  There is a school of thought that the best way human beings can communicate with each other is through stories. The older I get, the more I believe this is true.
 In ancient times, a coveted position in the tribe was the person who who told the history of that tribe through stories.  Alex Haley, in ROOTS, brought this fact to life when he wrote how important that role was in his ancestral tribe.  I love stories!====JACK:  Many rabbis are great story tellers.  Rabbi Syme was a perfect example.  When he gave a eulogy. I almost wished I was in the casket.

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  Amen! I had a great discussion with someone on social media yesterday about kneeling… instead of yelling at each other, we simply listened to each other. It was a heart warming experience to talk and realize we agree way more than we disagree… if we take the time to listen!  Thanks for your winning words… they are… WINNING!====JACK:  "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing."  (Vince Lombardi)  Sometimes you win, "ugly."  BTW, I thought that USA was a place where citizens are free to protest...whether other like it, or not.====DR J:  Right on… that’s what I said… maybe taking a knee is the very best image of patriotism in action… showing how much you love your country … so much so that you’d take a knee to show that we are better than our current beliefs and actions. I believe protest is the RIGHT that our soldiers fought for… the RIGHT and FREEDOM to protest.====JACK:  Some people need to take a refresher course in American Values...or perhaps "refresher" is an adjective that does not apply.

FROM TARMART REV:  I've sure enjoyed knowing some of yours!!====JACK:  Mine are nothing, compared to yours.  I've never sung the National Anthem before a car race...or sat in the Target coffee shop eating popcorn.====REV:  ...we’re always looking beyond ourselves toward other’s accomplishments . . . I will never have the privilege of confirming as many young persons faith as you have over the years. I still remember looking at the number of classes pictured on Holy Spirit’s wall.   ====JACK:  Do the AG's believe that each person has a crown reserved for them in heaven...and that each time the believer does a good deed, a star (or jewel) is added to that crown?
You probably know (and have sung) this song....
"I am thinking today of that beautiful land  I shall reach when the sun goeth down
When through wonderful grace by my Saviour I stand  Will there be any stars in my crown.
Will there be any stars, any stars in my crown  When at evening the sun goeth down
When I wake with the blest in those mansions of rest  Will there be any stars in my crown."
====REV:  It is my understanding when the Book of Life is opened and our names are found within, God will reward us as to our faithfulness in serving Him with what He has gifted us with, some with fewer outward gifting and others with more notable ones . . . " (Matthew 25:14-23).====JACK:  Does that mean that "works righteousness" works?====REV:  We’ll have to ask Him when we get there, hopefully I’ll be there at the gate to welcome every one . . . I’ve put my application in early!

FROM KITTY:  Agree!====JACK:  That's better than...disagree.  Thanks.

FROM MAGGIE:  Good morning, Jack. Always good to "hear" your words.====JACK:  It's interesting to ponder how "sending out Winning Words" relates to Longfellow's poem, "I shot an arrow into the air..."

FROM CL:  we need to learn to listen instead of thinking about what we are going to say!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!====JACK:  Hey, now you're getting personal.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Amen to that====JACK:  What's the background story to your mom's name, Tyra?====RS:  Not sure why my grandparents chose that name for her The only other one I know of is Tyra Banks, the model, but she pronounces it tira instead of teara.====JACK:  It’s a Scandinavian name have to do with a battle warrior…I think.  If so, it doesn’t fit the Tyra I knew and heard about.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Rabbi Syme must have been SOME Eulogizer, to almost make you wish you were the corpse in the coffin! High praise, indeed! :-) The NPR stories ARE very moving sometimes, I agree. Reader's digest also has stories of 100 words sent by readers which are well worth your time! We just had Brian "The Fox" Ellis, International Story-teller for our Senior Luncheon event, and he always holds us mesmerized: So fluent, interesting sound effects (like a BAM! to wake any dozers up!!), and diverse "voices". Story can be an art, and very effective.  We all love stories, and there are some hilarious "Marilyn" stories floating around Illinois, believe me!  I used to do a fun program "Memories from the Manse". Life in the parsonage is fodder for many a good tale! ====JACK:  My favorite "Marilyn" story is the one about you running out of gas while taking kids to school in the morning.  Do I have that right?====OAKS:  Yes, in my black lace baby doll p.j.'s, no slippers, no robe, no money....:-( Hilarious in retrospect. When the gas station man who befriended me showed up for church the next Sunday, Bill quipped, "Maybe we should send this in to the Evangelical committee as a way to get new members!" Bless his unflappable heart!! :-)

FROM FLYIN' CHUCK:  Sometimes I just can't blink them back, no matter how I try. ====JACK: I wonder if they've been able to program emotions into robots.  I hope not.

FROM KIM S-G:  Hi Jack...your daily quote today made me smile!  Dad LOVED to hear everyone’s story!  I had even written that in his obituary!  I don’t know if you had heard the news about Dad completing his baptismal journey...====JACK:  Your dad was one of the nicest persons I've known, and I have stories to back that up.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  If we learned more about people, their families, children, dreams, hopes and lives how hard it would be to hate them.  We need more listening and more love for each other.  You are definitely correct in pointing it out!====JACK:  "Another Judy" on the Winning Words list wanted to know how someone named, Judy, came to have "outhouse" attached to her, I told her your story.====JUDY:  Glad you told her.  I hope she got a chuckle.  If she knows of an outhouses, ask her for pictures.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  That is what makes life so exciting In my olli classes I have Met a former Eastern flight attendant a woman whose son just left for Antarctica To study something a  couple who returned from the great  barrier reel where they say the corals Are white!====JACK:  It was interesting to read about the Bernard Osher Foundation which promotes Life Long Learning.  If I were in Tampa I'd take advantage of it, too.  I see that the University of Michigan has one....
Seven lecture series totaling 43 presentations, with average attendance over 250 people; more than 140 study groups on a wide variety of topics;

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 11/1/17
“I don’t have to be wrong for you to be right.”  (Sent by Don Sunshine)  Have you noticed this to be true?  We tend to surround ourselves with people who confirm what we believe.  I’m guilty!  A true seeker after truth would attempt to see all sides of divisive problems.  Equal time for Fox News and MSNBC.  Oh, RATS!  I don’t have enough time to listen to “the other side,” so I’ll just stay with what’s comfortable.  …and I blithely expect unity to evolve.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TL:  Profound!====JACK:  I guess it's in the eye of the beholder.  A 2nd read tells me that I could have done better...telling me that there isn't always a wrong and a right.  But, it is what it is, and if your eyes like it, I should be OK with that.====TL:  Jack, you are an incredible thinker. ====JACK: Let's eliminate the incredible.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How true!  It’s so easy to get caught up in the norm and just listen to one channel or one opinion, especially one that is the same as mine!  Good thing to think about today!====JACK:  That goes for religion, too.  Michelangelo said it well, toward the end of his life...ANCORA IMPARO...I am still learning.====JUDY:  Absolutely!!!

FROM BB:  Lovely and thoughtful; thanks as ever for being a bright spot in the day.====JACK:  Bright spots are there for those who choose to see them.  Responses such as yours brighten my day.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  Here’s the problem; what if someone is not interested in the truth or willfully ignores the facts or claims alternative facts, then what?  My niece’s husband really believes that the moon landing was staged!====JACK:  The point as I see it...We can each be right, if there is no bi-partisan agreement on what is the truth.  I can believe that there is a God, but if another person denies the existence of God, in his mind that is true.  It's the same with the moon landing, with the birther controversy, with climate change.====HH:  Your talking about relativism. I don’t think certain things can be relative to a point of view.. Slavery is wrong. Murder is wrong. Etc.  The “scientific method” is designed to lead us to the truth whether we like it or not. Truth is not relative to ones beliefs system, it exists on its own. The earth is not flat, period.  I do like this discussion about truth. It gets me thinking.  Thanks====JACK:  The original statement about wrong and right was about arguments (family, business, politics) was simply meant to say that just because one person is right, the other person is not necessarily wrong...not always absolutes.