Friday, December 29, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 12/29/17
“Time passes quickly.  It’s almost as though we’re being swept by a current, a current of God’s all-possessing love.”  (Sent by PH)  This quote reminds me of the hymn verse written by Isaac Watts… “Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away.”  People who have river rafted tell how exciting it is to be swept along by rapid and changing currents.  Life’s ride is even more exciting.  Think back and remember.  “Fear not!  I am with you,” said the Lord.    ;-)  Jack

FROM SHALOM JAN:  In the ELW that verse begins, "Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all our years away ..."  I like to think of the years rolling along like a stream rather than the bearing away of "sons".  Glad they changed that phrase!!  Which reminds me to say, "Blessings of love, joy and peace in the coming new year!"====JACK:  When I was in seminary (long ago) I remember asking the wife of a classmate if it bothered her that so much of biblical and theological language was male-directed.  She said that she didn't mind it a bit and hadn't given it much thought.  Of course, that was before political correctness came on the scene.  I thought that you'd be interested to know that I was ahead on the curve.  "Bears all it sons, or bears all its years"...a case can be made for each.  Thanks for your friendship and New Year's greeting.===SJ:  I have two sons, and two grandsons, which is more why that phrase bothers me than sexist language, believe me!  At least until I've exited this world I don't want my sons "borne away".I've thought about you and others I know whose spouse or other loved one has crossed over to the fullness of life eternal during this past year.  A very different holiday season without them, I know, no matter what the relationship was.  Thank you for your friendship and your shared wisdom!

FROM PZ:  Another thought inspiring quote. Why does the current seem to pick up speed as we get older? Is it because we feel we have less to look forward to, as we did once when we were young? ====JACK:  The biblical words that the length of life is 3 score years and 10, or if by reason of strength, 4 score seems reasonable to think that the current begins to pick up speed at 40?  I noticed that.  Did you?====PZ:  Now that I've been given the formula, yes, I feel that the current speed just increased tenfold!====JACK:  In retrospect, the 10 years after my retirement were as productive as any other 10 years in my working life.  See what you can look forward to.

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  As Omar Khayyam put it, "The moving hand writes, and having writ, moves on, nor all your pity nor all your wit shall e'er call back a word of it." Freshman year, I took a course in Literary Masterpieces of the Near East, and one of our homework projects was to compare and contrast The Rubaiya with Ecclesiastes.====JACK:  What a great assignment for a freshman college student.  I find new insight every time I go back and read Ecclesiastes.  Somewhere along my educational trail I learned Omar's words, too.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  Who said that you never step in the same river twice.   It is like time so that where you step might appear the same but everything has moved forward ====JACK:  It was Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher (circa 500 BCF).  He also said that change is the essence of the universe.  And, yet, there are many people who resist the inevitable.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  HA! We signed up to do the River rafting on our overland/Sea cruise of Alaska.  You are swept along alright, and I, taking a front position, was thoroughly doused with ice water, but we all go wet and C-O-L-D!!!  I laughed when we dragged ourselves back to the bus to return to the ship, seeing us all shivering, wet, and exhausted, and quipped, "Did EVER so many pay so much to be so miserable??/!"  And we all had a good laugh, and in fact laughed all the way back to the boat!  Time does sweep along more rapidly every year, so we have to be sure to enjoy the ride, even tho many of us have experienced our loved ones borne "away"...Having my family together for Christmas here, was time to cherish, although like riding the rapids, it can be a bit exhausting! :-) ! Happy  Healthy, Harmonious, New year, Jack, and all your blog readers!! What a blessing to  have WW to ponder and appreciate!!====JACK:  Have you heard the song, "An Empty Place at the Table."   I read some suggestions for those who has lost loved ones during the year.  Set an empty place at the Christmas table...Eat the loved one's favorite meal...Sing their favorite song.  I like what our youngest daughter did.  She went to the cemetery, laid down on the grave site and made a snow angel.====OAKS:  Yes, I know the song; We set a place at the head of the table for Bill, the first couple of years, but as the family grew, John migrated to that spot as the next generation "head" of the family...For Mark we also set an empty chair at our Thanksgiving gathering the first year he was missing, with the extended family.  Loved your daughter's snow angel. An original!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  A very very exciting ride!πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘====JACK:  What's the most exciting ride for you at Disney World?====SHIRL:  I don't do rides I like to walk around the lake at Epcot which goes around the world

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Life goes much faster than a wild river rafting adventure unless you are on the Gauley River in West Virginia. 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 12/28/17
“If only we possessed enough money or security or respect or love or faith or education or  power or peace or knowledge or something…we’d have fulfillment.”  (Steve Hagen)  Some teens were asked by Youngpost: “If only you could use 5 words the rest of your life, what would they be?”  Some answers: I am hungry…I love you…thank you…yes, no…pizza…hamburger.  One chose “Get me paper and pen.”  (then, I could write what I wanted).  Which 5 would you choose?    ;-)  Jack

FROM MP:  My five:  Happy New Year Jack Freed.====JACK:  I'm happy for your friendship.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I love you ❤️ thank you====JACK:  We go back many years.

FROM TARMART REV:  "Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"====JACK:  Those AG people know their Bible.  (...and come, quickly!)

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I would probably say...”Paper and pen please, thank you!”====JACK:  My sister's license plate reads...PLS 10Q.====JUDY:  That is so cool!  That’s the best license plate yet!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 12/27/17
“The deepest thought a person can have—I’m a citizen of eternity.”   Jane Taylor who wrote, “Twinkle, twinkle, little star” also wrote:  “Though man a thinking being is defined, Few use the grand prerogative of mind. How few think justly of the thinking few! How many never think, who think they do!”  A cartoon showed two men in side by side cubicles. One office had a sign: THINK.  The other, a sign: JUST GOOGLE IT.  What are you thinking… today?    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i think too much. wish i could turn it off...====JACK:  I guess we can't easily turn off the brain, but we can switch channels and work at thinking more positive thoughts.  For example, when we're obsessed with the bad things happening in the world, we can look for "good news" stories and examples of people who are working to make the world a better place.====LIZ:  i read that thoughts/emotions are fleeting if we allow them to “fleet.”  acknowledge the emotion  let it pass, don’t dwell  distract yourself (i added that.)====JACK:  I think you've got it!

FROM TARMART REV:  Just ordered this little novelty called "Amazon Alexa - Android Apps on Google Play" for my wife . . . it sits quietly on the kitchen counter, until someone asks it a question, "Alexa! At what temperature and how much time is needed to cook a turkey?" She then proceeds to answer. You can ask her any question you would like an answer for, just like the Google app on our laptop computers or iPhones. It will bring up any style of music to be played and even can be programmed to set temperatures and light settings in your home. This is much smaller with an inbuilt speaker, not taking up very much space. I'm thinking it will take the place of calling me into the kitchen and trying to come up with the answers to those same questions she can have answered in seconds now.====JACK:  I'm way behind the times.  I've just upgraded to Hig Definition TV.  Now, I have to relearn the "clicker."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  That IS a deep thought!  How many issues and problems would be solved if people thought....deeply, before they spoke!!  Marriages would be saved, Wars would not be started, abuse would never happen... etc etc etc.     For some very deep thoughts.  Check out Steven Wright and his deep thoughts!====JACK:  For deep thinking, I like to read the Bible and ponder what is the message behind the words.  "What is God really saying here?"====JUDY:  Sometimes we aren't supposed to know parts of the Bible.  We have to rely on faith.=====JACK:  I don't what parts of the Bible we're not supposed to investigate.

FROM DAVID L:  Always been heavy on the "feeling" side, but realizing what a gift those of you heavy on the "thinking"side are to me and to all of us. "Think on!" folks, and affirm your feeling side a little as well.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 12/26/17
“Therefore, Christian men, be sure  Wealth or rank possessing  Ye who now will bless the poor  Shall yourselves find blessing.”  (Good King Wenceslas)  Legends can be true.  Wen-ces-las was a real person, a Czech king who actually did go out in harsh winter weather to bring help  to needy people.  There are many Christmas songs that I like, but John Mason Neale’s story-carol is one of my favorites.  It’s appropriate to read or to sing or to listen to today.    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i like that one, too====JACK:  The lyrics mention the Feast of Stephen, which falls on this day, Dec 26.  Stephen was the follower of Jesus who was stoned to death because he would not renounce his faith.  (Acts 6 & 7)

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Each year St John’s Lutheran Church re-enacts King Wenceslas’ Boars head Festival.  Alyssa and Melanie have played the Sprite who carry the light into the story and back out to the world.  It’s a wonderful true story of a caring King who takes care of the poor!   May we all be so caring and giving in the New Year!====JACK:  The story of King Wenceslas is similar to the story of Saint Nicholas, but I like it better, because it has not been taken over by Santa Claus. ====JUDY:  Have you read anything about him?  I’d like to do some research about his life. ====JACK:  For questions like yours, God created Google.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  song of the day!  i will have to refer to the red hymnal for the words to this one.  only recall the first verse.  age perhaps?  merry christmas time and happy new year. ====JACK:  GKW is sort of like opera...The story is told to music, and the music is so easy.  There's a lilt to it.

FROM LBP:  I don’t know that I’ve ever read the full lyric of that song. Or at least I’d not thought on the story it contains. Nice====JACK:  YouTube has a great version by a traditional Choir, complete with words.  Maybe you and your children can sing it together.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 12/22/17
"The simple shepherds heard the voice of an angel and found their lamb; the wise men saw the light of a star and found their wisdom."  (Fulton J. Sheen)  Sheen was a popular radio and TV priest who appealed to Catholics and non-Catholics, as well.  He had a way with words.  Go back to his quote.  “Lamb” meaning, sheep, but also Jesus, as Lamb of God.  “Wise men” finding new wisdom.  What special “gifts” have you discovered during this season?    ;-)  Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Mostly patience and love.  How about you?====JACK:  A new appreciation for the meaning of family and friendship.

FROM KITTY  Merry Christmas, Jack. Thank you for your “daily gifts”. A great way to start my days====JACK:  It works for me, too.

FROM TARMART REV:  I'm still here and experiencing life in welcomed pastoral ways!! ====JACK:  You are still in Willmar, probably as a fulfillment of Isaiah 55:8-9...  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  As the heavens are higher than the earth,  so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." ====REV:  Thinking that is true for a season anyway.====JACK:  "Boast not yourself of tomorrow; for you know not what a day may bring forth."  (Proverbs 27:1)

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i recall his black and white TV show on Sunday mornings in the very early days of TV. early or mid 1950s.    it was a real novelty to have a priest in his robes (as i recall) talking to America in such a folksy manner.  i saw a clip of one of his shows sometime in the last few years.  i don't think he would be nearly as popular today because it all seems kind of archaic now.====JACK:  Archaic?  I guess it depends.  Is the Christmas story (many centuries older) to be considered archaic?  Fulton Sheen and his folksy way of preaching seems to be a forerunner of your style...and mine.

FROM KM:  Wishing you a Merry Christmas. Thanks for your daily winning words.  Enjoy reading them.====JACK: ...and I enjoy creating them and sending them to people such as you.

FROM HAWKEYE gEORGE:  Thanks for the quote.====JACK:  I thought that it was especially thought-provoking.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  I loved your quote and your reminders that we find what we are looking for yet often in disguise.  Blessed Christmas!====JACK:  Most people expect to find a baby in the manger when, in reality, it's Go incarnate.   (Some might ask, "What's incarnate?")

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  What a neat turn of phrase! Bishop Sheen was quite  phenomenal In his day; I admired him, and think he had such a big following because he was a master speaker, and what he had to say made sense. He was not pretentious or distant, very personable. And a handsome man.  (What's not to like? :-)   The gift of comfort, and of renewed Hope in this season of good will. ====JACK:  His program showed that Catholic priests could be human.  I remember his smile and his piercing stare....and the prominent cross that he wore.

FROM SUNSHINE:  My dear wife claims to be math challenged, and she blames it on Bishop Fulton Sheen . . . the nuns said that if you watched the Bishop on TV and wrote a paragraph about the talk, you didn't have to do your math homework.====JACK:  I watched a YouTube of one of his programs today.  He was really a funny guy.  I, too, would rather watch him than do math homework.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 12/21/17
“Have you ever been to Bethlehem before?”  (Ruth the sheep)  A friend e-mailed me from Israel.  “Have you ever been here?  It’s beautiful.”  I was scheduled to go once, but a bomb scare cancelled the trip.  Now, I’m content to read descriptions, to imagine, and to sing: “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”  I know that town is no longer like it was in Jesus’ day.  Times change.  What’s important is that the message stays the same.  “Love came down at Christmas.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  we were there 18 years ago.  and yes,  it has been overdone to say the least.  the Eastern Orthodox Church, for example, has filled the room with those very ornate lamps that hand from the ceiling.  and, of course,  no one knows the exact location tho this may have been close.  the church is very old and filled with history but if you were looking for a very humble manger scene,  you will not find it.  waaay too many tour buses and vendors trying to sell you something:):):)  hold on to whatever mental and spiritual image you have.   its likely more accurate than what we saw.====JACK:  I've always appreciated the carol. O Little Town of Bethlehem, because of the story of how it came to be written.  As a preacher, I'm sure that you've referred to it more than once during a Christmas sermon.====ST PAUL: at SLLC the congregation always picked the last hymn at the end of every service.  Cleo Neynaber always picked the Navy Hymn.  after some months i asked why she wanted to sing this hymn which often brought her to tears.  and her husband too.   it was because their son was a Navy pilot who landed on a Carrier,  somehow the plane flipped over and he was killed instantly.  so you never know how a hymn might have bearing on someone's life.====JACK:  Usually there's a reason behind things unusual.

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Winter 2006  Dec 24 at 10:30pm  I was in Manger Square  Dec 25 at 12:15am  I was in Church of the Nativity====JACK:  Did you feel anything special on those occasions?  I would think not.  How about standing at the Wailing Wall?  Anything special?  I remember seeing a picture of a man facing the Wall....speaking into his cellphone.  Faith does not depend on place so much as it does on things esoteric.====HY:  It was very special to be at one of the holiest places for Christians on Christmas Eve. It was not spiritual or holy or religious but mice to be there and see the enjoyment and emotion on the faces of worshippers and pilgrims. I was simply there to observe a moment in time.  The Western Wall is deeply holy and emotional for me personally. ====JACK:  Did you ever see anyone endangering himself at the wall because of 2 Kings 9:8?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I am surrounded by family and love❤️❤️❤️I too missed trips to the holy land because of the danger====JACK:  Christmas Eve in church with family gets me into the Spirit.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  thank you, jack. i get that love of learning from my dad.  peace to you this season. i am glad we are friends!====JACK:  Needed more than ever...Peace on earth, goodwill to all."

FROM BB IN CHGO:  The book I mentioned, “Learning to Walk In the Dark” has an interesting passage about that special place in Bethlehem which was likely a cave rather than the lean-to wooden structure Westerners typically depict in crΓ¨che scenes.  Her take on how this affects the nativity story, spiritually is that Jesus life started in the dark.  Both the seed in the ground and the baby in the womb are embraced by the darkness (Jesus later spent 3 days in the tomb) and so there is something to be said for Christians appreciating the darkness of advent and the difficulties in life without thinking it all has to be light and joyful.  Miracles happen in the dark…====JACK:  Being a preacher, I know that you can make most circumstances fit the message you want to get across.  If I were preaching this Christmas Eve, I might title the sermon: Learning to Walk in the Dark.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Bill and I were there for a few days in 1970; Even stayed in a Kibbutz one night, and heard the shots resounding over the Golan Heights!  My main impression was that the only thing they haven't built a church over is the Sea of Galilee!  We walked the Via Delorosa, viewed the tomb, visited the supposed birthplace in Bethlehem,.. all the "sacred sights". One thing that Impressed me was going DOWN to IS down, down, down to Jericho & the dead sea, where you absolutely could not sink under the water; so salty!  My tour group had me sing "I walked today where Jesus walked" as we came out of the tomb, and looked down on the Mt. Of OLives! Also It is interesting that Christians, Muslims and Jews all mix and live together in Jerusalem...The call to Prayer over the loudspeakers 5 times a day for Muslims is resounding, and impressed both Bill and I!  The wailing wall , too, was a deep experience...I'm sorry you never got to take the trip! Very colorful and interesting.====JACK:  I'm comfortable with my non-visit.  Hearing accounts of visits by you and the others...and reading the biblical accounts...and singing O Little Town is sufficient.  And, as far as walking where Jesus walked, I've done that in hospitals and cemeteries and many other places, too.  At the same time, I'm happy that you and Bill had the "real" Bethlehem experience.====OAKS:  O Little Town of Bethlehem is my favorite carol.  My family and church family know this, so we always sing it at least a couple of times during Advent and Christmas!  Once in Royal David's City and Mary, Mary Did You Know? are also special, but really don't you love most all of the carols?!  Music is such a blessings!!====JACK:  Have you noticed that the tempo of We Three Kings replicates the pace of camels as they walk along?====OAKS:  I hadn't thought about that, but  having ridden a camel (You sway enough to make you seasick!) I can say that is true ! Interesting!====JACK:  Sometimes, when I have people sing that carol, I have them sway as though riding on a camel.

FROM PR AW IN ILL:  Jack, somehow  I was priviledged to study in  Israel 2 weeks and to visit there (once with Judy)  twice. God has  been good to me beyond  my wildest hopes.     Thanks for the reminder. A blessed Christmas to you and a meaningful New Year.====JACK:  Maybe this can be your "carol" this Christmas..."Count your many blessings, name them one by one."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  “Love oh love divine”, I am also content to heard the stories or watch videos of Bethlehem.  Love is all around us but it would be awesome to stand where Jesus stood. ====JACK:  I think that you and I will have to be content with figuratively standing where Jesus stood...when we help the poor and needy.  Afterall, that's what it's all about.

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  Yes.  As I am sure you know border access is guarded and Bethlehem has few Christians.  16 day trip that included Petra/Jordan was very educational but also discouraging.  Found that also to be true of stay in Jerusalem, which was at times very inspiring. ====JACK:  Travelling wasn't altogether easy for Mary and Joseph, either.  "All is calm" is probably a misrepresentation of those times.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 12/20/17
“The darkness of the whole world cannot swallow the glowing of a candle.”  (Robert Altinger)  Tonight marks the end of  Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights.  By the lighting of candles, the story is told of how God helped the Jewish people.  At this season Christians use candles, too, representing, for them, Christ as the Light of the World.  It’s interesting, isn’t it, that both Jews and Christians use candles as a sign of God’s intervention on their behalf.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Have you ever noticed that we celebrate salvific events...not creation..... since that is what really matters to us.....we love God because he cares for us and is there for us...we aren't left alone in a world run by the likes of Kim Jung UN, Donald Trump or Isis.====JACK:  I guess the birth of Jesus could be considered to be a "creation event."  And you're right...we need to reminded of the omnipresence of God, especially at this time.

FROM TRIHARDER:  Nerdiest of Christmases. Jack.  I'm grateful for your friendship.====JACK:  Sometimes the best gifts are those not wrapped in fancy papers with bows.  Friendship surely is one.
====TH:  My favorite stories, anecdotes, memories have very little to do with personal possessions.
(Though, I confess, I have been lucky all of my adult life to have avoided distracting financial problems.)====JACK:  You and I and those who control money have difficulty in knowing what it's like to be poor.  Even if we've been poor in the past, memory tends to fade.  At the close of worship at Holy Spirit Church the pastor will often say, "Go in peace.  Remember the poor."

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Jack,  have you read any books by Bodie & Brock Thoene? They are a married couple who are Jewish Christians who write fiction about Israel. good reading. ====JACK:  No, I haven't  read any books by that couple, but I once had a church member who married a Jewish man and decided to raise their children as Jews in order to help preserve an endangered religious group.  I also know some Jewish/Christian couples who are working it out... better than some Christian/Christian couples.

FROM JAN F:  Here at work, we have a number of employees of Indian descent. They have taught us about Diwali, their festival of lights. It celebrates the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. A light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it.====JACK:  Some in today's world decry diversity.  I embrace for all that we can learn from one another.  Part of learning. of course, is being able to use knowledge in a positive way.
====JF:  A big part of my job is working with the Diversity Council, Community Relations, and GenNext. With diversity, I am reminded daily that as people love to celebrate their differences, we are all far more similar than we are different. With Community Relations and GenNext, I have found that most millennials are dedicated to making the world a better place and they're willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work to do it. I have a great job!====JACK:  Fortunate are the people who have a job that they like and it, at the same time, rewarding.

FROM MICHIZONA RAY:  Plus, I think it is timely given that the “dark” is the longest in late least in our part of the world.  Merry Christmas ====JACK:  Plus. there no electric lights in those early days.  Candles were common.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  As the old song goes, "If we all would light just one little candle, what a bright world this would be!" One can't imagine Christmas Eve without carols (song) and candles (light). Maybe we can light up someone's life as we reflect His Light! Love the WW today ====JACK:  Our church now uses battery candles as a safety measure and to avoid wax drippings.  It's different, but Silent Night still sounds the same.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  jesus’ cousin, possibly brother, correct?  i love the saints bc they were normal people!====JACK:  Yes, according to some scholars,  Iffy, according to some others.  You choose.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 12/19/17
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name.  You are mine.”  (Isaiah 43:1)  Last Sunday I worshipped at a very large church,  When people came forward for Communion it looked like controlled chaos.  I followed along, one among many.  As the bread was offered to me, the server said, “The Body of Christ, given for you, Jack!”  What?  She said my name!   It was as if the words from Isaiah had come alive.  In this busy, busy world, when we sometimes feel lost in the shuffle, how comforting it is to hear that God knows us.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  indeed He does!   and how thankful we can be for that.  hope you are enjoying your sojourn to the North!   and remember, the days start getting longer this Friday.  spring is on the way....====JACK:  For me, the start of winter's end begins on Groundhog Day.  In fact, with the mild Minnesota weather that I'm seems as though Spring has already begun.  BTW, thanks for establishing such a church where the personal touch has not been lost in bigness.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  maybe you can explain this to gisela & me:  eating the body & blood of christ?!? ewww... cannibalism!====JACK:  In fact, after the first Easter the followers of Jesus were accused of cannibalism, thinking the followers of Jesus had stolen the body of Jesus from the grave and were eating it.  "This is the body!  This is the blood!"  But, that idea did not last.  Traditional Catholics and some Episcopalians believe that in the mass the bread and wine mystically change into the body and blood of Jesus, while still looking like bread and wine.  It's called Transubstantiation.  Most Lutherans believe that the bread and wine remain bread and wine and become vehicles whereby the Spirit of God is transported to the believer to give spiritual strength and assurance that the person's sins are forgiven.  People generally run into trouble when they mix literalism with figures of speech, whether it be in reading the Bible or in explaining Holy Communion.  I hope that makes some sense to you and your daughter.

FROM TARMART REV:  “The Body of Christ, given for you, Jack!” sure beats the words heard in that old song, "50 Ways To Leave A Lover"-- "...get in the back, Jack!" Merry Christmas!!!! ====JACK:  Probably more appropriate..."It's a strange world we live in, Master Jack."  Do you remember that song.  BTW, what do you AGs do when you attend a communion service where wine is offered instead of grape juice.  At Holy Spirit, both are offered.====REV: I wouldn’t think any problem would occur...I’ve told that story about me  asking for seconds when I partook at one of our Lutheran churches one Sunday morning years back.====JACK:  Years back, when you were into bowing, what did you do when there was a "beer frame?"  You probably said, "Make mine a ROOT BEER!"

FROM WATERFORD JAN:  Big church, medium-size, or small, it's all about the greeting; the friendly personality.  A personal welcome is vital.====JACK:  It's a know when enough is enough without overwhelming the visitor.  Certain people have the technique.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 12/18/17
“People don’t notice if it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.”  (Anton Chekhov)  What makes you happy?  Money?  Health?  Friends?  For me, spending the holidays with family is the best.  Whether it’s in a warm climate, or in wintry Minnesota, family makes me happy.  Chekhov may have had a mixed-up life, but he had the insight to know the value of having a good time with good friends.  If you’re happy, and you know it…the weather doesn’t matter.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  unless its 15 below and the windchill is double that!:):):====JACK:
...said the one who's already packed his bags in anticipation of heading to Arizona.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  How true! Family time is the best ====JACK:  I suppose you head north to get away from the heat.====SHIRL:  after Southern California and Nassau and Ann Arbor Florida was our best choice in 1963 ====JACK:  It would be a pretty crowded country if we all tried to gather in one place, wouldn't it?

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Clap your hands!  Ha!  I’m glad you will be with David for Christmas.  Bring your long. Underwear!  Ha!====JACK:  My dad used to wear long johns, with a button flap in the back:  I smile when I think back..and remember..

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  If you're happy and you know it say "AMEN! :-) Have to agree, holiday time with family is the best, or with close friends, if family is not available!  In spite of the bittersweet feeling due to  loved ones no longer with us, we can be happy celebrating together; Winter or Summer. Hats off to Chekhov!====JACK:  I like the song..."O, the weather outside is frightful...let it snow, let it snow!"  Last night, to get into the spirit of the season, we watched a couple of "Christmas episodes" of the Beverly Hillbillies.  Two were enough!====OAKS:  I just went to a duo piano concert, and one of the guys sang "Let it Snow" and at the end added "Someplace Else!!" Got a big laugh, cuz most of us don't REALLY want a lot of snow. A heavy "dusting" is pretty, though!

FROM AMC:  so true.  Agree family friends... go for peace. ====JACK:  Pax Vobiscum!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 12/15/17
“Nobody sees a flower—really—it is so small—it takes time, and we haven’t time—and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.”  (Georgia O’Keefe)  This quote reminds me of others…”Never give up; some things take time…The greatest gift you can give your kids is time…Healing (of various kinds) takes time…The trouble is, you think you have time…Take it, one day at a time…Time’s a-wasting.”  Each quote gives us something to think about.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  and now its TIME for me to go back to bed:):)   wish me pleasant dreams...====JACK:  Dream when the day is through  Dream, and they might come true  Things never are as bad as they seem  So dream, dream, dream  Dream  So dream, dream, dream

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Scripture tells us that we will have a litany of experiences with "time".  According to Ecclesiastes 3, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to keep silence and a time to speak...".  We will be confronted with issues of time, whether we accept it or not.====JACK:  Ecclesiastes 3 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.  "Everything" has its time...and then we move on.

FROM TRIHARDER:  We went to the Georgia O'Keefe Museum in Santa Fe last year. As I walked into the hall, my eyes were immediately drawn to one of her "provocative" flower painting. She denied that the flower was anything more than a flower. Others disagreed. I have attached my photo. ====JACK:  You piqued my interest (by your response and photo) to read more about O'Keeffe ... such as: "O'Keeffe created many forms of abstract art, including close-ups of flowers, such as the Red Canna paintings, that many found to represent women's genitalia, although O'Keeffe consistently denied that intention. The reputation of the portrayal of women's sexuality was also fueled by explicit and sensuous photographs that were exhibited of O'Keeffe."====TH:  She posed nude for boyfriend, later husband,  Alfred Stoeglitz, European photographer.====JACK:  Nudes are nothing new for artists.  They go with the job.

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  Especially at our ages when priorities come more into play.  My wife Marilyn goes to the head of that class-for which I am fortunate and from which I try to improve.  I know you to also have those in the proper perspective. ====JACK:  Life's choices always seem to involve priorities...whether aware of them, or not.====ME:  Probably more intuitive at an early age.  Which is why character is so important.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  She’s an extraordinary artist.  We visited her museum by Taos, New Mexico.  One of my favorite photo ops (besides outhouses and grandkids) are flowers.  I make Birthday, get well, all kinds of cards from the photos.  Time goes by so quickly, we don’t really look at them like we should.  God has blessed this world with some miraculous wonders!!====JACK:  I've read that G.O. studied at Chicago's Art Institute.  My sister has a granddaughter who got her degree from that place.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Space x is just going up now I am in Orlando for a few days just enjoy each day! We visited the Georgia o keefe museum in Santa Fe not too long ago====JACK:  From today's responses, it seems as though I'm the only one who hasn't visited that museum.

FROM SA IN WA:  Great quote. The great poets, revered throughout Western civilization, seem harder to find these days, but could be it takes time to see them. A piece of barn board I keep on my desk at work, 11 1/2" x 14" x 3/4" with a post-it-note; 188 years. (the time it took to grow enough to produce a board of that width) as a reminder good things take time. The knot hole was created from a branch when the tree was younger, which broke off, and then covered by the years of growth to the right of the hole. Perfectly straight and, even after 100 years of drying, this board has not 'cupped' but remains perfectly flat as well. It helps me keep life's stressors, deadlines and commitments, in perspective. Thank goodness a few of the magnificent trees, that continue their journey through nature's timeline, are preserved in the National Parks, for all to see, in time.====JACK:  Perhaps the favorite book in my library is Masterpieces of Religious Verse.  I've referred to it often, rather than going online.  There's something good about holding a book in your hands.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I have seen her home in NM—outside of Santa Fe.  Simple lines.  Love her stuff.====JACK:  Her poetry or her art or both?

FROM DL IN DULUTH:  Ah, time! Such a fleeting daily gift. For me the Advent season of 4 weeks is time gift of hope. ====JACK:  Is it just me, or does "Advent" seem less significant to those who aren't in the business of being a pastor?  Just wondering....

FROM JT IN MN:  Time has passed for us....but now we will meet again.  Time is good...let's take time for friends!!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 12/14/17
“I remember the time I knew what happiness was.  Let the memory live again.”  (Andrew Lloyd Weber – “Cats”)  This week I came across an article about why we remember and why we forget.  It says that our brain is wired to forget…but not always…that there are reasons to recall.  Someone told me that as she was on the gurney, awaiting cancer surgery, suddenly confirmation  memorization came back to her.  What memories do you want to…“live again?”    ;-) Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  speaking of memories,  Margaret and I were married 49 years ago this very day.   12/14/68   At Immanuel L C in tiny Dunnell, MN, down on the Iowa border.  It was colder than blazes that day.  well below zero with an awful windchill to boot. .  Margaret's pastor died in his sleep 3 weeks before the wedding so i asked a sem prof to come and officiate.  he got lost on the way down from Mpls. and arrived 40 minutes late.  but a classmate of mine just kept playing the organ (all Advent and Christmas music, of course) and all those old farmers thought nothing of starting late.  they got an organ concert out of the deal!  .  and the rest is history as they say... ====JACK:  Thanks for sharing that great memory.

FROM TARMART REV:  I can't remember at this very moment?! Merry Christmas, Jack!!  ====JACK:  A woman describing her aging grandfather..."Grandpa's memory had left us."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Having seen my twin struggle when her memory was erased, due to the stroke, I cherish everything I can remember, but of course, the "good" memories, especially of those we've now lost, are prime!  I often wished I had written down the funny (or amazing) things my kids said or did, because you tend to lose those details in the blur of the past, even though at the time, you were sure you'd remember that!  I've seen "Cats" several times, and read the book that inspired the musical, and think it is incredibly creative!!====JACK:  Do you remember how Bob Hope would close his shows?
Thanks for the memory  Of sentimental verse, nothing in my purse  And chuckles when the preacher said  "For better or for worse"  How lovely it was
Thanks for the memory  Of faults that you forgave, rainbows on a wave  And stockings in the basin when a fellow needs a shave  Thank you, so much
Thanks for the memory  Of tinkly temple bells, alma mater yells  And Cuban rum and towels from the very best hotels  Oh, how lovely it was
Thanks for the memory  Of cushions on the floor  Hash with Dinty Moore  That pair of gay pajamas that you bought and never wore    Say, by the way  Whatever became of those pajamas?
Strictly entre nous  Darling, how are you?  And how are all those little dreams  That never did come true?
Awfully glad I met you  Cheerio and tootle-loo  Thank you  Thank you so much
====OAKS:  I never saw those words to that tune, but really enjoyed this!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 12/13/17
“Don’t you ever let a soul tell you that you can’t be exactly who you are.”  (Lady Gaga)  Stefani Germanatta considered herself to be a misfit in school.   Her peers labeled her, eccentric.  It takes an unusual person to go beyond that and call herself, Lady Gaga.  This Gaga has come to be known as an entertainer…with a brain.  So, don’t be discouraged if you’re considered to be outside of the “in” group.  Jesus said, “The last shall be first, and the first shall be last.”   ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  more good words today.  thanks, Jack.  i think lots of youth struggle with self-worth and identity in those teen years.  maybe this coming generation will be helped by the likes of Lade Gaga. ====JACK:  I recall teaching 8th grade confirmation students as being more difficult than 7th and 9th graders.  Teaching 9th graders was the most fun of all.

FROM PM IN THE AM:  I love this! Do you have a copy of all these emails? Or are they saved somewhere? If you made a book of all of them I’d buy a few to give to my kiddos on their 13th birthday. There are so many lessons I’d love talk about with them when they are a little older!  For now, I’m going to start saving them in a folder. ====JACK:  Yes, Jack's Winning Words are available online, dating  back to some where in the mid 1990s.  A reader once had the blog printed into a book which was sold on Amazon.  All copies of the printing were sold, and there's no reprint.  I don't even have a copy.  The first quote used, as I recall, was:  "Virtue is learned at mother's knee,  Vice is learned at other joints."  I used to save the quotes in a cigar box, but now the computer is the saver.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I was never a part of the "in" group in the SE Michigan Synod....I considered that as a blessing.====JACK:  With the passage of time and the updating of the obituary column, I'm not part of the handful of survivors...the new "in group."  I'm reminded of Frost's mending Wall..  "Before I built a wall I'd ask to know  What I was walling in or walling out,  And to whom I was like to give offence.  Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That wants it down."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  She is strange to me but she says what she means and she is an advocate for those “different”.   Jesus has a reason for who we are and who we aren’t.  Aren’t we glad he lives us for us?!?====JACK:  Jesus was criticized for hanging around with "religious outsiders."  That didn't bother him, because they were his friends.====JUDY:  Now a days we are the outsiders in many ways.  We have the ability to make a difference in this world.  Even if we just feed the birds...of which there are hundreds on all of our feeders today.  I was out last night around 11:30 making sure they were all filled.   Amazon has a new site where you can purchase necessary items for the homeless and have them delivered!  Now that’s making a difference.  I don't know a whole lot about the site but I mean to check it out.   We are blessed here in Detroit because there are a lot of places for the homeless to get help.  Probably not enough yet.  Mitch Albom has done quite a bit himself.====JACK:  Not to be negative, but I read that bird-feeding iis for the enjoyment of people and is not necessary for the welfare of birds.  I should research further to find out.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 12/12/17
“Flaming enthusiasm, backed by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.”  (Dale Carnegie)  In the movie, What About Bob?, Bob says about his psychiatrist, “He’s got horse sense.”  Does anyone know what horse sense is?  I see it as “unsophisticated common sense,” as compared to “book learning.”  My wife’s grandfather was a shoemaker who also made violins and sailboats.  He had horse sense.    ;-)  Jack

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Sophia Loren once said, "Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself, and unflagging persistence. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, so much further than people with vastly superior talent".I think she's right about that! I think of horse sense as being practical wisdom, akin to common sense. Good manners, and being nice and respectful to others also enter in! That makes you a person other people are happy to see get ahead!====JACK:  Mr. Ed had horse sense..  He gave Wilbur good advice.

FROM KF:  I love "What about Bob"!!!   When Stephanie was little I took her to the play "The Elves and the Shoemaker".......she was terrified and we had to leave :  )    Hopefully she's over that; and I think she has horse sense : )))))====JACK:  Is...))))) the end of your reply, a WHINNY?

Monday, December 11, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 12/11/17
“We live in a world where we’ve forgotten to enjoy the journey.”  (Alicia Hill)  When our children were small and we went on car trips, the journey was more enjoyable when we played “I SPY”…clothes on the line, red barn, dump truck, etc.  Life’s journey can be more enjoyable when we focus on the positives we see…a Salvation Army bell ringer, people exchanging smiles, a courteous driver, etc.  As long as we’re on life’s road, let’s make the trip enjoyable.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Amen to that too!    last nite we went to a small Lutheran church (Faith in AV) for their Sunday School program.  nothing too professional about it but those that told the story (which is ever new) were so sweet,  humble, and sincere.  it was a joy to behold.  along with good goodies afterward! ====JACK:  Once, at a S.S. Christmas program, I remember the shepherds coming down the aisle and hearing a grandma say out loud:  "That's my bathrobe he's wearing."

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  I really like this quote, Jack! Another way to express this idea is “take time to smell the flowers.”  One of the things I’m really trying to work on is to really listen when someone is talking with me instead of trying to think of what to say next. Thomas Friedman expresses that concept in his book, too.====JACK:  "Thinking ahead" is what some Type A persons do.  "Engage brain before opening mouth" is what some of us need to do.

FROM JLF:  JC and I played car bingo on our way through the UP this summer. He spied a tiny GB Packers decal on a car in Escanaba and won the game!====JACK:  A Packers decal in the UP is too easy.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Reading these words I think of the war torn countries and wonder if the average citizens ever know what the journey is – other than survival.  We are so blest in this country even with our dissentions that I sometimes think we forget to think about other people’s journey or adventure in life and what it might be like for them.  A smile is such an easy thing to give; a greeting of “Good Morning” or “Hello” might be the only words another person hears in his or her day from another human being.  I’m off to enjoy today’s journey with Bob.====JACK:  Not only do we have different journeys, but we enjoy journeys in different ways.  Camping is not for me...Give me a Holiday Inn.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  WOW Pastor Freed,,  Another winner.!!!!!! I am having lunch  with two ladies today that I have not seen in 60 years. Old high school friends and my thought before I read your WW was to concentrate on positive memories and stay away from medical issues etc. Your WW gave me a great  way to introduce conversation.  Enjoy the journey.  Another home run for the Old but wise Pastor!!!!!!!!!  You should be in a robe with a long beard sitting at the mouth of a cave on a mountain top!!!!!!!!! WOW what visual!!! ====JACK:  I'm spending some winter weeks in Minnesota.  None of that sissy Florida weather for me.

FROM CC:  No time to stop and smell the roses or appreciate our fellow man's talents or needs.
Dick Lane is a 88 year old friend that I met at old guys basketball.  I gave it up with a shoulder injury, but Dick plays on and works hard at using his time to help many others in need.  Dick has a way of making everyone feel they are important and talented.====JACK:  Jack LaLanne was like Dick, also.  But, I read that Jack died in 2011.  The lyrics of the song, Grandfather's Clock, are so true...
spoken from experience.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "The good life has a great deal to do with contentment and satisfaction---and nothing whatever to do with that fool's gold called happiness." one of many quotes by Essayist Joseph Epstein, which is a good point to ponder, but the one by GK Chesterton may be more meaningful in our present state of affairs (no pun intended!): "Men do not differ much about things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable."   Ah me, I  do still enjoy life's journey, as there are many things to be thankful for: Like the old song says, "You gotta accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the Affirmative, and don't mess with Mr. Inbetween!" So be it!!====JACK:  The old-time lyricists had a way with words, didn't they?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Amen.====JACK: The journey's even better when you fly for free.  Lucky you!

FROM OPUTHOUSE JUDY:  Amen!  Live to share those free smiles!====JACK:  "When you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you."

FROM CS:  Ok Jack I see you posted this one at 247am. Have you been staying out too late at the bars again??! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Merry Christmas - may you feel the love and joy of the season each and every moment along the journey!====JACK:  My plan is to get the words out by 5 am.  But if I wake up earlier, I take the time to send them out then...and go back to sleep.  So, now you know!

FROM TARMART REV:  Ours!? First one to find in alphabetical order the letters placed on the car's license plats was the winner!!====JACK:  That sounds like a good one.  BTW, I sat for a while today in the Target Coffee Shop, but no one came up to talk with me.  What's your secret?

Friday, December 08, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 12/8/17
“Yesterday, December 7, a day that will live in infamy…”  (Franklin D. Roosevelt)  I recall how people used to gather around the radio to hear FDR’s “Fireside Chats.”  He spoke with confidence during the Great Depression and the dark days of WW 2.  He was well-spoken, not fearing to use a word like, infamy.  It was nothing like we are accustomed to hearing today.  To a fearful people, he allayed their fear:  “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM JULIEM:  Good morning - I definitely need to use N. Hill’s quote as a mantra today. It is a good one to share!====JACK:  No plan is definitely a problem for some people...and no impetus to work is another.

FROM HONEST JOHN: I have heard tapes of FDR and he was good.   He helped to teach us that a Depression can be countered by a stimulus program.     There was a brief setback in the late 30s but in general, most economists agree, it worked.    He was also a great international leader.    He sensed the ruthlessness of Hitler that was missed by the Isolationist crowd.   He was ruthless which is an attribute if so many successful leaders in crisis situations.   Fortunately, in the long run, his ruthlessness did not work to harm or destroy us.   My first memory of him was to listen to his funeral on the radio...I was six at the time.====JACK:  I would rather have a speaker "challenge" with words than to "dumb down" what he has to say.  But, I guess the purpose of a speech is to get understanding.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  While I never heard him speak, your point about allaying people’s fears (and bringing them together), was important- and I’m sure welcome. We could use more of that today as opposed to the divisiveness we hear so often.=====JACK:  I think that basic source of our divided country is fear...on both sides, and in the middle, too.====RS:  Yes - and lumping people into one political party or another and then saying everyone in that party is good (or bad).

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i recall reading somewhere that FDR revised that speech several times and i think the infamy word was not in the original text but got added just before he went on the air.  such are the quirks of history.   we went to the Concordia Christmas Concert last night at Orchestra Hall. i know i am biased but it was outstanding!  300 voices and full orchestra and some fabulous music.  what a gift good music is to this season.====JACK:  Could you write a definition of "infamy" without looking it up, first?====PAUL:  not exactly.   do you want to now look it up for me?   i am guessing "a day they will not be forgotten for a long time to come" but infamy is surely shorter!====JACK:  I'm not doing your work for you.

FROM TARMART REV:  I like that kind of leadership in government and the pulpit as well. ====JACK:  As I've quoted before..."The task of the pastor is to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  The biography of the Roosevelts that I read was fascinating: I think it was titled NO ORDINARY TIME, EXCELLENT, and well researched. Eleanor was his eyes and ears in the country, after he became paralyzed. She reported to him every night during his Presidency, tho they were not close as man and wife...These days the specter of Nuclear War has again reared it ugly head! :-(====JACK:  "The good old days" had their problems, too.  The pain of the present seems to hurt more than the pain of the past...but pain is pain.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  I wonder how many people under 30 knew what yesterday was? ====JACK:  I wonder how many of them understand what the initials, FDR, stand for?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's one of those quotes the young fellows don’t remember.  We would be better off if everyone remembered more of those famous words.  I remember having to match the quotes with the people who said them.====JACK:  "Ask now what your country can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your country."

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 12/7/17
“The same boiling water which softens the potato hardens the egg; it’s about what you’re made of, not the circumstances.”  (Unknown)  I never took physics in school, but I know what happens when you boil an egg or a potato, even though I can’t explain it.  I also know that people react differently when they find themselves in “hot water.”  Some grow stronger, and some grow weaker.  I can’t explain it, but I have observed that those who trust in God do better.    ;-)  Jack 

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i find when i trust in god, i do better. hard to go thru life alone! ====JACK:  Often, when I read comments such as yours, a song comes to mind, like..."I must tell Jesus all of my trials; I cannot bear these burdens alone; In my distress He kindly will help me;
He ever loves and cares for His own."  We have something in common, don't we?====LIZ:  we have lots in common!====JACK:  I like the way that you’re not afraid to express yourself…and to learn.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  one more:  the same sun melts ice and bakes clay.    blessings on your day====JACK:  ...and, I'm sure that there are more.  Let me think...

FROM KLM:  Thanks for your great emails.  Enjoy reading them, especially during these trying times in the world and at home in the US.  Best wishes during this holiday season.====JACK:  I try not to let the "immediate" world problems obscure the "timeless" message of Christmas that "God so loved the world that he gave us Jesus" to show the way to a life beyond this life.

FROM GARY:  Good morning Jack,  K and I really enjoyed today's Winning Word. We've all been in hot water and like you, I've observed the same: those who are in the boil do better knowing God will turn down the heat. Blessed Advent.====JACK:  Life sometimes serves eggs, scrambled.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Excellent WW that’s a keeper ====JACK:  Did you ever say, "Finders keepers, losers weepers?"====RJP:  Many many times you’re bringing back memories from years ago. Also remember cheaters never prosper, and sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me. Sure wish people would think of those sayings today

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Fabulous; I find this one inspiring.  We often see simply inexplicable situations where the outcomes may be due to “what we’re made of”.  For example,  parents with twins (theoretically having the same nature and nurture) may find over time that one twin thrives and actualizes potential yet  the other is despondent, unmotivated,  becomes an addict or suffers some other sad story/outcome.  The notion that while we do not control what happens to us in life but do have a say in how we respond to the challenges is important.  I also appreciate your endnote – people with faith fare better.  I liked reading research that folks recover from illness more quickly when others pray for them – even when they don’t know they are on the receiving end of those prayers!  Thanks for the inspiration.====JACK:  I saw an interesting article this week about the Finnish word, SISU, and how it applies to the Finnish people.  If you see the word on a bumper sticker you know that the driver of the car is probably a Proud Finn.====BB:  I was very fond of a couple of Finnish women at Lakeview Lutheran, Margaret Driver and Berit Koivumaki.  Both exemplified this characteristic as I understand it.  We’d see them – in their 80’s – out waiting for the bus or walking in the freezing cold and snow.  They would not accept a ride.  They’d show up at free concerts in the Cultural Center and other places in the most inclement weather, quietly waiting to hear the music.  Berit’s husband fell from a rooftop and was quadriplegic for some 20 years.  She cared for him in their home with little nursing assistance.  Just an amazing amount of “character” and determination.  Interesting for me to now learn this is a national/cultural concept.  Hmmmm.  She was a blessing to me and I still think of her often though she passed several years ago.

FROM JULIE:  Sounds like a plan!====JACK:   I think that it was motivational speaker, Napoleon Hill, who said:  "Plan your work, and work your plan."  Sounds like a plan.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I believe those who believe do not fear the hot water knowing they are in God’s strong water proof hands.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 12/6/17
“Getting an idea should be like sitting on a tack.  It should make you jump up and do something.”  (E.L. Simpson)  A Sunday School song begins, “I’ve got the love of Jesus, down in my heart.”  Children sing it enthusiastically, especially the verse, “If the devil doesn’t like it he can sit on a tack, Ouch!..sit on a tack, Ouch!”  Today’s quote isn’t about the devil, it’s about being motivated to do that which needs doing.  Is tack-sitting needed in your life today?    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  during a worship hour some years ago i sat down on a full glass of water.  i was not hurt but my butt was soaked for the rest of the hour.  i am not sure to this day anyone noticed tho the Altar Guild commented on all the water spilled on the floor of the chancel area:):) ====JACK:  Now, that's one of the best I've ever heard.  I laughed out loud.====PAUL:  i also don't know who put the water glass on the chair.  maybe some confirmand who was something of a prankster....====JACK:  I'm still in touch with some of my acolytes,  One even took me for a ride in an airplane that he had built.  ....and he landed it in the front yard of his sister's farm.  Now, that was exciting.====PAUL: you must be more gutsy than i am:):):)    but i admire your grit====JACK:  He was a farm boy who went oin to become aeronautical engineer

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Now that is a new verse for me!  I will have to teach it to Carol because she does the SS music at all 3 Sunday morning SSs.====JACK:  Through Google's magic, she get all of the lyrics...and the tune, also.  It would be fun for a congregation to sing it as a Sunday worship hymn.====MARLYS:  Back when I was kid’s choir director—we did.  I had the kids sing and then the congregation with them.  It was fun—but I did not know those verses!====JACK:  People in the pew like to relive their childhood...sometimes.====MARLYS:  Especially the good old songs.  My how the people sing when we sing Blessed Assurance or one of the “Golden Oldies”!====JACK:  People are beginning to like...Earth and all stars...I was there to hear your borning cry...On eagle's wings,,,are becoming favorites, too.====MARLYS:  True—but we have different words to Earth and All Stars.  I have a hard time singing different words!  Ha!  I sang  Borning Cry at Bernice’s funeral.  On Eagle’s Wings was sung at Keith and Karna’s wedding.  (We affectionately call it the “You Who song”. Ha!

FROM LSP:  I like this one   ====JACK:  Tack-sitting is not something I enjoy, but jumping up and doing something is something that I need.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It does sound like a good idea...but sometimes ya just look at the list and say “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow...”====JACK:  I have yesterday's list before me...right now!  I need to get away from the comput......====JUDY:  Made me laugh...again!

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 12/5/17
“I always remember an epitaph in a cemetery in Tombstone, Arizona.  It says, ‘Here lies Jack Williams.  He done his damnedest.’  It’s the greatest epitaph a man can have—when he gives everything in him to do the job before him.”  (Harry Truman)  Someone asked me, “Who was your favorite President?”  No hesitation.  It was Harry Truman.  No “spin doctor” for him.  His language was sometimes salty, but a little bit of salt does flavor a meal.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  although I have seen several Presidents, the only one I actually met was Harry Truman. My parents and I went to the opening of the Truman Library and went through a reception line to meet him. My mother was in the first violins of the Kansas City Philharmonic (starting in WW II which was her opportunity to get into the formerly all-male organization) and HST (actually H NMI T, as you know) had front-row seats every year just two people away from her. He recognized her and correctly placed from where and was very enthusiastic.
Every year when he was available, he would conduct the Star Spangled Banner as the first piece of the season. Mom said the orchestra didn't actually need any conducting for this and didn't pay much attention to him, but a positive time was had by all.====JACK:  I like Copland's, "Fanfare for the Common Man."  It could have been written to honor President Truman, but in fact it was written in 1942, inspired by a speech, the dawning of the "Century of the Common Man," given by Vice Pres Henry A. Wallace.  I think I'll YouTube the music right now.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  My favorite President is Abe Lincoln.   In my lifetime, it would be Barack Obama.  ( Both Illinois boys!).====JACK:  It's interesting that so many disliked him during his time as President.  I suppose that there were a variety of reasons.  Time has a way of putting things into perspective.====JOHN:  Both were hated by the White Supremacists...for obvious reasons.    JACK:  Even Jesus wasn't popular all of the time.  A congregation was deciding whether to use grape juice or wine for communion.  A "temperance" lady was adamant that it should be grape juice.  Someone reminded her that Jesus once changed water into wine.  She responded, "Yes, and that's one thing I didn't like about him."

FROM JM: Hello and good morning..."when a person gives everything in him/her to do the job before him/her...” this is certainly something to strive for! I think about your Winning Words today from a work perspective, however I know it applies to something deeper, as a complete person, not just when we are at work! From my perspective at work, I often look and observe other people’s performance- giving encouragement and guidance. I realize more and more that I need to include myself in this same manner...being open to learning, encouragement and guidance.  I read your blogs daily and am often touched by what you write and share. I want to thank you for what you do!
Have a great day====JACK: You have captured the reason why I do Winning Words.  My son once said, "Dad needs a boss."  What he meant beyond the typical boss concept was exactly what you said..." I realize more and more that I need to include myself in this same manner...being open to learning, encouragement and guidance."

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  we visited the Truman Library 3 years ago in KC, MO.  it was very impressive!   every kid in America should have to visit such places.  he left office with his ratings in the toilet but we now recall him as one of our greatest.====JACK:  Do you let the polling judge the present, or is it necessary to let time pass before making a proper judgment?====PAUL:  it usually helps to let some matters "simmer" for a while before making a final judgment.  even then,  i don't always get it right:):)

FROM LB:  HI,  This reminds me of an old saying my mom would tell me when I was wishing...
If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.  She wanted me to do something about it instead of just wishing.  Thanks for your thought-provoking words.====JACK:  I wonder if today's parents are giving Winning Words to their children...Words to be recalled years hence?

FROM JUDEE:  Agreed completely!!! I hope this is what my tomb stone says.====JACK:  Writer Dorothy Parker's tombstone read: "Excuse my dust."  Can you come up with something clever, such as that?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Truman and Reagan r my favorites. Truman was my first vote. I like the story after his last term when he was driving with Bess to their home in Missouri...Have u been to the presidential libraries? Trumans librarian was an Augustana graduate Ben Zobrist who married my friend from MHS Donna Anderson. The Reagan library in the Similar Valley is spectacular...I forget the first name of the Augie grad.====JACK:  I've been to the Truman Library.  The Augie grad at the library was a friend of mine from Moline, Niel Johnson.  He also acted as a Truman impersonator at the library, giving lectures, dressed as Truman.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Some of those tombstones are hilarious.  Unfortunately, neither Gary or I can remember them.  I took photos of some of them but they are in one of 26 or so photo boxes.  Our favorite president besides Lincoln of course, is Reagan.====JACK:  Have you ever thought of having a tombstone shaped like an outhouse?

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  The Truman Library in Kansas City is a wondefull facility. Much of it revolves around the War.. Like our current president Harry fooled all the pundits. His approval ratings were dismal but history will rank him very high for his tenure.  Probably the only president in recent history that did not enrich himself financially from the presidency.====JACK:  The Obama Library will be located near  the Museum of Natural History in Chicago.  You will able to visit the two places with only one trip.====RJP:  I have been to many presidential museums and they are all fascinating. Sad that Obama's will mar that beautiful area of the Lake Mi  shoreline.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 12/4/17
“The world is not yet exhausted; let me see something tomorrow which I never saw before.”  (Samuel Johnson)  I wish I could see news that a cure for an “incurable” disease has been found.  I wish that something new would push “politics” off of the front page.  I’m an optimist.  I believe that wishes can come true.  I also believe that “This is my Father’s world, O let me ne’er forget that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler, yet.”    ;-)  Jack 

FROM CZB IN NH:  I agree!  I get particularly discouraged when people present Christians as non-caring, evil capitalists.  There is a trend to align the GOP with Christianity.  A couple of my good, caring, liberal friends are posting this on Facebook right now.  I’d like to respond, don’t quite know how.  I have tried to talk about it when people are stereotyping Christians and people shy away from me, get uncomfortable.   It is funny because these same people fight against racism,  gender bias etc. (which I agree with) but this too is prejudice and bias.  Any advice?====JACK:  When people make fun of "conservatives" praying before they act on making policy that negatively affects the poor and middle class and is seemingly hypocritical...I would ask them to write a prayer that they might give in such a situation.  Really...and...seriously!  And what response would they want from Jesus?====CZB:  Good idea.  I’ll let you know how it goes…

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I am an optimist also....but, I am convinced that God works in a broken world...that is why the symbol of Christianity is a cross====JACK:  I wonder if God is ever pessimistic when it comes to mankind?  ...or is he a cockeyed optimist who "don't make junk?"

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  we had former bishop Mark Hanson at our Forum Hour yesterday at sotv.  he was dy-no-mite!  so articulate in naming and addressing some of the great issues of our time.  i had almost forgotten how prophetic and insightful Mark can be.====JACK:  People like Mark (and you) are good at pointing out the problems.  What I'm looking for are workable solutions.  It reminds of someone who asked the churchgoer, "What did the preacher talk about today?"  "He talked about sin."  "What did he say about it?"  "He's against it."  ====PAUL:  Mark did offer some solutions too.  just don't time to share them with you today.  i will later if i can.   btw, that quote is from Silent Calvin Coolide.  a man of very few words.  he had gone to church,  his wife was sick at home, and she asked him about the sermon when he got home again.====JACK:  I'm not talking about solutions, I'm talking about "workable" solutions that will get both sides to come together and work toward resolving the issue...not necessarily to the liking of both sides.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Enjoy each day! We r still here for a reason!====JACK:  I've seen this response from you on several occasions...which seems to indicate that you really believe it.  Good for you!  It means that you are sure that God is at work in your life in all circumstances.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It would be nice wouldn’t it.  Got  a call from A.  He wanted to know if anyone could baptize someone.  Yes of course.  He has Bible Study and many guys come.  One wants to be baptized because he accepted Christ.  God works in our lives and in others lives when we plant seeds.  Sometimes we don’t see the blossoms but there are seeds right now starting to bloom.  Keep watching, they’ll show up!  I’m an optimist too and there is Good News but it’s not in the news!====JACK:  Radio newscaster, Gabriel Heatter, often began his broadcasts by saying, "There'd good news tonight."  There is good news in the news, even today.  You just have to look harder for it.
====JUDY: I don’t remember him but I like his announcement!  It’s have to look a little but it’s there.====JACK:  He was before your time...the 1940s.   His "good news tonight" often referred to victorious battles during WW 2.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Or the words in "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day": "Then pealed the bells more loud and deep; God is not dead, nor does he sleep, the Wrong shall fail, the Right prevail, with peace  on Earth, good will to men."  Yes there are still new thing in our world to learn, if we have eyes to see, and ears to hear.  We can't lose Hope, even in present political circumstances!! ====JACK:  Ultimately...the wrong shall fail, the right prevail.  But many of us cry out (like the Israelites in the wilderness), "How long, O Lord, How long?"  We are an impatient people.  We need to be a people of faith.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  Mark and I just got back from China. A wish come true for me. I learned once again that we are more alike than different. Thanks for a great song of the day. ====JACK:  How will you work that experience into a teaching opportunity for the children?

FROM  MY SEM ROOMMATE:  AMEN and AMEN to that!!!!!!!!!!====JACK:  I guess that means, You agree!

Friday, December 01, 2017

Jack’s Winning Words 12/1/17
Hello, December!  “God gave us memories that we might have roses in December.”  (J.M. Barrie)  It’s December…time to look at our bouquet of roses.  What great gift…to be able to remember…and what a loss when it’s gone.  But today, let’s start the month by recalling events and people that have made life enjoyable for us.  Why not make a list, numbering 1 through 12?  In that way, we can give ourselves a dozen roses, the perfect gift as December begins.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  You have certainly been one of those "roses" in my life, Jack!! Thinking especially of you during this Advent and Christmas season.====JACK:  In looking at a list of names for roses, which name do you think applies to me?  Angel Face, Ketchup & Mustard, Playboy or Yabba Dabba Doo?  I suppose Angel Face has already been applied to you.====REV:  How about a new one for you: the “Sainted Rose” of WB?!?!====JACK:  I hope you didn't mean, "tainted." ====REV:  You always have great comebacks!!

FROM KF:  I got my biggest bouquet of roses December 3, 1988 (Mark - our anniversary. ====JACK:  ...and two daughters makes the bouquet even bigger.

FROM EMT SINGS IN TC: You are certainly toward the top of our list!====JACK:  I'd be honored just to be on the list.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  ) my dear dad painted a picture of two roses for his grandmother in 1951. it was given to me recently by a cousin, after dad died. i had never seen it before.  was dad a time traveler? this rose did not exist till 1980. it is called “love.”  i searched for love since i first saw it in person, ten years ago. finally, this year i found love at the grocery store garden center... a couple of months later, i “found” this beautiful watercolor, too!  I now have love in my garden.====JACK:  You also have love on your wall and (most importantly) in your heart.  Your father was truly an artist...and a special person.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Memories are indeed precious! When my twin had the stroke, her memory was erased, and what a loss that is, having to learn who everyone is (again) and all that transpired in the past...impossible to recapture, really.   like the idea of giving ourselves the roses of people who have really counted in our lives. A huge bouquet really! You would be a rather new bud in that bouquet! :-) Hello, December ; Here's to always remembering to smell the roses along life's way!!====JACK:  It must have been frustrating, both for her and you.  It makes one appreciate, even more, how great is the ability to remember and relive (in a way).