Friday, June 29, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/29/18
“Did you know that Dammit I’m mad spelled backwards is Dammit I’m mad?”  (Sent by Norlene)  What makes you upset these days?  I once saw something called a Dammit Doll.  The instructions said to keep slamming that rag doll until your anger is gone.  It might be a useful   gift for someone who becomes overly-frustrated by some life-events.   Even Jesus got angry when he saw the Temple being misused.  What is your secret for relieving anger?     ;-)  Jack

FROM SF:  WOW! Interesting fun fact! Just turning on the news evokes so many emotions...anger, fear, shame, frustration, shock, sadness. The height of these negative emotions is new to me. Trying to concentrate on joy and good health and of course, my children, grandchildren, and G.  What are we to do? (Refusing to turn on the news or to read the newspaper doesn’t solve anything, does it?)  Hope you are well. Look forward to your notes!===JACK:  "Dammit" expresses my feelings when I read about the political direction of the USA as it replaces a more moderate tone.  "Extremes" bother me.  That 1/3 of the population believes that another Civil War is inevitable leads me to believe that 1/3 of the people have not learned from history or studied it.  Instead of using a Dammit Doll, I place my trust in the ultimate triumphalism of G-d and His way.

FROM WALMART REV:  Never have truly found my secret . . . "Pondering over and over it until it goes away or is replaced by a more edifying thought?!" 0;-/===JACK:  I've tried that, but I seem to still be angry.  The thought..."God is ultimately in charge"...seems to be come a comfort.===REV:
Yes sir . . . I agree wholeheartedly.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  Madam I’m Adam is also a palindrome. I always enjoyed them
Barbara Kinsolver wrote a wonderful book called THE POISIONWOOD BIBLE. About a missionary in Africa and each chapter is written from the POV of a daughter. One daughter writes in palindromes. I think you’d like this book.===JACK:  I appreciate cleverness.  Much comedy is based on that.  So are moralisms.  I especially like Yiddish sayings.  I also like word origins...palindrome, doe example, has Greek root  Dromos (running) and Palin (back around).  I had to look up the why of a Bible called, Poisonwood.  That caused me to learn something new.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I had never seen Keller's comment. It's a good one.===JACK:  I find it fascinating that one who had never heard speech, learned to speak, and that one who had never seen writing, learned to write...and one who had never heard or read about God, learned a knowledge of, and a belief in God.

FROM JACK:  Reading my Facebook postings today, I sense that many of my friends need to use a Dammit Doll.===EDUCATOR PAUL:  I guess you read my post... Goodbye Jeff, Bill, etc...I’m good now! LOL===JACK:  Yep!  Sometimes "Unfriend" works better than the doll, of stewing. ===PAUL:  I really enjoy watching Chris Cumo on CNN at night..mostly taped.  His motto is “Tell The Truth.” And, he gets after anyone who does the spin..anyone.  Last night he told the story of Two Wolves.  I can guess you know the story, but it had a lot of meaning to me..===JACK:  There was an early television show called, To Tell The Truth, where 3 celebrity panelists would try to guess who among 3 people was the one who had the "strange" occupation.  It was less stressful than politics.

FROM DR JUDY:  Jack, this was a great laugh out loud Post!  I’m seeing a lot of posts from you lately which non-directly teach us how to deal with these chaotic times that compassionate people are perceiving. Thank you.===JACK:  You're a mind-reader, too.  My Winning Words seems to have morphed from moralism commentary into moralism/spiritual-ism with a contemporary "poke."  Maybe it has become my personal Dammit Doll.

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Taking action!  Tomorrow there is a noon march at Chicago’s Daley center for “Indivisible” standing up for immigrants and families who were recently forced to separate while trying to seek refuge or political asylum.   This si followed by Veganfest with my daughter! ===JACK:  The aphorism is true..."Actions speak louder than words."  Separation of families is unconscionable, regardless of the law.  This week I had vegan chocolate ice cream.  Great!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Interesting Palindrome! I had A Dammit Rag Doll; (I think they were on sale at our church bazaar!) And you not only slam it, you yell "Dammit" with every slam! It does let off steam...:-)  Novel idea at the time.  With our country in the condition it is today, one does need some way to vent!!  I guess watch and pray, and do what you can in your little corner of the world! ===JACK:  I have a hard time picturing "church lady" with a Dammit Doll, or yelling, Dammit!"  Maybe Dana Carvey, but not the ladies or the leader of your Sunday School class.  Why not bring the doll to class and ask if anyone is bold enough to use it?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Reciting Bible verses over and over!===JACK:  I know a man whose father had him recite a piece of poetry (from memory) each night at the supper table.  A woman once told me that confirmation memory work suddenly came back to her as she lay on a hospital gurney awaiting cancer surgery.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/28/18
“I do not want the peace that passeth understanding, I want the understanding that bringeth peace.”  (Helen Keller)  I once visited Ivy Green in Alabama, where Helen Keller was born and spent her early childhood.  It was special to stand at the spot where Helen and Annie Sullivan first communicated.  Hers is a story that truly passes understanding.  Mark Twain called Annie, The Miracle Worker.  While there, I got a Helen Keller quarter as a memento.    ;-)  Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The Miracle Worker is one movie I never miss if I see it show up on tv.  It’s a true story of strength, persistence and love!===JACK:  It's almost like Jesus restoring sight to the blind man.===JUDY:  Absolutely!  He gave Annie the gift of faith so she kept on until she was successful!===JACK:  I don't know that Annie was a particularly religious person, but she did seen to have a basic feeling that each success in life brings us closer to God.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  That was one of Les’ favorites too! When we moved to Tampa in 1963 and he taught 6th grade and had 48 students in his class, his students loved it too!===JACK:  Annie certainly knew what it was to be a teacher.

FROM ESF:  I like this, we should never ignore bullying ===JACK:  I recall "bullying" from the past, but there was a passive toleration "back then."  Things weren't always better in the old days.

FROM LBP:  Yes. Yes. Yes. This is very selfish. I’m sure you were thinking loftier issues as you penned the ww. But I’m waiting to hear the result of a decision at work and it is driving me insane! I get hints to one way then the other and I’m starting to obsess. The decision was made Monday but I have to wait for the formal announcement to come “soon”. I just want the peace that comes from knowing the yes or no!===JACK:  Your response reminds me of the person who prayed, "O Lord, give me patience, and give it to me, RIGHT NOW!!!"===LBP:  Yeah. I know. ..This proposal went in for review last November. I feel like I’ve been pretty patient. But I’m really stuck ruminating on the potential outcome these last few days knowing that it’s decided but I cannot know that decision. It’s silly and useless to fret on it I know. Now to convince my brain to cut it out.===JACK:  It's sort of like the promise of Heaven, isn't it?  Well, maybe not something that we're anxious for RIGHT NOW, but a "perfect world" would be a relief.===LBP:  Well, as you probably figured, no answer translated to a “no” answer. Ah... the NIH .... some day I will figure out how to win their favor ===JACK:  Someday, when you're in charge, things will be different.  Life is a learning experience.  The "church" experiences, good and bad, in my growing years, helped shape my ministry.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Love this quote from one of the most amazing women ever!. She was
a deep thinker, and found a way to communicate what she thought.  Yes, we all need more understanding, and we all want peace. I am currently enjoying Maria Shriver's new book, I'VE BEEN THINKING, in which her essay on Intestinal Fortitude says exactly how most thinking Americans are feeling today!! She nailed it!===JACK:  There must be an eleemosynary gene in the Kennedy pool, probably coming from Rose's side.  It shows up in so many of her offspring.===OAKS:  Really?! I'll have to look that gene up in Websters. Always learning something new!===JACK:  I learned that "e" word in college/seminary.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Helen Keller certainly was an outstanding achiever, and a proponent of humanitarian causes throughout her life.  She overcame her disabilities and was a powerful influence in society with her writing and lecturing.  It's a credit to her parents that they used what wealth they had to engage Annie Sullivan as Helen's teacher and companion.  By her efforts she broke through the darkness and silence Helen suffered from being blind and deaf.  Reading Helen's biography in my youth, and seeing the film, "The Miracle Worker", really impressed me about overcoming adversity ===JACK:  Annie's life story is almost as interesting as Helen's.  It is God, as a miracle worker, that brought Annie and Helen together.===RI:  Your insight about God being the miracle worker is a revelation for me.  I had never perceived it that way.  I live about three miles from The Perkins School for the Blind, where both Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan were schooled.===JACK:  ===RI:  Your insight about God being the miracle worker is a revelation for me.  I had never perceived it that way.
I live about three miles from The Perkins School for the Blind, where both Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan were schooled.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/27/18
“If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say you’re neutral, the mouse will never appreciate your neutrality.”  (Desmond Tutu)  Bullying these days doesn’t only happen among the young.  The little guy doesn’t stand a chance unless someone sees the unfairness and chooses to intervene.  Ann Landers used to say, “MYOB,” but sticking up for the mouse IS my business.  Victims of exploitation need an advocate.  If not me, who?  If not you, who?    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  sarah sanders is a victim of bullying... are you sticking up for her? just asking.===JACK: I wrote some really good replies to this, but the delete key got in the way. ====JACK:  Sometimes the fish swims away from the bait.

.FROM CZB:  Good one!===JACK:  I miss having talks with you.===CZB:  Yes!  But the problem is becoming a news weary electorate who might decide to just “shut down” and leave it to the “ others” to vote===JACK:  I feel an unease over the lack of a unifying message and a unifying leader.  "Divide and conquer (rule0" is the old slogan.  "Two more years" would be a disaster!

FROM LS:  Bullying is a complicated formula, although a simple, uncomplicated act in its deliberate result.  choose  to intervene whenever possible  to encourage one to see the greatness in themselves,  to give them the opportunity to feel self confident, to enable them to feel love and to enable them to the do what is right unto their fellow human beings because they intend to.  It works on both sides of the bullying formula. When the above does not work there is always the element of surprise from me - giving the situation a 1-2 punch.  Have a blessed day.===JACK:  I tend to be concerned when I observe unfairness.  Of course, unfairness is in the eye of the beholder.  Sometimes we become stronger by personal resistance, or even by becoming a martyr.  Problems don't always have easy solutions or one solution.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Amen to that.===JACK:  Problems sometimes are so pervasive that we give up on seeing ourselves as part of the solution.  So many times I have preached: "Every little bit helps."  Now, I have to believe that and practice it.

FROM WALMART REV:  Hard to decipher at times . . . are Christians nowadays the victims or the perpetrators as some are suggesting?! Democrats or Republicans? Whites or Blacks? or, are we all guilty of "shooting ourselves in the foot" trying to figure whose right and whose wrong? I'm wondering if we will ever sit down together and talk about our differences, how we might solve some of these dilemmas, and quit yelling and demonstrating only!!!!!!  0:-/===JACK:  In its history the Christian Church has been guilty of bullying...and so have I, as my sister can attest.  Heaven on earth is an elusive goal, and so we hope for better things in the sweet by and by.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We should all take a stand.  I know a couple who never voted because they might have to serve on a jury!  At one time names were pulled from people who voted.  I was just flabbergasted!  Now it’s different but thankfully neither ever was chosen.  I wouldn’t have wanted anyone with that attitude deciding my fate.===JACK:  We're promised a "jury of peers."  Is that really possible?  Definition of a peer:  "a person who is equal to another in abilities, qualifications, age, background, and social status."  But what we have is better than no jury. ===JUDY:  As one who served as a Jury Foreman, I can say most of the women on the jury were peers.  But, to take unskilled untrained people to listen to sly lawyers and try to figure out the fate of a family just didn’t seem right.   It’s not the best way but it is the way we have in this country and as fair as we could make it.===JACK:  Do you remember the All In The Family episode when Edith Bunker was on a jury?  I really liked that show and its characters.===JUDY:  No I don’t remember seeing that episode.  How politically incorrect that program would be now.  They would be all fired. ===JACK:  It was meant to be satire.  The Archie Bunkers still exist.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Couldn't agree more -  good examples might be those (people or companies) with a lot of money vs the little guy....or big government......or refugees.  The list goes on. ===JACK:  Sometimes the elephant trumpets so loudly that the mouse's squeak can't be heard.  ===RS:  I take it the "trump" in trumpets was not a pun.===JACK:  Sometimes I like to be subtle.  My hope is in God's ultimate judgment where right triumphs over wrong.  As the hymn goes: "This is my Father's world, O let me ne'er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler, yet!"

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  What an excellent quote! I think we get discouraged because the people
 with big money seem to have the power, and our little "squeaks" are not even noticed or honored in any way, We just have to be faithful in our little corner of the world to help the poor and disadvantaged with the time and funds we have. It will make a difference to THEM, a least!  Our church works with the homeless and some on welfare, which can be time-consuming and expensive; Often they have nowhere else to turn.===JACK:  Remember what Jesus said about the mustard seed.  BIGGER is not always better.

FROM INDY GENIE:  If Not Now you for your WW’s today.
I thought of this song that you probably already know but here it is.===JACK:  I'll have to listen to Carrie.  Thanks for introducing me to Iris.  "Let the Mystery Be" has become one of my all-time favorites.  I listen to it often.===GENIE:  You’re welcome....iris is one of my favorites too.
I heard Carrie sing “If Not Now” at a Jewish synagogue a few years ago. She and the rabbi were doing a tag team thing with stories and songs. She ended the evening with that song. Everybody was singing good.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/26/18
“It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.”  (Francis of Assisi)  The word, pardon, is in the news a lot these days, but are you aware of its origin?  It was first used to explain the gift of forgiveness that the Pope gave to sinners.  It was a serious and holy action offered to the wrongdoer who asked for “pardon.”  The forgiveness was really God’s, and the Pope acted as his agent.  I feel badly when such a “holy act” loses its holiness in today’s secular world.    ;-)  Jack

FROM DEACON R:  I also feel bad because it makes people confused about God’s grace given through Forgiveness and the embodiment of Jesus sent to redeem us from our sins.  I’m prayerful that Paul understands this point so he may understand that it is not about how I might feel (regarding Kwami Kilpatrick). It’s all about God’s forgiveness, not to be twisted with a presidential pardon.
The fairness we consider from person to person is making such a mess that Jesus clarified in saying the First shall be Last.====JACK:  Ultimately, pardon involved "just a little talk with Jesus by and by."  Kwame ans God...Robert and God...Jack and God...Donald and God.

FROM WALMART REV:    "...could it be more political nowadays?" 0;-/ ===JACK:  In your ministry has anyone come up to you, confessed and asked for forgiveness?===REV:  Somewhat the nature of those walking through the 4th and 5th Steps of AA's 12 Steps program . . . others come asking if God would forgive them, and I readily assure them He will if we ask Him to! 0;-) ===JACK:  If you ever wanted to convert, you'd make a good Lutheran.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  you feel “bad,” not badly... unless your sense of feeling is impaired. but i forgive you!===JACK:  Sometimes I have a tingling in my fingers which causes me to feel badly.

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  I visited the town of Assisi in Italy a couple of years ago. Our tour director for the trip was also from Assisi.  We visited the Basilica as well. It was so informational to me as I had never heard of St Francis. ===JACK:  His is an interesting story about how he grew up in a wealthy family and made the transition into becoming a "poor" monk,  Religion will often change fact, that's what it's meant to do.===LYNN:  Yes – I learned a lot that day ===JACK:  As Michelangelo said, at age 87, Ancora Imparo!===LYNN:  Yes – I still learn   Of course I had to look this up ===JACK:  Being curious enough to look things up is part of learning.  Ancora Imparo is a good phrase to remember.

FROM MF IN WB:  Maybe you shouldn't feel so badly, certainly, the many people reading ww's today will recall the holiness connection you taught us. I will remember today's lesson every time I hear the word pardon, and am sure I'll share it with others,   Thanks Jack===JACK:  The "bad feeling" is a feeling of los, when a Godly word becomes identified with political favor.  Ib church, before the eucharist, the peace greeting is meant to be a time of asking for pardon and being pardoned.  In most instances it's become a time of greeting friends (and sometimes strangers).  ===FM:  see your point

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors" as we say in the Lord's prayer. We are to pardon as God pardons us. As CS Lewis has said, "We all think forgiveness is a good idea, until WE have something to forgive." It's not always easy to practice compassion, but most will be miserable in the long run, if they don't! Threats of "Presidential Pardons" under the present regime certainly cheapens the whole action!====JACK:  I've always liked the C.S.Lewis quote.  What if we prayed the Lord's Prayer as it really say...God, forgive us in the same way that we forgive other people."  Ouch!

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  It is interesting how words are derived. You were very late this morning. Do you have a health issue?===JACK:  I see pardon, first of all, as a theological word relating to God's offer of forgiveness.  My sense is that the hoi poloi could not care less.  Their interest is in today's application.  As to the lateness of today's WWs; it was an internet issue.

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  Sunday, we went to the church that is sponsoring our group's efforts to bring a second refugee family to our community. Our new chair was giving a presentation, and the Anglican priest, Elizabeth (raised Lutheran in Germany) designed the service around the quote from Leviticus about how we must treat immigrants.  Listening to the Lord's Prayer, I remember as a boy I thought it was presumptuous to say "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us." I took the second phrase to declare that we DO forgive others, which I had noticed was not always the case. Later, maybe in discussions in Catachism, I came to a different conclusion, that we were asking that we be orgiven to the extent that we do forgive others. This felt like a more reasonable request, but not without its issues in understanding the grace of god which passes all understanding, that Jesus died to save us from our sins, etc. What IS the proper understanding of this phrase, and given that understanding, how should it be punctuated in today's understanding of punctuation and grammar?===JACK:  Without going to Biblical commentaries, my  interpretation of the petition is like your second one..."Forgive us in the same way that we forgive others."  Yet, I don't think that's what we really want.  You can Google Luther's Small Catechism and see how he explains each petition of the Lord's Prayer under the headings, "What does this mean?  I've always taught it this way to confirmation students.  Also...the Commandments, the Creed and the Sacraments.  "What does this mean?"  Luther was a pretty smart guy.


Monday, June 25, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/25/18
“Don’t use a big word when a diminutive one will suffice.”  (Unknown)  Were you a child when you learned from Mary Poppins that “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” was something to say when you liked something a lot?  It wasn’t just super, it was super- (say it!).  Big words are fun to say.  But, some people use BIG words just to impress others with their knowledge.  These people are sometimes called pedants.  Ooops…there I go, illustrating my point.    ;-)  Jack

FROM WALMART REV:  "...ain't any problem of mine!" 0-)===JACK:  Paul wrote: "When I was a child, I spoke like a child."  Enjoy being a perpetual child of God.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  The person who comes to mind immediately for me is George Will! When he speaks I always learn a few new words. When he writes, I have to read almost every paragraph 2or 3 times.  Interesting way of communicating ideas, but he is very successful. His latest sentence is probably the best and easiest to understand! 😋===JACK:  I like his writing, although I don't always agree with his politics...except lately.  He's also knowledgeable about baseball.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Billy Graham once said he would never use a word with more than 4 syllables when preaching...   a good idea!===JACK:  He knew his audience.  That's one of the secrets of being a good preacher.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL IN CALIFORNIA:  Everything is bigger out here in California. Even some words ===JACK:  California's state name is long, but the longest state name belongs to the smallest state...Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (its full name)

FROM DJ IN TENN: Here’s another big word my father always liked.     Sesquipedilian ===JACK:  Some preachers are like that.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  When I first started teaching Jr. High, I heard, "You talk to us like we're college kids!" I toned down my vocabulary,  but always had my 7th and 8th graders learn new vocab words, along with spelling lessons. I emphasized that to go in the front door of any professional  job opportunity they had to have an excellent vocabulary. Many of them thanked me for that in later years!  Some of course, said they didn't get a chance to use those words at home or with family...Preaching to the masses IS another story, and simple, plain language is most effective; "say it simple so's I can understand", as the saying goes!  I  enjoy reading writers with extensive vocabularies.  The art of writing is much less detailed, and more succinct in modern times than it was 50 0r 60 years ago!===JACK:  In WWs I purposely like to stretch the mind by writing things that might make readers curious.

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  Learned a new word today  ===JACK:  Was it pedant?

Friday, June 22, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/22/18
“It’s a common delusion that we make things better by talking about them.”  (Dame Rose Macaulay)  Christopher Morley wrote this “powerful” little poem:  “Out for my evening stroll
I discovered on 84th Street   A power-house, quietly humming to itself,   And though I lived near-by   I had never known it was there.”  I’ve discovered people like that during my lifetime.  They don’t say much, but show up when the work needs doing.  Have you met such people?    ;-)  Jack

FROM WALMART REV:  I have an abundance of them . . . and love them all!! Well, most of them anyway.===JACK:  I'm like you in that matter.  I don't know how He does it...but God loves them all.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  shared your post on my facebook page...===JACK:  Some people are "All Talk!"  It's the "little power-house person" who impresses me.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Ok more breakfast talk???===JACK:  Have you had your meeting with Steve, yet?  I do enjoy our talks.  Th3e mind needs exercise, too.

FROM JB IN OLV::  All the time.===JACK:  "birds of a feather..."===JB:  Not a very quiet “bird”.===JACK:  I see you as a Wise Owl, not a Screech Owl.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  ... I just read two posters that seem to speak to this:1.) Don't underestimate me because I'm quiet.  I know more than I say, Think more than I speak, and observe more than you know.  2.) A wise man once said nothing.===JACK:  I like the sound of shhhh!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/21/18
“All kidding aside, if everyone did yoga we’d have world peace.”  (Rory Freedman)  There’s a Yoga group that calls itself, The Yoga Bears.  Serious Yoga-ites see yjrir Yoga as a method for bringing body and mind together for health, relaxation and spiritual growth.  ”Cute” doesn’t describe it.  Yoga is a 5000-yr-old Hindu discipline meant to enhance self-awareness.  It may not bring world peace, but those who practice it say that it brings a kind of peace to them.    ;-)  Jack

FROM DR EM:  I’ve been practicing yoga for almost 20 years and I have to agree. It’s probably kept me sane more than anything else I’ve done. ===JACK:  The Yoga people I know seem very peaceful and at ease with themselves.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Does anything bring world peace?   (Other than beauty contestant)---JACK:  As the song goes, "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me."  If there's no inner peace, there ain't no peace!

FROM WALMART REV:  "…not sure I could sit that long w/o talking to my neighbor..." 0;-) ===JACK:  It always makes me feel guilty to read the quote:: "I never trust a man who makes a living by his mouth."  I think it was by Mark Twain.===REV:  I've had said about me . . "You're all mouth!?"===JACK:  They were talking about your smile.

FROM DS IN SOCAL:  Here you go Jack.    Fits right in with your email today!!!

Dog doing yoga - YouTube

===JACK:  Fascinating!  That dog does Yoga better than I do.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My daughter is a Master Yoga Teacher in Chicago, and swears by it and meditation.  Kids Yoga, Adult, and Chair yoga...she teaches it all. She's at Kripalu (out East) right
now taking a week's refresher course, and loving it. She has her own consulting business but  Yoga is a way of life, and does bring peace of mind. Would that it could  bring World Peace!! Or even USA Peace! My minister son and his wife practice Yoga, as well. It's a pretty exhausting workout!! Maybe I'll give chair yoga a  try...:-)====JACK:  Be careful that you don't break your other arm!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yes I have two daughters one in Fort Worth TX and one in West Palm Beach and who have been doing yoga for years and really enjoy and share it! Btw the weather is cool and beautiful in California!===JACK:  The exercise fad when we were growing up was walking, not because of a Fitbit, but because of necessity.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  I think of Tai Chi as a form of relaxation but see it can also be used for defensive purposes…maybe stick to yoga.  Sun is shining – another beautiful first day of summer day!  We have not been affected with flooding like cities/towns to the north of us.===JACK:  Yoga, yes!  But I just can't see a quilting lady doing Tai Chi.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  If everyone prayed we’d world peace.  I think yoga is fine for some folks.  It is supposed to be relaxing, but to me it looks like hard exercise.  Gary and I have tried Tai Chi which we did enjoy.===JACK:  If I were still in "the business," I think that I might have a yoga group at church and connect up with with a spiritual thought starter, like Winning Words.  After the spiritual moment I's let the exercise begin.  Some yoga groups in our area have levels of positions that accomodate those with limited abilities.

FROOM DR J IN OHIO:  I’ve been doing yoga for 15 years and counting… it’s a perfect mind/body/soul experience… and the world does indeed need more YOGA!  Can you touch your toes?!?!===JACK:  Yes, I can touch my toes without bending my knees.  For me, the most important thing about yoga is related to calming the mind to be able to communicate with God.  The positioning is a way to relax the body so that the mind can relax, too.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I don’t too much about yoga but I thought it was based on a religion.  Again, I don’t know yoga at all except people and do strange poses.====JACK:  Yoga has Hindu roots, bringing peace of mind through treating the body with care.  Most religions have things in common regardless of some of the teachings that separate them.  I know of a church that has a yoga group for seniors.  It does not use extreme poses.

FROM YOGI TINA:  I thought I would like to help with Yoga misconceptions. It is not a religion. It is a way of life. There are 8 limbs within the realm of Yoga, none of them tell you to worship a particular way. The limbs cover life choices, breath, how to conduct yourself, how to work into the world, poses to practice to maintain physical health and meditation for mental health. We have a mental health crisis in this country. The pace and demands of our lives is demanding and at times intimidating, causing feelings of anxiety and depression causing drug abuse, addictions and suicides. A regular yoga practice helps the mind to slow down, helping you to be able to sit with yourself and maybe get you to a place where you can open up a stronger connection with whatever greater power you belief in. For Christians this might allow you to be able to sit and connect deeper with Jesus through a meditative prayer, trying to not control the session with your normal prayers but to observe and open yourself to the flow of energy which connects us all through the belief of Jesus. As Christians it is understood that every human is one of God’s children, there are no exclusions here. For better or worse we are all connected. Our thoughts matter to our health as well as the health of those around us. Yoga is a way to channel your energy to help you live the life of your beliefs. I believe I am the senior chair yogi that Pastor Keeps mentioning and I do believe that the deep breathing practice, along with simple postures, many done in a chair and a bit of meditative practice can really change a person. It can help you to become the best version of yourself. My classes are a bit interactive so the person who doesn’t feel they can keep their mouth shut for class need not worry, it is chatty Yoga. Namaste!===JACK:  Thanks for your response and the straightening out of misconceptions.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/20/18
“A poor person isn’t he who has little, but he who needs a lot.”  (German Proverb)  The Bible has some scary stories…The Great  Flood…Daniel in the lions’ den…The plague of fleas.  But, one of the scariest to me is a story about the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) where it says that the rich and poor on earth might change places in Heaven.  Let that sink in. The point is that those who turn their back on the poor will get an eternal taste of poverty.  Scary!    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  A person is poor if they can't afford the "necessities" of life.   There are way too many of them in our country.    Now the real question.." What can we/should we do about it?"===JACK:  The best solution is to help the poor themselves to find a solution.  For example, when utilities are shut off for non-payment, free utilities for everyone is not a viable solution, but helping the poor to learn how to manage money (earned/donated) is,  Sometimes the problem of poverty is at the doorstep of the poor and sometimes at the doorstep of society..===JOHN:  When the problem is " at the doorstep of society", your solution doesn't work.===JACK:  I guess I'm saying that instead of free water for everyone, I support public and private gifts and basic "home" budgeting training as ways to keep the water flowing.  ...and is it wrong to believe that we have a society that truly cares about the have nots?

FROM WALMART REV:  "...I would suppose that will include those who exploit them as well..." 0;-/===JACK:  I thank God for people like you who find ways to channel resources (financial and other) from the haves to the have-nots....REV:  You and I know “it is more blessed to give than receive...”

FROM HY YO SILVER:  The Jewish scriptures teach: Who is wealthy?  The one who is content with their portion.===JACK:  You are probably well satisfied now...but would you like to have a raise in pay?…HY:  Of course.  I need to raise more charity!---JACK:  I would hope that your wages are not charity.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i well recall Flip and Geraldine!   he was both funny and poignant at the same time... ===JACK:  That's the best kind of comedy.  Charlie Chaplin did it well.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i think this is the most damning and sobering parable in the whole NT.   there is nothing in the story to imply that the rich man was a bad person or that his wealth was ill-gotten.  he could have been the prez of the local chamber of commerce.  his sin was not one of commission but of omission. he just never saw the poor man.   and the judgement came without an iota of mercy or compassion from Jesus.  this parable should be read every day on Wall St. and in the corridors of power wherever they may be.===JACK:  I look in the mirror and say, "Et tu, Brute?"

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: You would not believe all of the homeless on the streets here! So sad! ===JACK: Detroit, too.  Sometimes in the winter my daughter and her husband will take packages of fresh baked cookies and hand them out to the street people.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:   It is scary===JACK:  Ask Joshua what scares him?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/19/18
“The devil made me do it.”  (Flip Wilson)  Many of you aren’t old enough to remember Flip as Geraldine, the preacher’s wife, who would excuse “mistakes” by saying, “The Devil made me do it.”  Some people excuse “sin” in the same way.  Who is this Devil?  Is he to blame for when we mess up?  Don’t be like Geraldine…”It’s not me, Lord,” when, in fact, it is ME!  In this world there’s too much blame-shifting.  “It’s me, it’s me, O Lord…” goes the Gospel song.”    ;-)  Jack

  FROM HONEST JOHN:  I will go with Schleiermacher on this one...there is nothing so real as evil.===JACK:  I'll go with, "We are conceived and born in(to) sin (a world where evil exists to influence us)."===JOHN:  Key words.    "Where evil EXISTS"

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i swear it is not me, tho... 😂===JACK:  Swearing to tell the truth means nothing unless you trust the swearer,  But, who knows all, knows the difference between truth and a lie.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  “She” used to make me laugh!  So did the “Church Lady” on Saturday Night Live.  Dana Carvey was actually a Lutheran and he played a funny old church lady.  He would say...”Could it be satan?” ===JACK:  Do you know who Sam Scratch is?

FROM KANSAN DON:  Aen11===JACK:  I don't understand your response.  Is it written in Hebrew or in broken Swede?

Monday, June 18, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/18/18

“I never panic when I get a wasp in my ear.  As soon as you strike out, it’ll sting you.  So, just stay cool.”  (Martin McGuinness)  Every month seems to have “special” daysWell, if you didn’t know it today, June 18, is designated as Panic Day.  A wasp in the ear would be panic for me.  Or, maybe it’s a diagnosis, a phone call, a news headline.  Panic comes in various ways.  The words of Jesus comfort me.  “Fear not!  I am with you…always!”  Just stay cool!    ;-)  Jack

DROM LBP:  Our kitchen calendar has one “special” for each day. For fun we try to enjoy one of “specials” each week. My calendar says it’s international sushi day. Though I think I prefer to celebrate “go skating day” on Thursday or “world sauntering day” tomorrow. If you don’t mind I’ll skip panic day. ===JACK:  Didn't you once get into trouble for observing Senior Skip Day?  Did that cause a panic on the part of some people?===L:  Nope. I did not get in trouble. I may not have gone to school but I’m pretty sure the absence was reported... and of course my parents knew. Ha ha. Not so much skipping school as planned unexcused absence I guess

FROM HY YO SILVER:  One of the most common concluding prayers in the Jewish liturgy is the Adon Olam prayer (which means Universal Master). It’s final verse generally translates as: “The Lord is with me; I will not fear."===JACK:  I've come to believe that there is more that unites "religious" people than divides them.  Keep looking for the positives in life!

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  please pray for me, jack. i am numb w/shock, grief.

“I never panic when I get a wasp in my ear.  As soon as you strike out, it’ll sting you.  So, just stay cool.”  (Martin McGuinness)  Every month seems to have “special” days.  Well, if you didn’t know it today, June 18, is designated as Panic Day.  A wasp in the ear would be panic for me.  Or, maybe it’s a diagnosis, a phone call, a news headline.  Panic comes in various ways.  The words of Jesus comfort me.  “Fear not!  I am with you…always!”  Just stay cool!    ;-)  Jack

DROM LBP:  Our kitchen calendar has one “special” for each day. For fun we try to enjoy one of “specials” each week. My calendar says it’s international sushi day. Though I think I prefer to celebrate “go skating day” on Thursday or “world sauntering day” tomorrow. If you don’t mind I’ll skip panic day. ===JACK:  Didn't you once get into trouble for observing Senior Skip Day?  Did that cause a panic on the part of some people?

FROM HY YO SILVER:  One of the most common concluding prayers in the Jewish liturgy is the Adon Olam prayer (which means Universal Master). It’s final verse generally translates as: “The Lord is with me; I will not fear."===JACK:  I've come to believe that there is more that unites "religious" people than divides them.  Keep looking for the positives in life!

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  please pray for me, jack. i am numb w/shock, grief./===JACK:  This song has brought comfort to many people mu,b with sock and grief...

Why should I feel discouraged,
Why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely,
And long for Heav’n and home,
When Jesus is my portion?
My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.
I sing because I’m happy,   sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,  And I know He watches me.

Let not your heart be troubled,
His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness,
I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth,
But one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.
===LIZ:  thank you! my prayers were answered this morning, actually... a real-life miracle.
you never know, you just never know. ♥️

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  you may not believe this but it is true.  when we were kids,  my brother swung at a ball during a ballgame and at that very moment a wasp flew right into his left ear.  he fell to the ground in great pain.  thankfully,  my Mom ran and got a pan of warm water and just pour it into his ear until the wasp finally back out!   we then pinched it until it was dead.  a very weird event to say the least.  Mark still recalls that day like it was yesterday.===JACK:  Maybe that was the time when Panic Day started.  You might send your brother a copy of today's WWs. 

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  To panic is not a good idea! Take one day at a time!===JACK:  Take one panic at a time.  Today's panic was leaving late to catch the plane to Minnesota.  All that worry nothing.  We got there in plenty of time.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My friend's niece was just diagnosed with stage 4 inoperable Gioblastoma tumor in her right brain. Terminal prognosis. Now that would be panic time for sure. All  one can do is pray like mad!! The wasp in the ear would definitely set most into a panic mode! 
===JACK:  I once had a church member who would have a panic attack when thinking about taking Communion.  I approached the situation, not from the psychological standpoint, but from the it is a special time to be assured of God's love (of course, more than that).  One day she showed up at thP altar with a smile on her face.  A miracle!  After that she always...with that smile on her face..  Panic turned into joy..

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There’s a lot to panic about now a days but they key is to remember we are never ever alone.  However I can’t say I wouldn’t panic if I had ANY bug in my ear!!===JACK:  How about bees buzzing around the privy when you really, really have to use it.  Panic!  I think that I would forget the words, "Remember, you are never alone!",  

Friday, June 15, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/15/18
“My reason nourishes my faith, and my faith my reason.”  (Norman Cousins) A little boy was asked to define Faith.  “It’s believing what you know ain’t so.”  That illustrates for some the problem with faith…believing something that seems unreasonable.  It’s sort of like Thomas… ”unless I can see, touch, I will not believe.”  We want to be sure, but that’s not always possible.  Cousins’ words show that, in his mind. reason and faith can be compatible.  I agree!   ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  The Bible got a bad rap yesterday by our attorney General, Jack!  This country is being torn apart and our government is doing things I never thought I would  ever see in my lifetime.  In the meantime, our politicians are arguing the difference between law and policy.
Sad times===JACK:  I don't claim to be a Bible expert, but I know enough to see when it is being misinterpreted.  I wonder if God is laughing or crying? ===PAUL:  Sad Times for the soul of our Country.===JACK:  In a politically United (Divided) States of America where even your "friends" are one one side or the other, I'm reminded what Dickens wrote in A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

FROM WALMART REV:  Happy Father's Day this coming Sunday!!===JACK:  Snopes says that the rumor is TRUE...More collect calls are made on Father's Day than on any other day of the year.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i once heard a great talk that clearly stated the difference between scientific fact and spiritual truth.  the two are NOT the same.   i could say much more on this topic but my day is full!===JACK:  I have a friend who firmly believes from his study of the Bible that the earth is about 6,000 years old.  I have another friend, a geo-physicist, who believes that the exact age of the earth cannot be calculated, but that it's probably billions of years old.===PAUL:  i have a friend who found the jaw bone of a dinosaur in Wyoming some years ago  on an archaeological dig.    i assure  you it is older than 6000 years.    if you add up the numbers in the Bible,  you might think the earth was created in 4004 BC (Usher's calculations) but that is just baloney.===JACK:  Baloney originated in the 16th century in Bologna, Italy.  Many people have a taste for it, both the speech and meat varieties.===PAIL:  i like it with a little lettuce and mayo on sliced bread...

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Love the quote in your blog today, of  Dickens, in 'Tale of Two Cities".  That pretty much covers the state of our country and others, most of the time....Our country is more diverse than most, so more divided, usually. I'll never forget how uniformly the Japanese people seem to think, when I spent 3 weeks there, due to the fact that they encounter so few foreigners in their daily lives, to exchange views with.  Now the world is so much smaller with all the instant communication available, that may have changed, some.Caught up on this week's WW, which were excellent to ponder...===JACK:  Yes, I thought that the Dickens quote captured the American situation of today.  There's a lot of hatred...and the middle ground could rightly be called, "No Man's Land."

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/14/18
“You’re a grand old flag, You’re a high flying flag, And forever in peace may you wave.”  (George M. Cohan)  When I was younger, patriotism was, “Hats off; hats off; the flag is passing by.”  On Flag Day most houses seemed to have a flag on display.  Times are different now, but patriotism, really, is what’s displayed in the heart.  To me, it’s a German immigrant, with an accent, singing in our church choir: “America, America, God shed his grace on thee,,”    ;-)  Jack

FROM WALMART REV:  During the season for stock car races at our local fairgrounds each Thursday night and before the prayer and National Anthem, we announce, "Please stand and remove your caps for our . . ." Happy to say that most if not all still do so.===JACK:  Why is it necessary to remind people?  It would be interesting to see what would happen if no reminder was given.  Then, only the reverent and patriotic would stand and remove their caps.  Maybe that's too radical.  Putting that aside, I think that it's an honor that you are asked to give the prayer and sing the anthem.  Do you wave the green flag, too, to start the race?===REV:  Not the flagman but the announcer-- Once every season for the Faster Pastor novelty race with 5-6 local pastors competing, I get to be "the announcer"! I never enjoy racing another person's car, but have fun calling the race. 0;-)===JACK:  I remember attending a small-town race when people in attendance could enter a Spectator Race.  A young person was there with a flashy car.  He entered the race and was involved in a crash that caused real damage...and the car belonged to his father.  OOPS!

FROM HONEST JOHN:Our problem has often been to confuse patriotism with extreme nationalism. ===JACK:  I hadn't really given that a thought.   the patriot is proud of his country for what it does , and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does ; the first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility while the second a feeling of blind arrogance that leads to a war...and the extreme of nationalism leads to imperialism.  Currently,our country seems to be experiencing all three, along with care-less-ness.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  Thanks for the reminder!  I lose track of dates sometimes, but my flag is out now!===JACK:  Hats off!, Hats off!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good words today, Jack.  thanks...   did you get your 3 Amens??  ===JACK:  As yet, not even a whispered one

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I have already hung my flag on this beautiful day.  With all of the Korean news that reminds me of my first year of teaching I think of how horrific it all was.  Freedom is not free is the message of the memorial. World War 2 and Vietnam we have lived through also.  My phone is giving me problems, so I am on the computer today.  Hope that you have a great day, ===JACK:  As I was driving around this morning I didn't see any displayed, except my own.  I don't necessarily see that as a lack of patriotism.

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  My flag flies 365 days a year on our permanent flagpole.  It was one of the first things we bought when we purchased our house.===JACK:  I'm impressed.  How often do you need to replace it?  Is it lighted at night, or do you take it down at sunset?===LYNN:  About twice a year AND I don’t take it down or have a light.  I follow these rules:  

Lowering or taking down the flag at sunset isn't strictly enforced by the code, it's just a "universal custom." Yet when "a patriotic effect is desired," you can let that thing soar at all hours of the day and night so long as it's "properly illuminated" during the evening and hours of darkness.  So I hope I’m not being unpatriotic ===JACK:  As I wote...Patriotism is in the heart!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We love what the flag represents but sadly people don’t have the deep respect for it or country.  It was so refreshing to see and hear about the old fashioned way the Memorial Day Parade and the speeches were held in all the little towns around us.  Some towns only had a Sheriff’s car and a fire truck with the town’s “Sweetheart” or mayor riding aboard.  But the folks stood side by side with pride and sang the National Anthem.  It was heartwarming!===JACK:  Sometimes in their patriotic zeal, some people forget why they are patriotic.  Freedom of expression (positive or negative), freedom of religion (no forced religion of any kind), the unity of the states ( all linked together in a common cause).. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/13/18
“It is of no use to blame the looking glass if your face is wry.”  (Nikolai Gogol)  I saw that Amazon has a Fun House mirror priced at $30.32.  Maybe you have one in your bathroom.  The mirror, as we know it, goes back about 200 yrs…but ancient people saw their reflection, using a still pool of water.  Do you remember Narcissus?  It’s said that “mirrors don’t lie.”  But, they can’t show the inner person…and, after all, that’s what’s important about who we are.    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Trump looking at himself in the mirror and  rehearsed ,,,…  In all seriousness, the mirror never lies is such an interesting concept to me.  It speaks to the concept of objectivity.  What is real and what isn’t?  Can two people look at the same object and see two totally different things?  Which is constant,,,the object or the way it’s reflected?  fun stuff to think about!
====JACK:  I'm sure that the doctors have a way of proving it, but I, too, have wondered if there's agreement in what we with hearing.  Our minds process things in different ways.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  mirrors are only 200 years old===JACK:  I was referring to mirrors as we know them.  Of course, people seeing reflected images in other ways goes back to the beginnings of mankind.  Eve probably used a kind of mirror for primping.

FROM WALMART REV:  ...been thinking of replacing our bathroom mirror of late...we’ve had it since purchasing our house in late 1999...the reflection has faded quite noticeably now, showing a more aged  and worn image of myself?! 0;-)===JACK:  Mirrors only reflect what they see.  The new mirror "sees" what the old one "sees."  BTW, if you seem to be having troubles with your mirror, remember this quote by Emerson..."As we grow old…the beauty steals inward."

FROM JLF:  That’s a good one.  btw, I got your WW a day early. It’s still Tuesday here in Hawaii! :-). Ha===JACK:  Does the mirror in Maui show the smile broader in Maui than on the mainland?

FROM LPB:  The mirror has the reflection but sometimes I think my familiar mental image obscures what I see. After not seeing someone in a while do you find that they have changed rapidly? Kids get older, friends get older, fatter, thinner, grayer,... maybe it's just that the time gap forces a reset of the familiar. On a different track, I've heard that dressing room mirrors are slightly skewed to make the viewer look taller and thinner so that you will want to buy what you try. Ah, perception. Let us not blame the looking glass when our perception blocks the view.===JACK:  To me, you're beginning to look more and more like your mother...or, is she beginning to look more and more like you?  and...I've never heard abouting dressing room mirrors being altered, but I can believe it.  Have you ever heard the song, "You're So Vain"?  (No, it's not about you.)===LBP:  Always have looked like her. We’re just off by 30 yrs. match photos of us by age and it’s eerie===JACK:  Both of you should be honored..

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Your Words seem to be perfectly picked sometimes!  We were just telling the grandkids this fable!  How appropriate!  Those fables are wonderful for making points and we like to use Bible Stories and Fables to illustrate issues   As for a Funhouse mirror, I’d rather have them than the ones I have.===JACK:  God doesn't care what the mirror says.  One of my favorite campfire songs..."He's got his eye on you.  He's got his eye on you.  My Lord sittin' in the kingdom, he's got his eye on you."  You can substitute any name for "you."  Names like Judy, Gary, etc.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/12/18
“The human being needs a challenge, and my advice to the people in Singapore…have a challenge.”  (Lee Kwan Yew – 1st Prime Minister of Singapore)  “A Challenge” is sometimes defined as, a time of testing.  I’ve had my “testings”, and I’m sure that you have, too.  I’d like to think that mine have made me stronger, and that’s what Yew wanted for his people.  Whatever becomes of the Singapore Summit, I hope that it results in a more peaceful world.    ;-)  Jack

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  Amen!'''===JACK:  A man, in conversation with Jesus, said: "I believe.  Help my unbelief."  Sometimes I feel conflicted like that.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  amen to that!===JACK:  That's a 2nd Amen to today's WWs.  Do I hear a 3rd?===PAUL:  having said that, i am also fearful that this is all just window dressing, the kind of showmanship Trump is famous for.  Mike Pompeo raised holy hell when Obama signed the Iran nuclear agreement.  today, he sits down for a photo op and a very loosely worded agreement with Kim Jong Un.   the proof will be in the pudding and that may be a long way down the road.   you don't dismantle overnight what has taken years to create.  just my two cents.===JACK:  An old radio mystery program had this tagline..."Who knows?  The Shadow knows!"  The future is hidden in the shadows.  "Who knows?  Well, God knows," and I find comfort in that.

FROM TL:  Amen Amen.  God Bless Us.  Let It Be So.  Thank you!===JACK:  There we have it!   The 3rd Amen.  Three hopes for a successful outcome to the Talks!

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  it can’t hurt, can it?===JACK:  That remains to be seen.  There are BIG risks.

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  I agree \\\JACK:  ...bit, in the back of my mind...

Monday, June 11, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/11/18
“Every time God forgives us, God is saying that God’s own rules do not matter as much as the relationship that God wants to create with us.”  (Richard Rohr)  Legalists are people who say, “The law’s the law!” and punishment is the consequence.  Imagine a God who makes laws (10 of them) and then offers forgiveness.  Why do you suppose he does that?  The ubiquitous John 3:16 is the answer, followed by “Love each other as I have loved you.”    ;-)  Jack 

FROM DR PHIL:  Hmm??  I think he is saying  "I forgive you for your sinfulness because my son Jesus sacrificed his life for you. Jesus tells me your his friend. That is good enough for me."  or something like that  Have a great day===JACK:  Is there a "limitation" on God's forgiveness?  Is forgiveness at his discretion, or by our actions?===DR: Hmm!Just looking at romans.===JACK:  {'m looking at a broader spectrum.  How does forgiveness relate to non-Romans readers?
FROM HONEST JOHN:  The Law is the Law.    If it were not for the Law, we would need no forgiveness.   Check with Luther.===JACK:  There you go,,,bringing Luther into the discussion.  Is God's forgiveness ultimately between God and each individual?===JOHN:  I would say "both/and" ...both for all of humankind and for each individual...original sin unites us in the need for the forgiveness as a people...individual responsibility brings the need for individual confession and forgiveness===JACK:  I'm familiar with the theology, but I'm wondering if, and how, forgiveness is offered to those who know nothing about original sin, regular sin and the like.  Is their a Law for those who do not know that there is a Law?  Maybe it's as the cartographers wrote on their maps when they came to unexplored places...HERE BE GOD!===JOHN:  Many theologians have pointed to the Natural Law to sustain their understanding, found in Paul, that there is no excuse but all are guilty and fall short of the glory of God.===JACK:  ...and according to God's omniscience, grace is offered to all.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  interesting concept... but does god expect us to let pedophiles, rapists, & murderers walk among us?===JACK:  I think that it says, somewhere in the Bible, that God is willing t5o forgive all sinners, even you...and me.===LIZ:  good for god. but that does not answer my question, exactly...===JACK:  God wants us to love one another as He loves us.  The Pharisees asked Jesus, "What does this mean?"  What do you think that God expects of you when it comes to "the sinners" of this world?===LIZ:  i expect he wants violent criminals to pay for their crimes on earth... and for the rest of us to be safe.===JACK:  Of course, I believe with you that God wants the best for us.  I think of this quote by Mother Theresa:   “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle.  I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.”  Sometimes it's hard to handle the evil that is in the world.===LIZ:  absolutely! fortunately there is way more good than evil... we just don’t hear about it because it does not make as good a story.

FROM KANSAN DON:  Well spoken/written, Servant.===JACK:  Too many folks focus on the 10 Commandments and ignore the concept of grace.  As C.S. Lewis wrote:  “Everyone thinks forgiveness is a lovely idea until he has something to forgive.”

Friday, June 08, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/8/18
“If you want peace, work for justice.”  (Pope Paul VI)  PP VI was Pope during the 2nd Vatican Council which dramatically changed the Roman Catholic Church.  This October he’ll be named a Saint.  A sign of sainthood is to be an advocate for peace and justice.  Even folks such as you and I can be saints,,,when we work for peace and seek justice in a world of injustice.  Doesn’t it say somewhere in the Bible, Blessed are the peacemakers (and the justice-seekers)?    ;-)  Jack

FROM WALMART REV:  Spoken like a saint, Jack===JACK:   Is this song in the AG songbook?
I sing a song of the saints of God,  Patient and brave and true,
Who toiled and fought and lived and died  For the Lord they loved and knew.
And one was a doctor, And one was a queen, And one was a shepherdess on the green:
They were all of them saints of God – and I mean, God helping, to be one too.
You can meet them [saints] in school, or in lanes, or at sea,
In a church, or in trains, or in shops, or at tea.
For the saints of God are just folks like me….
You can meet them in school, on the street, in the store,
In church, by the sea, in the house next door,
They are saints of God, whether rich or poor
.===REV:  It is not, but certainly would be a good one, especially the line about “meeting them in the lanes”. I’m sure it must be speaking of the bowling lanes” I encountered early on in life?!?! ===JACK:  I wonder if you ever bowled at Ten-Paw Alley where bowling shoes are not required.  Flip-flops will do.  They also have bowling balls small enough for 2-yr-olds.

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  he was a cool guy====JACK:  Agreed!  Pope John XXIII was a favorite of mine, because he (unexpectedly} started the modern reformation of the Roman Catholic Church.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I thought we were saints?====JACK:  Biblically, saints are the Christians in Paul's time.  We have transferred it to mean that saints are the Christians of the past and today...and those who are (and will be) in Heaven.  And, only God knows for sure who they are.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  ...for they will be called children of God"   Matthew 5:9  ====JACK:  Thanks for completing the thought.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/7/18
“For mortals the important thing is to make doxa truthful.”  (Hannah Arendt)  It is said that we are now living in a post-truth-world.  The truth ain’t what it used to be.  (doxa: a Greek word for common opinion or belief)  Truth might be one of those doxas that Philosopher Arendt says ought to be recovered.  Say, “No!” to those who would make “lying” acceptable.  It is not!  We can’t control the behavior of others, but we certainly can control our own actions.    ;-)  Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We should show the world how to live by example...and live by the Truth!===JACK:  Do you remember the song..."Be careful little lips, what you say"?

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/6/18
“He (she) is the best physician who is the most ingenious inspirer of hope.”  (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)  New doctors generally take the Hippocratic Oath whereby they swear by the gods to uphold specific ethical and scientific standards, the first of which is “to do no harm.”  …and:  “I will use treatment to help the sick.”  It may not be in the oath, but…“to inspire the sick to have hope!”  Count yourself fortunate when your list of doctors includes inspirers of hope.    ;-)  Jack

FROM LG:  I love this one, Jack!===JACK:  I recall that our first meeting was at a workshop designed to help bring hope to seemingly hopeless situations.

FROM WALMART REV: My Great Physician most certainly does . . .blessed to have Him  ===JACK:  “Jesus said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners’ ”  Who are the righteous?  Who are the sinners?===REV:  Even though a great Friend and Physician as He is, He doesn't always indulge me with the conditions of His other patients . . . I imagine it is because of HIPAA?! ===JACK:  I hadn't thought to put God and Hipaa together.  God puts down the rules, and leaves it to us to make the judgment.  The hidden factor is His grace.

FROM KLaM:  Good one! Thanks===JACK:  It's always a good day when there's a glimmer of hope.  ...especially when the day seems especially dark.===K:  Yes. My older son who is 31 has had health issues and hard to see in a young man.  He is not a good believer in God and religion.  He is a sweet guy tho. Thanks. Enjoy your daily words.===JACK:  One of the frustration with my Winning Words ministry is the lack of face to face contact and the conversation that goes with it.  Sometimes a phone call (or Skype) works, but not always.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Hope=probably the most important word in the English language, or
any language for that matter! Many times I've seen folks lose their spirit when they sense or are told "There is no hope" in their, or a loved one's situation. I saw this  in Bill when the diagnosis came back "Terminal Inoperable brain tumor." It takes the fight out of you. So yes, HURRAH for those inspirers of HOPE!!===JACK:  Thank God for Edward Mote who was led to write:  
My hope is built on nothing less  Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,  But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

FROM JT IN SJ:  WOW scary when i think of our federal government!===JACK:  We are seeing on a political level what happens when a leader and the team are marching to different tunes.  To get the people to march in cadence was part of my work as a pastor.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Doctors should inspire hope!  Sometimes we cling to hope when we least believe we have to face what we have to face in life!===JACK:  I guess that there's always a chance in any situation.  As Yogi said, "It ani't over til it's over."  That's a kind of hope.====JUDY:  Very true!  And for a believing Christian, there is nothing end just a new beginning!

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/5/18
“The speed of the boss is the speed of the team.”  (Lee Iacocca)  Detroit’s baseball team is playing beyond expectations, and I think a lot has to do with their manager.  There’s a team in the home, in the church, at work,,,and in politics, too.  How things go in these places largely has to do both with leadership and with a willingness of the “players” to work together.  But, it starts with the boss, the example-setter.  Today,,,remember…it’s the boss, and it’s the team!    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  The Church Growth movement called this person a "leader" and people in the ELCA pooh poohed them.   Our seminaries were praising the idea of the congregation's leadership....ala the Norwegians.    Our way has failed.   The church growth folks knew something that we didn't and we were too turned off by their theology to listen to them.   Bad mistake.   Congregation after congregation in our synod has gone rapidly downhill because of this haughtiness on the part of our "leadership."===JACK:  Both you and I were involved in the business of helping churches to grow while remaining true to our theological roots.  The ability to do that doesn't come automatically with wearing a stole.===JOHN:  I agree....however, it is something that can be learned if one is willing to open oneself up and listen to those who do know something.   Innate talent helps but we can learn to be better even if we lack that talent.   I found that  a work ethic helps.===JACK:  There is such a person as Rev Know-It-All.===JOHN:  I prefer to be Rev. Still Trying to Learn

FROM RP:  100% I hope you are well. Thank you for your “Winning Words” ===JACK:  I appreciate keeping in touch with you.

FRO ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  when we hired people at the church there were 3 factors that i thought were very important.  were they self-starters?  were they team players?  and did they have good people skills?  all 3 very important!====JACK:  Most Call Committees focus in on the "trial" sermon.  The "3 factors" that you mentioned should be considered seriously by the Call (hiring) Committee.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Good one!===JACK:  Did you consciously try to set an example for your employees?===GEORGE:  Each and every work day. And also if I happened to meet any outside the workplace.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'm trying to be patient; difficult not to be able to be on the run,
and helping, etc. but no driving, and only one arm and hand definitely slows on e down. Went to circle meeting today. My son and friends are GREAT===JACK:  Maybe this song's for you...
Slow down baby  ya going to fast.  You got your hands in the air  With your Feet on the gas.
You need to slow down before you go down baby.  
Sometimes you gotta be still, before you can get ahead.
But....we are who we are.  There'll never be another you.   ,,,which reminds me.  "Why did the ram jump over the cliff?"  Answer:  He heard the song, "There'll never be another (ewe)."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I totally agree!  It takes a very strong boss to care the team!

Monday, June 04, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/4/18
“Shame on the body for breaking down while the spirit perseveres.”  (John Dryden)  Do you remember the story of Dorian Gray?  As a young man he looked at a picture of himself.  “What if the picture were to age, and I would stay young?”  And it happened; the picture aged and Dorian did not.  Imagine if it were to happen to you. I like the reality of Dryden’s quote.  We can’t stop the aging process, but we can work at keeping our spirit vibrant.  How do you do it?    ;-)  Jack

FROM VW MS:  Partly by depending on encouragement from people like you...====JACK:  In the movie, The Blues Brothers, Jake and Elwood sang: "Everybody Needs Somebody."

FROM JT IN ST JOE:  Whine!====JACK:  Do you want some cheese with that whine?====JT:  That made me chuckle 😄!!

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  My best motivation for good spirit and creative attitude is to spend time with young people.  It challenges me when they come to me seeking advice for dealing with their contemporary situations.  My best go-to source for spiritual uplift is my two granddaughters, age 7 and 3.  They are amazing!====JACK:  One of the great things about aging is the opportunity to see the younger generations mature and begin to relate to us in new ways.

FROM WALMART REV:  I follow Jack's morning blog . . . its always good for the soul!! ====JACK:   The people I meet daily tend to inspire me.  I suppose it's that way with you, too, as you sit at Walmart and also do your chaplain duties.

FROM BUGGMAN:  By trying to be there for those who are spiritually in a low place and finding joy and strength in the many "vibrant" people that I know (or have known). On ageing - I feel like our 57 Ford - it seems like every time I do something, I have to fix or adjust something.  But we're both still running - albeit with a little more care - and having fun.====JACK:  Here's a bit of trivia:  Only 6.2% of '57 Fairlane buyers ordered seatbelts for their car.  Does yours have factory-installed belts?  They tend to help extend the ageing process.====BM:  You never cease to amaze me.  Where did you find the stats on Fairlane seat belts? No, it does not have any seat belts -factory installed or add-ons.  I'll work on that. When these tanks were involved in accidents , the cars survived better than the passengers.====JACK:   Back in the 1950s and very early 1960s, not even seat belts were standard. Sexy styling, not safety, is what sold cars.  The industry even had a motto: 'Safety Doesn't Sell.' It was a long-held belief that seemingly was proved when a 1956 attempt by Ford Motor Co. to sell a package of innovative safety features called 'Lifeguard Design' failed miserably. The motto stuck for decades.  You'd think that by now the Bugg Fairlane would have seatbelts.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  How do you define "spirit"?====JACK:  In this instance, I'd use the word, elan.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I sure do not get as much done during the day as I used to!!===JACK:  There isn't as much to do, either, as when you were taking care of a husband and the kids...but it was fun, wasn't it?====MARLYS:  Sure was.  I miss it and I am sure you do too. ====JACK:  In the hymn, "O God, Our Help in Ages Past," there's the line..."Time, like an ever-rolling stream..." changed lots of things.====MARLYS:  God helped in the past and continues to help to this day.  I don’t know how I could go on without Him!====MARLYS: I love your WW.  They help me remember all that I have.  Thanks Jack.====JACK:  Like with being a pastor....You have to know the needs of your customers...and try to meet them. 

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i like this line:  we don't grow old so much as we get old when we stop growing... ====JACK:  Do you remember when you wanted to be a grownup?  BTW< when is the perfect grownup age?====PAUL:  i do recall a day in my first year in college when i was quite sure that i was stronger, healthier, and likely smarter in some ways than my Dad.  i.e., i was no longer a kid.  i had become an adult!  it was a very good feeling too!

FROM JR IN PALM SPRINGS:  not well ..... ====JACK:  I hope you're doing better because of our friendship and Winning Words. BTW, do you still do any singing, even if it's only when you're alone?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I don’t look in the mirror!  Lol  We keep youngish by working so hard on this farm!  No animals least none we’ve brought here.  Deer stop by, ducks, birds of every kind, rabbits, coyotes, opossum, raccoons, and lots and lots of loud frogs, bullfrogs, toads snd turtles fill our pond!  It’s a new symphony every night!     Also, it’s all in the attitude!!====JACK:  So. the "farm" is more interesting than the cul-de-sac?  ...and forget about the mirror!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  By keeping up with my 18 grandchildren, trying figure out all of the new tech stuff (which is not easy) , by travel, by reading, watching tv and keeping up with our world, by the life long learning classes, etc. ====JACK:  ....just like when you were in school...always doing stuff.  You're a busy-body, in the best sense of the term.

FROM DS IN SOCAL:  Ha ha.... that's why I inserted a life-size picture of my high school graduation and put it on all my mirrors.     Ah, the good 'ol days!!====JACK:  Well, at least I'm now at the same weight as when in my late 20s.  Does that count?  Other stuff has changed.====DS:  I'm pretty happy that I only weigh about 8 pounds more than when I played basketball at Augie.  Of course  it's distributed a lot differently.

FROM BB IN CHGO: I just loved Dorian Gray and most recently saw it with Peter at a local theater.  They set the play in the psychedelic 60’s and had Dorian (and his mates) a bit delusional with drug use on top of their own personal insecurities.  It was quite moving.====JACK:  Have you ever longed for the Dorian experience...maybe for a day or so or more?   ====BB: I think that will happen down the line at some point.  For the most part, I am very content where I am just now and the less than perfect exterior matches the less-than-pristine interior fairly well====JACK:  I'm in pretty good shape for the shape I'm in.  No Dorian wish for me.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Great movie with a message! Having a pretty full social calendar always gives something to look forward to! Slowed down at present with the broken "wing". Breaking the Humerous bone is not funny!! pun intended! A sense of humor always lightens every situation.. ====JACK:  I have an interest in etymology, the origin of words. derived from Latin: humerus, umerus meaning upper arm, shoulder, and is linguistically related to Gothic ams shoulder and Greek ōmos.  Most humerus fractures are nondisplaced and will heal within a few weeks if the arm is immobilized.  Try to be a patient patient.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 6/1/18
“Every wall has a door.”  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)  Have you ever run up against a wall?  “I can’t go on.  There’s no way.  I might as well quit now!”  Athletes know the feeling…so do non-athletes.  There are times in life when impossible difficulties crop up.  Emerson says, “There’s a door,” a way to go on.  Some wall/door experts suggest: take a nap; maybe the wall is an illusion (the mind plays tricks); look for a window, even a crack; Edison said, “There’s always another way ;”  or, I’ll make one!!!    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  there’s always a crack... or i’ll make one!====JACK:  That's wise.  A wise crack!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i like this one:   when one door closes, another one opens.  but it can sometimes be hell out in the hallway!====JACK:  That's a good one.  Sometimes it's better to stay put, rather than to expect greener pastures on the other side of the wall.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Death is a wall through which there are no visible doors....we need to depend on God to get us through that....or just give up.   No third option.====JACK:  Jesus said, "I am the door."  At St. Andrew Church with its "I am" themed stained glass windows, the glass in the fire exit reads: "I am the door."

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  Nice message today, as always.  When running a marathon, runners are to “hit the wall” at 20 miles…this never happened to me though.====JACK:  Since I've never run a marathon, I'll have to take your word for it.  Most of my "walls" came during "test time" in college and seminary.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It’s about the door knob.  Do we push or pull!  It’s hard to get up again after hitting the wall but it’s not impossible!  Push or pull...just do it!====JACK:  Good idea!  When you face a wall, look for the door knob.  BTW, don't forget to put a knob on the door when you build your privy.

FROM JT IN WB:  Thanks, Jack.  This is a keeper!====JACK:  "Something there is that doesn't like a wall," wrote Robert Frost.

FROM HAWKEYE GEOREG:  Thanx for this quote goes to my junior high Sunday School Teacher, Jack Freed (Egads! This goes back to the early 1950s!) Jack has lived in MI for many years. ====JACK:  Back then...and during my ministry...and even now...I appreciate the interaction that I have with young people and their eagerness to discuss and learn.