Friday, March 30, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/30/18
“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness.”  (J.K. Rowling)  The fear of darkness and the fear of death are common phobias.  Google can tell of ways to meet these fears.  But, a fear more inimical is Xenophobia, the fear of the unfamiliar.  It expresses itself in being suspicious of things and people that are different… “foreign” languages, cultures.  The French have a saying:  Viva la difference, meaning, Live the difference, celebrate the unique.    ;-)  Jack

ROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  When I was in Washington for the march, I visited the holocaust center.  Obviously, an emotional experience.  It was at the end of the visit that made an impression on me that I wasn’t prepared for.  the last exhibit was devoted to Syria and the genocide that is happening there. Obviously, I know what’s happening there, but for the Holocaust Museum To educate us on this and also on the genocide of Armenians by Turkey..made a real impact on me. Then today, Trump contradicts his own Pentagon spokesperson talking about Syria.  It makes me wonder.  Roosevelt was begged to bomb the railroad tracks in Germany and Poland that carried so many people to the death camps.  He refused.  Is that any different than what Trump is doing in Syria?   I’m not a war monger but genocide is going on there with such brutality that it defies understanding.  Just venting a little, Jack====JACK:  I know that attending the Washington March was an emotional experience for you, and the museum visit just added  to that.  Personally I think that it's unfair to compare Trump and FDR.  Different  times and different types of people.  Sometimes leaders face choices that have consequences that the public is not aware of.  It's not a perfect, or then.====PAUL:  Historians have always asked what two different t leaders living at different times would do given the same circumstances. It may be unfair but it makes for interesting books, movies and discussions. ====JACK:  It may help sell books, but it's unreasonable.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  that is why religion seeks to explain the unknown...   et, oui, vive le difference. it would be a boring world if we were all the same, my mom always said.====JACK: It seems a common thing that people seek to know the unknown.  Teachers, for better of worse, seek to fulfill the role of "explainers."  ...and either we learn from what they say, or we don't.  With the passage of time, much of the unknown remains unknown, and we continue to seek.====LIZ:  w/o the unknown it would be a boring story. the vastness of space should keep us occupied for a while... ====JACK:  ...and exploring the human psyche, too.====LIZ:  fascinating stuff!  happy easter...  ====JACK:  Easter is fascinating, too.  Even now, we don;t know the whole story.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Someone should explain xenophobia to President Trump, but it seems none of his staff remain around there long enough to get the message to him.====JACK:  Some people like it that there's never been a President like him.  Others fear that that's true.

FROM LBP:  I don’t like taking about fear. It just makes me feel icky. But I don’t think I have Phobophobia (it’s a thing I just looked it up)====JACK:  Chicken Little was something like that.  I'd rather follow the example of the prophet Job.  In the midst of all of his difficulties, he said (about God): "Though he slay me, yet, will I trust him."

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Wishing you blessings on this Holy Opening Day!  Such a special time when our beautiful traditions coincide; Holy Week & Passover. Ha e a wonderful weekend and a terrific holiday.  Sorry Sister Jean, not this year!====JACK:  I choose to concentrate of the similarities of our religious searches, rather than on our differences....any way to better understand the unknown.  Incidentally, relying on Sister Jean to affect the outcome of a basketball game is about as effective as crossing yourself before shooting a free throw.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:   We definitely fear the unknown.  I'm not a worrier...I will get into an airplane not thinking am I going to die or am I going to get killed in a shoot out at the mall.  I don't fear death at all, but I do fear the way I'm going to or slow.  Poor Jesus suffered a horrible death for us.  I'm not sure ai could do the same...suffering on a cross.====JACK:  When it comes right down to it, who knows what YOU might do for someone you love?  That's the explation of Jesus...and a "what if" in your life, too.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Really we do not know what will happen each day. We just pray that all will be good!====JACK:  Are you a worry wart?

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/29/18
“I don’t wear a watch.  How do I know my time?  I find that someone will always tell me.”  (Michael Patrick King)  Some friends of mine wear an Apple watch which can serve as a GPS, be a health monitor, send/receive voice messages and texts…and play 40 million songs.  It also tells the time.  I like MPK’s idea of not wearing a watch.  Think of all the people you can meet and talk with.  If they’ve got an Apple, ”Can you tell me the time in Madagascar?”    ;-)  Jack 

FROM LBP:  A big source of stress for me is being habitually late. Knowing the time is part of the battle. Appropriately accounting for transition time and not trying to do “one last thing” before I go have been harder to beat.  I recently heard a story of Sandra Day (O’Conner) as a teen on the farm. She was driving lunch to the field and got a flat tire on the truck. After much effort she changed the tire and delivered lunch, but an hour late. Her father was not proud of her for changing the tire but upset that she hadn’t planned ahead for that contingency. Her responsibility was to deliver lunch. All else was irrelevant. I think of this story when I hear myself making excuses for being late, none of which are as unexpected as a flat.  Listen to Was Sandra Day O'Connor Our Last Independent Justice? from Part-Time Genius in Podcasts.  The Apple watch also has an alarm app.  But, you have to remember to set it.  BTW, Sandra D O was a great Justice.  How come we can't seem to find any like her today?====LBP:  My Fitbit tells time and buzzes for morning to get me up and evening to start getting kids to bed.====JACK:  Do you think that if your maternal grandparents would have worn a Fitbit, life would have improved for them?  Maybe!  Let your grandma wear yours for a while and see what it records.====LBP:  My grandpa was a lumberjack and then a diver and then a welder. My grandma was a house keeper and then a volunteer at church camp. Me? I work out of my house at a desk job. I don’t think it’s a Fitbit that is the difference in our lifestyles.====JACK:  Their Fitbits would be off the charts...and, besides, people like them wouldn't have time for gadgets like that.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Old chiming clicks tell the time in this house.  They’re always a few minutes different and I like it like that.  I don’t wear a watch, haven’t for years and years. ====JACK:  I went to a church service where the preacher had an alarm clock in the pulpit.  When it started ringing, he stopped speaking in mid-sentence and said, "Amen."

FROM INDY GENIE:  Ha! “40 million songs”...That’s funny, made me laugh:) Good point about not wearing a watch...another way to connect with people. You sure are good at that.====JACK:  How could I check the length of the pastor's sermon, if I didn't have my watch?

FROM KF:  I don't wear a watch.........I am very grateful that my days are not so time constrained : ) ====JACK:  I've always been a clock-watcher, even in grade school.  However, I've timed my sermons in other ways.  When I see wives giving a poke to their husband's ribs, I know it's time to wrap it up.

FROM FROM GOPHER LYNN:  Well, I must say I do love my Apple watch    However, I still like talking to most anyone!====JACK:  Be sure to turn off the sound when you're at the movies...or in church.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  The watch does not interest me very much. Several family members have them though. I depend upon my bird clock, tv,microwave, and iPhone ====JACK:  I have a watch, produced in Detroit.  It's called, Shinola.  I remember that Shinola was shoe polish.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/28/18
“Names are the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”  (Dale Carnegie) I once knew a woman named, Jewel.  I wonder how she came to have that name?  I’ve known other jewels…Ruby, Crystal, Opal, Pearl and Sapphire (Kingfish’s wife).  The developer of the Lear Jet, named his daughter, Shanda.  People usually like it when someone calls them by name, except when a kid hears his mom use both his first and middle names in a loud voice.    ;-)  Jack

FROM SF:  I heard a child describe his favorite teacher this way: “She smiles whenever she says my name.”  So easy to make someone feel special, huh?====JACK:  What a great little story!  It's hard to smile when saying, Jack, but not when saying, Sandra.====SF:  Awwww...!

FROM HUNGRY HOPWIE:  We asked Jonah what he thought we should name his baby sister. He thought a moment and said. Flower.  So that’s what Sue and I have been calling her for about  3 months now. I am sure her parents have other names in mind ====JACK:  I vote for Suzy.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Cute!!!====JACK:  Paulette is cure!

FROM LBP:  So many thoughts ... reverence to the name of the lord in recent Bible studies ... picking names of my kids ... people saying my name wrong ... the fact that my name is suddenly popular for little kids so I hear it (sometimes with middle names) at grocery stores and parks ... picking names for my kids ... trying to say other people’s names right especially when they come from an alphabet that is unfamiliar to my tongue ... so much in those few syllables that identify us as individuals! ====JACK:  Son, David Merrill was named after a cousin with the same name who died as a child.  Merrill is the name of the city where he was born.  My sister was born in Oskaloosa, so she was 2nd named after her Aunt Ruth.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I guess we preferred the common names Thomas Ann Susan Jeannie and Nancy! We had five girls in our 6th grade class and four were Shirley’s. That is why we were called by our last names.====JACK:  Common names in 6th Grade...Don. Tom, Gerald, Bob (2), Earl, Jack (2), Harold, , Arnold, Roy and a Carlos====SHIRL:  In the ninth grade we had a group which we named the five vacuums-Mary hauberg, Shirley Kennedy, me, Jackie tucker, and Doris Murray. Mostly we just had fun and lots of different experiences====JACK:  I was on a couple of basketball teams at the Y...the Eega Beevas and the Shooting Stars.  It was fun to make up names.  There was also a team, the YMCA Bullets.  That wouldn't be acceptable today.

FROM JAN IN PALM SPRINGS:  this really made me laugh and bring back fond memories...when I heard my Mother say "Janet Marie", I knew I was in trouble.   XXOO====JACK:  In spite of the one or two name-calling, I could run faster than my dad.====JR:  BUT we were just good kids....XXOO ====JACK:  Maybe you were....

====LAILA: Did you know my folks considered naming me Sarah? I didn’t until I was grown up. Unknowingly, when I was a kid I sometimes wished my name was Sarah. A nice “normal” name. I like my name, but I still use a variant of Sarah when I want an alias :) ====JACK:  O, so you're the Siri everyone talks about.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We knew we were in trouble when we heard our first full name, middle name and last name said my our mom!!  I still say it sometimes!====JUDY:  Does that mean that you were sometimes a naughty little girl?

FROM KF:  "A Rose by any other name would smell As sweet" : ))) also "Stephanotis" flower = Stephanie...a gardener mom! I wanted to name Rose "Lily"... But Lilly Fillipp = too many L's...... ====JACK:  When our first daughter was born, I was the pastor of three congregations, Bethlehem, Bethany and Bethel.  That's how we came up with Beth for her name.  Officially it's Elizabeth, but to family and friends, it's Beth.====KF:  we have two Elizabeths and a Beth in my family; Rose is Rose Elizabeth!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  HA! You'd better listen up when that happened!  Ah yes, I remember it well....====JACK:  How could your mom tell which twin she was yelling at?  We have twins (mid-30s) in our church.  Last Sunday, I got them mixed and asked the father how he tells them apart.  He responded, "I can't!"

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/27/18
“Everything becomes interesting if you look at it long enough.”  (Gustave Flaubert)  Have you ever had a staring contest with someone, to see whose will was strongest?  YouTube shows a   series of such contests, some with sports-like commentary.  A science teacher had her students stare at the flame of a Bunsen burner for several minutes and write down all the things they saw.  Why not choose an object (or person) today?  Stare at it and write down what you see.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I am reading Walter Isaacson's bio of Leonardo da'Vinci.   He would stare St things so closely that he would be able to notice tiny details like the difference in size of butterfly wings.   In debate at Augie we would concentrate on cases so hard in order to find the actually worked.   Now I am more of a casual observer....too lazy to stare anymore.   Just enjoying. ====JACK:  When I begin writing my Winning Words for the week, I often stare at the quotes, seeking ideas and inspiration for what I should write.  Today's WWs are a result of that.  If I were still in the preaching business, I might stare at the text for a while each week before starting to write.

FROM WALMART REV:  Reminds me of one of my favorite older church choruses, Turn Your Eyes on Jesus...Turn your eyes on Jesus,  Look full in His Wonderful Face,  And the things of earth  Will grow strangely dim  In the light of His Glory and Grace ====JACK:  ...or another: "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross."

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  Marina Abromovic  is a performance artist who, for one of her events,  sat in a room,  on a chair, nude, without moving or talking for 24 hours, with a chair facing her. She invited the public, one at a time, to  sit in the open chair and  just stare back at her.  She has an installation at the DIA, it’s a 13 minute video in a continuous loop of her in an old kitchen holding a round deep container full of milk. This is symbolic both the location and the milk====JACK:  When I viisit the Detroit Institute of Arts I often see people standing in front of a piece of art for what seems to be a long time, just staring.  I'm going to try that next time.  I don't know that I'd be bold enough to sit in Marina's chair.====HOWIE:  When you want to visit the DIA again tell me I can be your docent.====JACK:  Will Marina be there?====HOWIE:  The 13 min video of her is on permanent display

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  We use to have staring contests growing up, especially during car rides to Merrill ====JACK:  What if Trump and Kim Jong un sat across from each other and...instead of talking about nukes, would have a staring contest to see who would blink first.  The world would be a safer place.====LYNN:  LOL – you betcha!

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  especially the dandelion.   one of the most beautiful intricate flowers. ====JACK:  Even as we age, we mimic the dandelion as it ages....if we keep our hair.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/26/18
“Big sweeping life changes really boil down to small, everyday decisions.”  (Ali Vincent)  In meteorology it’s called, The Butterfly Effect…how small changes in a weather system can cause big variations.  That’s why forecasts aren’t always correct.  A news article last week told how regular small eating and exercise habits can make a big difference in health.  Even by repeating  “Eat Less, Exercise More,” can help.  I’m working on “Mess Less, Pick up More.”    ;-)  Jack
ROM GOPHER LYNN:  LOL – I can’t imagine you make much mess ====JACK:  You should see how fast I can un-mess the house when I get a call that  someone's stopping by,,,soon.  Has it ever happened to you?====LYNN:  YES – my house is always messy because we live in it

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  Talk less, listen more====JACK:  I hear you!

FROM DOWN ON THE FARM:  A good reminder for Monday morning... Good teachers (or mentors) help learners break, seemingly insurmountable tasks into smaller, more manageable parts. We are creatures of habit. Start a good habit, today!"====JACK:  Jesus summarized the Ten Commandments into one..."You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY: How about “Complain less....”====JACK: I wouldn't make a fuss
about that!====JUDY: Oh but I complain too much about the pain I experience and no one wants
to or needs to hear it. But, I’ll tell ya if ya want to hear about it! lol

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: I love 💗 the one talk less, listen more====JACK: With the passing of
time sermons have become shorter. When I began preaching, 20 minute sermons were considered
to be short. Now, I've noticed them to be around 10 to 12 minutes. I wonder if it's because of our
abbreviated society, guided by iPhones and shortened text messages.

FROM GARY: As you and I know, knowing names of the flock and those important to them went a long way in building relationships.====JACK: This is what the Gospel of John says about the Good Shepherd:    "He calls his own sheep by name and leads ...They follow because they are familiar with his voice."  That's part of being a good pastor.  To visit the sick and others in need ia also important.  And so too is preaching an interesting and relevant sermon.  "To comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable!"

Friday, March 23, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/23/18
“I can’t go back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”  (Lewis Carroll)  I remember well how GOP Sen. Everett Dirksen was criticized for changing his vote on an issue.  The only people who don’t change their mind are in a cemetery or a mental institution, was his reply.  The people we meet and the times we experience have a way of changing us.  While I love my yesterdays, I wouldn’t want to be stuck in the past.   Vive la difference!    ;-)  Jack

FROM SF:  So true! I was so shy in my ‘yesterdays’ and could hardly find my voice. Thankfully, that has changed and I really am a different person! (Same in the inside though!)====JACK:  "By the grace of God" the direction of my life changed.  I can't pinpoint a time or situation.  I just know that it happened, and I am grateful.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Wow, didn't know you spoke French!!!!!====JACK:  Whee!

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  his granddaughter, sen howard baker’s daughter, is a college friend... ====JACK:  I'm impressed.  I do seem to remember a Dirksen/Baker connection.  I didn't always agree with Dirksen's politics, but in this instance, I supported him wholeheartedly.  As I recall, bi-partisanship made for better government for all the people in the "olden" days.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Enjoy each day !👍====JACK:  To find enjoyment requires effort... separating the wheat from the chaff.

FROM A VOICE OUT OF THE PAST:  I really enjoy your posts.  Thanks for sharing.====JACK:  Sometimes a WWs' name from the hundreds appears on the screen and surprises me.  Thanks for being in touch.  Do you live both in Canada and the USA?

FROM DOPHER LYNN:  You are right about that!  (The only people who don’t change their mind are in a cemetery or a mental institution.)  Michigan basketball – nice win by them yesterday….they may be a Final Four team!  GO BLUE! ====JACK:  I also hope you're right about Michigan's chances in March Madness.  "One and done" makes it nerve-wracking.

FROM THE SHARK:  Amen my friend.====JACK:  We're on the same page.

FROM A McC:  Agree with all you said.  May he rest in peace.====JACK:  ...and when it comes to judging him, I'll leave that up to the Judge who makes no mistakes.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  We are constantly evolving, so true, both mind and body...I like Dirksen's reply!  Sometimes that takes more courage than NOT changing  ! remember Kissinger 'saying "Nobody will ever win "the battle of the Sexes'. There's just too much fraternizing with the enemy!"  Made me laugh, and was memorable. :-)  Have a good weekend!====JACK:  About not changing... the tombstone which read: "See, I told you I was sick."

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/22/18
“I believe in having an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out.”  (Arthur Hays Sulzberger)  I have mixed feelings about Stephen Hawking.  I admired him for his amazing mind and his ability to “carry on” in spite of physical limitations.  I didn’t always agree with what he had to say…and wondered if his words were colored by “his situation.”  Basically, I believe he just wanted us to “think,” to use our mind to explore new ideas.  I’ll miss his thoughts.    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  but a closed mind squeezes your brain.  i agree abt stephen hawking. he had no explanation as to how he survived w/ALS for 55 yrs... is god trying to remind us that no one knows everything, & there is always hope?====JACK:  I'm reminded of the saying...Some minds are like concrete--all mixed up and permanently set.  For me. Stephen Hawking continues to be an enigma.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  Not knowing what all Stephen Hawking shared with people during his lifetime, one of my younger friends on Facebook posted "Stephen Hawking, 'There is no God'", "God, 'There is no Stephen Hawking'". Somewhere, along the way, I learned from reading some theologian, that actually there is no commandment in the Bible against being an atheist. Being guilty of idolatry certainly but professing no belief in God not. But maybe I misunderstood the whole point in that teaching or the point that was being made by the author. With regards to Stephen Hawking, with the contributions he made during his life, to science and also the people around him, never got the idea that he was self-absorbed or self-centered or was trying to put his time and energy into things that would hurt people. That Facebook post and your WW this morning are making me think, Pastor Freed, and what I am remembering of what I had seen of Stephen Hawking is making me think too. I hope he somehow in God's Plan still "is" with God who created him and loves him.====JACK:  One of the first things I learned in seminary was that you will never be able "unscrew the inscrutable."  Youi can read all the books, use all the words and God will still be beyond our comprehension.  Even Stephen Hawking, with his great mind, could only voice an opinion.  There's a reason for the word, faith, when it comes to God.

FROM WALMART REV:  An interesting gentleman for sure?!====JACK:  I would not expect to find him in church, but I would not be surprised to meet him in Heaven.====REV:  I often said, one of the surprises found in heaven is that we’ll find some there that we thought didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. 0;-)====JACK:  You sound like a "Luther--an."  Martin Luther said that three things will surprise him when he gets to Heaven. 1. He won't see some people he expected to see.  2.  He will see some people he never expected to see.  3.  Most surprising of all...He's there himself.    He was making the point that we (all of us) are saved by grace and not by our works (good deeds).
====REV:  "The best is yet to come!"====JACK:  Does the best include bowling, car racing and all the stuff that makes for fun here on earth? ====REV:  Thinking of something out of this world, actually!====JACK:  Is it possible to think of the unthinkable? "...To dream the impossible dream.  This is my quest!"

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  Another good message.  I had never heard of Stephen Hawking before his death (hard to believe – right?), but now may have to pick up A Brief History in Time.====JACK:  I'll have to see if our library has it.  I also plan to read a few reviews.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My grandson said that, too, awhile back, "Don't be so Open minded that You're brains fall out!" :-)  I was SO amazed that Hawking could survive Lou Gherig's disease for over 50 years. Never heard anything close to that, although my good friend battled it for over 20 yrs.
When I think of Stephen Hawking, I think of Jesus' saying to his disciples, after the rich young "ruler' walked away, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle, than for a rich man to enter Heaven", and immediately amended it with, "But with God, all things are possible." Since he knows
us so completely, I'm glad He's the one who judges...!  S.Hawking was admirable in many ways, and certainly had an awesome scientific mind, able to translate what he knew so laymen could grasp it! ====JACK:  Interestingly...the quote that comes to my mind is this...“Don't judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.”

FROM STARRY KNIGHT:  I didn't like that he was an atheist*****====JACK:  First, you have to know what he meant by "atheist."  The same word has different meanings for different people.  He also said, "I am not religious in the normal sense of the word."  There are many Christians today who would not identify with the Evangelical Christians.  That does not mean that they are not Evangelical or Christian.  You have to sit  down face to face with a person to get an understanding of their beliefs, and, even then, words can cause a confusion.  Saint Paul writes in Romans..."Who has known the mind of God?"  Be sure to read today's blog responses.

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  he also said on more than one occasion that religion and faith were for people who were afraid of the dark and who believed in fairy tales.    interesting to me that both he and Carl Sagan who studied the grand mysteries of the universe were also so unimpressed with WHO was behind it all.====JACK:  The only conceptual WHO that we have is Jesus.  It's harder to figure out the limitless spiritual God, just it's hard to get a handle on limitless space or limitless anything.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It’s sad we have lost a brilliant mind.  It’s even more sad that he wasn’t a believer.====JACK:  I wonder what my concept of God would be if I had ALS and was confined to a chair for half a century?====JUDY:  ====JUDY:  We have two friends with ALS.  Tony is 67 and a devoted Catholic.  He has been in an experimental Drug for 11 years.  He trains horses and farms.  Our other friend in Frank.  He’s in his late 40’s with three kids: one on college, one very ill with crony’s disease and on 14.  Frank and Gail and the kids came to many of our Easter, Thanksgivings and family parties.  Frank and Gail are devoted Christians also.  They rely on faith and grace to get them through.  I really wonder what Hawkins did to get him through?!?====JACK:  We each stand alone before God...who knows all, who understands all.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/21/18
“If you have a life and a garden, you have everything.”  (Cicero)  When all else fails, one of the ways to disparage other people is to yell, “Get a life!”  OK, what is “a life” for you?  What is it that inspires you…that makes you want to get out of bed each day?  Cicero evidently saw his garden as one of those things.  For me, it’s going to the computer and magically getting in touch with people,,,family and friends.  YOU inspire me!  After that, it’s a cup of Sumatra.    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  👍====JACK:  I like the "thumbs up," and what is it that you like?

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  I’m a Caribou Coffee person myself – but love a good cup of JAVA! ====JACK:  I liked Caribou, too, but they pulled out of our area...I think they had some financial difficulties.  Sumatra is a dark roast...not for "breakfast blend" people.  We'd appreciate a few March Madness cheers for the Wolverines.

FROM JE IN WLCSD:  – the cup of Sumatra and some dark chocolate. I agree with Cicero – life and a garden -- just wish the gardening season would start. I love seeing my iris and poppies come up and especially my forsythia, lilacs and azaleas blooming. And of course, my magnolia tree!!! What inspires me is authentic people helping others. That’s why I love our principals and teachers who really care about kids and families. Thanks for reminding me how blessed I am. We are coming up to Holy Week and I have a lot to confess and to be thankful for.  Take care Jack – spring weather is coming – I feel it!!!====JACK:  The cycle of seasons is so pronounced in Michigan...people enjoying the summer and complaining about the heat, enjoying the fall and complaining about cold days, enjoying winter sports and a white Christmas and complaining about the snow and below zero temps, enjoying the melting snow and the budding trees and plants and complaining about the potholes.  Each year, it's the same song.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Could not agree more. And you inspire me everyday.  I just sent sent a message to a friend who has not communicated with me since the Trump election as they are strong liberals. I asked to have lunch soon to talk about family and laugh together over all the things we enjoy together,. Life is short and my father was my inspiration regarding the simply things are the best to be appreciated and enjoyed. A nice meal a glass of wine and laughter with friends an people you care about. My dad Never would dwell on disagreements but rather happy relationships. That is why he NEVER and I mean NEVER had an enemy. I only wish I was that good.  Thanks Pastor for charging my batteries.====JACK:  How did you acquire your "salesman-type" personality?  Was it from a parent/grandparent?  It's interesting how some basic qualities become part of our persona.  There's only ONE RJP that I know of.  God must have thrown away the mold.====RJP:  Thank you, I think??? I have always said good salesmen have one quality in common. Not personality but integrity. That is what shows through to customers. I would like to believe  have that quality. But I do appreciate that there was only ONE MOLD, however God improved it greatly when he made my an incredibly good, generous salesman and a special man of faith.====JACK:  In The Music Man it was said about Harold Hill that he was a good salesman, because "he knew the territory."  He knew what the people wanted to make them happy, and it was his job to make them happy.  Some thought he didn't have the ingredient you mentioned....integrity.  But, he changed.

FROM STARRY KNIGHT:  I'm glad you have that and that we inspire you back because you surely inspire hundreds of people every day!!====JACK:  What a difference the years can make.  When I retired in 1992 I never dreamed that I would still be preaching today, in a new way, reaching far more people every day that I ever did once a week preaching in a pulpit.====SK:  Wow... that is truly amazing and remarkable! And wonderful!!!!!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Just enjoying each beautiful day and my family and friends. Everyone knows that I have no green thumb and I get lots of artificial flowers====JACK:  Does the everyday blooming season in Floria ever get boring?====SHIRL:  Not to me but I am very thankful for air conditioning when summer comes although we have had lots of 80 degree days this winter ====JACK:  Sometimes we use A/C in the summer, too.  No 80 degrees this winter for us.  ====SHIRL:  It snowed on may 23 or 26 in Ann Arbor the year we moved to Tampa-1963 ====JACK:  Snow in Michigan in May...Not that unusual.  It keeps the heat away.

FROM SANDY IN MICHIGAN:  Thank you for your “Winning Words,” Pastor Freed. They are a faith-filled way to start the day.====JACK:  I remember the morning glories that bloomed in our yard.  The flowers close at night and miraculously reopen in the morning...something like my lifestyle with WWs.

FROM LBP:  It’s a good question to reflect on. Getting caught in the day-to-day can make life float by. What is important to be doing on a bigger time scale? I had my first meeting as a mentor of a junior faculty member yesterday and I asked her to think about what she wanted her career to look like in 5 years so we can work back and make sure she is taking steps to get there and not just meandering.  Afterward it got me thinking ... what do I want my career to look like in 5 years? ... hmmm ...====JACK:  I've often advised Pastor friends to re-examine their ministry every 3 to 5 years/  People change.  Situations change.  A regular review of our personal life is a good idea, too

FROM DB:  I like this , Jack!  Gardening is one of my favorite things. English Gardens has cold-tolerant pansies on sale right now.  Nothing says Spring like pansies on the porch (I also like daffodils, too).  I would like to learn the fine arts of Pruning and Rose propagation!====JACK:  Jack-in-the-Pulpit is one of my favorite flowers.====DB:  Yes, I agree, those are really fascinating!
LOL Jack in the "pulpit" are Jack, and where does a Pastor stand? (in the pulpit!)  😊

FROM BEECEE:  Had to look up Sumatra! Assumed it was coffee, but wondered about it. Am meeting Lynn at Starbucks this morning. Maybe I’ll get a cup of Sumatra!====JACK:  It ain't for everyone, but I like my coffee strong.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Family, friends, good books, meaningful work (or volunteering, at this point!,) and yes!  a good cup of coffee is right up there ! :-) Great music is, too. driving to Chicago this weekend to enjoy Chicago Chorale's Requiem, by Mozart. Sarah will be performing in it. Always awesome music!====JACK:  As the old saying goes:  You don't let any grass grown under your feet.  How long has it been since you've heard someone say that?

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Pardon me, Cicero, but I think it should be "If you have a wife and a garden, you have everything."  At least that was what made my life really satisfying.  And what makes me want to get out of bed every day...well, to have breakfast.  It's one of my great pleasures to have a good breakfast every day, sitting across from that wife I mentioned above.  And a cup of Sumatra magnifies the pleasure.  I hope everyone manages to "get [such] a life!"====JACK:  Much has been written about much that we hardly know that his was married to Terentia (a modern day feminist)  Their long marriage was not exactly a happy one.   I don't think that they did much sitting across from one another, drinking Sumatra.  Hers is an interesting story.====RI:  You have an uncanny grasp of so much diverse information.  I'm going to make you my "go to guy" when I'm stymied by something.  You always have some little gem of knowledge to share with everyone.
About breakfast and a cuppa joe, if Hiroko chose to sleep in every so often, I always had a fall-back meet you for breakfast at ____________(now what was the name of that place)?====JACK: I think that the coffee shop we went to was Joey’s, now named the Early Bird.  Talk Times with friends have happened in many places through the years…Cozy Corner, Franks, Ellens, Sunnys, Leezas, the Purple Pickle, the Maple House, the Gallery, the Ram’s Horn, Leos, the Palace, Big Boy, Tim Hortons, Boskos, the Scrambler, Dawn Donuts, Dunkin’s Donuts, Starbucks, Einstein’s, Caribou, Skippers….WOW!  That’s a lot of coffee and a lot of talk and a lot of friends.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  When I’m able, I enjoy make my cards for friends and family, scrapping our trips and days with the family and working in my gardens.    And...reading your daily inspirational and thought provoking words.====JACK:  Is your farm a farm in name only, or do you raise crops?  Is your garden for flowers or vegetables or both?

FROM INDY GENIE:  I love spending time in my garden....can’t wait for the hastas to start peeking up! I’m like a kid ....I get really dirty...head to toe! And I love the first sip of the first cup of coffee in the morning! (The following sips are good too)====JACK:  I'm not a gardener, but I love what the gardens produce, the flowers and the vegetables (especially the tomatoes for the BLTs).  That's right, you only eat LTs (or is that your sisters?)====GENIE:  Oh no...I go all the way BLT! That is one of my favorite parts of summer...a REAL tomato plus the B and L:)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/20.18
“The wolf will lie down with the lamb…and a little child shall lead them.”  (Isaiah 11:6)  It has been said that a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement was the Children’s March.  I sense that a similar turning point in our country’s polarization happened with the Children’s Walkout following the Parkland shooting.  Something has to be done…and a little child shall lead them.  It the wolf is ever to lie down with the lamb…follow the children!    ;-)  Jack

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Sad that these students have become pawns for a political movement when 90 % of them have no knowledge of the constitution, or guns, or the laws that exist. Interview any average student of that age and it becomes frightening that we see they are involved in the mob mentality. Look who is funding the march...... Soros, Clooney etc. Look who is speaking , Bernie Saunders and he is escorted by armed guards. Hypocracy looms large. We can have a conversation but this is not about human rights, but rather the Law. We are a nation of laws and mob mentality is what the founders tried to prevent. I remember when I led a group in college to demand things of the administration. I became disillusioned when I realized that many joined because it was neat to do, not because of conviction. Instead of this we need to bring discipline, faith and balance back to the classroom and society. Where are the rights of the students who elect not to march and are disciplined for not participating? We also need to remove radical teachers who are poisoning our youth. Yes this may be a turning point but not necessarily what we expect.====JACK:  Well, you have expressed your opinion, and the students have expressed theirs, and since all of you are in America, all of you have a right to say what you want to say.  Regardless, I think that all of us want violence (gun or all other) to end.  Adults don't seen to be doing a very good job of solving the problem; maybe it's time to listen to the children.  What do you think Isaiah meant when he said, "A little child shall lead them?"====RJP:  I agree the Christ child shall lead us that is why we need Christ back.  We need to hear the call. Parkland could have been prevented by school officials, FBI, and law enforcement. and it had nothing to do with guns. You know  I do not own one, but  lets just enforce laws we have.

FROM YOOPER BOB:  Amen, Jack.    Good insight.====JACK:  We'll see if it has "legs."  Every great idea has to have a beginning, and only the future will tell.

FROM JT IN ST JOE:  A hopeful thought====JACK:  FROM JT IN ST JOE:  A hopeful thought====JACK:  Hopefulness beats pessinism (or negativism) every time.

FROM LBP:  Things change so quickly. Society? Views? Culture? Technology? Not from a minute-to-minute perspective but to think of the change in my 40 yrs... my parents 70 yrs ... my grandmas 100 yrs ... I fight against the “this is how we always have done it” and My kids will challenge my ways I’m sure. Hopefully I’ll be open minded enough to hear the new perspectives ====JACK:  Your children are fortunate to have the views of 3 generations in order to gain perspective is shaping their views.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  But the adults still have to act, and with such a super power NRA, it is pretty difficult to change legal gun-buying age, or ban assault weapons, like Australia did, which has had excellent results. Still be admire the youthful zeal, and desire to change things for the better, and hope and pray it results in some positive action!  We "oldies" went through the Civil Rights marches and protests (We marched with King in Chicago and worked hard for change in our communities) and eventually, change did come...Hope springs eternal...====JACK:  The NRA will not be able to stand up to the "push" by the children.  Already the cracks are beginning to show.  In the past the children have relied on the adults to get it done.  That hasn't worked.  The Children's March is something new, and I have the feeling it's going to change things.  Sometimes we're so close to the action that we fail to see it happening.  BTW, the Civil Rights Marches are ancient history, and with the recent rebirth and acceptance of the new racism, the fight resumes.  More than...Once to ev'ry man and nation
Comes the moment to decide,  In the strife of truth and falsehood,  For the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision,  Off'ring each the bloom or blight,  And the choice goes by forever  'Twixt that darkness and that light.====OAKS:  "Once to every man and nation" was Bill's favorite hymn. Sung by our congregation several times a year to coincide with his sermons! ====JACK:  I knew that the mention of that hymn would trigger a response from you.  The point I'm trying to make is that "every generation" has its moment to decide.  The cause can change from time to time, but the choice goes on...for the good or evil side. 

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I do not remember the children’ March in the civil rights movement. I remember the wonderful gathering in Washington in August 1963. We had just moved to Tampa then!====JACK:  Google.....Mighty Times: The Children's March tells the story of how the young people of Birmingham braved arrest, fire hoses, and police dogs in 1963 and brought segregation to its knees. In the spring of 1963.====SHIRL:  I guess that that was a very busy time for our family. I have been to the civil rights museum in Birmingham and the next time I will pay more attention to that time. It is a very large museum

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  those kids are pawns of the liberal factions w/in our government...they just want to get out of class.====JACK:  It seems as though you've made the transition from the idealism of youth to fogeyism.=====LIZ:  i was always a realist, even in my youth... and i would have done anything to get out of class, like all kids!====JACK:  I think that times may have changed since the olden days of almost two generations ago.  For example...the social media.====LIZ:  kids don’t change.====JACK:  Yes, some don't, but it's been my experience that many do...I base my hope for the future on them.

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  i also recall the saying that the wolf will lie down with the lamb but the lamb won't get too much sleep!:)====JACK:  "Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me,  Bless Thy little lamb tonight;  Through the darkness be Thou near me,  Keep me safe till morning light."====PAUL:  was this a bedtime prayer for you as a child??====JACK:  Mary and I used it as a bedtime song for our children.  Mary would sing it softly to herself toward the end of her life.  Read the words again...and see how fitting that was.  A good memory for me.====PAUL:  Comforting indeed.

FROM RUTHIE:  Hi!  This makes me think of my Mom. She always said to love the children. I know she would be so proud of these brave kids,and root them on! I feel the same. Let the children lead us back to the teachings of Jesus! Peace and love!   As always, thanks for your winning wise words ♡====JACK:  It's a shame that when some adults grow up. they lose the sense of what it is to be a child.  I think that there's a difference between being childish and childlike.  Your mom....She was so special!====R:  I agree! The Buddhists say to love each other the way a mother loves her only child. When we think of the child within, it changes the need for judgment, don't you think?
It's good to be child like!====JACK:  We adults need to reread from the Bible,,,Jesus called a little child to stand among them. “Truly I tell you, He said, 'Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'"..and think about what that means.====R:  I agree completely!  I seem to keep crossing paths with "Christians " who twist the words and teachings of Jesus. It challenges me to go back to the bible, to the words of Jesus, and to study and contemplate. ...every day a practice in love, peace, non violence,  non judgment and then there's forgiveness!  Children are pretty good at all of these things :)

FROM JF IN AZ:   I was particularly touched by many of the photos.====JACK:  ...and the words.  I was especially moved by the girl with the cropped hair.  I'm appalled by the politician from Maine who denigrated her.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Couldn't agree more.  Now it's up to us adults to find the ways to support them......all the way to the November elections====JACK:  It will be a huge disappointment if the adults don't follow the leading of the children.====RS:  Agreed - I know I'm on board.====RS:  Already emailed him and our two Senators.====JACK:  Do they ever reply?  with more than a form e-mail?

FROM INDY GENIE:  Emma Gonzalez and 2 other girls were on Rachel may have seen them. The children will lead us for sure! I read that Emma gave her parents a power point presentation about why she wanted them to let her get a “buzz” cut! Amazing, brave, funny, smart, passionate, hard working group ...”follow the child”.====JACK:  Emma is great.  I'm glad that the Maine (female) politician who disparaged her was "forced" to resign...a sign that some sanity is creeping back into the USA.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/19/18
“Be like St. Joseph.  He’s a model for every (teacher and parent).  Children need you to walk beside them in love.”  (Pope Francis)  Today is St. Joseph’s Day, honoring the father of Jesus.  Real Estate people also have an interest in him, because of a legend:  If you bury a statue of Joseph in the yard, the house will sell faster. You can buy a kit, even with burial instructions.  Far more important is the example of Joseph as a good and caring teacher and parent.  So much of what I am today is based on what I learned at home.    ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP:  Huh. I feel like we don’t hear much of Joseph  beyond the nativity. Have you ever preached on Joseph as a father figure?====JACK:  Historically, there's been so much emphasis on the virgin birth, that Joseph has been all but forgotten.  The fact remains that he was there for Jesus as his "father" from birth and through the growing-up years.  I can't remember preaching a sermon on Joseph (until today's WWs).  But is I were still in the Sunday Business, I think that I would do so with no qualms.

FROM TL:  Ah, fond memories…  I love that hymn of Joseph, ”How Can It Be?”  My grandmother always made homemade pasta for the feast of St. Joseph.  Funny, and I’m not sure why, it was always pasta with a 3-bean blend – pasta fagoul.  Always gave me a little gastrointestinal stress, but it never affected my admiration of Joe.====JACK:  I'll have look up that hymn.  Can you hum a few bars, or give me the first line?  Old family traditions are full of memories.  I wonder if it works that way with our children, too?  We should ask them.

FROM MF:  I can say the same Jack. St Joseph's feast day became special to us a few years back
As my Dads passing was near. The family was anticipating when it would finally happen, some hoped for St Patrick's day but Dad held on until the 18th, a more fitting day for such a great father.  ====JACK:  I think I met your father at your retirement party.  Was his name Joseph, or Patrick, or Michael...or some other Irish name?====MF:  He was William Andrew, he did make it to the retirement party, in a wheel chair.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  We certainly have no details about Joseph as a father figure, so it's hard for him to be inspiring, except for the fact that he did remain faithful to raising Jesus.  When our home in Spfld. had been for sale for a few weeks, our devout catholic neighbor brought over a small statue of Joseph and buried it per their ritual in our front yard, and two days later, it sold!  Who knew?! :-)  I didn't know there was a St.Joseph day, but am not surprised. You just hear so much more about Mary!===\JACK:  Most of our historical information about Joseph comes from Catholic writers and artists.  With their emphasis on the virginity of Mary and the miraculous circumstances of the birth of Jesus, Joseph has to be left out of the picture and appears more as a kind of step-father.  Some modern theological interpretations seem to put him in more of the traditional role.  It's interesting that the burial of Joseph "worked" when it came to selling your house.

FROM SPARTY:  Thank you for recognizing St. Joseph's Day.  My father was Joseph, my mother, Josephine and then there's me!====JACK:  Other famous Joes...Biden, DiMaggio, Louis, Pulitzer and Pal Joey.====SPARTY:  And, don't forget about Joey Heatherton.😊

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  and were you not suppose to bury him upside down?   did i dream that or not?   and if it is true,  why bury him in an inverted position?? ====JACK:  He's buried upside down, so that he'll work harder to get out...and with his praying hands directed toward the house.  I read of a woman who had her husband's ashes put into an hour glass.  She turned it over regularly,because she wanted him to work harder in death than he ever did in life.

FROM LJ:  Thanks Jack, we have used the statue of St Joseph on occasion to try to sell a house when it has been on the market longer than the normal selling time expected. Sometimes it does work but not always. Probably I should be present and carefully read the instructions during the burial. A jewish client of mine, married to a Catholic woman, whose house was on the market for a very long time, when it was suggested to him that he coincider such a burial, told us that his wife had buried St Joseph under the sign and nothing happened. Realtors have many St. Joseph stories but I think you have to believe to make it happen.====JACK:  Standing at the basketball free throw line and making the sign of the cross is supposed to make the shot successful.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.====LJ:  So much is mindset at the time you do it.====JACK:  The reason for saying, Bless you!, when a person sneezes....It was thought long ago that when a person sneezed his spirit went out with the sneeze.  It was also believed that there were evil spirits lurking around, seeking to be sucked in with the next breath..  Someone would quickly say, "Bless you!" so the good spirit would enter the person before an evil one.====lj:  Very interesting, I had better be sure there is someone around to say "Bless you" before I sneeze.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Poor Joseph... he has to be buried upside least that’s what I heard.  Our most important learning does happen at home:  morals.====JACK:  Most important thing to be learned at home?  I'd

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Your latest thoughts on st Joseph mysteriously disappeared but he indeed is a perfect role model. I never heard the one about burying him in the yard.====JACK:  I learned something today from a quotation by Cicero.  The word, SUPERSTITION", in its root form, means "to stand in terror of the deity."  Isn't that interesting?

FROM INDY GENIE:  My kids loved their Uncle Joseph....he was very kind and understanding with children. He also was a great story teller and made them laugh! (He made us all laugh til we cried with his impromptu storytelling.)====JACK:  I have a grandson, Joseph.  Everybody calls him Joe...except me.  I can't imagine Mary saying, "Hey, Joe, would mind changing Jesus's diaper." ====GENIE:  Ha! That is funny to imagine:)  Brother Joseph went by Joe in high school. As he got older he preferred Joseph.====JACK:  Did your parents ever say why they named hi, Joseph...or you, Eugenia (Oh, I know the reason for that.)====GENIE:  Yes...the story goes that they took the Bible to the hospital when they had a baby and looked through it while my mom was in labor. (My guess is that they had names in mind before that:)  Full name...Joseph Ernest  Ernest was my mother’s uncle’s  name. And right...Eugenia for my dad!  How about you?====JACK:  I was named after my Uncle John.  He and his wife (my dad’s sister) were my sponsors.  Since they lived close to us, I was given the nickname (for John), Jack…and was Jack from the beginning.  My middle name is Harold, after my father.  In today’s world, I might have been named Jacobi, my father’s middle name.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  That's why I  am such a great person!!! I was born on St. Joseph Day !!!!!!!!! 78 on the 19th.  Laughter and giggles not allowed.====JACK:  I wonder why your parents didn't name you, Joseph?  Maybe it was because one of the definitions of the name is, sweet and caring.  Maybe that's a definition for Robert, too.  I'll have to look it up.....  NOPE.  But, it does mean, bright.====RJP:  LOL LOL  Truth is mom liked the name Robert and my brother was named Anthony after Dad soooooo Joseph was the natural middle name I must have the traits of both don’t you think?  BTW In real estate we bury Joseph upside down facing the home we do it go about 50% of our customers. Most folk are really superstitious.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/16/18
“Old age is the crown of life, our play’s last act.”  (Cicero)  People usually do a double-take when an AARP card arrives addressed to them.  I read recently that the transition out of mid-life begins at 65, and that age 80 and above is considered to be very old.  Bring out my crown and let the “fat lady sing.”  However…healthier life-styles and medical discoveries are causing midlife to last longer and old age to be postponed.  What do you think is the perfect age?    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  George Burns once said, “The secret to not getting old?...Don’t shorten your steps when you walk.”   He always got a big laugh when he said that.====JACK:  GB also sang, "I wish I was 18 again."  I think that would be a good age to go back to.

FROM LS:  The age You are at any moment in time.===JACK:  I guess...It depends...There are certain ages that I would not like to re-live.

FROM LBP:  I was surprised when an AARP letter showed up for me on my 19th birthday. It was my Dad who had just turned 50, Not me!  I can’t let myself fixate on a perfect age. Time keeps moving. ====JACK:  I can see why AARP seemed confused.  You were always "old for your age."  Your comment about "time always moving" reminds me of the adage, "You can't step into the same river twice."

SF SENT A CARTOON SHOWING POOH AND PIGLET.  "What day is it?" asked Pooh.  "It's today," squeaked Piglet.  "My favorite day," said Pooh.====JACK:  What a great response.  A good teacher never forgets how to teach.

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  I think whatever age you are is the perfect age… perfect for new adventures, new ideas, new friendships, and new possibilities.====JACK:  I guess it all depends on the "YOU" and you's point of view.  A good life depends on a good point of view.  Keep looking for those new adventures and possibilities.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  All ages are fun – if you have your health, a sense of humor and a positive outlook on life.  I have good memories from all of mine…some maybe not as much fun but still memories.====JACK:  There can be "fun" even during the bad days.  At age 16 I was in the hospital for 3 months (not good), but I was able to get out of bed (good).  Once, when I was standing by my bed, a mouse ran toward me and scampered up my leg (inside the pajamas) and down the other leg, before running away.  At that time I, miraculously, was able to do a dance (fun-ee). ====CAROL:  Was that an “Irish” jig?  I would have died on the spot!====JACK:  It was sort of llike the Hokey Pokey...You take your leg and shake it all about.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  The age of home with loving to do some things that you couldn't do at two....not yet in school....although pre school is a horrible invention for the four year old.... ====JACK:  Age 4 is fuzzy for me.  At age 5 things seem to come into focus...the house where we lived...Kindergarten...Moonie, our dog.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  If we r lucky enough to live a long life, we should just enjoy each day. Every day is special and we should do our best to appreciate each day! And to be helpful and to have fun. Age is a frame of mind.====JACK:  You're right.  Age is a fame of mind.  The number of candles on the cake does seem to make you stop and think.  Wow!  I'm really getting up there!  ====SHIRL:  Aren’t we all? We r the lucky ones====JACK:  It's a sign of getting old when they put number candles on your cake instead of individual ones.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "Your whole life passes before your eyes before you die; that is called Living!" says author Terry Pratchett. I'm certainly wearing the crown of life, but I'm not young enough to know everything! :-) However I do know that every age has it's challenges, and perks, so might as well enjoy old age, if that is where you're at!  More and more people are enjoying our play's last act, as you say, thanks to medical advances, and will continue to do so, if we can control Nuclear power!!====JACK:  Re: nuclear power...Re: medical problems and advances...Re: unexpected challenges...Most of these things are beyond our control, but we "worry" about them, anyway.  Have you ever heard the old song, "It takes a worried man to sing a worried song?"  YouTube it!

FROM DM IN LIV:  Good morning Pastor Jack.  I believe the perfect age is the age we are right now.  We’ve never been here before and we won’t be here again.  I just love right now. 😊====JACK:  If you love a mystery, then you enjoy each day, because you never know what the day may bring.  The comforting factor: The Lord is always with matter what.

FROM LK IN OHIO:  If one is able to embrace life thoroughly, it seems each and every day God grants is perfect.  Just yesterday I talked with a lady at AARP customer care. She told me I have been on their membership list for twenty years now. I wished I might have said that to me the "crown of life" has been pretty light and a pleasure to wear. That is, I give thanks, like you, for God's blessing of life, and the opportunity to better my acquaintance with Him (old school) as I/we pass along the way into his closer comfort and protection. Of course, also JOY!  May God be and remain with you, Jack! ====JACK:  I think that the "optimists" probably enjoy life far more than do the "pessimists."   They enjoy tomorrow even before it comes, while, while for the pessimists, "tomorrow" can be a bad day twice.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The perfect age?!?  Each day I get older.  I guess my 40’s but that just a guess.  I’m glad I don’t believe as Cicero believed...our eternally wonderfully blessed life starts at the death of this one!====JACK:  You are consistent in looking forward in faith:  The life to come (Heaven) is going to be far better than life on earth.  “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Oh dear—we are old Jack!  Funny, my mind is still 60 but the body does not do what it could do then!  Ha!====JACK:  But the memory of those the Gershwin song puts it... "They can' take that away from me."

FROM JE IN WLCSD:  I think the perfect age is the age you are at your best physically and mentally, for me that was my early 40s, although I’m getting my umph back and exercising and eating right, (including some dark chocolate), even though I’m in my mid-50s. My goal is to be in tip-top shape like my mentor Jan Calligaris, who is going to be 70. Jan is more positive and active than most 40-year-olds.  I’ve adopted Jan’s motto: “You rest, you rust!” ====JACK:  Ahhh.  The 40s ...a time when I was full of "spit and vinegar!"  Have you ever heard that saying.  The 50s and 70s weren't so bad, either.  Aging is a matter of adjustment...of the mind.

FROM BB IN CHCO:  I enjoyed having small children.  I hear…that being a grandparent is just as much fun, if not more.  So, I look forward in hope.====JACK:  I love my every age.  Grandchildren are special in their own way.  Even the in-laws are special.  I guess mothers/fathers and grandmothers/grandfathers look at the situation using different glasses.

FROM JT IN ST JOE:  well,  I don't know, but I have experienced a truly happy life for 77 years.  I guess it's OK to bring out my crown and let the "fat lady sing."   But I'm going to post pone it for as long as I can.====JACK:  At a recent doctor's visit, he spoke into his recording device, listing the results of the check-up, including..."patient still has all his marbles."

FROM DS IN CA:  Almost all of your blogs "hit a note" with me, but this one really did.  Since "hitting" 80, my body seems to have decided it's time to slow down.  I suppose that's true, but I'm trying to resist the tendency to just give up.  My lower back makes it difficult to fight this aging thing, but the alternative is not attractive.====JACK:  I remember the day when I couldn't go up the stairs one after another....What's going on?  Just recently, I felt my daughter's hand at my elbow (just like I used to do with my mother).  What's going on?  My advice: "Deal with it!

FROM AA IN FLA:  I'm pushing for 108 and plan to still be golfing and shoot less than my age ====JACK:  It's nice to have dreams when you're a whippersnapper...but time will have its way.

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  my aunt turned 100 last week in Dysart, Iowa.  i will ask her that question:):):)====JACK:  You might want to make a list of questions to ask her.  You never know when it might be the last opportunity...especially when you're talking to a centenarian.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  I think the perfect age is the one I am.====JACK:  Que sera, sera!

FROM SAZ:  I'm 89 and am lucky to feel great. This year we will celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. We live in an active independent living retirement community with many active friends. I'm active in out local church. I'm looking forward to reaching the perfect age although this is pretty good. God has been good to me.====JACK:  I like the story of how you enlisted in the Navy without your parents being aware of it.  Didn't you leave for duty right from the recruiting station without going home?  Those were your carefree years. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/15/18
“The Bird of Paradise alights upon the hand that does not grasp.”  (John Berry)  There’s a bird found in Indonesia called the Bird of Paradise.  It is so beautiful that it’s thought to be descended from the first bird created by God in the Garden of Eden.  To come in contact with such a bird is thought to be a sign of God’s blessing.  While I’ve never actually seen that bird, I’ve had contact with people who, by their life, show God’s influence upon them.    ;-)  Jack 

FROM VW MARY:  Yes, thankful for you, for one, & for other people like you!====JACK:  It's interesting how, with the coming of each year, people enter our lives and make a difference...and you are one.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Right now my backyard is full of birds of all kinds—and all beautiful and all colors. I do have a bird of paradise plant also. The blooms are breathtaking====JACK:  Each year I look forward to hearing the chirping birds when I go out to get the newspaper.  Today I heard them for the first time.  Spring is on its way.====SHIRL:  Spring has been in Florida most of the year so far. It has been beautiful!====JACK:  Do you ever have a change of seasons?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/14/18
“My interest is in the future, because I’m going to be spending the rest of my life there."  (Charles Kettering)  This quote was often used in Kettering speeches.  He was one of America’s great inventors, particularly in the auto industry.  Today’s credit card also traces back to him, and so does air-conditioning.  With his inventor’s mind he foresaw the future as a wonderful place to live.   What invention do you think might bring optimism to the world today?    ;-)  Jack 

FROM HONEST JOHN:  My Dad held several patents.   He worked in R & D for Deere..and then left and started his own business....developed several new types of feed which he sold in his business...====JACK:  There must be some satisfaction in coming up with an idea that no one's thought of before.   To have sermons limited to fresh ideas would tend to make them a lot shorter.
====JOHN:  He was the kind of character that one meets in novels.   I loved him.    We were both great Cubs' fans.    We also were as different as night and day.   He finally came to grips with that.   I am more like my mother....a good Swede.====JACK:  I, too, was more like my mother...German.  We were both Cubs fans until I moved to Detroit.  She never like to lose.  (Me, too) She lived to be 102.  I told her that I was going to beat her by living to be 103.  Now, I'm not so sure that that's a good idea.

FROM WALMART REV:  Still enjoying the ones we have, to stop and think of a new one?! ====JACK:  Which invention do you enjoy the most?  I enjoy so many....but right now it's the computer.====REV:  The iPhone with its computer and internet service would be at the top of my list . . . I have my office files and phone right there in my hand.====JACK:  Do you read your Bible that way, too...or are you too old fashione for that?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Anything that Elon Musk comes up with====JACK:  Do you have a Tesla? ====SHIRL:  Nope.   What do u think of roads under the streets to relieve the traffic?====JACK:  It would probably be too expensive.  Self-driving cars will allow bumper to bumper traffic to move swiftly and safely.  Less congestion downtown, too.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Here's an interesting invention... trailerghu4

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/13/18
“When you inhale you are taking the strength from God.  When you exhale it represents the service you are giving to the world.”  (Yoga saying)  I’ve read that the average person takes 8,409,600 breaths each year.  One breath was our first, and one will be our last.  Psalm 39:4.5:  “Lord, let me know how fleeting I am.  All mankind is but a breath.”  Stop for a bit and be conscious of your breathing.  Stop for a bit and be conscious of God in your life.    ;-)  Jack

FROM PEPPERMINY MARY:  Namaste====JACK:  Did Ruthie teach you that?====MARY: We kind of learned that together. I took my first yoga class in 1974ish. Ruthie and Genie just took it much further in their certifications. Now I’m along for the ride! ====JACK:  Ommmmm!

FROM SUES:  Thank you, a great way to start the day!====JACK:  Another great singing, "Roll out of bed in the morning with a great big smile and a good, good morning.  Get up with a grin; there's a new day a-tumbling in."

FROM LBP:  I enjoy yoga. I should try to get into it again. I’ve been trying a meditation app called “calm.” It has one simple feature that just paces the breath. I’ve heard that daily meditation can change pathways in our brain slowing down our quick-stress anxiety reactions. It seems that prayer can be meditative too. Perhaps I need to work on that practice too.====JACK:  Is there a kind of yoga that you can practice while driving a car.  You have to be careful with meditation CDs.  They might put you to sleep.====LBP:  Alas, no car yoga. No meditation exercises either. Just NPR and other podcasts.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How fleeting we are in this life!  One breath will keep us here or let us begin eternity.  I watched a Christian video yesterday.  This man brought in extremely long rope.  He pulled and pulled the rope into a large room.  He then showed a tiny part of the rope which was colored red.  He said, “This is how long your life is on earth and this (the rest of the long rope) is eternity.  Why are you so consumed with this part (the red part of the rope)?  Very interesting sermon!  Just one breath!!====JACK:  I suppose there's no need to breathe in heaven.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I have never thought of it like that!====JACK:  There are lots of things and thoughts to wonder about

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  You can't help growing older, but you don't have to grow OLD! Hoping to stay; "Young at Heart" until my last breath, keeping hopeful, loving, curious, and with a sense of humor!! My daughter is a Master Yoga teacher, and would appreciate this saying!.====JACK:  Do you remember the song by The Police?..."Every breath you take  Every move you make
Every bond you break  Every step you take  I'll be watching you."

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Jack, I truly love this one.  We laid to rest a 63 year old coworker over the weekend who died of brain cancer – similar to that affecting Senator McCain.  Your words are a comfort and an inspiration.====JACK:  Isn't it interesting...with a child, a first breath and a cry...with a dying person, a last breath and a sigh (but not always).

FROM SHALOM JAN:  Amen.  With the death of my mother last Monday at age 103+six days, that last breath has become more profound.  None of us knows when that will be.====JACK:  Sorry, to hear about your mom, but there comes a time.  As my mom was dying at age 102, and orderly went over and opened a window in the room to allow her spirit to take its leave and be with God.  ====JAN:  What a beautiful memory!

FROM GDJ IN WI:  Thanks Jack. Good stuff.====JACK:   Hey!  It must be that Holy Spirit at work again.

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  I think about my inhalation and exhalations all the time… it is indeed a yoga thing… I’ve never heard it this way though and I like it better… typically we think of good in, bad stuff out…but service out is WAY better… oxygen in.. via gift of life from GOD gives us energy for the service out!====JACK:  When I was your age the only yoga I knew was the Yankee's catcher, Yogi Berra.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/12/18
“One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives.”  (Euripides)  Netflix says it’s surprised
by the popularity (especially among millennials) of reruns of the 90s sitcom, Friends.  Is it escapism?  “I’d like to live like that with six close friends…real friends, not digital ones…in a simpler, less complicated time.”  Maybe every generation is looking for…friends!  We are truly blessed when we have a family who can also be friends.  I don’t need a TV rerun.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I see that as a. Major benefit of a place like Maple provides easy access to a lot of friends...====JACK:  I remember when Maple Village was just an empty lot and a dream.  I've now made many visits there and am happy to see that some dreams do come true.

FROM SF: So you have met my family...hehe!-----JACK:  I've heard of some of the others (and you can be proud), but I've only met the ONE!====SF:  Yeah, you met the good one!!====JACK: He told me that YOU were the good one."  I tend to believe that.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Maybe they are looking for real “talking” friends instead of all their “electronic” talking…maybe they don’t realize the importance of communicating verbally with friends one on one or 5 on 5 rather than all the silent conversations they experience.  I heard on a news report that some teens are shutting off their electronic devices – can we only hope this will happen?  At Walmart Friday I watched a dad pushing a cart with one hand, texting or playing a game with another on his cell phone and this young daughter standing in the cart balancing herself precariously next to the edge.  He wasn’t paying attention to her or possible dangers all so he could be entertained.  Or eating in restaurants and seeing parents texting and ignoring the ‘family’ time sitting in front of them.  We are blest to have a family who are friends in all generations!  Have a 23 year old granddaughter coming to spend a few days of her spring break with us!  Can’t wait for the conversing!  Thanks for this silent chat good friend!====JACK:  When Mary needed home care, we were interviewing potential helpers.  One of the candidates was a young person who continued to check her iPhone for messages during the process, diverting her eye contact from us to the phone, while still talking.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Makes one wonder about Eueripides' family members!  I love my "bestie" but family would still come first in love and friendship. Lucky me, I guess!  I think a lot of young people are becoming very cautious about what they put on face book, any more. I notice less negativity and more positive comments, which is heartening. But the loss of a phone is major to most kids (and probably adults!) My g.daughter was lamenting the loss of her phone in a rock climbing descent, as it fell from her back pocket.  I was just glad it wasn't her taking the fall!====JACK:  I was just thinking (and smiling) at today's iPhone people being transported back to "party line" phones and having to wait until someone had hung up until they could call the number they wanted.  Talk about frustration.  Did you ever make a telephone using two cans and a long string?====OAKS:  We did...there were a lot of kids in our neighborhood, so can't remember who concocted them, but you really could "hear" from one length to the other!====JACK:  And, did you ever play the game, Telephone?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Sometimes friends are more loyal than relatives.  At least it has happened to me.  Sometimes relatives aren’t friends at all but people who came into our lives through other relatives.  That’s ok but they aren’t the ones closest to us.  They aren’t around us enough to get to really know us well as our closest friends do!  They both have their place in our lives.
====JACK:  What a blessing to have a friend, relative or not.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  It would be hard to think of a life without family and friends!====JACK:  So then, no need for Netflix for you!

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  I am truly blessed with wonderful friends too! ====JACK:  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "The only way to have a friend is to be one."  Old-time comedian, Jimmy Durante would crack a joke and then say, "I got a million of 'em."  You could probably say the same thing about the number of friends you have.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/9/18
“If you’re not greedy, you will go far.  You will live in happiness too…like the oompa…loompa…doompety do.”  (Oompa Loompa song)  Willie Wonka fans are familiar with the Oompa Loompa.  I like their song, especially that part about not being greedy.  Greed is on the list of the 7 Deadly Sins, on a par with lust and sloth.  One of the problems with greed is - it doesn’t lead to happiness.  Do you want to be happy?  Be like the Oompa Loompa!    ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP:  Greedy... that was Veruca Salt. Each kid had a different fault that they sang about. Greed, gluttony, sloth, ... a catchy tune in the 70s movie ====JACK:  People  of a "certain age" grew up with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory..  It seems like oompa loompa can give more advice in future WWs.====LBP:  Seems like a lot of good learning in that story. Some day I’ll actually read the book and see how Gene Wilder and Johny  Depp measure up to the original vision.====JACK:  Maybe you and your children can read it together.

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  oompa loompa! I’m Happy ;-)====JACK:  My mind smiles when I say, "Oompa Loompa!"

FROM BEECEE:  I loved that book!!! When I was in 5th grade the teacher read it to us. I remember her saying we were too old to be read to, but for whatever reason she decided to read part of it to us every day, and we all sat excitedly in our seats while she did. She’d say (not in a particularly nice way) “I can’t believe you big kids are sitting here letting me read to you.” (But it kept us quiet.) When I’d get home from school, I'd fill Mom in. One day when I came home she said she had a surprise for me. It was a hard covered copy of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!  (Of course I still have it!) I think that first read/my imagination was much better (more exciting) than the two movies that have come out since then. Now I can’t help but picture the actors and Oompa Loompas like they were in the movies, in my head.====JACK:  My education is lacking...I never read the book, and I never saw the movies.

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  LOL – this one made me laugh ====JACK:  I laughed, too, when I came across it, when I saw the characters and when I wrote about it.  HAHAHAHA


FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I thought Gene Wilder was superior in his part, in that great movie. It has a message for all ages!  As I quoted Jim Carrey (actor) once before,"I wish everyone could experience being able to buy everything   they ever wished for, and do everything they ever dreamed of, to realize that is not the answer to happiness,,,"  (He might have said "fulfillment"; can't remember exactly) but you get the idea, greed doesn't bring contentment in life. Having enough to "get by", enjoy some pleasures, and be able to share some wealth, does help, as we all do know. The Oompa Loompas are on the right track ! :-) Doompety Do!====JACK:  Gene Wilder, with blue eyes, his frizzy hair and his worried-looking face, was often recognized by children..."There's Willie Wonka!"  Even though Gilda Radner was his 3rd wife, I thought that they were the perfect comic pair, like Burns and Allen and Fibber McGee and Molly.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/8/18
“Of all noises I think that music is the least disagreeable.”  (Samuel Johnson)  Last night I went to a string quartet concert.  The noises I liked were: Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Ode to Joy, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, Precious Lord Take My Hand…and some Bach.  A concert in June will feature a jazz band, with a singer named, Shuga.  “Eclectic” would describe the style of music I like…western & classical, rock & Gospel, piano & banjo.  How about you?    ;-)  Jack 

FROM LK IN OHIO:  I overdose on Mozart and Chopin.====JACK:  One of my favorite CDs is "Mozart for the Mind."  I sometimes play it when I'm researching for Winning Words.====LK:  Then there is Mozart for the morning commute/Mozart for morning coffee and Walter Matthau's good line. . Mozart for meatloaf!====JACK:  Have you ever heard music by Meat Loaf?  Meat Loaf is a musician, made famous for composing and singing rock opera. Meat Loaf (originally: Marvin Lee Aday) was born in Dallas, Texas. He wrote the hits "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" and "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" and appeared in such films as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Fight Club.

FROM VOLUNTEER DM:  Mary's memorial concert was so very enjoyable.  Vivaldi IA my all time favorite and the quartet did a great job with each "noise."====JACK:  I've wondered why "noise" has synonyms of a negative nature.  Now, I see that it's from a French word, meaning, disturbance.  Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it leads me to learn  interesting things I didn't know.

FROM WALMART REV:  Southern Gospel, quartet harmony plays everyday at home or in my office...I even help the group out sometimes with my 5th goes all over the song’s score!! ====JACK:  One of our upcoming concerts will feature a Gospel Quartet from a Baptist Church in Detroit.  Is the AG Church into old-time Gospel music, or does it feature New Age stuff?====REV:  No southern gospel here . . . but the more recent worship songs and choruses . . . When one of the older hymns is played, we older folks always join in with the volume and harmonies raised in such away that hardly a time goes by that several will make the comment how they enjoyed singing that old hymn.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  we have similar taste in tunes...====JACK: It's said that "music soothes the troubled soul."  Whatever "soothes" the soul, yours or mine, is good music.

FROM LBP:  I like a variety of things. Music is a good tool to complement, or adjust, my mood. ====JACK:  Sousa makes me want to get up and march around.====LBP:  Maybe I should put Sousa as my alarm in the morning. Here is one I’m enjoying now though. Not Sousa but gets me marching (and dancing) along   ====JACK:  I like your "marching story."  Our local classical station plays a Sousa march every weekday morning at 7:15.  It's called "the Sousalarm."

FROM RONDO STRINGS:  Last night did you see the cake in the shape of a violin?  That was really creative.  What a nice group of people.  Thank you for having us play. ====JACK:  Yes, that violin cake was a surprise.  A friend of Mary's made it for the event.  Thanks for making the evening special.

FROM DO:  Agree.  It was a wonderful concert.  So nice to have Mary's violin played.  It played and sounded beautiful.  The special treats at the reception were wonderful as well - her favorite cookies and a violin cake.  What a nice celebration of Mary.  Well done, good and faithful servant.  My style is eclectic also.====JACK:  I liked it when everybody sang "Happy Birthday" to "Mary."  I've read that the Birthday Song is the most played and sung piece of music worldwide.

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  Sorry I missed the string quartet… I’m working with a school district and we meet on Wednesdays. Yesterday, I didn’t finish my work with them until too late to attend. I TRULY hope I can make the next one!  I like the Hawaiin version of Over the Rainbow…
 Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
====JACK:  .  I suppose you’re familiar with the Pink version.
I still like Judy Garland’s best.  I thought you couldn’t attend because the Bolt wouldn’t have enough “juice” to make it from Maumee to West Bloomfield and back.====DR J:  LOVE it… I hadn’t heard Pink’s version.  Thanks for sharing!

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  You might want to Google “Only Boys Aloud” - Britain’s Got Talent on You Tube.====JACK:  That was good.  Thanks====RS:  Glad you liked it - Wales seems to come up with these good choirs (Cor Glaneathwy is another) 

FROM AP:  The recital was beautiful and elegant, I feel that it was a perfect tribute to Mary. And you never fail to impress with your calm and exactly right things to say. There was a lot of love in the sanctuary around you. You are a rich man.  However it is that Tracy came into your circle was a blessing. The perfect hymn to play on Mary's violin. I had to wipe away tears.   Such a great plan to have regular music concerts at Holy Spirit.====JACK:  The church's music program has your fingerprints on it, too.  I'll always remember the choir singing, "What a Fellowship."

FROM CS:  I like it when we ask Alexa to play Leonard Cohen; and others of course. Enjoyed the concert last night.====JACK:  Cohen's Hallelujah is one of my favorite pieces of new music.  Haunting!

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  Pipe organ music!====JACK:  Mary's mother was an accomplished musician...organint, choir director, and piano teacher.  Her father was a baritone soloist.  Music was a part of all family members, except the dog and cat.  Mary's mother headed the committee which chose the Moller pipe organ for the church.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We are a musical family.  Grandson #1 plays guitar and drums, grandson #2 plays ukulele and drums, and the other 3 sing in choirs; grandpa plays trumpet and sings in the choir, grandma plays clarinet and sings in choir, daughter plays clarinet and sings in choir, and son-in-law in sings in choir.  The dogs even sing!  There isn’t too much we don’t listen too.  We love the classical...even the grandkids.  Christian music- especially the old hymns, country, rock, western anything really.  But I don’t care for jazz.  Listening right now to Christian Music.  Music brightens my day.====JACK:  When you get around to building your outhouse on the farm, make sure it has a battery-operated CD player.====JUDY:  It probably will have one and a speaker to blast over the barn.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I like all sorts of music too. I do especially like George Symnoette from the Bahamas, Benny GOodman and Sachmo. I especially like Joy to the World.====JACK:  Which Joy to the World?  The Christmas carol, or Joy to the World by Three Dog Night?====SHIRL:  The Christmas carol I guess. It is the one the kids love to dance to. My very favorite is how great thou art!

FROM JE IN THE WLSD:  I thoroughly enjoyed the string quartet concert last night. It was music to my ears and heart. What a tribute to Mary, what a gift for each of the attendees and what a pleasure to hear Mary’s violin played so beautifully. It was like angels music. Thank you so much====JACK:  Usually crow size isn't that important to me, but last night's attendance was awesome....So many friends!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "Least disagreeable" is not much of a recommendation, but oh well!  I love the "old" pop songs and big band era music we grew up with, musicals  give us many delightful songs, and am  trained in classical, so enjoy that, and of course the sacred, if its not too ponderous! :-) Rap is probably the only genre I truly dislike (aside from Hamilton!) mostly because of the lewd lyrics, and am not a rock fan, but yes,, to me, music is a very desirable "noise" and I would hate to live without it, Bill loved country western, I think because it usually told a story, or had a moral to it; He once used Peggy Lee's song, "Is That All There Is" to lead into his sermon. Folks never forgot it!  He loved violin music, and many folk singers. Let's face it, 'Music soothes the Soul" is really true! ====JACK:  During the time when Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy" was popular, I began a sermon by playing the song.  Smiles came on the faces in the pews.  When you starred in musicals, what was your favorite character and song?====OAKS:  The most fun was Eulalie McKecknie Shinn (Mayor's wife: Pick a little, Talk a Little) The favorite song as Anna in the King and I, Hello Young Lovers. Ado Annie in Oklahoma was a great part too: loved "I Caint Say NO!" ====JACK:  In The Music Man, I like 76 Trombones and how the same tune with a slower tempo is used for Goodnight My someone.  I suppose you knew that.

FROM LH:   I enjoyed hearing it’s history of Mary's treasured violin. Very heartwarming. Her grandfather was a gifted man. I have so much respect for people who are craftsman. For a violin it has an incredibly mellow quality.====JACK:  We each heard it for the first time. I agree...the tone quality stunned me.

FROM JT IN ST JOE:  The ones you listed sound good to me.  I do have problems with the loud banging "music" my grandchildren prefer.  I like Beethoven a lot.====JACK:  It's amazing that Beethoven could compose such beautiful music while suffering deafness and depression.  To me, it's a miracle.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 3/7/18
“So much of who we are is where we have been.”  (William Langewiesche)  Someone I know has traveled around the world, starting and ending in Detroit.  I’ve been to Mexico (Juarez) and have crossed the Detroit River into Canada (Windsor).  What exotic spots have you visited?  While travel is fine, I believe that people we’ve met and books we’ve read tend to influence us the most.  I once was set to lead a tour of the Holy Lands, but bombings cancelled it.    ;-)  Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Gary and I have been to all 50 states, most of them numerous times.  We've been to Mexico several times and  Canada many many times to many provinces.  He has traveled to Luxembourg, Sweden, Germany and Austria on business.  My favorite state beside Michigan is Idaho.  But every state has a special place we love and they are all beautiful.  They have all left an impression on both of us.====JACK:  After listing places we've visited, in our mind we should list the books and people who've made a difference in our life.====JUDY:  I think that's why we love to travel.  People are so fun to get to know from all over the world.  I still am in contact with people we met years ago on a cruise to Nova Scotia.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Travel people and books certainly all make life very interesting and challenging. Bali Australia Hawaii Alaska Rio Paris Rome Venice are some of my favorites. And of course the Bahamas where we lived for three years and many many more...and Moline was a great place in which to grow up!  People are very interesting. One of my favorite books is still Men to Match my Mountains. Another is Steve Jobs.====JACK:  You've had the best of both worlds.  Working for Eastern Airlines, you've had a chance to fly cheaply (even free) to many destinations.  As an educator you've had a chance to read many books and to interact with many people, students and colleagues.  ...and I agree with you about Moline.  "We are Moliners!"

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  one can travel the world over and over, yet never become worldly... ====JACK:  It depends on what you mean by worldly.  Would you be described as worldly?
Experienced and sophisticated and enlightened and streetwise?  ...or, are you one who is concerned with material values or ordinary life rather than a spiritual existence?  I would guess that you are more of the first than of the second.

FROM WALMART REV:  Willmar, MN has been by "Disney World" experience with its Adventureland, Frontierland  Fantasyland and Tomorrowland!====JACK:  Willmar also has a racetrack with an AG preacher giving the invocation and singing the National Anthem...and a Pastors' Race where local reverends can get into a race-car and go like He(ck) around the track.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I have been so blessed to be able to be able to travel to England, Scotland;, Wales and France, the Congo, Africa,,Japan (for 3 wks. when Sarah taught English there), India, Nepal & Naga Land, and the Holy Land, Turkey and Germany! Jan and Hal celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by taking their family and Bill and I on a cruise to Mexico and Caribbean Isles!  Also toured Canada and Nova Scotia one summer.  We were always thankful to return "home" to the good old USA!  But indeed seeing conditions in the rest of the world IS life-changing, The more you're aware, the more you care, and travel does open your eyes!!  Books do sway us in different ways, and certainly key people in our lives are an influence, you are right on about that! Just had a memoriam yesterday in the newspaper for Bill's 91st, had he still been among us.  Because of memories in the heart, we'll never be apart!====JACK:  You're up there among the most well-traveled person that I know. I once took the Quinlan Ferry across the Mississippi from Rock Island to Davenport.  As I recall, the fare was five cents.  Maybe I'm among the least-traveled person you know.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  We've been blessed to visit Canada (6 of the provinces), England, Ireland,  Mexico, and Costa Rica.  We almost always try to stay at an Airbnb or a Bed and Breakfast to get to know the locals.  In most cases it's the people that we remember more than what we saw.  Great people everywhere.  Viet Nam was on my list - that was a mixed bag.  OK when you weren't getting shot at.  Gloria has also been to Medjugorje (Bosnia and Herzogovina), Spain and Morocco.  Still a few places on our bucket list - Sweden, Finland, Scotland,France, Austria, New Zealand......and the 4 states I haven't been to  - RI, MT, WY and ID.   Figured we could knock out the last 3 of those with a trip to Yellowstone.  We'll see.====JACK:  Be careful when going to Yellowstone.  I've heard that there's a big volcano there that's about ready to erupt...but that should be nothing compared to the danger you faced in VN.  I'll always remember how proud your parents were when you were promoted to be a helicopter pilot.

FROM CPA BOB:  As a kid, like many others, I thought the US was the best at everything and invincible.  I did not have the experience of the depression as you did and my parents both had jobs (pharmacist and secretary) through the depression. My perspective changed dramatically when I started to travel and understood that everyone sees things from their own “center of the universe”.
It’s people Margie and I have met, primarily in other countries, who have influenced my thinking the most, particularly friends and/or relatives in Italy, Hungary and Israel.  We have not been to what I would call exotic places.  The Dominican Republic and Costa Rica may have some of those characteristics.  I think that cultural differences seemed the greatest in Shanghai and Seoul, although both show significant Western influences.  Thanks for your insight in this and so many other topics. ====JACK:  I know that I could have benefitted from more travels.  I was pointing out that our lives (in my opinion) are shaped more by people and books than by sight-seeing.  Mary and I did take a train trip from Toronto to Vancouver, through the Rockies.  Does that count as travel?====BOB:  Yes, that train  trip counts as travel.  I think that if you go more than a nominal distance from where you live and work to see someone or something new, it counts as travel.  I think that seeing the unique resources available to others also influences our thinking about some of what’s important to them.====JACK:  I've read that some people are spending their senior years living on a cruise ship because it's cheaper than living in an assisted living facility.  Boring!

FROM KANSAN DON:  Travel has been my desire and privilege (but not much more).  Scandinavia, of course.  Three LWR trips (Peru/Bolivia, Kenya/ Tanzania, and Israel/Palestine.  Perhaps most unexpected was East Germany, where I had a significant lesson on democracy.  When visiting students in 1973, they taught me about democracy.  I noticed that their voting seemed to be almost a useless act and I asked why they voted knowing the predictable results.  Their explanation;  We’re supposed to vote!  So we go as a group to the polling place and cast our ballots.  Some vote for and others against party people, but going as a group kept them from identifying who voted for whom.  Further, we used the voting booth, because a party loyalist would ‘brag’, “I don’t need the booth, I can mark my ballot right here!”  Did the party candidate get a small or larger percent this time as last?  That was their way to register opinions/concerns.  Yes, all should vote and the private booth is IMPORTANT.  Will I vote next time in Kansas?====JACK:  In one of my travels, I did go to Lindsborg, Kansas.  Does that count as foreign travel?====DON:  I hope you felt welcome without depending on Swedish.

FROM GL MARY:  i have been to many great and exotic places...turkey, lebanon, syria,  mexico, canada, costa rica, equador, china...but i am so much like dorothy..".there's no place like home".  i love road tripping in the states and canada.  my goal is to visit each state and provinced before i pass on to the next realm.  i also love to explore through books.  i always have a good read with me when i travel!====JACK:  My first and only passport's as clean as a whistle, while yours has all kinds of strange languages stamped on its pages.====MARY:  Hey, I just saw that my name has changed on the blog. No more peppermint mary?====JACK:  I thought that you had retired from the Peppermint School, so I retired your moniker.====MARY: