Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 1/31/18
“Cellist Pablo Casals was asked why he continued to practice at age 90.  ‘Because I think I am making progress,’ he replied.”  (Seattle Opera post)  I recall seeing my grandmother, at age 92, reading her Bible with a magnifying glass.  In her last letter to me, she wrote: “Just put your trust in the Lord Jesus.  He will never fail you.”  She and Casals had this in common… “You’re never too old to learn something more.”  I guess it’s time to follow Nannie’s example.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  You have jogged my memory about a trip to hear Casals in Iowa city with Mary Poulter and her father sometime in our high school years. It is good to learn new ideas 💡 every day.====JACK:  Thanks to the internet, new ideas are available at the touch of a key, and music can be recaptured by way of YouTube.  I think I'll listen to some Casals!====SHIRL:  🎻🎻🎻====JACK:  He is good!====SHIRL:  Even after all of these many many years! Some things never change

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Beautiful====JACK:  The quote? or Casals' music? or both?


FROM CZB IN NH:  Reminds me of you and my dad- always improving, always reinventing, always learning.====JACK:  I remember his love for opera and the time a limo-ride was arranged for your parents to take them to the opera in NYC .

FROM BB IN CHGO:  This one warmed my heart.  I love Casals quote and the happy thoughts of your mom and your Mary.  You’ve been surrounded by some pretty amazing women from my perspective; not forgetting Beth and Jeanne either!====JACK:  Shortly after I received that letter from my grandmother, I officiated at her funeral, together with another grandson who was a Catholic priest.  It was my first funeral as an ordained pastor.  She was one of those who we would classify as "a true believer," in the best sense of the word.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  Amen to that on my birthday today!  I hope I never stop learning useful things and caring about learning more!====JACK:  It may not be Casals, but it's the thought that counts.

CrazyCello Happy Birthday - YouTube

====\JAN: Thank you for my evening laugh!!  Such fun to watch and, actually, I think the playing was grand.

FROM SC IN GL:  Pastor Jack, Thank you for your daily messages. I look forward to them everyday. I am 80 now and decided it was time for me to learn how to use this new computer I bought a year ago. Bless you.====JACK:  It's a whole new world out there when you learn how to use the computer.  One of the first steps is to learn how to Google.  It's also good to know someone who's computer-literate to help with with questions.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  We have so many options for life-long learning these days; how fortunate we are! And ways to see and hear again the masters who are no longer performing  or writing, etc. Casals was the ultimate cellist; talk about making an instrument "sing"! Yes, we always have something new to learn, even in "old age"!====JACK:  Life-long learning?  Here's a suggestion...
5-Star Cello Lessons In Springfield, IL ~ Expert Cello teachers ›
Choosing whether to play the violin or cello can be difficult, but this article will help you consider the advantages and disadvantages of each. The violin and cello are two of the most well-known and commonly studied instruments in the string family. Each one is central to the makeup of the orchestra we know today.====OAKS:  HA! After just listening to Casals play THE SWAN, and SONG OF THE BIRDS, I think I'll let the majesty of the Cello go undisturbed by Marilyn! I had to learn to play a simple tune on both the violin (very difficult to get a decent sound!) and the cello, as part of my Music Ed. degree, but believe me, you would not have wanted to hear me render either in public! :-(
====JACK:  So...Cross off that learning option'  What others are there?

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Your grandmother could have written the anthem we sang on Sunday.  HE NEVER FAILED ME YET.  The theme that came thru all the time was “trust and never doubt, Jesus will always bring you out, He never failed me yet”.  It was a real jazzy number and the congregation erupted when we finished.  It was fun.====JACK:  I'm going to YouTube it.

HE NEVER FAILED ME YET   Words and Music by Robert Ray

I will sing of God’s mercy,
Every day, every hour, He gives me power.
I will sing and give thanks to Thee
For all the dangers, toils and snares
That He has brought me out.
He is my God and I’ll serve Him,
No matter what the test.
Trust and never doubt,
Jesus will surely bring you out,
He never failed me yet.

I will sing of God’s mercy,
Every day, every hour, He gives me power.
I will sing and give thanks to Thee
For all the dangers, toils and snares
That He has brought me out.
He is my God and I’ll serve Him,
No matter what the test.
Trust and never doubt,
Jesus will surely bring you out,
He never failed me yet.

I know God is able to deliver in time of storm.
And I know that He’ll keep you
Safe from all earthly harm.
One day when my weary soul is at rest,
I’m going home to be forever blessed.
Trust and never doubt,
Jesus will surely bring you out,
He never failed me yet.

I will sing of God’s mercy,
Every day, every hour, He gives me power.
I will sing and give thanks to Thee
For all the dangers, toils and snares
That He has brought me out.
He is my God and I’ll serve Him,
No matter what the test.
Trust and never doubt,
Jesus will surely bring you out,
He never failed me yet.

Didn’t my God deliver Moses from King Pharaoh?
And didn’t He cool the fiery furnace
For Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?
When I think of what my God can do,
He delivered Daniel,
I know He will deliver you.
Trust and never doubt,
Jesus will surely bring you out,
He never failed me yet.

I will sing of God’s mercy,
Every day, every hour, He gives me power.
I will sing and give thanks to Thee
For all the dangers, toils and snares
That He has brought me out.
He is my God and I’ll serve Him,
No matter what the test.
Trust and never doubt,
Jesus will surely bring you out,
He never failed me yet.

FROM JE IN WLSD:  This is so very true. Each Sunday I do the word search in the Sunday News/Free Press and so does my mom. This week’s puzzle was a list of famous chefs. The answer, after finding all the words, or hidden word with remaining letters, was Paul Bocuse.  I said to my husband, who is Paul Bocuse? He said: “He’s the French Chef who created French Nouveau cooking/cuisine and he just died at 90.” He then handed me the New York Times front page article on Mr. Bocuse. Paul Bocuse said: “You’ve got to beat the drum in life. God is already famous, but that doesn’t stop the preacher from ringing the church bells every morning.”  Rock on, keep moving, do your best. Thank our Lord Jesus for every day we have to make a difference.====JACK:  A pastor friend of mine has a license plate which reads: GOD ROX.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  You had a very wise grandma!  We could all learn from her.
====JACK:  My other grandparents had died before I was born, but I'm glad to have been able to know her.

FROM ANNE McC:  I love my weekly Bible study class.====JACK:  A young boy asked his friend why his grandmother was always reading her Bible.  "I think she's studying for her finals."  Is that why you go to your Bible study class?


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 1/30/18
“The bourgseoi are other people.”  (Jules Renard)  Try to pronounce, boo r-zhwah-zee.  It’s French for the Rich People, as opposed to the Proletariat, the Working Class.  Like it or not, society tends to identify people “financially.”  I thought that we might move away from that, but divisions seem even sharper today.  Jesus encouraged his followers to see all people as creatures of God and not to be overly impressed by wealth, or turned off by poverty.    ;-)  Jack

ROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  that is what makes people strive to work hard/succeed... it is more a problem than ever bc politics has driven huge wedges between us====JACK:  In the 16th century, the time of this quote, the separation of rich and poor was even more stark than it is now.  Those who tried to change things, even by their words, were often imprisoned and sometimes were sent to the gallows.  It is said that Bradford uttered the words of his quote as he saw fellow reformers being hanged.  Much of the reform speaking had to do with equalizing wealth.====LIZ:  communism equalizes wealth... everyone suffers equally.====JACK:  Some have accused Jesus of being a communist (sharing wealth with the poor and needy).  What do you think?====LIZ:  jesus was a libertarian.====JACK:  I think that Jesus would eschew labels, including Libertarian, Communist, etc.  He was always there to help the disadvantaged.====LIZ:  jesus believed in personal responsibility, i’m sure... personal responsibility encompasses charitable works.  jesus believed in liberty? i am assuming yes.  god is the original libertarian..====JACK:  Can you cite specific instances where God/Jesus expresses libertarian views?  I saw a listing of famous libertarians and the name of Jesus wasn't among them.  The earliest name I saw was John Locke in 1690, and his views were not based on Christian principles.====LIZ:  where doesn’t he?!  god/jesus wants us to follow the NAP, or non-aggression principle, basis of the libertarian party. god/jesus wants us to be free from oppression, a tenet of libertarianism. god also made us free to roam... tho i am not an open borders libertarian.  the LP was founded last century, so you are correct that jesus was not an actual card-carrying libertarian, nor was he even an american...

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  It doesn't matter how much money 💰 u have or don't have it matters what kind of a person u r====JACK:  A pastor received a call to a prestigious congregation.  Before accepting the call, he disguised himself as a poor person and attended worship on a Sunday.  What do you think?  Did he accept the call?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  There were a number of "rich" kids in our H.S. gang, but they really weren't "other " people to us; They've been life-long friends.  Of course even the poor in the U.S. would be considered "rich" in some other countries...but if you're talking multi-Millionaires or Billionaires, yes, to most of us it's how "the other 1% lives"...and wealth definitely does divide our country into factions. J.L.Kraft (say 'cheese'!) was a very generous American Baptist, and he seemed down-to-earth and humble just to talk to. He was besieged by appeals for financial help, and one Seminarian wrote to him, saying God had told him Mr. Kraft would pay for his seminary education. Mr. Kraft wrote back, "Good. when God tells me the same thing, I'll do it." :-) He'd worked hard, and expected others to do the same!  I imagine my pet rock will learn to talk before wealth is evenly distributed in this country or any other!====JACK:   S.S. Kresge and J.C. Penney were rich people who lived their faith.  Penney's was originally called, The Golden Rule store where employees were told to treat customers as they, themselves, would like to be treated.

FROM TARMART REV:  Thanks, Jack . . . this fit well with my Facebook devotional this morning . . . I shared it, hopefully with your blessing.====JACK:  Yes, I saw that, along with instructions as to how to sign up to receive Winning Words.  Thanks

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I always thought of it as representing the middle class people...particularly merchants....who often were rich, but not  necessarily so.    I know you look everything up, so I am probably off base.   I thought of them as a class that were no longer peasants but not aristocrats. ====JACK:  I suppose that there are nuances, but I think that the division was basically between the haves and have nots.  The have nots were pressing the communist view that the wealth should be shared.  In the 16th century there seemed to be much sharper divide that there is today.====JOHN:  I don't recall reading about Communists in the 16th century....the Chartists in England came much later....the Marxists came from  19th century the 16th century, the Peasants were looking for a break and done land....I don't recall them working for  a remaking of society.... ====JACK:  Note the small "c"..."communist view".  Regardless of labels, each age has seemed to have unrest because of the power of wealth.  Even the Rich Man & Lazarus story speaks of it.
====JOHN:  I think though that communism as a societal movement was a much later phenomenon.    The earlier struggles were mainly just uprisings that came from fury and a sense of injustice.....communism often flourished in families and small groups. (e.g.  The early church).   The "estates" were generally the nobility,  the bourgeois, the clergy and the peasants.    Peasants sought not a radical change of society but an upgrade in their daily lives.

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  good words for today,  Jack.  thanks! ====JACK:  How is winter life among the bourgseoi?====PAUL:  temps in the 70s almost every day since we arrived a month ago.  sunny skies.  nothing to complain about whatsoever!!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 1/29/18
“There, but for the grace of God, go I.”  (John Bradford)  As Larry Nassar walked out of the courtroom last week, I thought of Bradford’s 16th century words, spoken as he watched criminals walk to the gallows.  What is it that keeps us from walking that walk?  What is it that determines the choices that we make?  Nature of nurture?  I’ll always be grateful for those who taught me right from wrong.  But ultimately, “free will” says that the choices I make are mine.    ;-)  Jack 

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  We all need all the help we can get-especially the grace of God👍 ====JACK:  Seen, or unseen, our faith assures us that God is always with us.====SHIRL:  We were so lucky 🍀 to have grandparents and parents with such strong faith. It is much harder these days with our crass culture ====JACK:  Just a are now the parent, the Gparent and GGparent, the someone who is sharing the faith.====SHIRL:  And I ❤️ it all don't u?====JACK:  Yes

FROM SF:  My grandfather said this all the time. So do I. Thanks for the reminder! ❤️====JACK:
Like it, or not, teachers and preachers are looked upon as paragons.  Sometimes that's a heavy burden to bear, but it goes with the job.====SF:  Teachers...not so much any more. Still awfully proud of what we did, though!!

FROM GJ IN WI:  Good 😊 morning Jack!  How are you doing! K and I often share your words to start our day.  " But for the grace of God..."  is something my mother taught me and it started me on the path of compassion and humility.  I'm curious. The time stamp on your Winning Words is often deep in the night. Do you stay up late, wake up really early or is it an automatic post?   Things here are great. K& I are both officially retired. After 8 years of taking Interims etc. I'm DONE.   Love waking up to your words and the delicious irony of you still mentoring me after all these years.  ====JACK:  First...It's good to hear from you again.  Second...It's my feeling that "the grace of God" (together with our right choices) has kept us out of many troubling situations.  There's a song, titled, "My God and I."  In some ways it's syrupy, but the point is that God is active in our lives.  I like the 3rd stanza..."My God and I will go for aye together,  We'll walk and talk just as good friends do;
This earth will pass, and with it common trifles,  But God and I will go unendingly.
This earth will pass, and with it common trifles,  But God and I will go unendingly."  ...Finally, I try to send out Winning Words so that they are among the first words that people see on the screens in the morning.  Maybe it's habit, but I do wake up in the middle of the night.  Rather than toss and turn, I send out the WWs (if it's after 3 am...midnight on the west coast) and then go back to bed to resume tossing and turning.  I remember going into Detroit with you and seeing the neighborhood where you grew up.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  These were also (supposedly) the words of Billy Sunday, when he passed a drunk sprawled in a gutter.  Sometimes it seems like a seemingly innocuous decision turns out to have life-long consequences, either positive of negative. Some H.S .friends of Bill's, as Seniors, got the bright idea one night, of climbing his hometown  water tower, and painting the class graduation date, and their initials on it. Bill tried to talk them out of it, to no avail, and he decided not to participate, and went on home. they were caught "desecrating public property"...expelled from school, not allowed to graduate with their class, One young man who was an outstanding athlete, from a poor and unstable family, lost his college scholarship, since he didn't graduate, and ended up going down a path that led to incarceration for several years.  Oh, to have that few minutes back, to reconsider...!  They knew right from wrong, but as you say, with free will, chose poorly! ====JACK:  A seemingly "harsh" punishment for a high school prank.  From my point of view, I think that it could have turned into a more positive learning experience.  As I've said before, "The Greatest Generation" tended to see things as black and white...right is right and wrong is wrong, and you have to pay the consequences.  The fact remains that "free will" can be a dangerous gift. ====OAKS:  The Chief of Police insisted on severe consequences. The guys could graduate at the end of the summer, if they publically apologized for their "illegal act", which most did, and went on to college (or jobs) but this guy,backed by a couple of rowdy brothers, refused to comply...:-( ====JACK:  At least "grace" was offered.  It's the same with God's grace.  It's offered, but whether you take it or not is up to you.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Evil is strong in this Fallen world.  Temptation is at our finger tips.  It’s so very easy to think you can handle it, but for the Grace of God, we go there!  Somehow good people get caught up in bad stuff.  Not sure why.====JACK:  "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."  The difference is to rely on the grace of God.  "God, be merciful to me, a sinner."

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  I read once that there is a certain common strain in the DNA of serial killers.  The author said he had that, but that the love and caring he had in his childhood allowed him to overcome that tendency.  I agree that we all bear the responsibilities of our choices, but also that we are the products of our environment and that people can change/repent and make better choices going forward.  Chuck Colson might be an example of that.  Thank God that it is never too late to repent. ====JACK:  The bottom line is that sin is personal, an individual's need for God's grace.  Society make one sin worse than another...but, sin is sin.  There is no DNA that I know of that shows anyone to be sinless.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 1/26/18
“True beauty is about who you are as a human being, your principles, your moral compass.”  (Ellen DeGeneres)  Ellen gets laughs from the audience when she shows pictures of herself as a teen, but to me, she looks to be typical of that time.   Evidently she had some image problems, but that seems normal, too.  I admire her for what she said to some teens.  “You’re unique.  You’re not supposed to be like everyone else.  Promise to be kind to people, to brush your teeth every day and to floss.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Certainly be kind to everyone❤️====JACK:  ...and, don't forget to floss.

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  Good quote of the day… Ellen turns 60 today… I like her style… stay positive and teach others to be themselves, to be happy, and to be kind!====JACK:  I know that you're nice to people, but do you brush your teeth and floss every day?====Dr J:  ummmmm… brush… YES!====JACK:  "Flossing does about 40% of the work required to remove sticky bacteria, or plaque, from your teeth. Plaque generates acid, which can cause cavities, irritate the gums, and lead to gum disease. ... Floss is the only thing that can really get into that space between the teeth and remove bacteria.====DR J:  "Dr. Ken Hurt is my fav!====JACK:  I have two books (Remarkable Names and Even More Remarkable Names) that David has "dibs on" after I go to Stiff's.  Actual names...Buncha Love, Cigar Stubbs, Shanda Lear, I.C. Shivers...and do remember a student at Albion, named, Doctor, who became a doctor?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  She is also very generous with her money. She helps a lot of different people and she loves animals.====JACK:  At high school reunions I've found that adult classmates aren't always as I remember them in school.  Mostly, adulthood has improved them and, hopefully, me, too.====JUDY:  At my reunion I feel the same way.  However, those people look much older than me.  Did you find the same thing?====JACK:  Yes, some at the last reunion looked their age.  Not until I saw pictures afterward did I realize that I looked the same way.  The passing years will do that to a person .

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I think most of us agree with her assessment of beauty, but the fact remains that in real life, the pretty, handsome, beautiful people tend to get the preferential treatment, and best opportunities. It takes awhile to uncover the inner beauty which is more lasting, and as Ellen says, the truer beauty. Most teens are very self-critical, and standing out as different is almost excruciating! Jan and I were different, being two "identical" people, but we were never shy (that I remember) and basked in the attention!  At class reunions, adults have mellowed, and barriers are down, and it's nice to enjoy visiting with every classmate!! We'll soon have our 70th! :-)====JACK:  I'll bet that all of her "remaining" classmates will mention that "Ellen was a classmate of mine," even though some may never have "given her the time of the day." (That's an expression Aunt Nell would use to describe how some people would ignore others).====OAKS:  I REMEMBER THAT EXPRESSION OF YOUR AUNTS; USED TO BE VERY COMMON!====JACK:  Another Aunt Nell sayings (about someone who thinks they're better than others),,,"Look at him, sitting there like King Tut."====OAKS:  Now that I hadn't heard, and I love it! I remember standing in long lines to see the relics of King Tut  in Chicago, many years ago, with Jan and my families!!====JACK:   Another Aunt Nell.ism...(when she thought I was spending more than I should)..."Who do you think you are, Mr Butternut?"...referring to the rich Butterworth family.====OAKS: HA! Kathy Butterworth was a friend (and is, tho rarely see her except when we have school reunions) and she was never overly impressed with herself or family's money, warm friendly person.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 1/25/18
“You’re not rich until you have something money can’t buy.”  (LuxQuotes)  Perhaps you heard: 20-yr-old Shane Missler won the 450M Powerball Jackpot.  Shane hopes to use part of it “to do good for humanity.”  He also said, “I believe that those who maintain a positive mind-set will be rewarded.”  You may have picked losing numbers, but you can still be a winner if you have your health, peace of mind, and someone who loves you.  Count your blessings!    ;-)  Jack

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  amen amen amen====JACK:   I take it that you agree.

FROM CPA BOB:  Every day....====JACK:  There's a fat/xlim chance of winning the Lottery every day.  But, blessings (seen and unseen) are always there for you.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  So true!  I remember the words of Jim Carrey, (the   actor): "I think everybody should get rich and famous, and do everything they ever dreamed of doing, so they can see that it's not the answer."  I believe his significant other took her life, which has really impacted him to re-assess priorities.  Of course we've all probably seen relationships and marriages destroyed because of constant financial burdens, so there IS that opposite truth, you do need enough money to cover the basics...====JACK:  In a way, I feel sorry for the 20-year-old who won all that money.  As I look back, I'm grateful for the "lean" times which taught me the value of work, frugality and the value of being able to "lean" on others...especially my God.  Do you remember the song...
"Lean on me, when you're not strong  And I'll be your friend
I'll help you carry on  For it won't be long  'Til I'm gonna need  Somebody to lean on"
====OAKS:  I've heard it at some point, but don't really KNOW it. We all have our lean (as you and we did) and leaning times. I often couldn't purchase things for the house to redecorate, etc. and had to remember to "Want what you have, and  you'll always have what you want!" But as you say, we were still happy, and grateful for what we had, and were able to do!====JACK:  I've heard that people you can depend on and go to are sometimes called, "My leaning wall."...I can lean on them.  Listen...

Bill Withers - Lean On Me [with lyrics] - YouTube

ALL OLD, AN LEANING! HA!====JACK:  Here's another "leaning" song I like...
What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Leaning, leaning,
Safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Oh, how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
Oh, how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Leaning, leaning,
Safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Leaning, leaning,
Safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

FROM SA IN HELENA:  There's a placard made of barn wood on the kitchen wall with the words, 'House Rules - Count your blessings and love one another.' , painted on it. We are blessed! ====JACK:  Do you remember the song...
  This is the promise of love;  There shall be seasons refreshing,    Sent from the Savior above.
  Showers of blessing,    Showers of blessing we need;
Mercy-drops round us are falling,      But for the showers we plead.

FROM KZB:  That is a GREAT quote, and so good for my last week of work!!!====JACK:  Yes, it is...but, the day of your retirement is the first day of the rest of your life.  I wonder what God has in store for you.  As we used to sing around the campfire..."He's got his eye on you.  He's got his eye on you.  My Lord, sittin' in the kingdom , He's got his eye on Kathy!"

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How very true!  My most important times in my life are those spent with Family and friends.  Nothing is more important to me than my relationship with my God and Savior!  Totally free and irreplaceable ====JACK:  Your blessings?  Name by one. ====JUDY:  I really would spend the rest of my life and beyond counting them.  I bet you would have the same problem.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 1/24/18
“Old is when people compliment you on your alligator shoes, and you’re not wearing any.”  (Norm Crosby)  It’s said that comedian Norm was exactly as he appeared to be—a big slob, and he probably enjoyed being called that.  Crosby was a regular on the Borscht Belt.  Since he’s now in his 90s, many of his aging jokes can apply to him.  Most old people I know don’t mind jokes about aging.  Some of you may even forward one to me,,,if you can remember to do it.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  You r only as old as u feel====JACK:  I feel good1!  (Play the song!)

Blues Brothers, I Feel Good.MOV - YouTube

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Three older gentlemen played golf together often.  But as time went by, their eyesight got so bad they couldn't see where the ball went.  One day they got paired up with another older man who said his eyesight was excellent and he would be happy to watch their ball and tell them where it went.  They all teed off the first tee, and the guys asked the new guy ..."OK, where did our ball go?"   The new guy replied..."I forgot."    Thought I better send you that one before I forgot. ====JACK:  Get a few more like that one and could have a 2nd career in stand-up comedy.

FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  In my seminars that I do on "The Bright Side Of Aging"
I've had good response from some of the following :
"Age is a matter of the mind.if you don't mind it doesn't matter"
"Aging is inevitable wisdom is optional"
"Everyone is too old for something ,no one  is too old for everything"
"Yesterday is history,tomorrow is a mystery,today is a gift that's why we call it the present"
"I'm getting to the that point in life that when I bend down,I try to  see what else I can pick up  while I'm down there"
====JACK:  People who want to listen to your radio program can Google "The Bright Side of Aging."  Ain't the internet great?

FROM TARMART REV:  I’ll try to remember to do , when the ‘punch line’ comes back me!?! ====JACK:  The Optimist Club has a Creed which reads in part... "to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future."

FROM BB IN CHGO:  The forgetfulness jokes make me smile as I am, and have been forgetful for a long time.  I think the “Tile” system - and competing technologies – would not be making the $ they are if their sales were relegated to “old” people.====JACK:  Everyone ages, and the process of growing older becomes easier when we are able to laugh at some of the changes that go with it.

FROM OHIO:  Recently my doctor told me this: "the reason you suffer all these aches and pains has nothing to do with your auto accident the other day. It's due to cold weather, arthritis, and the fact you are old. No, you are not going to sue anybody." His smile was broad.====JACK:  Who dares to sue God for creating such a thing as aging?====OHIO:  God is older than we.====JACK:  Do you think that jokes will be told in heaven?====OHIO:  God gets the last joke and last laugh.

FROM AA IN FL:  would love to, but i'm not that old or can't remember====JACK:  You're not that old?  Take the year you were born, subtract it from 2018.  That's how OLD you are.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Norm was funny but to tell you the truth, I didn’t know he was still alive!  Glad to hear it.  And his joke was funny but true.  My grandma used to rub her thumb across the back of my hand.  One day I asked her why is rubbed my hand.  She said “Your skin is so smooth, one day you will understand.”  I find myself holding the grandkid’s hands and rubbing my thumb on the back of their hands.     I’ll look for a joke.  I know a lot but can’t remember them!====JACK:  My mother, in her 90s, said that the worst thing about growing old was losing her friends, one by one.
====JUDY:  I imagine that would be very hard.  My grandpa was 67 when he passed away from a brain tumor which caused a stroke.  He was 2 years older then my grandma.  My grandma was 67 when she passed away with a brain hemorrhage.  I’m 67 now and I think about how young they were.   Death is do dad but, we know we will be together again!!====JACK:
"God hath not promised skies always blue,  Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,  Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
  But God hath promised strength for the day,  Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,    Unfailing sympathy, undying love."
====JUDY:  That saying was on my grandma’s memorial card.  I have it memorized.  What a wonderful poem to recite to oneself.

FROM DL:  You can only burn the midnight oil until 9:00 o'clock.
Your knees buckle and your belt won't.
Your back goes out more than you do.
Everything hurts and what doesn't hurt, doesn't work.
You feel like the morning after and you didn't go anywhere the night before.
The twinkle in your eyes is the sun hitting your bifocals.
Is that enough?  Hope so, because I can't remember any more!====JACK:  I guess it takes one to know one.

FROM NAME WITHHELD:  A funny cartoon in "The Geezer Planet" (not for the blog!): A nurse says to an elderly couple, "The Dr. would like a stool sample, a urine sample, and a sperm sample." The man says to his wife, "Eh? What did she say?"  The wife replies, "They want your underwear". ...Probably funnier to women than to men. :-)

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 1/23/18
“I guess a good education is the next best thing to a pushy mother.”  (Peanuts cartoon)  I saw a cartoon of a baby in a buggy, playing a trombone.  The mother says, “I believe in starting them young.”  That wasn’t my mom.  She had to have a job, as well as to “keep house.”  She was too busy to “hover.”  What I learned...was from her example.  Robert Fulghum wrote: “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they’re always watching you.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Your mother was not a helicopter parent ====JACK:  In those days airplanes were a novelty, and helicopters were a dream.====SHIRL:  Weren't we lucky to have had all of that freedom?====JACK:  I can't remember pushy mothers in those days, altho I'm sure there were some.  It's said that Shirley Temple and Judy Garland had moms who pushed to enhance the movie careers of their child. ====SHIRL:  Childhood was for fun in the old days climbing trees building forts playing basketball ====JACK:  "Look both ways when you cross the street...Keep your nose clean...Come home when the street lights go on."====SHIRL:  We were lucky

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  For a large portion of time between parent and child…It’s not what you say it’s what you do. There is no hiding, They are always watching.====JACK:  It's not often mentioned, but sometimes parents are influenced by watching their children.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Somehow, as a parent, you have to walk a balance beam....balance between encouraging and aiding on one side...and being pushy, on the other side.   I tried to do that.   I am sure I fell off the beam plenty...and made both errors....either encouraged too much or not enough....Tough act....need a lot of forgiveness====JACK:  There are time (hopefully, just a few) when "push comes to shove."  It's time!  (to get going on your begin looking for a decide on a major).

FROM PZ:  I'm going to share this with my daughter!====JACK:  That's better than her sending it to you.

FROM INDY GENIE:  We were also aided by a mom who didn’t hover. I’ve strived to be like her with my own children, grandchildren and children in my “work life.”  I’m curious...what was your mom’s job other than her “keeping house.”====JACK:  Yours was a fun mom.  In my eyes, she never stopped being a kid.  My mother was the office manager for a Montgomery Ward store.  She was discovered that the store manager was embezzling money.  She reported it, and he was arrested.
It was fun to stop by and visit her at work====.GENIE:  I never tire of you telling me about my mom through your eyes:)  Still curious..:Did your mom come home from work and then cook dinner or did you all share in that?  Fun to think about you as a boy visiting your mom at work:)====JACK:  We had no car, so she'd walk everywhere (no taking the bus).  She'd stop at the store on the way home to get groceries, carry them home and cook the meal from scratch.  Depending on where we lived, her walk could be at least a mile each way...bad weather, or good.====GENIE:  I’m not surprised to hear that she lived to be 102....all that walking and fresh air and love.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  My grandma always said “Little ears and big eyes are on you,” to my grandpa.  He never said a bad or unkind word as long as I can remember.  Neither did my grandma.  But my other grandma, my dad's mom was something else!  She would whistle and when the gophers stuck their heads out of their holes, she’d shoot them.  The holes were real dangers in her field.  ====JACK:  Your dad's mom reminds me of Mammy Yokum.  Have you ever heard of her?  And, BTW, do you remember singing this song:

(VS 1) Oh, be careful little ears, what you hear (repeat)
For the Father Up above,
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little ears
what you hear.

(VS 2) Oh, be careful little eyes, what you see, (repeat)
For the Father up above,
is looking down in love,
So be careful little eyes
What you hear.

(VS 3) Oh, be careful little mouth, what you say, (repeat),
For the Father up above,
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little
mouth what you say.

(VS 4) Oh, be careful little hands, what you do (repeat),
For the Father up above,
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little hands
What you do

(VS 5) Oh, be careful little feet where you go (repeat)
For the Father up above,
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little feet,
Where you go.

(VS 6) Oh, be careful little mind what you think (repeat)
For the Father up above,
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little mind,
What you think.

(VS 7) Oh, be careful little heart what you love (repeat)
For the Father up above,
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little heart,
What you love.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  A good education is certainly a bonus, and how fortunate we are if we were among the few to receive one!  My mom had to give up her teaching job when she married, as during and right after the great depression, wives couldn't work if husbands had a job! But tho she was supportive of our many endeavors, she didn't push or shove...she taught Jan and I and our friends how to play bridge (which most of us enjoyed all our adult lives) and saw that we had singing lessons when we began performing (modestly priced in those days!) and she and dad honed our  tennis and swimming skills, so we made the teams, and became life guards for summer jobs. We never had alcohol in the house, which I didn't notice until I started spending overnights with friends! So never took up drinking, and neither parent smoked, so we didn't do that either.  I enjoyed the Rob't. Fulghum books and essays when I was parenting.  For sure our kids watch and assimilate our values, mannerisms and morals; Hopefully, that is a good things, even tho we aren't always excellent icons!
Power on, Parents!====JACK:  Didn't you ever sneak a smoke?  My dad "rolled his own."  That wasn't for me.  Examples can work both ways.  "I'm going to be like that," or "I'm never going to be like that."  ...and remember...that "the Father up above is looking down in love."

FROM TARMART REV:  A very good thought to ponder and reflect upon this morning. ====JACK:  Did you have a pushy mom...or even a pushy Church Council?=====REV:  One “pushy” church Board . . . Mother loving and gracious to put up with outgoing personality of a son . . . Dad on the road selling for many years and home on the weekends.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 1/22/18
“Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise at the right time.”  (Theodore Roosevelt)  How often have you heard (or said): Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda?  An article in Psychology Today asks, What is the worst emotion you can imagine?  Sadness, or maybe, fear, anger, frustration?  The P.T. writer claims that it’s, regret.  How often have you said, “If only..?”  Missed chances are a bane.  However, the upside is: “At least I tried!”  Next time…”I think I can, I know I can.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  Must be referring to the Minnesota Viking fans this morning, Jack?!?! ====JACK:  In Minnesota today, it's probably a combination...sadness, anger, frustration AND regret ...  over what coulda and shoulda been.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Reminds me of the little engine that could which was my favorite 📚 years and which I have become reacquainted with my 👍 grandchildren ====JACK:  We have a book of Grimm's Fairy Tales.  After a re-reading, some of those tales are pretty grim.====SHIRL:  Some were downright scary especially the big bad wolf====JACK:  ...and even Hansel and Gretel.  A bloodthirsty witch wants to capture them, cook them and eat them.  A children's story?

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Hindsight always seems to be 20/20.  Someone once asked me if I regretted not staying in the military.  I had given it serious thought.  But then I would have never met my first wife, had my daughter, or met my current wife.  Wouldn't trade that for anything.  Sometimes I think God has a grand plan, and that the saying "things happen for a reason" is part of that.  Can be confusing.........grand plan, free will,....?????====JACK:  I have problems with life being according to God's plan.  It takes away personal responsibility (free-will).  You may have no regrets, as do I.  But, I know of others who live in remorse..."If only...."RS:  I have plenty of's just that some decisions, if different, would have placed me on a totally different path in life.  When I look at the regrets I hope it's so I can make better choices in the future.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Ah regret!  Most people have things they regret...I know I do.  Regret would be my worst emotion because you can get over fear, sadness, anger but regret stays with you. ====JACK:  Whatever the feeling...there's a time to let go and to move on.  Sometimes, easier said than done.====JUDY:  It is, especially when you lose a beloved one.  Also keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

FROM JB:  I the worst emotion is sadness when it is paired with loss of hope. It quietly eats away at who you are and/or who you can become. Anger, frustration and sometimes fear will frequently move a person to do something (many times the wrong thing), but a sad and hopeless person can disappear from view and because they are not seen - no one helps.====JACK:  Psychologists have their opinions, usually based on professional studies, but our feelings are our feelings, regardless of how others might feel.  If it's sadness, it's sadness.  If it's regret, it's regret. 

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I don't know that this ties in with WW today (tho I think they are probably true) but the words of Alexander Solzhenitsyn defines  the line that deals with regrets: "The line separating Good and Evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties, either---but right through every human heart---and through ALL human hearts."  We all seem have intrinsic knowledge of good and evil, but  sometimes justify the latter, for whatever reason.  Wisdom, which is the wise use of knowledge, surely does come with age, for most of us! ====JACK:  A case can be made to see emotions as a good thing.  Feelings are important.  The problem comes when we become obsessed those feelings.  "Let it go!"

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  there is a joke Jack about a fellow who was dying and he called the Viking head office to ask if 6 Vikings could be at his funeral.  when asked why he wanted 6 Vikings to come to  his funeral, he said,  "all my life the Vikings have let me down so it is only fitting that they let me down one last time!".  i think this pretty much says it all.   but it was a good run, as they say.  just not enuff "juice" to get them to the finish line====JACK:  It's only a game.  There's always next year.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 1/19/18
“Only the mediocre are always at their best.”  (Jean Giraudoux)  I like the sound of, mediocre, but I don’t like what it stands for…less than the best.  In school, under the pressure of time (and laziness), I was mediocre.  I’ll always be thankful for the teacher who looked at my test grade and said, “Jack, you can do better than this.”  Now, even as I write the Winning Words, I often use “delete” in order to write them better.  Life deserves the same attention from us.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Who is to say what mediocre is?====JACK:  The teacher's grade mark describes mediocre.  Grades never seemed to challenge me.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  you were mediocre? seriously? kids! school is wasted on them... ====JACK:  Your father never remembered me for getting good grades...but he never forgot my mischievousness.====LIZ:  i’d have thought you were an A student... but you were one of the fun kids! me, too.   i got As if i were so inclined, but somehow i always aced tests... that’s what got me thru!  well, you & i are plenty smart, & i dare say we are excellent writers w/perfect grammar... so there!====JACK:  From my own life, I've learned that what you see does not tell the whole story.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  My mother helped me to learn that it was wise to double check was a great learning....I found her report card from seventh grade and her average in math for the year was 100....which essentially means she didn't make a mistake during the course of the entire year....double checking pays off! ====JACK:  I've kept many of my report cards, but they're not for others to see.  In the Moline Schools grading system, a score of 100 would be labeled, "E," for EXCELLENT!====JOHN:  My mother went to grade school in Sandwich, I'll.    She graduated from Moline High School and Augustana...a good Swede!

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Yes, not just in "achievements" but being the best we can be in our interactions with others.  I find that to be a tough challenge with all of the self-centered and selfish things we can buy in to, and our unwillingness to listen to other points of view and try to understand them.====JACK:  Brainpower is a great asset, but, to me, the ability to interact positively with others is of greater value.  The wrong word at the wrong time can create all kinds of havoc.====RS:  Amen -  think before speaking.====JACK:  I thought that "Hoof and Mouth Disease" was a horse ailment, but it's a human disease.  More common than that virus is one called, "Foot in Mouth Disease."  I've had it a few times.====RS:  Me too - fortunately is not lethal - yet.

FROM JR IN PALM SPRINGS:  my brilliant friend....never in your life time have you ever been "mediocre"====JACK:  Sometimes others have seen me better than I've seen myself, and sometimes I've seen myself better than others have seen me.  As, Pontius Pilate asked Jesus: "What is truth?"

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It’s hard to believe you were ever mediocre!  We all could do better, I know I could.====JACK:  Before WW 2, a German immigrant family joined our church.  The children were very bright and had many successes.  One Sunday, the father stood up and said, "I blame the Church for how our children have turned  out."  Of course, he was giving credit to the Church.  I blame God for helping me to escape mediocrity and live a better life. ====JUDY:  What a wonderful way to give a compliment!  I blame God for helping us get through the trials of this life.  Without him, I would never had made it!  God is good all the times!  Thank you for the memory!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Our child with the highest IQ was not the best student; and was the only one who didn't finish college, (the other 3 went on for Masters) but when he had to "grow up" and support a family, he always held positions that required a college degree, and the last one usually a Masters, so he surpassed Mediocre! He had people skills, and that is so often a requirement for success in the business World.  Mediocre would not be most people's goal in life, but sometimes people get beaten down, and accept it.====JACK:  I know of people who were very discouraged, becaus an A- kept them from getting straight As.  "What did I do wrong?"   I got an A in Phys Ed.  Grades didn't necessarily mean that I was a bad (or even mediocre) student.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 1/18/18
“Sometimes good people make bad choices.  It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad.  It means they’re human.  That’s why God created forgiveness.”  (Unknown)  What’s the use of trying to be good?  Isaiah (64:6) writes: “All our righteous deeds are like filthy rags.”  I grew up in a time when it was thought that good deeds pleased God.  In a sense, they do, but later in life I learned that “heaven” depends on the grace of God, not on being good boys and girls.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  To err is human to forgive is div====JACK:  You seem to know a lot of those adages.  Did you write one on the chalkboard weekly or daily when you were a teacher?  The quote is by the English writer, Alexander Pope, from his poem, An Essay on Criticism.====SHIRL:  It was so much easier for us to grow up rather than being inundated with the crass culture we have these days====JACK:  Maybe it was "easier" in those days, because we were taught to obey and believe without questioning.  Today may be harder, but I choose progress.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  all we can do is try. we were created to make choices, and learn from mistakes.====JACK:  When I was in school, back in the days when we used a pencil and paper, the eraser would wear out before the rest of the pencil.  I looked it up...Hymen Lipman got the first patent for attaching an eraser to a pencil on March 30, 1858.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  When you sent our this email, I was in the midst of completing this week's Champions Bible Study. Its a small world.  Do you get a good night's sleep?====JACK:  I've been doing this so long, it's become a habit.  I wake up in the middle of the night, go to the computer for a half hour, stagger back to bed and "think about stuff" for another half hour.  Then I tell God, "It's up to you," and he puts me to sleep.  ...and speaking of mistakes, How about the defensive back who missed the tackle on the final play of the Vikings/Saints football game?  I read that he cried afterward in the locker room.  I'm sure that some Saints gathered around to comfort him.

FROM TARMART REV: . . . being a good boy did give me less spankings though, when growing up!! ====JACK:  Spankings were part of my growing up years...until I was able to run faster than my dad.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Grace is a hard concept, since all of our culture points to "good or hard work is rewarded": Our Educational system, Business world, the Military, etc. You EARN your promotions and rewards, but in our Faith
system, you don't earn "Heaven" by your hard work or good do loving service to others in response to God's forgiveness,. unconditional love, and salvation by Grace!  Our "job" is to share the love of God to ALL me meet...Which, being human, we do not always fulfill...! Therefore the wisdom of today's WW!====JACK:  Recently, I was thinking of "The Rich Man and Lazarus" story from the Bible and applying it to Donald Trump and his "s-hole" remark.  Then it occurred to me -- I'm acting like the Pharisee when he prayed, "I'm not like this (Re) publican."  It is sooo hard to be a Christian, but the reward is sooo great!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How true these words are!  Our family has suffered so much because of one members bad choice.  But, we also know they are not bad at all but did something bad.  Thank our good and merciful Father for forgiveness.====JACK:  Have you ever come across this poem written by Marguerite Ogden Bigelow Wilkinson?
“I never cut my neighbor's throat;  My neighbor's gold I never stole;
I never spoiled his house and land;  But God have mercy on my soul!
For I am haunted night and day  By all the deeds I have not done;
O unattempted loveliness!  O costly valor never won!”
====JUDY:  No but I love it!!  And oh how true!

J.K. ROWLING:   "It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all -- in which case, you fail by default."

FROM JE: This is so true. So many weird things happening as we start this year.  I hope our society is not getting numb to these wrongs. I pray our country, state and local communities can stay committed to value and morals that respect life, uplifting actions that display dignity and pass legislation that demonstrates care for all people and human life.  Thanks Jack for your WW and optimism.====JACK:  Legislation is one step, but example is a more important step, starting with POTUS and going on down to all who are referred to as, leaders.  But it goes even further than that, to those who are looked up as, Godly.  I am not dismayed, because I believe that, ultimately, "this is my Father's world."====JE:  Absolutely – it is “our Father’s world.” He will have the last word. FAITH.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good words, Jack.   i just had breakfast the other day with a friend who is very unclear about God's grace-filled ways.  i just forwarded you WW to him.  he is Canadian so that may explain some things about him:):):)====JACK:  We have a hard time letting go of works-righteousness.  Listen to the typical eulogy at a funeral.  Even harder accept grace.  Do you remember Toplady's hymn?
Not the labor of my hands  Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,  Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;  Thou must save, and Thou alone.
Nothing in my hand I bring,  Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;  Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;  Wash me, Savior, or I die.
====PAUL:  i have a talk i give on M. Luther and the Reformation and i quote this hymn often.  it kind of says it all, no?   NOTHING in my hands i bring...  Grace Alone, Faith Alone,  Word Alone.   the Law we readily get as it is written on our hearts.  its the Gospel we struggle with because the news seems too good to be true!! ====JACK:  We’ve heard the Luther Story so often, it tends to become the old, old story that we know so well.  But imagine the impact of the story on the people of his day who had never heard it before.  WOW!====PAUL:  sooo true.  many of our confirmands at sotv got M. Luther and Martin Luther King, Jr. ALL mixed up.  both great men but with rather different messages and ministries.  yes,  today you never want to take anything for granted when teaching.   even at the seminary,  Jack,  they have a VERY basic class in the Bible because some of the incoming students know sooo little of the biblical narrative.   i was watching Jeopardy on TV one day a few years back and the question was to identify Judas from the Bible story.  not one of the contestants knew who he was!!!  another time they quoted a portion of the Lord's Prayer and the contestant said, "that was Shakespeare"   uffda,  we have work to do as a church!!  blessings and go Vikings today

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 1/17/18
“The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.”  (Oliver Wendell Holmes)  Marketers are very interested in studying the behavior of various generations.  Today’s focus is mainly on “What makes the Millennials tick?”  Surprisingly, these 3, Boomers, Xers and Ms have more in common, than expected.  They all like blog articles, e-books and dislike white papers.  Give them short-stuff.  It even shows in a preference for shorter sermons.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I like all of them variety is the spice of life.====JACK:  As a member of "The Greatest Generation," your opinion is very much respected...However, as the number of GGers continues to shrink, their statistical influence continues to shrink, as well.====SHIRL:  Our young polish priest is always short and right on point and always includes some humor and historical fact new he is from Chicago ====JACK:  And you like him, don't you?  Which makes my point.  "You don't put new wine in old wineskins," said Jesus.Yes he certainly understands what life holds for everyone ⛪️⛪️⛪️====JACK:  Some criticize priests and their comments on marriage, because they've never been married.  But most of them have grown up in a family and have observed and made judgment on what works and what doesn't work.  Good sense or non-sense is not the possession of any age group or any religion.

FROM TARMART REV:  Very true . . . with shorter responses.====JACK:  Even letter-writing seems to be a lost art, being replaced by brief e-mails, or even shorter texts.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "It doesn't matter how old you are, or where you're from, manners, kindness, compassion and respect will always be the sign of a decent human being." .I jotted this down from some source and posted it on my PC!  The GG's influence is fading, or at  least in
question by the current gov't leaders. Discouraging to say the least, but I'm still convinced that the majority of us strive to be decent human beings!====JACK:  It's been my observation that many GGers see things in black or white, right or wrong.  They tend not to mess with Mister In-between.  Is that just me?  Millennials seem to be more accepting of "different" people.

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Oh boy…does this mean we’re headed for the shallows rather than the depths?  I hope not!====JACK:  Shallow or deep thinking doesn't depend on the number of words used, but on the choice of the words.

FROM KANSAN DON:  "20 minute Tilly" was which generation?====JACK:  My son and I were just talking about 20-Minute Tillberg today.  Now, he'd probably be known as 10-Minute Tillberg.  When I retired I was doing 12-Minute sermons.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Shorter sermons?  What a surprise.  Our pastor, who has passed away, was always hassled by one fellow is our congregation.  He would hold up his watch when the pastor got to 15 minutes.  I always thought that pastor was very tolerant!====JACK:  A pastor friend of mine had a problem.  The head usher would flash the church ceiling lights on and off when he thought the sermon was getting too long.  The usher was the local funeral director and the church's biggest giver.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 1/16/18
“Have faith, hope, and charity; that’s the way to live successfully.”  (Dale Evans)  Dale and her husband (Roy Rogers) were both very religious people.  Her quote is from a song she wrote, called, “The Bible Told Me So,” based on 1 Corinthians 13:13.  Colin Powell, describing what makes a successful life, says: “Have a plan and be structured…Focus on commitment…Get rid of distractions and negativity…Associate with positive people.”  Maybe it’s a blend.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  For years, especially the couple where I chaired the 150th anniversary of the Nova Scotia Pony Express, I signed correspondence with "Happy Trails".
One night I woke up dreaming about Dale Evans--hadn't thought about her since I listened to the Roy Rogers Show on radio when I was a kid. When I heard the news that morning, Roy Rogers had died.
That's the whole story.====JACK:  Here's an interesting sidelight..."Janis Joplin left a taped recording of Happy Trails as a birthday greeting for John Lennon on October 1, 1970, three days before her death. Lennon, whose birthday was October 9, later told Dick Cavett that her taped greeting arrived at his home after her death."
Some trails are happy ones, Others are blue.
It's the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here's a happy one for you.
Happy trails to you, Until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, Keep smiling until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we're together?
Just sing a song, and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you, Until we meet again.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:   ...and eliminate the negative.====JACK:  Always focus on the positive.

FROM TARMART REV:  Well stated, Jack! ====JACK:  St Paul said it first and said it best.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  How true: You can't surround yourself, or hang out with negative people, and expect to live a positive life!! I have a pillow that says, CHOOSE HAPPY. Often it IS a choice,
and becomes a habit, or way of life!  Even our mourning of lost loved ones can be positive, thankful for the years we had together, rather than bemoaning our loss!  Interesting facts about the Happy Trails song on your blog! I'd forgotten the verse part of that song. So today we'll ride the frigid wintry trail with a positive attitude of gratitude!====JACK:  One of my all-time favorites is Johnny Mercer's, "You Gotta Accent the Positive, Eliminate the Negative."   (You can probably sing it) ====OAKS:  YES! My Sis and I used to sing the chorus of that song in our programs.
Good advice for any time and occasion!

Gather 'round me, everybody  Gather 'round me while I'm preachin'
Feel a sermon comin' on me  The topic will be sin and that's what I'm ag'in'
If you wanna hear my story  The settle back and just sit tight
While I start reviewin'  The attitude of doin' right

You've got to accentuate the positive  Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative  Don't mess with Mister In-Between

You've got to spread joy up to the maximum  Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium's  Liable to walk upon the scene

To illustrate my last remark  Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark
What did they do just when everything looked so dark?

(Man, they said "We'd better accentuate the positive")  ("Eliminate the negative")
("And latch on to the affirmative")  Don't mess with Mister In-Between (No!)
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

You got to ac (yes, yes) -cent-tchu-ate the positive  Eliminate (yes, yes) the negative
And latch (yes, yes) on to the affirmative  Don't mess with Mister In-Between
No, don't mess with Mister In-Between

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Roy and Dale were very special people.  We loved their program and it was one we were always allowed to watch.  Colin Powell lives the life he talks about and in politics that’s rare.  We all need a blend!====JACK:  "Blend-ship, just a perfect friend-ship."

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  that being said, i bet Powell was more than happy to get out of that GW Bush White House!====JACK:  I wonder if the General still identifies with the GOP.

FROM PH:  Interesting. My father (a professional magician) knew both of them. He also was friends with Milky the Clown. Fond memories.====JACK:  Yes, I do remember that your father was a magician...and that you were his assistant.  Do you ever watch The Carbonaro Effect on Tru TV?  He is good, and the show is funny at times.  BTW, are you still collecting for Toastie Toes?

Monday, January 15, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 1/15/18
“We relish our heroes, forgetting that we are extraordinary to someone/”  (Helen Hayes)  Just as “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” so are our heroes.  Lincoln was admired by many, but not by all..  MLK Jr is considered to be an America hero, but not all would agree.  Even Jesus couldn’t reach 100% in terms of admiration.  What do you consider to be the attributes of a hero?  Helen Hayes points out that each of us, in some way, can be heroic to someone.    ;-)  Jack

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Helen lived in nyack on the Hudson and had a book club which met there (I am sure they discussed many heroes) my bridesmaid was a member of the club and an English teacher ====JACK:  Sometimes we forget that "stars" are just ordinary people who read books, who have friends, who discuss topics, who tell jokes and laugh.  It's interesting that you and H.H. had a mutual friend like that.====SHIRL:  Helen Hayes would come to Ann Arbor and read to cappaert's daughter in the iron lung.  lael wrote a book about it "And God said no" Andi died at 28 London while disembarking from a plan she got polio at 2 years in Michigan

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Attributes of a hero?  How about....puts others before themselves, humble, a giver, an example you would want your children to name a few.====JACK:  Something to ponder today....Who has been a hero in my life?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Heroic, definitely in the eye of the beholder! Over the years, Bill became a "hero" in the eyes of the family, and often to his church "family", but he would say, "I wish I was half the guy they think I am!"  We all know we have feet of clay...I don't know that I thought of them as "heroes", but I certainly had people I looked up to, and wanted to emulate, as I grew up.  I'm sure Helen Hayes had a good point: We may not consider ourselves heroic, but we surely are in the eyes of at least a few! That's a bit scary! :-)====JACK:  I certainly remember Bill as a hero at Augustana  College when we were classmates there.  (Reading from the college website) "If a poll were taken to determine Augustana’s all-time greatest athlete, it is almost a certainty that every ballot would at least mention the name of Bill Oaks. During his athletic career at Augustana, Oaks earned 11 varsity letters and was a four year regular in both football and baseball and a three year starter in basketball.  Oaks wasted little time displaying his caliber after arriving at Augustana. As a freshman on the Vikings’ football squad, he was singled out as one of the team’s hardest hitting linemen, despite the fact that he hadn’t even been issued shoulder pad yet because of an equipment shortage! Oaks went on to compile a brilliant football career, which included numerous all-conference and all-state awards. He was named to two Little All-America teams and was signed to play professional football with the Chicago Bears. After breaking into the Bears starting lineup at pulling guard, Oaks’ career was ended by a knee injury.  The talented gridder also held the distinction of being the only three year team captain in Augustana history.  He didn’t limit his talents to the gridiron, however. He stepped into the starting lineup on the Augustana baseball team as a freshman and stayed there for four years, playing every position except shortstop and centerfield. He was a consistent .300 hitter and attracted the attention of several professional teams as a catcher.  Oaks left his mark on the hardcourt as well, where he displayed the same rugged aggressive style of play that exemplified his football career. He was a defensive specialist who readily admitted that there were several times when his points scored in a single game were less than his fouls committed.  Oaks, a 1950 Augustana graduate, went into the ministry after graduation and eventually served as the president of the American Baptist Churches of the Great Rivers Region. He also served on an advisory committee of equal opportunity in education for the state superintendent of instruction."  ...and, he was a great and humble, person, too.  Heroic!  ====OAKS:  WHOO-HOO! That is awesome! I haven't seen that for years and years. Can't remember if that is in his Augie Hall of Fame write up, but I doubt it.  Thanks, Jack!  Bill deserves to be our Hero!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Helen Hayes played Emily Dickenson at the Fox Theatre.  Loved her and the play.    A hero has to be someone willing to sacrifice by action or word, for something or someone.  There are so many people who have changed this world for good or bad who have left a tremendous mark on us all.====JACK:  I think that the greatest heroes of all are the ones who have personally impacted our lives, often in an unsung way.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  Amen! for Helen's insight!====JACK:  The most effective pastors are not necessarily those appearing on TV or those serving the large congregations.  "When the roll is called up yonder," don't be surprised when people come up to you and thank you for your influence upon them.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Is it just the sign of the times or is it something that has always been  so...The hero for some is the despite of others.  I think about this more often than I’d like.  ====JACK:   Please clarify.  Is it despite, or despise? \====PAUL:  Despite  Using it as a noun. ====JACK:  I checked up,,,because it's use in that way seemed questionable.  So...You are tight, but "despite" as a noun is rarely used anymore.  Despise as a noun is also unusual.  I always enjoyed the study of English.

FROM ROBERT:  Sharing for today... "To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing."  (Martin Luther King, Jr)====JACK:  When I would ask Confirmation student who Martin Luther was, almost always they would describe MLK Jr.  It would give me an opportunity to talk about both men and their impact on the Church and the world. 

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I have many of them would be Abe Zlincoln....independent thinker...great athlete....stood up for the fight....married the belle of the ball....tougher things out when he had to....loved to read....incredible human being.....enormous contrast to our present Prez. ====JACK:  Is that a typo?  Or, is there are a real Abe Zlincoln? ====JOHN:  My iPad does that on a regular basis...corrects my when I type in a capital letter...I usually try to change it....must have missed that one

Friday, January 12, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 1/12/18
“While I relish the warm months, winter forms our character and brings out our best.”  (Tom Allen)  What’s your favorite season of the year? – Spring: the smells, colorful gardens, going for walks, trees in bud – Summer: turning on the grill, baseball, going to the beach, the ice cream truck – Autumn: fall colors, football games, bonfires with s’mores, cider and donuts, Halloween – Winter: building snowmen, singing carols, nostalgia, outdoor sports.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Autumn. From when I was in school:  it was NEW BEGINNINGS: New school year, out with classmates (Jr. High, MHS, college), making new friends, new things to do and see, etc.====JACK:  I thought the season was called, Fall, because leaves fall during that time, but I was surprised to learn that "fall" comes from the Old English word feallan which means “to fall or to die.”

FROM SNOWBIRD SANDI:  Nah. 😎 ====JACK:  What was the holiday like in Florida?  I went to Minnesota for Christmas.====SANDI:  It was lovely. So blessed to have this choice! We really love our winters here! Hope you are well and ‘forming your character’ in the Michigan winter! 😎 ====JACK:  To be able to choose...What a great opportunity.  Sometimes we take it for granted.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  it’s all good!====JACK:  It all depends on the view you want to take.  I could have focused on negatives in each of the seasons, because there are negatives all around, if you want to look for them.====LIZ:  spring negatives that are really positives in disguise:
thunderstorms!  too short/fleeting... makes us appreciate spring’s beauty  any other negatives for spring?====JACK:  I hate the "false starts"--nice  one day--then snow--then melting--then rain--then  tornado sirens.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  all year in Florida with air conditioning when necessary otherwise fall would. E second choice====JACK:  Isn't it great that people choose to live in various places in the world.  It would be pretty crowded if everybody tried to live in Tampa.  You'd probably want to move.====SHIRL:  4 million people in 1963 now 20 million and counting====JACK:  That's another good thing about living in the Detroit area.  Comfortable growth.

FROM TARMART REV:  From you posts, it looks like they all are very appealing!!====JACK:  There are times when the unappealing turns out to be appealing...given time and circumstances.

FROM DM IN LIV:  I love them all! 😊====JACK:  I purposely left out the negatives.  "Into each life some rain must fall."  A meaningful life is being able to adjust to change.====DM:  Well, it worked.  As someone who loves summer, I realized how all four season have wonderful offerings thanks to your message.  I do believe that our difficulties and challenges in life help us to appreciate and enjoy the good moments all the more.====JACK:  Griping is an onomatopoeia word.====DM:  LOL, I had to look up onomateopoeia and I agree!  Thank you for your WINNING WORDS! 😊

FROM KF:  all of the above - that's why we love Michigan : )====JACK:  When I lived in Illinois, our community on the Mississippi was called, "The armpit of the nation."

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  i love all seasons...everyday bringing it's surprises and gifts.  i am approaching a new life season.  yesterday i announced my retirement.  bittersweet but excited to see who else "ms.mary" can be.😏====JACK:  I think that with the change of season, you are going to miss how each new class of youngsters will relate to them.  How long have the Lillstroms been related to that school?====MARY:  i think it was spring 1964 when my mom walked in with sarah and asked if she could volunteer help so sarah could have playmates.  the rest of us were in "big school" so we were making new friends.  the rest is "herstory"...our story.  i will miss the marvel of the children in each new day.  i'll have to find a way to keep it alive in me.====JACK:  You know that old saying..."When the door closes, God opens a window."

FROM LP IN SP:  Mine is Fall   I do love the change though – only not today when it is -10 below ====JACK:  College Football in the Fall.  I love it...even more than the pros.====LP:  Me too!  BUT Go Vikings this weekend!  Purple City around here this weekend ====JACK:  Can you imagine what it would be like if the Vikings were to play in the Super Bowl in their own stadium?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: Yes!  All of the seasons are my favorite!  Everyone is special and I love something of them all!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  It's hard to choose, as I would definitely miss the 4 distinct seasons, if I lived where it was always warm and sunny, or cold and dark, but I think Spring and Fall have the edge if I really needed to make a choice!  So blessed to be able to enjoy life in any season!! Our play "Couplings" opens tonight for 3 performances over the weekend at the Playhouse on the Square. I portray an older lady dealing with advancing Alzheimers...(But my "husband" still thinks I'm as beautiful as the day we met! HA!) Thankful to be "clothed and in my right mind!"====JACK:  The gift of "mind" is beyond comprehension.  Why this?  Why that?  Why anything?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 1/11/18
“If you try the best you can, the best you can is good enough.”  (Radiohead)  Who would guess a “morality” quote would come from a rock band, like Radiohead.  Two of their hits were Creep and Hail to the Thief.  But think about it…If you are doing your best at anything, what more can be expected.  My mother-in-law would tell her children, “Just do your best.”  That’s good advice for any leader to his followers…or, should the goal be to reach 110%?    ;-)  Jack

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Just do your best God will do the rest====JACK: Sometime, during my lifespan, I seem  to remember praying before a test.  I don't recall that it improved the test score.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  To define one's best is the problem....maybe we are settling for less than our best but consoling ourselves with the thought that we have really tried our best....JACK:  I can see that "good" and "better" can have qualifying definitions ( good and better that...what?)  But, to me, best is best (finest, greatest, top, foremost, leading, preeminent, premier, prime, first, chief, principal, supreme, of the highest quality, superlative, par excellence, unrivaled, second to none, without equal, nonpareil, unsurpassed, peerless, matchless, unparalleled, unbeaten, unbeatable, optimum, optimal, ultimate, incomparable, ideal, perfect).====JOHN:  The problem is that we don't always know what our own best is.    It is not the word best that needs to be defined but what we need to know is what our best is.   Holcomb really pushed me in debate and I think I did my best there.   I think I did my best in parish ministry.   In some pursuits I think I settled for a best that really wasn't.  ====JACK:  The problem, then, is not with the word, but with the self.  Generally, that's the case with many problems...even with commitment to our God.  It's hard to hear that "our righteousness (best) is as filthy rags."

FROM JLF:  Do your best. I always remember mom saying that.====JACK:  Yes!  I can hear it now...and..."I am who I am."...and another..."Tired!  What's that>  Everybody's tired."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I remember cutting out and saving a column years ago by either Dear Abby, or Ann Landers entitled "Good enough is not good enough". It was very well said, and was a pitch to NOT settle for "Good Enough"...which many do all too often. I'm sure we've all also heard the old adage, "If something is worth doing, It's worth doing well!"  Why spend time in a mediocre effort? But as Quaker once said to me, "Sometimes if God cannot find a hammer to tap the nail into the wall, he'll use the heel of an old shoe."  In other words, God will get his work done, with those who are willing to say yes to the task! I never forgot that!====JACK:  Thanks to Google...          Dear Ann Landers: Our school district believes our schools are pretty good. Students score just barely above the national average on standardized tests, which gives administrators and teachers bragging rights.  To me, the national average is a disgrace, and scoring 0.1 percentage points above that is nothing to be proud of.  Several years ago, you printed a poem by Charles Osgood about a "pretty good student" in a "pretty good school." Please print it again. I hope our school board, teachers and administration see it and take heed.  John in Grand Junction, Colo.
Dear John: Here it is. Thanks for asking. And I hope every student who considers himself or herself "pretty good" will pay attention.
There once was a pretty good student,
Who sat in a pretty good class
And was taught by a pretty good teacher,
Who always let pretty good pass.
He wasn't terrific at reading,
He wasn't a whiz-bang at math.
But for him, education was leading
Straight down a pretty good path.
He didn't find school too exciting,
But he wanted to do pretty well,
And he did have some trouble with writing,
And nobody had taught him to spell.
When doing arithmetic problems,
Pretty good was regarded as fine.
Five plus 5 needn't always add up to be 10,
A pretty good answer was 9.
The pretty good class that he sat in
Was part of a pretty good school.
And the student was not an exception,
On the contrary, he was the rule.
The pretty good school that he went to
Was there in a pretty good town.
And nobody there seemed to notice
He could not tell a verb from a noun.
The pretty good student in fact was
Part of a pretty good mob.
And the first time he knew what he lacked was
When he looked for a pretty good job.
It was then, when he sought a position,
He discovered that life could be tough.
And he soon had a sneaky suspicion
Pretty good might not be good enough.
The pretty good town in our story
Was part of a pretty good state,
Which had pretty good aspirations,
And prayed for a pretty good fate.
There once was a pretty good nation,
Pretty proud of the greatness it had,
Which learned much too late,
If you want to be great,
Pretty good is, in fact, pretty bad.
--"The Osgood File," copyright 1986, CBS Inc.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  Our advice to our daughters was “do the right thing even if no one is looking”====JACK:  "When no one's looking?"  We used to sing this song as Summer Camp:
"He's got his eye on you; He's got his eye on you.
My Lord, sittin' in the kingdom, He's got his eye on you."

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  If you aren't satisfied with what your best is, then one may want to consider exploring how to make your best better.  Been trying to do that with my golf game for awhile. ====JACK:  Our BEST can be a movable target, changing from day to day and circumstance to circumstance.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  “Always strive to be your best”...something I was told growing up.  Great words!====JACK:  Part of the reason for Winning Words is an attempt bu me to reheat some of those adages that have grown cold with time.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  A retired pastor who served the congregation where I grew up in the shortage of pastors after WW II, driving down from Baltimore, MD to Arlington, VA each Sunday, would stand on the chancel step and talk to the children (no hoards of us running up to the steps).  He said, often enough that it became my mantra, "Do your best; angels can do no better."  That has served me well my whole life.  Jimmy Buffett is planning a concert to benefit one of the Caribbean islands, I forget which, in the hurricane aftermath.  Sometimes rock stars are more charitable than we think, most likely among the "spiritual but not religious" (SPNRs).====JACK:  "It's amazing what miracles and little angels and pure love around you can bring out."   (Tionne Watkins)  All the angels are not necessarily found in church-related places.====JAN:  As my best friend would say, "You got that right!"====JACK:  As a child, did you ever sing this song???..."All night, all day, Angels watching over me, my Lord.  All night, all day, Angels watching over me."