Monday, April 30, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/30/18
“Often when you think you’re at the end of something,  you’re at the beginning of something else.”  (Fred Rogers)  My favorite line from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood was, “Won’t you be my neighbor?”  Fred Rogers did a great job of helping children to understand what it means to be a good neighbor.  It’s more about “us” than it is about “them.”  At our house, we try to show up at the newcomer’s door with a welcome and a pie and some ice cream.   ;-)  Jack

FROM SANDI:  Mr. Rogers was amazing. One of my favorite quotes, shared with me by my very wise son, goes something like this:‘There isn’t anyone you couldn’t learn to love, if only you knew their story’.I try to consider that everyone has a story.  (Although I have to admit, some people are hard to love!! 🙃)====JACK:  I once read..."The saying is, 'Love your neighbor,',,,but you haven't met my neighbor."  Yes, everyone has a story.  In school a good teacher becomes a better teacher when she/he understands some of the (good/bad) baggage that the student carries.  Difficult, but not impossible. ====S:  And that is also a reason that teachers/counselors are often dismissed from serving on a jury!!! They look for cause instead of focusing on the crime! The question is: ‘Did s/he do it or not?’ (Not about their horrible childhood, etc.)====JACK:  I've always been excused from jury duty, too.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  sounds like a good idea to me...  even at 5 in the morning:):) ===JACK:  Early or late, any time is the best time to do a good deed.

ROM HONEST JOHN:  Good heavens!    You never should mix ice cream and pie.    That kind of thinking comes straight out of Moline.====JACK:  It might be difficult for someone from that "other" city to understand something as sophisticated as pie ala mode.====JOHN:  "Real" pie is coconut cream....lemon meringue.....butterscotch cream. ice cream needed or wanted..... Dad had one of the first Dairy Queen franchises in the country....on 7th St in EM.....rented it out to Dan Ligino....also, I loved to stop at Whitey's on the way home from Augie....also Downing Dairy in Rock Island....great ice cream..ever been to Ray's in Royal Oak?====JACK:  Any kind of pie is fine with me.  The Medd family of Moline were partners in the original development of Dairy Queen.  They were members of our church and one of the sons was a classmate of mine.  Your dad seemed to be involved in a lot of interesting stuff.

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  Do you also bring a few extra forks to your neighbors house with the pie and ice cream :-)====JACK:  I've never been invited in (at the time).  However, they've often said, "If you ever need anything, give us a call.)

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  We have the same neighbors as we had in 1970. Everyone watches out for everyone else and helps when help is needed. How about the game today when the Rays come to Detroit!====JACK:  FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  We have the same neighbors as we had in 1970. Everyone watches out for everyone else and helps when help is needed. How about the game today when the Rays come to Detroit!====JACK:  We moved into our house in 1969.  Everyone around us is a "new" neighbor...Jewish, Russian, Indian, Chaldean, ????.  2 blocks from school, from library, police dept.  3 blocks from Catholic Church and synagogue.  5 minutes from Lutheran Church and fire dept (EMS).  ...and it's a beautiful day for an (outdoors) ballgame.====SHIRL:  That is all very interesting. Our neighborhood was and is mostly military because McDill did  not have housing for all of the large families. Today we still have many flags on large poles with light! Go Rays!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Of all the little programs we let the kids watch, My favorite was Mr. Roger’s.  He was always so calm and soothing.  The kids and I (sometimes) watched Friendly Giant and Captain Kangaroo.   Andy did not like tv and still doesn’t.  But he would watch those programs. ====JACK:  I like The Banana Man on Capt K.  My son and I thought that he was a riot, but the girls thought that his act was "dumb."

Captain Kangaroo The Banana Man! - YouTube

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Good neighbors are such a blessing!  I seem to keep so busy that I don't "neighbor" as much as I should, but if New neighbors move in, I usually take a big box of our Melo-Cream doughnuts and a welcoming note. Good for breakfast, or just with a cup of coffee or glass of milk! It is  always appreciated. As  for Mr.  Rogers quote, when you end something, there is now time for something many more "opportunities" than there is time, it seems! He was wise and gentle soul!====JACK:  Did anyone welcome you when you moved into your new neighborhood?  BTW, do you mean to tell me that Melo-Cream donuts are still being sold.  I remember the shop on 16th St in Moline...and later on in Downtown Moline.====OAKS:  Really?! Yes, they are still very popular in Springfield! Delicious!   I was warmly welcomed into my new neighborhood, and especially the folks next door, and man across the street were, and are, very helpful to me! I am blessed!!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/27/18
“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.  The second best time is now.”  (Chinese Proverb)  When we moved into our house there were no trees on the property, and now there are many.  One was planted on Arbor Day over 20 years ago and has grown into a climbing tree for children and g-children.  “I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as (that) tree.”  There’s also a pine-tree, transplanted from northern Wisconsin.  Do you have a memory-tree?    ;-)  Jack

FROM PM:  Love this one! I wish I had known of it when I was a teacher!!  Have a great weekend! Thank you for your continued emails.====JACK:  I recall learning about Arbor Day is school, but I can't remember when.  Teachers do have an influence, 'tho we don't always remember their names.  Do you especially remember some of your students?

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  During 52 years of married life we moved nine times.  Our first home was an apartment so I didn't plant a tree there, but the other eight houses we bought, and I planted one or more trees at each one.  It has always been a pleasure to return to those home sites and see the grown trees standing tall.  Where we live now we have a neighbor couple who are caring and generous.  On the man's 50th birthday we wanted to give a gift, but couldn't decide on what to give.  Then it struck me...we would give a commemoration tree.  I chose a weeping cherry tree and planted it for them.  Now it's more than 20 feet tall, and this week it began to bloom again.  Its location is perfectly in view for both them and us, and we are enjoying it in all its flowering glory.====JACK:  A mate to our "climbing tree" began as a two-stem "twig" on the church building site.  Mary brought it home and planted it in our yard.  After a while you suggested transplanting it and removing one of the little trunks.  Apprehensively, she agreed.  Years later we were so happy to see it mature into a second climbing tree.  Thank you!====RI:  You're welcome!  It was my pleasure to serve you with a few little favors in exchange for all you gave to us.  I remember going over once and pruning your crabapple tree.  Has that survived?  Nature is remarkable the way it can overcome disruption and live on.====JACK:  "That" tree has moved on the crabapple heaven, only to be replaced by another/  BTW, there used to be a TV cartoon character named, Crabby Appleton.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Good one, Jackl!!!====JACK:  Have you seen the "off-shoot" of Anne Frank's horse-chestnut tree planted at the Holocaust Center in F.H.?====PAUL:  No... and a good friend of mine has a brother who is a guide  there. Soon on my agenda.. thanks for the heads up. ====JACK:  It's on my (BIKTB) list, too.

FROM WALMART REV:  That one that money doesn't grow on .====JACK:  Matshona Dhliwayo said: "Money doesn't grow on trees, but it grows on intelligent minds."  You've heard of Mat, haven't you?====REV:  Sorry to say I have not ... Impressed though with the number of writers you quote from ... I spent too much time at the bowling alleys instead of becoming better informed in these impressive areas understanding and knowledge.====JACK:  But I never rolled a 300, or a 200...but a few 100s.

FROM DR I IN OHIO:  I love this one! I’d like to think someday people make might remember me as a person like the Lorax, I too speak for the trees! ====JACK:  Lorax -- sort of like an amanuensis for trees, huh?====J:  I had to look up the word amanuensis… I learned something new!====JACK:  Sometimes a preacher can turn into a teacher. ==== DR J:  :-) indeed! I’ve learned a lot from you over the years… not ALL good ... such as how to play practical jokes on people... but mostly all good!====JACK:  Good is relative!  I hope you've learned that life can be fun.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  My daughter loves our large maple in front because she used to limb up there and sit and read====JACK:  What a beautiful word-picture!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I just got 10 flowering trees from the Arbor Foundation.  Last year we got 10 hard wood trees.  We put them in large containers for two years and then transplant them.   Our favorite tree in located on I-75 by West Branch, MI.  It was my mom’s favorite tree... a huge ancient “Christmas” tree as we used to say.  She would mention it every time we passed it for years and years and years.  Now she’s gone, and we still remember her favorite tree! ====JACK:  Eventually we had to take some of ours down.  Thay were taking over the yard and impacting the house. ====JUDY:  There are lots of trees on our property but there’s room for more.  We have a large brick patio in the back.  It was damaged when a huge branch of a willow tree broke off in a storm and landed on it.  The willow also hit the roof but there was no damage.  It happened before we got here.  We had to have the willow cut down because it was rotted in the middle and would have fell in a strong storm.  We hate to take trees down but like you say, sometimes they can wreak havoc! 

FROM MF:  Not sure if was one of your ww's in days past, but today reminds me of a favourite about this subject.     "It's a noble man who plants  a tree to give shade to someone he may never know"  I think fondly of the many trees I have planted, now some at my current house are diseased and have to come down, they will be replaced.====JACK:  Trees can be like people...sometimes.====MF:  I looked it up, was from Dr. Elton Trueblood,will do more research about him. ====JACK:  He's a famous theologian...worth reading more about...and he speaks to "the common" people, too.

FROM LBP:  oh my.. so many "trees" that need planting and tending.====JACK:  Just like children..

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Many many trees! Les loved trees! I have taken down or a freeze has taken down 15 trees and I still have 14. We did have a few orange trees, a Chinese lemon, a tangerine, and several grapefruits. We used to share with friends. Our house was built in a woods where people used to come to shoot wild boar before the developer came! We had lots of swings and lots of tree climbers!====JACK:  I'd love to have a grapefruit tree in my yard...if the climate were right.  Do====SHIRL:  Yes the elms were beautiful before the were all cut down. That happened before Mother and Dad moved to Tampa because the state took their home for the bridge over the Mississippi. That was a blessing in disguise for us! remember the beautiful and stately elm trees in Moline?  That nasty Dutch Elm disease....====JACK:  It was a blessing, too, for those who wanted a quick way to pass through the Quad-Cities.

FROM MY LAWYER:  Yes. After I got Gino’s a liquor license in 1976-1977, Ezio Santia, Gino’s Dad, came to my home and we planted a cutting of his Italian fig tree. We used to have to uproot it every fall and bury it, then replant it in the spring to keep it alive. After it grew to about 10’ with a 6-8” trunk, it became too big to maintain in this climate. Long gone, but not forgotten.====JACK:  What a great gift to present to someone.

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  Jack, an ornamental tree we planted in 1976 – in just a few years it began to develop small berries, which attracted cedar wax wings birds every fall – in a couple of hours they would strip all the berries from the tree - - -  and the birds would be tripping all over – drunk from the berries.   By night fall they had recovered and taken off.   Jewel and I would look forward to their visit every year.   Memories  are  wonderful! ====JACK:  Birds getting drunk at the pastor's house!  Oh my!.  A UCC pastor friend of mine moved to become pastor of a church in Wisconsin.  It was Good Friday noon and people were filing into church for services.  Just then a beer truck pulled into the parsonage driveway next door, and the driver began unloading cases of beer.  It seems that the brewery would give free beer to the pastor of that church for Easter each year and thought that the new pastor would appreciate the gift as did the others.   

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/26/18
“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”  (Nathaniel Hawthorne)  Hawthorne is considered among the best of American fiction writers.  Maybe, in school, you were assigned to read “The Scarlet Letter.”  I’m amazed at his “writer friends”…Longfellow, Emerson, Thoreau, Melville.  Creative writing is “easy.”  All you have to have is an imagination and an idea of what interests people and connect the two and get someone to publish what you write and to sell it.    ;-)  Jack 

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  your blog is easy, too... because you make it seem that way!  i know you gave great sermons.====JACK:  In both instances (blog & sermons) I try to figure out the interests and needs of the readers/listeners and go from there.

FROM LBP:  Have you ever done a grade level analysis of your writing? There is a fallacy that “smart” writing should be at a higher grade level. But, who wants to fight to understand content? I agree with this WW. Writing to be read is harder than it seems.====JACK:  I have not had my writing grade-analysed, but I try to write based on experience.  To write about what you haven't known is to "make-believe."  Even fiction writers have to have some "experience", don't they? ====;BP:  I thought that MS Word used to do this, but now I can't find it. Anyhow, a quick search and I found:  For what it's worth, your WW today has a Flesch Reading Ease score of 60.5 with 60 being "plain English" and lower numbers being harder to read. Other scores say that it's reading level is between about 7-10th grad. That's pretty good! Though knowing you, even these 6 sentences have great care and thought behind them.====JACK:  I guess the analysts validate my easy read (except for a word or two that cause some head- scratching.====LBP:  sure. I'll let you know if the WW starts to give me fleas ;)

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Oh Yes, The Scarlet Letter (unforgettable to a H.S. reader In Fanny Entriken's Lit. class,)  and House of the Seven Gables...He did have a way with words!  Easy reading writing is indeed hard work. I know how I sweated out writing articles to be published in our  AB Women's Nat'l. magazine when I was Pres. of GRR AB Women!   I was impressed when teaching Jr. High, by how well some "writers" expressed  themselves in themes and book reports. etc. A privilege to nurture such talent!  Most of us  have at least one good poem within us! But, as you describe, the imagination, insight of interests,  actual writing, publishing and selling is a whole other ballgame!!  Your WW are insightful and very readable :-)====JACK:  I remember being in Fanny's class,,,and I do remember enjoying writing.   (and reading O. Henry's short stories)

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  You also have to have the knowledge on how to put the ideas together, put together a plot, a beginning, ending and a very intriguing and entertaining middle.  Nothing to it!!!====JACK:  I'm no Nathaniel!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  that's all there is to it???====JACK:  ...and don't make it too long.  Although he was immensely popular, I wasn't a fan of Michener.====PAUL:  some of his books seemed longer than the event he was trying to describe... ====JACK:  ...sort of like some sermons on the text, "Jesus wept."

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/25/18
“I’d rather know a square guy than own a square mile.”  (Wilson Mizner)  Calling someone “square” goes back several centuries…“He’s honest, loyal, reliable.”  The jazz world introduced a new definition in the 1940s …“He’s dull, out of touch, old-fashioned.”  Mizner is using the older definition…an honest friend is far more valuable than having one who is rich and not honest and dependable.  Count yourself blessed when you have a friend who is square.    ;-)  Jack

 FROM GDL:  You fit the bill for me. Still gratefully remember your gently wise mentoring when I was (in Michigan) ====JACK:  We were "just talkin'" like friends do.

FROM GF:  I’m glad to call you my friend.====JACK:  As I look back on it, we've really had some good conversations... Ben Casnocha, in his book, The Alliance, describes the "close friend" who you don't see very often, or talk to very often, but still consider to be important in your life.  I like the word, sympatico.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  : "A melancholy lesson of advancing years is the realization that
you can't make old friends." Those that share a long past with us are dear indeed!  I like the first definition of square! Probably most of us "oldies" fit into both definitions to some degree...:-) ====JACK:  Interesting...Square (meal, deal, shooter, block, root, etc).

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  does this have anything to do with that cartoon character,  Bob Square Pants??====JACK:  I suppose it has to do with the shape of SpongeBob (square, like a kitchen sponge).  In order to fit, his pants would have to have a square shape.  BTW, in the Detroit Thanksgiving Parade, there's a balloon in the shape of Captain Underpants.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yes I have many friends who r square and I have lost many along the way!  ====JACK:  Do you know the origin of the saying, "Be there, or be square?"
Guy 1: There's gonna be a party later tonight, dude!  Be there, or be square!
Guy 2: What does that even mean, bro?
Guy 1: Be there or you're being a square, because you're not a-round, man!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I sent this to my “Square Friends”!  Thanks====JACK:  Four of them (4-Square)?  BTW, Aimee Semple McPhereson formed the Foursuare Gospel Church.  She once dressed as a traffic cop and rode into her church on a motorcycle.  She got off and began her sermon,,,"Stop! You're speeding on the way to Hell!"

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/24/18
“Everything for me becomes allegory.”  (Charles Baudelaire)  There’s a lesson, metaphor, parable in every event, when you look for it.  The Parable of the Good Samaritan is a lesson in what it means to be a neighbor.  The walk by the Israelites to the Promised Land can be a metaphor for our life’s walk toward Heaven.  The Wizard of Oz has many allegories…the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Lion, even Home!   Our world is full of hidden stories.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  and some of the best stories ever told are the Parables.  and yet so much of our preaching today lacks this key element.  i wonder why... on another note,  i lost two relatives last Saturday.  Cleo was 96 and Estella (my aunt) was 100.  both died 3 hours a part in the same small town in Iowa. ( kind of weird ).   we will spend much of this week in Iowa planning and attending wakes and/or funerals.  thankfully the weather looks good.  hope you are well today,  Jack.  Easter blessings====JACK:  What is the "story/lesson" in Cleo's life? Estella's life?

FROM LBP:  But dissecting and analyzing everything gets tiring. On a related note, a podcast I listen to discussed “Hollywood producing legend Robert Evans’ advice on making it: “You learn from success, kid, not failure.”” (Happier in Hollywood ep 39). Which do you analyze more? The successes or the failures?====JACK:  Things seemed to turn for me after I went to a workshop where participants talked positively about my ideas and accomplishments.  That validation made a big and long-lasting difference   Validation by others is a real help.

FROM WALMART REV:  "...treasures for discovery!"====JACK:  Jesus told a parable comparing our relationship to God to a hidden treasure.  “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The Bible is full of little or big stories!  Some are hidden and some are not.  Each one of us has stories and parables which would fill volumes!  I’m waiting for the next chapter...actually, I’m creating the next chapter!  Love your “Winning Words”!  They make me think!!!====JACK:  Even the most "knowing" Bible person has more to learn.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  When I didn't receive a WW on Monday/23rd, thought you were ill again! Glad to get today's offering when I returned home from taking friends to tour our African American Historical Museum, located in a new bldg. in Spfld!  Everything being Allegorical might be stretching it, but if you in that mindset, present events  can certainly qualify for a "lesson" or parable!  Most pastors are pretty good at taking daily happenings, and using them for examples
and lessons in their messages, it seems to me, and you are one who looks for this kind of thing!  Thanks for the heads up to alert us to possibilities!! :-)====JACK:  I was surprised when you didn't respond yesterday...especially since it was a sports quote.  I checked, and it was sent (perhaps lost in outer space).  Of course there can be a lesson in that...thinking the worst...missing what you've liked when it isn't there anymore.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/23/18
“You gotta do what you gotta do when you gotta do it.”  (Denny McLain)  If I were to meet Denny, I’d want to ask: “How do you cope?”  Daughter’s death, wife’s illness, pain, prison, self-blame, regrets.  It can be overwhelming!  “What do you do?”  Everyone has their situations, but some seem worse than others.  In the end, if there’s time, I’d like to talk some baseball with the last pitcher in MLB to win over 30 games (28 complete)…and at age 24.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ROBERT:  Justin Verlander is the only one I've met while walking down Maple in downtown Birmingham.  I thought you had also met him?====JACK:  Nope.  I passed Dennis Rodman in Birmingham.  I also pumped gas beside Pistons coach Chuck Daly at a Shell station.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I was up here the year that he won thirty.   Great team.   Outstanding pitcher.   Seemed to lack ethics.====JACK:  Professional sports is a hard business and sometimes saps a players ethics.  According to the article I read, he seems to be taking another look at life.  another quote in the article..."I've got a whole lot of things to talk to God about."====JOHN:  Lots of work pursuits raise difficulties.   Sports is only one of them.   Ethics is critical to navigate the rough waters we face in those endeavors.   Our present President seems to be almost bereft of any ethical considerations.   He is an horrific example to our people.   I still really admire Barack Obama for the lifestyle he was able to pursue in the midst of a myriad of temptations.====JACK:  Being a pastor has its share of ethical/moral challenges, too.  Re: Trump.  For one who seemingly lacks a moral compass, it is impossible to expect him to be guided by what he lacks.====JOHN:  Is he amoral or immoral?    If he lacks an ethical compass, he is the first.   If he just spits in the eye of an ethic he knows and pretends to accept, then he is immoral.   I think he is the latter.   Interesting question. ====JACK:  I vote for amoral!  I don't think he has a moral sense of right and wrong.  Actions and words are right or wrong only as they fit the situation...another way of looking at Situation Ethics.

FROM TRIHARDER:  Just hang on to your wallet. I knew a young woman who worked for him on his TV show (Channel 20?) in the 70s. It was a weekly struggle for her up get a paycheck. This was a precursor to his legal problems. ====JACK:  Our reputation follows us, to be sure.  I'm in the business of helping people to change.  It doesn't always work, but time and circumstances have a way of causing people to readjust their way of thinking.  BTW, I'm not always an optimistic thinker.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  funny thing, i quoted Denny McLain in my sermon yesterday.  talking about the need for a Shepherd to guide us thru life  on Good Shepherd Sunday,  the quote was taken from a newspaper article after he went to prison, years ago.  he said,  "How did i ever get from where i was to where i am today" (in prison).  sounds like he really has re-built his life.  happy spring, Jack.====JACK:  As for why McLain wound up in prison...let the people who believe that God causes all things to happen answer that question.  The gift of free-will carries with it the consequences for how it is used.  HOWEVER..We can be thankful that God has also invented GRACE.====PAUL:  Amen to that!!

FROM SHALOM JAN:  AARP news has an interview with Denny.  If you haven't seen it yet, do so.  Interesting.====JACK:  That issue is sitting unread on my kitchen table.  Your message saved it from the recycling bag.

FROM MV:  My Dad and I got up that historic Saturday morning, drove to Tiger Stadium from Flint and witnessed his 30th win. It was funny that Reggie Jackson was playing for Oakland(their opponents that day) and was carrying a sign saying Whoever their pitcher was(could have been Catfish Hunter) was going for his 15th or 19th or 16th victory. Even though the full attention and publicity was on Denny. Flint was the infamous place that was the beginning of the end of Denny’s career as he played the organ at The Shorthorn Restaurant and ran into some bad characters there. ====JACK:  How fortunate it was for you and your dad to have seen that game.  How fortunate, too, that we don't have to continually live with bad decisions we've made in the past.  The Bible assures us that "though your sins be as scarlet, they can be white as wool."  Sometimes that's difficult to comprehend.  I would remind Denny of that...if we should meet.====MV:  That would be a great conversation to have with Denny.====JACK:  One of life's joys for me is to be able to talk and relate to people in a way that personally brings them into the conversation.  It once worked that way with Billy Graham.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  “Man’s Fame” is fleeting. I wonder how Denny’s faith is.====JACK:  I've learned that before I attempt to judge the faith of others, I need to examine my own.  Then, I echo the quote of the man who came to Jesus and said, "God be merciful to me, a sinner."  In McLain's case, I see the ongoing events of his life causing to think more deeply about "God" in his life.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I can truly say I would pray!  And I do!====JACK:  Praying:  "Talking it over with God."====JUDY:  Absolutely!  Perhaps the world’s biggest problem is no God no prayer!  God cannot be removed for us but many try!  Prayer prayer prayer!    Are many many prayers from many many people...we have Spring!  God is good all the time!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/20/18
"Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.”  (Elvis Presley)  My first car was a 4-cyl Model A.  I remember when Ford came out with the replacement V8 engine.  POWER!  When Elvis talks about ambition, he describes it as a dream with POWER!  The King came from ordinary roots in Mississippi, but he had a dream, a dream of becoming a star.  He had ambition; he wouldn’t give up.  Many of life’s successes come to those who won’t abandon their dream.    ;-)  Jack

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  Or an electric motor====JACK:  Have you ever come close  to running out of juice with your Bolt?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  My dream was to have a large family-being an only child! After a year in Peoria as a social worker for an orphanage and a home for delinquent girls and seven years of teaching in Moline and Long Beach, I was married and lived in Nassau! We had five children-including twins! I stayed home for 20 years with the family. That was my main goal. So now I have 18 grandchildren and my fourth great grandchild due in July. We have been blessed! And life is very full and interesting!====JACK:  3 children and 6 grandchildren for me.

FROM INDY GENIE:  I loved the V8 engine.====JACK:  Were you ever pulled over for speeding?
 ====GENIE:  Are you kidding?? Of course I was!  Lead foot...and so easy to do in a V8, although I manage to do it in my Honda too:)

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Many movie stars will tell you it's not always the superior talents that achieve fame and stardom, but those who perservere, who don't give up.  That's probably  true in
all professions, as far as success is concerned.  Some decide  the price is just too high and opt for lesser goals. They my be happier personally than those who reach "the top"!====JACK:  Many professions could benefit from mentoring programs, but my feeling is that many who might need mentoring don't want to admit the need...and that those who could serve as mentors are concentrating on other issues.

FROM WBEE:  Ambition is a curious thing - to much ambition and you can be branded at someone lacking in character.  In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar Mark Anthony speaks about how Caesar was marked as ambitious. He than pivots and says something like that if Caesar was ambitious it was a grievous fault ~ but he was not ambitious for himself but for Rome. Ambition is a very complicated trait.   "It is even better to act quickly and err than to hesitate until the time of action is past"  (Carl von Clausewitz)====JACK:  The V-8 represented power.  Ambition = V-8 = power.  Some drivers do not know how to use a powerful engine.  Some ambitious people do not know how to best use their ambition.  Elvis began well, but the power destroyed him.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/19/18
“Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.”  (Charles Baudelaire)  If someone were to examine my dancing they’d probably call it doggerel.  I recall two specific instances.  UGH  YouTube Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell to see real poetry.  There’s a parable which says that the Master gave each servant talents, not the same to everyone.  So, instead of being envious of what was given to others, let’s concentrate on what’s been given to us and make the best use of it.    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  had to look ip “doggerel.” i learn all sorts of things from you!  i can dance in private, but would never dance in public... too shy.====JACK:  I even get embarrassed when I try to dance in private.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  you have lots of talents, Jack.  and yes, i too could never dance worth a darn.  two left feet for sure.  don't think two right feet would have even helped all that much!!
...some amazing foot work here between Powell and Astaire.  can't imagine moving my feet so fast and so rhythmically.====JACK:  In Wisconsin I enjoyed listening to polka bands and watching the polka dancers.  One of the songs was: "In heaven there is no beer.  That's why we drink it here."  ====SP:  i recall that song.   was it Whoopie John and the ________?   at Concordia the joke was that sex was banned on campus because it might lead to dancing!

FROM WALMART REV:  "...out of breath watching!!"====JACK:  Is "close" dancing a sin in the AG Church?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Those grand old movies and their extraordinary dancers!  I love to watch those movies!  My favorite dancers were Gene Kelly and Donald O'Conner.  And the beautiful ladies who danced with them.  I especially love Debbie Reynolds.  Our kids AND grandkids watched "Singin' in the Rain".  It's our favorite movie.===JACK:  Kurt Browning has a great video of him skating to Singing in the Rain.     

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  ...and as they said about Ginger Rogers....she did everything Fred Astaire did, but did it in high heels and backwards.  Gene Kelly comes to mind as well.====JACK:  I don't see much tap dancing anymore.  Do you remember when guys would wear metal plates on their leather heels?  The clicking sound was supposed to be cool.====RS:  I do remember that.  Sammy Davis, Jr. among others I believe.====JACK:  Lawrence Welk featured tap dancer, Arthur Duncan, for many years on his show.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: WOWIE!! What a treat to see those two perform, and also the next one, Old Movie Stars Dance to Uptown Punk!  Such talent!! I could do the "close dancing" and a little jitterbug, but no tapping...which as you say you don't see much anymore!====JACK:  I remember when Augie forbid close dancing on campus....only square dancing permitted.  My sister used to "tap dance" to The Good Ship, Lollipop.

FROM LBP:  This time two years ago I was prepping for my first and only dance recital. We had a FANTASTIC dress rehearsal ;)====JACK:  Was it poetry with arms and legs, or just arms and legs?  Is there a video?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/18/18
“That’s the way things go.  We meet people, get to know them, and they get up and leave me.”  (Ikkaku, Hosaka and Kawabata)  It’s part of life, but I don’t always like it…when a friend says that they’re moving, when a young person goes off to college…when there’s a death.  I don’t like the “Good-byes.”  Yesterday I got one of “those calls” about the death of a very good friend.  I celebrate his life and his faith…a true servant of God.  I’m glad for the memories.    ;-)  Jack 

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i am sorry to hear that you lost a how is the spider bite coming along? what kind of spider bit you?====JACK:  I will miss the regular "breakfast" chats with my friend, but I was told that he was ready to "go home," having lived 85 good years.  It happens.  Re: the spider bite...I surmised that it was a spider.   Recuperation is going well, and I'm to doing almost everything as before.

FROM JZ OF MHS:  Enjoy your sayings. Regards====JACK:  Thanks for your response.  I do remember you from Moliner days.  I'm trying to remember who told me that you were in the lighting business.  Chet?====JZ:  Yes

FROM LS:  Good morning, Jack. I am sorry for your loss.  Truly you have comfort in his memory.  Just as important he, the essence of who he was, his purpose was fulfilled.  Today,  you have shared with me and his goodness lives in me.  I shall share it with someone through my journey and they through theirs.  Shared words and actions .... God has created a perfect harmony between life and death.  I am grateful for you each morning.  Thank you for the perfect compliment to my thankful prayers for the day ahead.====JACK:  When you get to be a certain age, "death calls" aren't the surprise that they once were.  When my mother reached 100, she said that the worst thing about growing old was that death gad claimed most of her friends.

FROM SF:  So sorry for your loss. It’s so sad to lose a friend.====JACK:  I look at it from another angle...It was so good to have had him as a friend.

FROM JANl  I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sure you will miss your friend.  In the meantime, how are you healing (physically)? (You've been in my prayers.)====JACK:  I'm feeling better.  Is that how prayer works? ====JAN:  Well, I have found it never hurts. ====JACK:  Many people (even some pastors) view religion in that way, too.====JAN:  Most of my conversations with God are more general, but when I am concerned about someone, that becomes part of the conversation. ====JACK:  Yes, sometimes talks with God can become personal.  There's an "old" book which contains some of those personal conversations.  It's called, "Are You Running With Me, Jesus?"  The library might  have it, or Amazon might have it as a paperback. 

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  sorry for your loss, Jack.  i too lost a good friend last week.  Pastor David Wold.  seminary classmate and all around great pastor.  if at all interested,  go to the Star Tribune, and click on obituaries.   his funeral is tomorrow.   also lost another friend of the Widow Maker heart attack on Palm Sunday.  Mark Voelker was just 57 years old and long time member of our church.  .  too many losses.  thank goodness for the true message of Easter.====JACK:  When I began my ministry the worship book had a rubric for announcing death..."We are reminded that here we have no abiding place etc/"

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Sorry for your loss, Jack====JACK:  "That's the way things go."  

FROM JB:  We are so sorry to hear of the passing of your good friend.  May the memories warm your heart.  I too,  am not good at goodbyes.  This past year we have been working diligently on the 50th Anniversary of the founding of WBUMC.  Because we were the youngsters of the church so many of the friends and members have gone on to their reward.  So it has been a year of memories for is good to feel the empty spots that those losses have means that I am still in fellowship with them...but it also makes me realize that our church's history rests in so few people now.  Somehow our younger members are not so interested in what "was" as much as how the church can serve them in their very busy lives....====JACK:  Each generation is busy accumulating its own memories.  It has always been that way.  When you live long enough you memory bank account grows.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Blessings as you cope with this latest loss in your life. As my good friend said, when I lost my twin sis, "Those of us blessed with long years, bear the losses." So true, but we are also thankful to have had the precious relationships for many years, with accumulation of wonderful memories!  Family and friends who remain are the heartbeat of our lives! Thankful for each day so far...!  Shalom!====JACK:  Even though my sister is not my twin, we share much in common...laugh at the same remembrances.  She was two years behind me in school, but we knew many of each other's friends.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  i was going to reply to yesterday's jim croce quote, but this one is just as pertinent.  mark's mom and well my only mom for the past 30 years passed away on monday night.  she was 91 and we will miss her so.  now i have memories in a bottle...lots of good ones.  she was a hoot!  it's never easy to say goodbye to someone.  our gift was that we were there with her.  now she's with the angels and god.  they are very lucky to have her!====JACK:  I like the hymn, Blest Be the Tie That Binds....especially the line: "We share our mutual woes, our mutual burdens bear, and often for each other flows, the sympathizing tear."  Time In A Bottle has great words, too.  ====MARY:  I like that hymn too. Audrey wants “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Coming of the Lord “ I hummed it for her during her journey. You know the Lillstroms and our musical language. Sometimes it’s the only way to heal/soothe the sadness 🎶====JACK:  You seem to come up with a song for every situation.  I remember when we left Grayslake for the suburbs of Detroit, your mother sang...
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,1
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one 
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same,
And there's doctors and lawyers,
And business executives,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And they all play on the golf course
And drink their martinis dry,
And they all have pretty children
And the children go to school,
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university,
Where they are put in boxes
And they come out all the same.

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky tacky 
And they all look just the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same 
====MARY:  She was full of spunk and had great sense of humor. We grew up singing that song in three part harmony. I don’t think your family followed the rule of “and they all turned out the same “
====JACK:  I don't know if you were aware of this, but at the time we moved your dad was offered a job, also in a Detroit suburb, but it didn't work, you almost most into a ticky tacky little box.  ====MARY:  Oh I did know. I don’t know how different my life would have been but I do know that it wouldn’t have been “ticky tacky “ and it would have not been “just the same”! Not the Lillstrom way. Blessed to have been born to the people I was.

FROM JB AT LSTC:  My sympathy on the death of your good friend, Jack.  God bless you. I don’t like the good-byes, either.====JACK:  At the Sem there are annual good-byes, but also hellos.  Thanks for the good work that you and the staff do.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I am reading a great book Katharine Graham a personal history and she is dealing with the deaths of her family!====JACK:  She has certainly led an interesting life.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  one of my all time favorite hymns sung to the melody of O Day Full of Grace is in the LBW.  its a great funeral hymn called I Know Of A Sleep In Jesus Name.  just a fab hymn!   blessings,  plh     another chestnut of course is Abide With Me...====JACK:  When I began my ministry in Wisconsin, I would go to the local radio station at midnight when they signed off for the day.  I would have an evening prayer, they would play Abide With Me, and then the National Anthem.  If I were planning my funeral I might choose "the old chestnut."

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  Nice to celebrate a well lived life.====JACK:  It was a peaceful closure under hospice care.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The Good News is, you will see your friend(s) and Family again!  In the best of circumstances!====JACK:  The interesting thing is that I will be able to "see" with new eyes.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Yes ....and all the more reason to cherish those relationships with those who are with us today.....and tell them so.  Reminds me of Bob Hope......."Thanks for the memories........."

FROM JMB IN WISCONSIN:  I remember when you moved on from Bethany/Bethlehem churches.  That was a sad time for me.  I am thankful we can still be in touch via your Winning Words.  God bless.====JACK:  I sometimes wonder, "What if....?"  But life is such that we make our choices and live with them.  I have new friends, but I will always remember fondly, the old you.  Thanks for keeping in touch.====JMB:  Perhaps you have used these words sometime in the past, but I just saw this recently and thought it was very good.   "Wise men speak because they have something to say: fools because they have to say something."   Plato....The other day I asked " Alexa"  to play songs by Carol Roberson and heard one I'd never heard  before.  It is so beautiful - titled Wonderful Life.  I think it pretty well sums up how I feel about my life.  God has blessed me with such wonderful family and friends.====JACK:  Alexa?  Wow!  You are really with it!  I like these words from "the song."  Oh, I need a friend  To make me happy  Not stand here on my own
Look at me standing  Here on my own again  Up straight in the sunshine


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/17/18
“The trouble is, we think we have time.”  (Jack Kornfield)  A favorite song on mine is Jim Croce’s, Time in a Bottle.  At one point he sings, “There never seems to be enough time.”  It’s an excuse we often use…”There’s not enough time.”  Or course, there is time…24 hours a day.  How we prioritize those hours is the key.  Parse an ordinary day to see what choices you are making, and…why?  Croce reflects and finally decides what he wants to do with his time.    ;-)  Jack 

FROM WALMART REV:  I'm reminded of that song sometime ago titled, "Cats in the Cradle" -- "When you coming home, dad?" "I don't know when  But we'll get together then. You know we'll have a good time then."====JACK:  "Sometime" too often turns into "never."  Time has a way of running out.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Yep - all about prioritizing.   I find I procrastinate too much.====JACK:  Here's a poem written by Edgar Guest...
He was going to be all that a mortal should be
No one should be kinder or braver than he
A friend who was troubled and weary he knew,
Who'd be glad of a lift and who needed it, too;
On him he would call and see what he could do
Each morning he stacked up the letters he'd write
And thought of the folks he would fill with delight
It was too bad, indeed, he was busy today,
And hadn't a minute to stop on his way;
More time he would have to give others, he'd say
The greatest of workers this man would have been
The world would have known him, had he ever seen
But the fact is he died and he faded from view,
And all that he left here when living was through
Was a mountain of things he intended to do

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I just finished the outstanding bio on Leonardo by Isaacson's.    Leonardo never seemed to have enough time.   Almost all of his projects never came to completion.   He worked on the Mona Lisa for over thirty years.   Still not done when he died...was in his workshop.   Striving for Perfection adds a new element to the equation.====JACK:  Some of my sermons could have been better, but I ran out of time.  Early in my ministry the parsonage was next door to the church.  I remember once typing t5he last paragraph of my sermon as the church bell was ringing signaling the start of the service.====JOHN:  I was constantly fiddling with the way the sermon should be organized so that it made sense to the hearers.   Would occasionally see something during the week that I would insert into the sermon but usually the content was settled by Wednesday.   Only wrote out a sermon once....a Swedish sermon for Julotta Immanuel. 

FROM SA ON THE FARM:  We sat in the kitchen after dinner yesterday evening for about an hour, for no other reason than to be in the moment. The conversation ebbed and flowed, but maintained the randomness that makes sitting around the dinner table after dinner so relaxing. I left work in anticipation of that time, and, at least yesterday, it happened. It seems most days we get a few moments like that, and that keeps us going. ====JACK:  I wonder if people tend to be more laid back out there in the northwest?  That's what your dad used to say. 

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  One day at a time! Enjoy each day! We do not have to plan each day! Expect the unacceptable ====JACK:  That seems to be your mantra...One day at a time. More of us need to try that. 

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Hearing this song by J.Croce (Bill was a great fan of his) sure brings back
memories...and a good reminder to use the time we have for what is important to us. The days slip by so fast, don't they?!   SO Carpe Diem!! :-)====JACK:  I like "message" songs...and hymns.

Monday, April 16, 2018

rt of the difficulty in getting people to seriously consider exploring Christianity is that the common perception is that all Christians are the same in their beliefs.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/13/18
“Perhaps even these things, one day, will be pleasing to remember.”  (Virgil)  I’ve had my share of embarrassing situations in the past and shake my head at them.  Most of what I’ve read seems to say that people want to forget those times.  Similar, but different, are traumatic and sad events, like suffering and death.  Virgil reminds me today of some of the “dumb” things that I did as a kid …and even as an adult (and would like a do-over).  How about you?   ;-)  Jack

FROM GOD ROX:  You slept in this morning! ====JACK:  You noticed!  I've decided, in my old age, that getting up at 3:30 Am to send out WWs is not worth it.  There's an old German saying...
“We grow too soon old and too late smart”

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Nope. Never did a dumb thing. Not once.====JACK:  I was part of the "Cavendish Gang," and you were the one on the white horse.

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  So true, so true. True to the saying; if I only knew then what I know now   Happy Friday!  Big snow storm is on the way to Minny.   Urgg…I am so ready for Spring! ====JACK:  Knowing you...I can believe it.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  "Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit" -- Vergil  This is on a bookmark in a small book, The Heritage of the West, given me by my third year Latin teacher when I graduated from high school.  She knew how hard I had to work, how great my struggles had been, entering a class in my senior year of third and fourth year Latin in a new school in a new community.  I treasure the bookmark even more than the book which she also inscribed and was signed by the authors.  It's also a good quote to recall after we had our mother's Memorial Service yesterday.  She died at the age of 103 years, six days, on March 5th.  Scott, Jill and I, and our children and grandchildren have a lot of memories to that are good/helpful/pleasurable.====JACK:   There comes a time to say, Good-bye, and to celebrate a life well-lived...and the memories that go with it.  My thoughts are with you at this time.  How fortunate, too, to have had a teacher who knew how to teach.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I like to remember just the happy things!😊😊😊====JACK:  The "other" things are a reminder of how God has been with me always...and did not abandon me.  I "see" turning points in my life that I believe were God-directed.

FROM DS IN SOCAL:  Jack, I pleased to say I have only 1 or maybe 2 (thousand) things I would like a do-over====JACK:  Times were different way back then.  Maybe that's why we have similar memories of similar experiences.

FROM LBP:  It was the practice of the congregation I attended to have teens do the sermon one day a year and I had been invited. I was happy to be asked and had a topic in mind. But what I produced was extremely terrible! Unfortunately, I hadn't learned yet that I HAVE to script my talks. I may not read the script, but the practice of scripting it is what makes it work for me. Instead I took the advice of my HS friend who said that scripted sermons were boring and I should be more casual. I was rambling, incoherent, and possibly even insulting on reflection. The congregation had three services too and it did not improve over repeated attempts. In fact I hid out in the bathroom after service to avoid people feeling they had to talk to me about it. To this day, my parents never mentioned that event. We went home, had our lunch and went about the day. I think dad video taped the disaster. Hopefully, he also recorded over it!====JACK:  I still have the notes from my first sermon.  BAAD!  I'll show them to you sometime.====LBP:  I did it again in college and it was better. Had a script that time. If I ever have to do it again, I'm going with what I know, teaching. That is the second thing I learned over time... my talks work if I have learning objectives. But I suppose most talks are good if they have a point! ====JACK:  We were taught in seminary to take the text and connect5 it up with life.  Make the sermon relevant to the world in which the people are living.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Oh yes, many embarrassing moments, like running out of gas on the busiest bridge in town in my baby doll pajamas, with no money, no shoes, or robe, AND having to walk to a gas station and confess I was the Baptist Pastor's wife, and needed a loan of gas to carry back to my car to  get home! (The station owner was in church the nexr Sunday! Ha!)  These embarrassing moments formed the gist of a hilarious talk "Memories of the Manse" in later years. So many stories which are really funny as I looked back, not funny at the time!    hank God for a sense of humor, and a kind and unflappable husband!! :-)  We'd all like a few "do-overs"!!====JACK:  I can't imagine you being non-plussed...even on the bridge.  What a great story!

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Only one.... A time I took the Pastor to lunch and a fashion show entertained us.  I know that is one you will never let me forget!!!!! Happy to see you at it again. I missed the WW and was concerned. Sincerely hope your emergency was not too serious or lasting. I just had 12 needle biopsies done and I am grateful all were negative. Even bad guys like me are cared for by  God.====JACK:  It was not a Fashion Show, it was a Lingerie Show...and you were flustered.  I remember it as though it were yesterday...and smile.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Absolutely!  But if I had any “Do-overs”, I wouldn’t change a thing.  Those things, even the unpleasant unhappy things are what made me today!====JACK:  When you were created, God didn't say, "Let's have a do-over."  For better or worse, we are who we are.:

FROM AA CK:  Well Jack, you try to live well and without regret. However it seems inevitable. I think we all have something we would like to do better.====JACK:  Sometimes we are granted do-overs.  I try to make the best of 2nd chances.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

.Jack’s Winning Words 4/12/18
“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”  (Shakespeare)  In The Merry Wives of Windsor W.S. uses humor to teach some practical lessons…punctuality…regret…we do have some control of what happens in life.  Consequences can be avoided by following the rule to be on time.  I know of someone who was in yelling distance of jet-way gate as it was closing.  Once shut, it could not be reopened.  He watched the plane leave without him.  Now, whose fault was that?    ;-)  Jack

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'm pretty late reading WW today! Had a great birthday (88) with friends for lunch and family for Lobster dinner at Red Lobster and gifts and games at John's after. Avery who was born on my was 8 today! :-) So 8 and double 8! I'm pretty much on time or even early, now that I have only myself to get ready to go...:-)  At our SR events, they come at least 1/2 hour early for lunch, so we say if you're on time, you're late! ====JACK:  Eats!  I'm late afain in wishing you a YADHTRIB YPPAH.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  It was on this day in 1945 that president Roosevelt died. We put out a special line o type issue that ended with “he died with his boots on”====JACK:  Tempus fugit!  Ask people today what FDR stands for, and 9 out of 10 will give you a blank stare.

FROM BOBBY C:  When I was in the University of Michigan Marching Band, the conduct would always say:
To be early is on time
To be on time is late
To be late is to be dead
Clearly the syllogism does not work, but the message was clear.
====JACK:  A group, dependent on precision, needs strict adgerence to rules.  Go Blue!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How appropriate for today.  I missed my doctor’s appointment because I wrote down the wrong time!  I try very hard not to be late and to miss an important appointment because of an error makes me upset! ====JACK:  Those of us, used to being "up on things," have a
hard time with downers.====JACK:  Those of us, used to being "up on things," often have a hard time with downers.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Personally I like to be early because it is easy to get into trouble if u rush! ====JACK:  ....and you get the worm, too.

FROM LBP:  I may have to post this one for a regular reminder on my journey toward punctuality : ) ====JACK:  Did you ever do something "naughty" just to rebel against being perfect?  Sometimes I did something nice in order to rebel against always being naughty.====LBP:  I have my rebellious moments, but they are likely tame in the big picture. I'm a rule follower for sure. The one notable, conscious rebellion was in my senior year of HS when I broke my perfect attendance record for the year to play hooky on "senior skip day." I think it was the day of senior prom and because I recall staying home and having a bubble bath instead! I recall really weighing the pros and cons though and realized that no-one cared a lick about perfect attendance.====JACK:  Our church gave out "perfect attendance" pins.  Even on vacation we had to hunt up a church for Sunday School and have the Supt sign a letter that we attended a class.  Ugh====LBP:  I like the idea of finding churches out of town, but who cared if you got a pin? I'm sure they celebrated it but at the end of the day no one is checking your pin count.====JACK:  I still have my pin.  It has a removable disc, so the number can be changed as the years increase.  I was up to 10, and then got a T when I became a Teacher.  The fact that I still have it must mean something.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  During many years of business travel I was flying a lot...logged an enormous number of air miles by the time I retired.  Only once did I have the misfortune of missing a flight, running down the concourse but getting to the gate just as the plane was backing away.  Boo-hoo!  On the positive side, to catch the next available plane home, I was at that gate hours early for the flight home.====JACK:  I'be told this before.  In college I once turned in a paper..late..with a note: "I forgot."  The paper was returned with a grade of D, along with a note, :"I remembered."  At the end of the paper was a grade of B, with the note, "I forgave."
Jack’s Winning Words 4/11/18
“The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”  (Voltaire)  I expected to comment on illness and cures in Voltaire’s day, only to become engrossed by his book, Candide, which discusses medical philosophy and the importance of a medical student having a mentor to teach that the world is both good and evil.  Medical miracles happen every day…and sometimes they don’t.  For me, I simply pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  ;-)  Jack

.FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Both Voltaire's quote and yours suit me.  But I must say I speak yours more frequently, and believe it more surely.====JACK:  Sometimes Voltaire gets a bum my opinion.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  If you ask the right questions and really listen to the answers 95% of the time the patient will tell you what’s wrong with them, without any testing  This is not my statement. I read it in a medical diagnosis text years ago. I followed it as my golden rule in patient care though out my career   It worked for me and my patients   I knew when to start treatments and more importantly when not to.   It works well for life to.  Ask the right questions and listen.====JACK:  It works well for life, too.  Ask the right questions and listen

FROM PT:  Glad to see you “back in the saddle” Jack! Or should it be “back on the mouse” for our day?====JACK:  If you want to practice dealing with frustration, have someone take your mouse away from you.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/10/18
“I am totally lacking the ‘zippity’ part of my ‘do dah’ day.” (Sent by PZ)  I laughed at this one, because I know what it is to lose your zip.  Pete Seeger sang, “My get up and go has got up and went.”  Pete continues, “I’m able to grin when I think where my get up has been…But I’ll stick around to see what is next.”  That’s good philosophy when the do-dah-day isn’t going so well.  Celebrate the memories and say with Scarlett, “Tomorrow is another day.”    ;-)  Jack 

FROM COPPER COUNTRY BOB:  Vacancies up here result in my being active about 2 times a month.   I begin the worship with:
Zippity do dah,  Zippity  eh
My, oh my, what a wonderful day.
Jesus is risen,  He’s here today.
He sends the Spirit to show us God’s way.
Rah!   Rah!  Rah!
====JACK:  Do you sing it, or speak it?  Reuben Youngdahl used to begin his daily radio program by speaking loudly..."Up, up and away.  This is God's day.  Are you going God's way?"  Robert Schuller would begin his TV services by quoting, "This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it."  I'd like to have seen him use your opening.

FROM INDY GENIE:  When my neighbor’s zip is not quite all there he says, “I’ve got a hitch in my get-go.” :)====JACK:  I've heard of people having a hitch in their step.  (I had to find out more.)  It can mean to walk unevenly, with a jerk, with a limp...sort of like Chester in Gunsmoke.  A hitch in the get-go can mean that things aren't going smoothly.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Made me laugh because my zip and zapped!====JACK:  Zippity do dah can describe going to the outhouse in the cold of winter, too.

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Thanks for the smile.  All of those old songs lift your heart.  Music is a gift.  A more somber one might be “smile”.  My father always liked that one and played it on the piano. ====JACK:  Smile is one of my favorites, too.  It reminds me of Charlie Chaplin  and how he used the song in a silent movie.  Some of the "silents" were good, because of the descriptive music.  ====BB:  We have an historical landmark theater call the Music Box in Chicago that’s nearly 100 years old.  They sometimes screen silent films and have an organ and organist.  Think it is no longer pipes but the fidelity is good.  He also plays between movies on the weekend in the large theater where they still use the 70 mm format.  The movies are great.  Last time I was there it happened to be Doris Day’s 96th? Birthday and he played an ode to her.  I didn’t realize the songs he played were all ones she made famous but they lifted my heart nonetheless.====JACK:  In her prime, DD was really good...and her songs were, too...Fly Me To The Moon...Sentimental Journey...Que Sera Sera...Dream A Little Dream.

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  song of the day...and I’m sure your get up and go still needs some rest! I used the Scarlett line yesterday when I left work...====JACK:  I like that idea of quoting Scarlett as you leave work.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Ha! I love that quote; that was me a couple of weeks ago when I had my little dizzy episode and ended up in emergency and laid up for 3 days...I'm sure it is you, as you recover fromyour serious infection hospital stay!  I lead singing for the Clergy  Spouses retreat the end of this month, and am going to use the Zippity call to worship shared in todays blog! :-)  stay well, dear friend!====JACK:  Somehow, I never pictured Jesus as a ZIPPY kind of a guy.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 4/9/18
“The little things are infinitely the most important in solving mysteries.”  (A. Conan Doyle)  What happened to Jack’s Winning Words last week?  Answer: It was a spider bite, a little thing that I left alone until it became infected.  An antibiotic reaction caused severe dehydration and kidney issues and a 6-day hospital stay and home recuperation.  It was only a spider bite!  So, examine your life.  Is there some “little spider bite” that you should be taking care of?”    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Jack,  about a month ago a good friend of our's stepped on a toothpick by accident and ended up with a severe infection in the heel of her foot.  it took a surgery to remove it and 4 weeks to get rid of the infection.  who knew a little toothpick could do so much damage?  PLH   p.s.we are home now.  took an 8 day road trip through southern Utah on the way home and hit 4 national parks: Zion,  Bryce Canyon,  Capitol Reefs, and Arches.  spectacular beauty!   get well, my friend.  and Easter blessings to you and yours...====JACK:  Baseball manager Dusty Baker had a habit of chewing on a toothpick.  MLB ordered him to stop, because people were imitating him, and some had swallowed toothpicks.

FROM LBP:  Glad to have you back. :)  Alas, there are too many little things. But there was a lesson I was given once for combatting stress. Do three things each day. 1. One thing to come closer to God (or the divine). 2. one thing to address a nagging problem. 3. One thing to make someone else happy. Doable, right?====JACK:  Doing 3 "little" things each day is a good idea.  Saying 3 little words to someone is a good idea, too.

FROM WALMART REV:  Welcome back, Jack!! You were missed!! "A pesty little critter, wasn't he?!?! ====JACK:  I didn't actually see him; the doctor surmised.

FROM KS:  Glad to hear you’re doing better!!   Little things - I agree, sometimes in the back of my mind (bad habits, thoughts of the past, procrastination) have a way of getting in the way.  Take care of yourself and hope you continue on the recovery road.====JACK:  Have you ever heard the song, Little Things Mean a Lot?

FROM SF:  Whoa! I wondered where you went! Relieved to hear that you are good again! My brother is an exterminator...’The Bugmen’ (248-763-7973). You can call him if you ever need him! He loves me and would love to meet you. What a character he is!!! Crazy good! ====JACK:  NOW you suggest an exterimnator?  That's locking the barndoor etc.  OOPS.  That spider may still be in the house, getting hungry again.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  We missed you!   So glad to see you're back.  In my mind I contemplated various possibilities why you were not "publishing".  Some were health related, but much more notable than a spider bite.  Seems your treatment was one of those situations with the "cure" being worse than the "disease".  I hope you're beyond any danger or discomfort now, and feeling on top of things again. ====JACK:  I'll take the cure!!!!