Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/31/18
“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth.”  (Buddha)  As I read this quote, I thought of a similar one…”The truth will out,” from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.  I remember being introduced to W.S. with that story in Jr Hi.  We often use his lines in our speaking without knowing it.  “We have seen better days…All’s well that ends well …Neither rhyme nor reason…and  What’s done is done.”  Try applying these to current events.   ;-)  Jack 

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  As Oscar Wilde predicated, "The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and
never simple!" And as historian Timothy Snyder says "To abandon facts is to abandon Freedom. If nothing is "true", then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis on which to do so!"  With the present Gov't's disregard for facts, that is a concern...Well, the sun and the moon WILL continue to rise. Cheers!===JACK:  Pontius Pilate would be right at home in our world with his question., What is truth?  Perhaps "truth" is when the good and gracious will of God is done.  Do you know the spiritual, "Soon and very soon" which sings about the end of the world.  One stanza has the words, "No more crying, then."  Another says, "No more dying, then."  I'd add a third, "No more lying, then."===OAKS:  YES, I'm very familiar with Soon and Very Soon. I used to direct our choir and Union Baptist choir (African American) singing that spiritual. They could really swing it. LOVE the "No more Lyin' then" addition!!===JACK:  I have some friends from a former congregation who would get up and dance in the aisle if "Soon and very soon" were being sung, and I'm sure that others might follow their example.  We need less inhibition in our churches.

FROM BB IN CHGO:  I loved today’s quote; thanks so much for sharing.===JACK:  Often, when I push "Send," I have the apprehension that this is not good enough.  Thanks for the validation, at least for today.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  We are living in an exciting time! Today President Trump will be in Tampa for a rally! Before that he will be at a high tech high school! I think of how lucky I have been to see so many of our presidents. President Carter was here in 1986 and George W Bush was here at Steinbrenner Field. President Kennedy was here in 1963 the Monday of the week that he was assassinated in Dallas. The only presidents that I have not seen in person are Reagan,Clinton, and Obama. Thank goodness for πŸ“Ί===JACK:  Today, I drove on the Gerald R. Ford Freeway.  Does that count for anything?===SHIRL:  You keep jogging my memory! While working in Washington in the 50’s, one of my friends was interning for Gerald Ford and we went to his home which was a simple one and met his wife and little children! Life was simpler then!

FROM WALMART REV:  Probably have forgotten many of those times past that a very similar as today . . . some missed, some not!!===JACK:  Here are some Shakespearean idioms that may appeal to you...Heart of Gold...Pure as the driven snow...Green-eyed monster...For goodness sake.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  The truth is currently under attack. It is important now to insist on not allowing the truth to lose this attack. That is how a society sinks to its worst instincts===JACK:  Each side is accusing the other of lying.  In Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote something like this: "Tell a lie so colossal that no one will believe it, but if you tell a little lie and repeat it often enough, sooner or later the people will come to believe it "  Scary!

FROM JT IN ST JOE:  My sixteen year old grand daughter is a Shakespeare fan.  She has been in several plays, and is in a Shakespeare club and can quote verses upon verses of Shakespeare.  Amazing!!===JACK:  I'm amazed at the number of day to day idioms that come from Shakespeare.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/30/18
“Not cohabitation, but consensus constitutes marriage.”  (Cicero)  There’s lots of discussion these days, if not agreement, on what constitutes marriage.  I’ve performed many weddings, but I can’t guarantee a perfect marriage.  Cicero gave some good advice.   …and Aretha, too, “You better think!”  Thinking is recommended, but it takes more than that..  It takes an understanding love by the two who would become one…and, mostly, the Grace of God.  Some truths don’t change!.   ;-)  Jack

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Wise words from so long ago! Reminds me of a quote from Henry Kissinger (!) in N.Y.Times:"Nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes. There's just too much
fraternizing with the enemy." HA! Perseverance and and commitment as well as love, understanding, and thinking, are necessary to float the ship of marriage.  .And it's worth the effort, especially in nurturing your kids!===JACK:  Think about the word, consensus, and how it makes for a happy, if not tolerable, marriage.  Think about the word, tolerable, too.   Come to think of it...all these words can apply to Congress, too.===OAKS:  I'd hate to have a "tolerable" marriage! Hard to muster up
commitment and perseverance when you say tolerable!!  Government...what can I say? Consensus seems to be a forgotten word to congress!! I don't hear much consensus for Trump either!===JACK:
Like them or not, tolerable marriages do exist, for a variety of reasons.  We put up with a lot of things, because by not doing so, we create other problems, even worse.  The Civil War happened, because a situation became intolerable.  Divorce is often the result of an intolerable relationship.  That's probably why Cicero said that marriage is based on consensus (getting along).===OAKS: I do know that, and have known several "tolerable" marriages; I just wouldn't be happy to settle for tolerable; but in the case of children, one does what is best for them, and I understand that!! ===JACK:  Part of the joy/sorrow of being in church work is being intimately involved in the lives of people.... "In our joys and in our sorrows"...goes the hymn.
days of toil and hours of ease,

"Christian, love me more than these!"

Friday, July 27, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/27/18
“Before you speak, listen.  Before you write, think.  Before you invest, investigate.  Before you criticize, wait.”  (Unknown)  Out West a STOP sign reads: WHOAA.  A t-shirt for mom has a STOP sign on it with WHINING printed below.  While looking at today’s quote, I thought of the railroad crossing sign with the words, STOP  LOOK  LISTEN.  It’s a good sign to keep in mind as you prepare to speak, to write or to invest your money.  “If only…” can be some sad words.   ;-)  Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Today's WW are packed with sound advice to rid ourselves of hardship and disgrace.  There you'll find the guidance for self help, and it doesn't cost a cent===JACK:  Flashing lights were added to the Stop-Look-Listen sign.  People ignored them.  Then, blocking gates.  People drove around them.  It's the same with other kinds of advice.  Consequently, "train wrecks" continue to happen.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  One of my earliest regrets growing up is doing before thinking it all out.===JACK:  What happened to you is called, maturation.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Some of our biggest mistakes are not listening.  If we would just listen! ===JACK:  There's a song in the ELCA Book of Worship that has this refrain: "Listen, listen, God is calling  through the Word inviting,  offering forgiveness,  comfort and joy."

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/26/ 18
“I don’t think the public knows what it wants; this is the conclusion I have drawn from my career.”  (Charlie Chaplin)  My first Presidential vote was for Harry Truman, so I was sad to see the headline, “Dewey Wins!”  But, the Chicago Tribune has misread the public. No robo-calls in those days; no focus groups; no sophisticated polling.  Is it any better today?  Do you think that your voice is being heard?  BTW,  Charlie Chaplin made the kind of movies I like.     ;-)  Jack   

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  I do think that most politicians are in it for their own financial  gain.  If you look at the parliament sessions  on tv there are very few present, some are even sleeping!  I am working with our MP to reinstate Angela's continuing healthcare funding.  He promised to visit the home to see for himself Angela's needs, I'm  still waiting.  Now the houses of parliament are on holiday for 10 weeks!  We are experiencing  really hot weather for England,  over 90's with very few places air conditioned.  Not good!  Fortunately my car does have air conditioning.  We have had no rain here in Norwich since May.===JACK:  I still marvel that I'm able to be in contact with you, on another side of the world, to hear that your weather is similar to mine, to learn that politics there is similar to politics here, and that personal problems continue to exist everywhere.  "Don't give up hope" is a message for people everywhere.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  we, as a nation, are divided by the news channel we watch... crazy times! ===JACK:  That may be true, but hearing from more and more people that there're turning off the news...in fact, doing other things that watching TV.  Philosopher George Santayana's 1863 words come to mind for me..."Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."  I also remember the song..."This my Father's world, O let me ne'er forget that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet."===LIZ:  alas, we are wising up!===JACK: Instead of "Alas," I would substitute, "At last!"===LIZ:  and add “hallelujah!”

FROM WALMART REV:  I think "the jury" is still out negotiating as to whether it's better today?! 0;-)===JACK:  As in most trials, it depends on the makeup of the jury.  Each time there's an election, we pick our juries.  I'm waiting for the next election.===REV:  It definitely will be interesting?! ===JACK:  In each election there are winners and losers.  There's a heaven, and there's a hell.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Truthfully I think it is worse today.  We have an election coming up in August and I can’t tell you the names of the candidates, except for one local young man.  We don’t hear what their platforms are, what is their background or reason for running.  All we hear/see are the negative campaigning on TV.  I do not like polls taken over the phone – have no idea who, what or where this information is to be used and how much more junk mail it will put in our mailbox or more robo generated calls will come from giving my opinion.  The first Presidential convention I can remember watching was for Eisenhower and hearing the states call out who they were casting their votes for – “THE GREAT STATE OF WHATEVER CASTS THEIR VOTES FOR”  Now it seems whoever has the biggest war chest gets put into position.  I don’t think our voices are being heard as so many politicians are in the pockets of special interest groups that they can’t listen to us. ===JACK:  Only one candidate came to me door, and I wasn't home.  But, she took the time to write out a personal note on a card and left it.  Even though she's young and "inexperienced" I like that about her...and that she cared enough to leave a handwritten note...my kind of politician.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  That was an exciting election! I remember seeing president Truman at his whistle stop in rock island! These are exciting times too!   President Trump is coming to Tampa on Tuesday!===JACK:  I wonder if Paul Douglas would show up at a Trump Rally?===SHIRL:  Well, you worked for him, so you should know.===SHIRL:  I was on his office for two and a half months Jan feb March of 1954 in the legislative office. The McCarthy hearings were going on and the Puerto Rican’s shot up the floor of the House! Then we went to Europe for five months-all a great way for a teacher to enrich herself or himself!===JACK:  The McCarthy hearings were riveting TV.  Do you recall if they were discussed in Douglas's office?

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  :-)===JACK: I didn't know that Chaplin composed the song, Smile, basing it on music from Puccini's, Tosca.

FROM PG:  My first vote was for Eisenhaur===JACK:  I was on the losing side in that one, but IKE turned out to be pretty good..at least he seemed to be honest..

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  My 1st vote: democratic primary for Jesse Jackson;-) haven’t missed a vote since!  My favorite vote???? Obama!===JACK:  My favorite vote remains HST.  Maybe, because he was my first; maybe, because was able to make a (the buck stops here) a difficult decision on using the A-bomb; maybe, because after his term he refused to profit from being the president.

FROM BLAZING OAKS: I think my first Pres vote was for IKE, whom HST dislilked intensely, and I think the feeling was mutual. I came to admire HST long after he was PRes. by reading about him...he and Bess were such people of integrity and paid their own way, even in the White House! Bess kept a ledger of every item they bought, and it if was for their own personal use (like entertaining hometown friends) they paid for that themselves. She even used her own stamps for all correspondence !  Bygone Days...===JACK:  One of my Moline friends, Niel Johnson. (did you know him?) was an historian and Truman impersonator at the Truman Museum.  A trip to the museum and the Truman home was an unforgettable experience.  You would have made a great Bess impersonator.===OAKS:  I'm sure I would enjoy the Truman library and home...I'll put it on my bucket list. It's probably only a few hours away from Springfield, IL.  Wouldn't that have been fun; to portray Bess T!  WE're giving or COUPLINGS play next weekend again, at the Rushvile Opera House. 2 performances. Always fun to do!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/25/18
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”  (Aesop)  Aesop was a storyteller who lived about 2500 years ago.  Do you remember his fable about the boy who cried wolf or the tortoise and the hare?  Today’s quote is from the lion and the mouse.  Aesop’s fables were meant to teach morals to children.  How were morals taught to you?  I saw a movie recently, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” the story of Mr. Rogers.  He was a kind of modern Aesop.   ;-)  Jack

FROM INDY GENIE:   I saw “Won’t You Be My Neighbor”, too. So good.   In some ways, I think the smaller acts of kindness are what keeps the world going around:)  Like those smiles you're always talking about.)  ===JACK:  You remind me of Mary Tyler Moore..."who could turn the world on with her smile."===GENIE:  That made me smile:)   ===JACK:  Did you throw your hat into the air?  ===GENIE:  Not today but we used to do that at the “lillstrom tribe house”! We were self amusers:)

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:     Aesop Fable are just wonderful!  What a brilliant story/moral writer.  My granddaughter Alyssa was talking about the boy who cried wolf just the other day.   We heard and learned those stories at a very early age.  When The grandkids were born they each received a Bible and a book of Aesop Fables.===JACK:  I have both the Bible and Aesop's Fables in my house, too.
===JUDY:  Makes me want to take out my Fables and read it.  Perhaps after my chores!

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Loved the film; I want my children to see it soon.  Kindness, thoughtfulness and the art of listening to others seem lost these days.===JACK:  Look around you (and in the mirror, too).  Kindness, thoughtfulness and the art of listening to others is till being practiced today.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I just watched “Daniel Tiger” with my granddaughter.  That is a cartoon version of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood—same characters.===JACK:  Recently, I saw the "Won't You Be My Neighbor ?" movie.  The movie I saw previous to that one was in 1999..."Inspector Gadget," which I saw with my grandson, was seven at that time.  16 years between trips to the movies...WOW!
===GM:  Not many movies out there worth seeing.  I have not seen the new Documentary movie on Mr. R.  I want to do that.===JACK:  Yes, I would say that it's worth your while.===MG:  Just came from the Bend in the River Big Band concert at Como Park Pavilion.  Keith plays in that band.  They have been together since before 1990.  A bunch of Gustie Alums.  They always end with IN THE MOOD.  A fun night for sure===JACK:  Strike up the band!  Mary especially liked Glenn Miller's "In the Mood."  I think that I'll YouTube it right now!===GM:  The band does all kinds of stuff during the song.  At one point the T-bones play while lying on the floor.  (I think they are getting pretty old for that!  Ha!). The Saxophones march off the stage and walk around the audience playing.  It is all really fun.===JACK:  I wish that I could experience that...As it is, I'm still listening to Glenn on YouTube.  Such great music! 

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I TAUGHT KINDERGARTEN JUST ONE YEAR, AND USED THE AESOP'S FABLES, AND HAD PICTURES TO COLOR ABOUT THE STORY, SOME OF THE PARENTS WEREN'T FAMILIAR WITH THE STORIES, WHICH FLOORED ME! THEY LOVED THEM,  TOO!  THE MOVIE, WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR, IS SUPER.  HE WAS AN ICON OF TENDER TRUTH TO THE LITTLE ONES! (I SOMETIMES FELT I WAS MORE INTERESTED THAN MY KIDS WERE. THEY TENDED TO GET DISTRACTED IF HE WENT TOO 'SLOW"===JACK:  If I were still in the business, I might create a series of sermons based on Aesop.  BTW, what's the difference between a fable and a parable?...===OAKS:  Good question!  Both are quite metaphorical, and teach a truth.  I would guess a parable would be for more mature reader (audience)...and that IS a guess !===JACK:  Each is told for a "teaching" purpose

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/24/18
“You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re to go to bed with satisfaction.”  (George Lorimer)  When I was a kid a radio show began with this song: “Roll out of bed in the morning with a great big smile and a “good, good morning.”   Maybe you don’t get up in the morning with a song, but I’m told that our morning attitude sets the tone for our day.  That old song ends: “You’ll find it worthwhile if you roll out of bed with a smile.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM DR JUDY:  Sometimes I wake up with a song. Or I hear a song over and over in my mind for no reason, or within my meditations. When I pay attention to the repeating lyric, or the lyric that comes directly after, I usually notice that it’s a message that my higher wisdom has for me. ===JACK:  I have a friend who wakes up with this song...
Father, I thank Thee for the night,  And for the pleasant morning light,
For rest and food and loving care,  And all that makes the world so fair.
Help me to do the things I should,  To be to others kind and good,
In all I do, in all I say,  To grow more loving every day.
===JUDY:  What an awesome wakeup song!!===JACK:  Religious, without being syrupy.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Btw each day is exciting for a different reason. Our fourth great grandchild was just born in Washington DC and two of our granddaughters are traveling in Ireland and Scotland and sending lots of pics-thanks to the iPhone and Steve jobs!===JACK:  "...and the beat goes on," as the song puts it.

FROM BB IN CHGO:  I like these oldies that you share.  The theory makes sense.  I always feel if one wakes following a “bad” or dangerous dream, that feeling of apprehension or anxiety can last through the day even though we say, ”it’s only a dream” so the top of the morning mindset does matter.===JACK:  I think that song was the theme of The Breakfast Club national radio show which originated out of Chicago's WMAQ.  I think I have the complete lyric, but not he tune.  I could sing it for you.
Roll out of bed in the morning
With a great big smile and a good, good morning
Wake up with a grin
There's a new day a-tumbling in

Wake with the sun and the rooster
Cock-a-doodle-do like the rooster, useta
You'll find it worth while
If you roll out of bed with a smile

Do your singing in the chalet
As you start this happy day
While you're singing in the chalet
Think of all the fun you'll get the Butlin way

Coffee and rolls with your honey
Turns a gloomy day to a day that's sunny
You'll find it worth while
If you roll out of bed with a smile
===BB: Now I have a big smile; thanks for sending this along to me.  I wonder if the depression made people much more appreciative of everything.  When you have nothing, you still have the choice to smile and think positively though I am sure it was monumentally difficult.  Thank you for sharing.===JACK:  Since there was no TV, a lot was left to the imagination.  When the  Breakfast Club announcer said that they were going to play a march...and everyone should march around the breakfast table, we did just that.  We didn't have much money during the Great Depression, but we has lots of fun.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  there is a Carole King song that, I think, starts....” you’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face and show the world that there is love in your heart....”
Your winning words today made me think of this===JACK:  There's another staza to that song which seems to have relevance in this world of ours...
I have often asked myself the reason for the sadness  In a world where tears are just a lullaby
If there's any answer, maybe love can end the madness  Maybe not, oh, but we can only try."
===HH:  That’s a great oldie!  It has me smiling😊

FRO DAZ IN COLORADO:  Mornings seem to be taking more coffee as time marches on. But then the great big smile.===JACK:  Here's another "smile" song that you probably know and can sing...
 When you're smilin', when you're smilin'  The whole world smiles with you
When you're laughin', oh when you're laughin'  The sun comes shinin' through
But when you're cryin', you bring on the rain  So stop that sighin', be happy again
Keep on smilin', 'cause when you're smilin'  The whole world smiles with you

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Some days I awake with a smile but I’m always glad for mornings.... even when the morning are very late.  Psoriatic Arthritis makes it very hard to get out of bed let alone smile.  But I always thank God for the new day.===JACK:  I know that arthritis is no laughing matter.  I can imagine that even a smile is difficult when the pain is there.  But, this song by Nat King Cole comes to mind.  Maybe it can become your morning song.
Smile though your heart is aching  Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by  If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow  You'll see the sun come shining through for you
Light up your face with gladness  Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near  
That's the time you must keep on trying  Smile, what's the use of crying?  
You'll find that life is still worthwhile  If you just smile
===JUDY:That song brings back a lot of good memories.  My dad, who was totally tone deaf, would sing it to us to bring on a smile!  It always worked mainly because he sang so bad.😊===JACK:  I was going to write..."Smile, though these bones are aching.  Smile, though they feel like breaking..." , but I thought you might think I was making fun of a painful situation...which bring to mind this Louis Armstrong song...
When you smilin', when you smilin  The whole world smiles with you.
Yes when you laughin' oh when you laughin'  The sun comes shinin through.
But when you cryin', you bring on the rain  So stop your sighin baby, and be happy again
Keep on smilin, keep on smilin baby,   And the whole world smiles with you
FROM DAZ IN CO:  Don't make songs like that any more, too bad.

FROM AW IN WB:  Good morning, Jack.  Your winning words continue to be very meaningful to me.  Thanks.===JACK:  Words such as yours (and your friendship) continue to be meaningful to me, too.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  THANKS!! A JAUNTY TUNE, AND PEPPY WORDS...I'D NEVER HEARD THIS.===JACK:  I think that the idea of a peppy song with peppy lyrics is worth sharing with your senior friends.  "What makes you feel peppy?"===OAKS:  Not much, but a good night's sleep helps, and something I really look forward to doing!===JACK:  I can't recall going to bed - tired.  I can recall getting up feeling rested and "ready to go."

Monday, July 23, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/23/18
“I want to be a bridge to the next generation.”  (Michael Jordan)   The new generation, the Zs (born after 1995) is far removed from Boomer Jordan.  If there’s a bridge to the Zs, it would seem to be the Millennials, but demographic experts say the ones most like Zs are the Silents, those coming out of WW2.  Both tend to play it safe, to be optimistic. Surprised?  It’s fun to read what selling experts have to say about age-groups.  What are they saying about yours?   ;-)  Jack
(Link) The Generation Guide - Millennials, Gen X, Y, Z and Baby Boomers ...

FROM WALMART REV:  It seems the media anyway is trying to sell me on the idea to "Impeach Trump!" and all our troubles will then go away!? 0;-)===JACK:  I think that both "sides" are in the selling business.  "Caveat emptor" is one of  the first "foreign" phrases that i learned, and it has helped me in many ways ever since.  Let the buyer beware!

FROM MY LAWYER:  Sleep Number beds!===JACK:  Could you be more specific?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  We are called the greatest generation and we fought WW2 and then came home to build our families and helped to rebuild Germany.===JACK:  I read recently that those actively involved in WW 2 were called, "The Greatest Generation, " while those who were children during that time were a generationed referred to as "The Silents."  As Will Rogers said, "All I know is just what I read in the papers" or what Google tells me.===SHIRL:  I tried to join the WAVES but was told I had to wait until I was 18. I was working at the rock island arsenal where we were transferring war material from Europe to Japan theater when the atomic bombs were dropped and thankfully the war ended and saved thousands of lives.===JACK:  Many of us at that time had had enough of the war's killing.  If the A-Bomb cost lives to save more lives, so be it.  Truman was faced with a Hobson's Choice.  BTW, did you know that WAVES was the U.S. Navy's acronym for...
 Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service.===SHIRL:  No I did not know that! I thought it was the women’s branch of the navy.===JACK:  It was a branch of the Naval Reserve, as I understand it.

FROM INDY GENIE:  This information is great...very interesting read about the generational thinking and perspectives! Understanding definitely creates a bridge. Listening to each other helps too:) BTW, I’ve always seen you as one who bridges the generations...I remember you appreciating and  listening to me when I was a goofy teenager.....thanks for that. You continue to be a great role model for me....thanks for that too!==JACK:  Thanks for your kind words.  In seminary, we were taught to preach sermons that related to where the people were in their lives.  That works also in personal contact with people...Try to understand where they are in their lives, and try to put yourself in their place.

FROM CPA BOB:  What are those of us born before the US entered WWII called?  “Old”?😊😊 ===JACK:  You are the "Silents."===JACK:  According to what I've read..."The Silent Generation are the people who were born between 1925 and 1945.   Children who grew up during this time worked very hard and kept quiet. It was understood that children should be seen and not heard."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Interesting Read, tho some dates seem too early, and other too late, from my recollections!===JACK:  As I researched, I found that there are no hard and fast rules with regard to generations.  "Generally," is a word often used.  As with the Bible, there are many opinions as to what the Bible says, or doesn't say.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/20/18
“Weather means more when you have a garden.  There’s nothing like listening to a shower and thinking how it is sinking in around your green beans.”  (Marcelene Cox)  A farmer told me that he doesn’t cultivate the whole field.  He tries to leave undisturbed soil around the plants, letting moisture seep down thru worm holes and cracks in the earth.  Farmers and gardeners are among the happiest people I know, probably because of their closeness to God’s earth.    ;-)  Jack

FROM RS VACATIONING IN QUEBEC: Amen. We are up in Quebec and it seems everyone loves to grow flowers in the Summer. Maybe because of the short growing season. Also, their landscaping around their Parliament building is awesome, and they have so many parks. They seem to treasure the environment a bit more than we do.===JACK:  By living in a community that is adjacent to Canada, I get to enjoy some of the same things Canadians do...their TV and radio stations...and their stores and restaurants are just across the river.

FROM JT IN ST JOE:  Yay 😊. Sounds good===JACK:  I wonder how many Winning Words readers would enjoy living in a house with three sides looking over protected wetlands?  BTW, do you have a garden, too?===JT:  I know I am very happy in my home.  It is me.  I do have a small garden.  Mostly flowers that come up every spring. Did I tell you I played bridge with a lady from the Country Club.  I always knew I felt uncomfortable when with them.  Now I know it is because I'm very happy not being a "country club" lady.  That is NOT me.  Farm Girl Joan  (that is me)===JACK:  Do you know this hymn?  There are more stanzas, but I'm sure you get the point.
O happy home where Thou art loved most dearly,
Thou faithful Friend and Savior full of grace,
And where among the guests there never cometh
One who can hold such high and honored place!

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Count me in...love my gardens....basically, a happy camper....work out in the garden almost every morning....before the heat of the day sets in ===JACK:  I seem to recall that your growing up years were spent with a large garden in your backyard.  I also recall that you are a frequent visitor to Stratford, Ontario.  Don't they have beautiful gardens in that community...as well as the famous Stratford Festival?===JOHN:  I grew up on eleven acres....absolutely love the gardens in Stratford....not just at the theatre but also the gardens of the people living in Stratford....great community...===JACK:  Isn't it amazing how our experiences shape us?

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  I agree wholeheartedly. Whenever I have an anxious moment or am thinking of items to study, I get my greatest enjoyment driving thru the rural countryside. Jack, we have some of the most startling sights in our eastern Iowa rural country.===JACK:  I agree... especially the huge cornfields with red-wing blackbirds sitting on fence posts.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Margaret has deep roots in the soil....a farm girl.===JACK:  You know you've married a farm-girl when,,,she has a different idea of how fresh air smells...she's more comfortable in rubber boots than heels...she finds a bug in her bowl of berries, picks it out and keeps on eating...she knows how to drive a tractor...she's independent, strong-willed and has a heart of gold.
===SP:that just about sums it up!   and maybe just a bit of dirt under her nails after working in the flower garden...===JACK:  Or, as they'd say on the farm..."stuff under her nail after shoveling out the barn."

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Except when the deer and bunnies eat it all!  That is my problem.  Had some beautiful day lilies and overnight they were all gone!  My hosta is eaten down to the ground too!  Uff Da!  Ha===JACK:  The deep eat my hostas and flowers, too.  As I look at the stubs, I'm comforted to know that I'm helping to preserve the fauna===MARLYS:  And I think—well, I won’t have to clean them out in the Fall!  Ha!===JACK'S That's the way to look at some of life's problems.
===MARLYS:  Wish they were all that easy===JACK:  Often it depends on how you look at them.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  This is so true!===JACK:  "Carol, Carol", quite contrary  How does your garden grow?  With silver bells and cockleshells  And pretty maids all in a row.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'm sure that is true, Or even if you have outdoor planters that have to be fed and watered,  Was it RL: Stevenson who proclaimed, "Man is nearer to God in a Garden, than in any place on Earth"...in a poem ? I remember those lines...I'm not a gardener, but do enjoy the fruits of those generous friends who do garden! :-)  I share baked goods and soups!
===JACK:  The kiss of the sun for pardon, The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's Heart in a garden Than anywhere else on Earth.  (Dorothy Frances Gurney)
When I thought of how you don't garden, but eat what is grown by others, I thought of the story of "The Little Red Hen."  I'm no gardener, either, but do enjoy the fruits (and veggies) from others.
===OAKS:  O Thank You for that poem; my mom used to quote that exactly! She had a lovely rose garden in our back yard!

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Great quote.  Now that I have a few plants on the balcony outstand I have a different relationship with growing things.  It’s interesting and different than having plants inside and I actually care about them and pay attention to the little things.===JACK:  Kids are like plants, only more fragile.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  How true!  Watering the gardens keep the plants alive.  But rainwater helps them grow.  My green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, spaghetti squash and summer squash, garlic and parsley lived through this drought but now they are thriving with the rain.  Farmers spend a lot of time praying!===JACK:  During a severe drought, the preacher announced a special service for the congregation to pray for rain.  At the beginning of the service he looked around and asked, "How come none of you brought umbrellas?"

FROM LBP:  I stopped and watched the rain today. It was just falling straight down. Interesting to just stop and think about how that happens. ===JACK:  "The rain in Sprain falls mainly straight down." (or something like that).

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/19/18
“Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.”  (Aristotle)  When Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you,” I don’t think that he was giving a societal opinion…rather that he meant…there will always be a need to help people, both the poor in money and the poor in spirit.    I saw this sentence recently: “Poor people always see the problem ahead; never the solution.”  How sad!...but what really bothers me is the nagging question: How much do I care?    ;-) Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  How much DO I care??===JACK:  Does that mean that you DO care a lot?===GEORGE:  Yes. Two of my favorite charities are The Salvation Army, and Wycliffe Bible Translators. They both keep their admin costs at 6%, plus I've experienced their God-blessed field work.BTW, I went to a service at the old First Lutheran church on 5th Ave & 12th Street, Moline. There were ~85 persons there, mostly old folks. One very nice personality is Mary Savely, widow of a former Army military chaplain. I went because my mother, Pearl Kruse used to go there with her sisters as a little girl. She walked ~1 1/2 miles each way, from 8th St and 19th Ave. ===JACK:  I remember having a Wycliffe Bible in my collection of different translations.  "If these walls could speak..." refers to the many people who have worshipped in old First Church, and the many events that have taken place there.  Sometimes we only see it as it is now and make our judgments from that.  The same thing applies when we look at old people.===GEORGE:  That was my favorite uncle. Almost every year we would take a 20 mile canoe trip on Rock River or a river or 2 in Iowa.  We did a few other things together too. We became so close that I only called him by his first name w/o saying "Uncle."===JACK:  Everybody called him, Pete!"

FROM DR J IN OHIO:  I have friend who had signature at the bottom of his email messages that said “when I give to the poor they call me a saint, when I ask why are they poor, they call me a communist”.  What a statement! I think this explains a lot of what is happening out there today  ===JACK:  I guess that I'm obtuse.  I think I know what you're getting at...but maybe not, so... ===DR J:  I think a lot of conservatives approach poverty as something good people can help with. They give a little ( and sometimes a lot of) money here and there to help the poor - giving through their church or another organization. But a question they do not want to  tackle is  why are these people poor? Many depend on social classes and believe if we give poor people more opportunity Three social programs, that means they have less opportunity to earn wealth and power. So they want to keep social structures in place and just keep trickling down donations to the poor. Sam don’t even do that, but many of the conservatives that I know are generous, they just don’t want others to have real opportunity to earn and improve the quality of their life.===JACK:  So long as one side sees poverty as a personal issue (pull yourself up by your bootstraps) and others see it as a human issue (society needs to do something to help the underprivileged)...and both sides are somewhat equal in number, there's an impasse and the problem is not solved.  So...let's keep on doing and preaching about things that make life somewhat eaier for the poor.  But, it is frustrating.

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  I believe that a society is judged by how well it treats its most challenged and needy persons ===JACK:  Perhaps you've read how Daniel interpreted  for the king "the handwriting on the wall."  It was God saying to the King..."You will judged by the way you have treated the poor."  (or, something like that)  The handwriting is on the wall for America, too

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  There is that nagging question, "How much do I care?"  It concerns many of us.  We want to give to those in need, but there are so many "in need" and we can't provide for every support organization.  How do we choose, and how much are we able to give?  In other words, "How much do I care?"===JACK:  Because there are so many in need, what I can give won't help.  In answer to that excuse, Jesus pointed to widow who only had two mites and put it all in the offering for the poor.  She gave her all!  It's the spirit of the gift, not the amount.===RI:  The question I posed was really rhetorical.  It's not how much do I care that demands an answer.  The issue is am I going to show I care by giving something.  Any typical month I usually decide how much in total I can spread around, and then divide that among a list of deserving organizations.  Sometimes 10 or 15 dollars is all that goes into the envelopes.  (I subscribe to "Charity Watch" that evaluates organizations for their honesty in distributing the most of the contributions to the needy, and use the least possible for administrative costs.)===JACK:  "Charity Watch" seems like a good site.  Hardly a day goes by that I don't charity requests in the mail or by phone.  I know that requests by my Church (ELCA) and by the Salvation Army are legit, but I wonder about some of the others.  I'll have to check them out to make sure that tje money is used in the best way possible...understanding that there are always administrative costs.

FROM WALMART REV:  “Poor people always see the problem ahead; never the solution.”  -- Working with in this area of benevolence for many a year, I've been driven often in thought back to "The Garden" where Adam and Eve felt they were somehow in poverty not being able to partake of that "forbidden fruit" there in the center of their sight and lives . . . the result of their choice certainly revolutionized the world and opened the door to erroneous crimes of sort (lust, stealing, miss-prioritizing, etc.) that will lead so very often an individual and family found in poverty) 0;-/===JACK: When it comes to watching out for the poor, you are more than words, words, words.  You really help.  Thanks for your example.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Jack,   few people seem to understand this.  almost all revolutions were born of economic disparity.   the French Revolution  the Russian Revolution,  the Cuban Revolution, etc.   even our Revolution to a somewhat lesser extent.  this is why i always vote for politicians and programs that support the middle class.  you lose your middle class and  you will soon lose  your democracy.   soooo many people do not understand this basic principle!    p.s.  do you get Time Mag??   see page 34 of the May 29 issue.  4 pages that explain in painful detail where we are today as a society,  how we got here,  and just what the future may look like.  excellent reading! ===JACK:  Some have been looking for the "tipping point," when things get so bad that the populace and leaders agree..."Something has to be done!"    How close are we?===SP:  we are not there yet but if we don't make some corrections, we will come to regret it.  stay tuned...===JACK:  That reminds me of a saying I used to hear in my growing-up years..."I thought I'd never live to see the day when..."

FROM JB IN OLV:  Good one!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  "I am indeed rich", says historian Edward Gibbon, "Since my income is superior to my expenses, and my expenses are  equal to my wishes." How fortunate are those who can affirm this in their own lives! Of course poverty often increases crime. Desperate people do desperate things. I've quoted Jay-Z before :"The burden of poverty isn't just that you don't always have the things your need, it's the feeling of being embarrassed every day of your life, and you'd do ANYTHING to lift that burden!" Too many have to live that life in America, as well as the rest of the world. We, in the church, try to lift that burden as much as we  can!===JACK:  Part of my guilt over not caring enough comes from being "rich" when so many are poor.  I know you know the story of Kagawa who couldn't keep a shirt on his back, because he would always find someone who needed it more that he did.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  plenty of rich criminals. what’s aristotle’s theory on that?===JACK:  That's exactly how many revolutions start...the poor rising up against the rich.  That's what Aristotle was writing about.  BTW, in my book of people with strange names, there was a man named, Aristotle Tottle.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY::  We all care but you he question is “What do we do to help?” ===JACK:  I'd change that to read..."Many of us care."  I appreciate that each of us have our favorite charities, often based on personal experiences that we've had.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/18/18
“Too blessed to be stressed.”  (Paul Torn)  Do you think that God plays favorites?  The word “blessed” means to be favored by God.  Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and others claim to be blessed by God.  Are some groups or individuals favored by God over others?  Why are the prayers of some answered and others are not?  Who are we to know the mind of God?  Simply, count your many blessings and know that God loves you.    ;-)  Jack

FROM BS IN ENGLAND: I have just spent a week on Holy Island, Lindisfarne in Northumberland, on pilgrimage with 12 ladies from church and our leader Rev'd Doreen.  It is the most peaceful place on earth and a wonderful island to renew ones faith and come apart from the " maddening world "  It is where St Aidan and St Cuthbert first brought Christianity to the north of England.  Holy Island is visited daily by hundreds of people who have to leave  before high tide prevents them from driving off the island.  Peace then returns for the 105 who live there year round and the privilege few who are able to rent the cottages or live in the retreat houses.  There are only 2 children in the school at the moment and a teacher.  Please google it and also Rev'd Canon Kate  Tristram, 86, who has lived on the island for 40 years and still officiates.  She is truly remarkable, taking communion  8am wearing a heavy chasuble,  green,  for this we call ordinary time in the Church of England.  I wish you could visit!===JACK:  One of the definitions of holy is, blessed.  The Holy Island retreat seems like a perfect place to relieve the stress of living on the "mainland" and to be blessed by a special awareness of God's presence.  If the opportunity were mine, Holy Island would seem to be the perfect place to visit.  Thanks for describing it for me...and greetings to Doreen.

FROM TL:  Jack, your words are through the hands of God this morning.  They are a soothing comfort to Susan who sits with her sister today at the Mayo Clinic.   Thanks be to God through you! ===JACK:  Each morning as I click, "send," I wonder what difference (if any) the day's Winning Words will make.  Thanks for letting me know how it has impacted you and your family.  God is good!

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Thanx, Jack. When I was in college I learned Matthew 6:34, Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let today be anxious for itself.===JACK:  Through the years I have learned many Bible verses...as have you.  What we need to be reminded of is...these verses continue to have relevance in our daily living.  Thanx.  Life at the university, for you, was more than just playing basketball.===GEORGE:  I have a sanguine temperament. That means that I like to be involved in many things, sometimes to my detriment. Sometimes I got over committed and had to scramble very hard.===JACK:  I think that the temperament you describe, instead of being sanguine, might better be described by Lou Holtz as a person  who tends to promise more than can be delivered.  He suggests that people deliver more than they promise.  I'm sure that you did that as an athlete and as a businessman.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Definitely count your blessings every day!===JACK:  I began counting mine as soon as I turned on the computer and read the first two responses to Winning Words.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  I know I have been blessed to have John Freed in my life!!===JACK:  Yes, as I think back, God has arranged for many interactions in our lives.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/17/18
“The six W’s: Work Will Win When Wishing Won’t.”  (Todd Blackledge)  Alliterations can be fun.  Can you say: “Peter Piper picked etc?” or, “She sells sea shells etc?”  In the Wizard of Oz, Scarecrow calls the Tin Man, “You clinking, clanking, clattering collection of caliginous junk.”  (I had to look up caliginous).  Today’s six W’s give a humorous message about the importance of getting off your duff and doing that which needs doing…right now!    ;-)  Jack

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  My friend Terry always said the 6 p’s...
Proper prior planning prevents poor performance  Proper prior planning prevents poor performance
===JACK:  That's one worth saving.  Thanks

FROM RRC:  I am using this, as part of a reflection tomorrow!===JACK:  Great!  Here's a response I received today that might fit with your reflection..."Proper prior planning prevents poor performance "

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  so what does caliginous  mean?  my spell check said it isn't even a word:):):)===JACK:  ca·lig·i·nous  kΙ™ΛˆlijΙ™nΙ™s - adjective archaic  misty, dim; obscure, dark.  (Some people are like that)

FROM PG:  I'm enjoying your words every morning!  Thanks Jack.===JACK:  I have to remind myself, as I write, of the miracle of the internet that allows me to be in touch with so many old friends and also "faceless people" who are on the list by word of mouth.  I call all readers, "My Congregation Without Walls."

GOPHER LYNN:  This message made me laugh – I like it of course!===JACK:  It might be worth posting at work (Nah!)

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I too like alliteration and have often used it in my writing , or a program  title, or catchy  poster promotion.  Love both the 6 W's and the 6 P's in today's blog, and  copied them
 for a children's sermon at church. My S.S. class will appreciate them too! Thanks!  Now I'd better get off MY duff and get busy. Taking Best Baked Beans and Caramel Apple Cookies to my family potluck this evening! -)===JACK:  It may not be alliteration, but someone in your family is bound to say when your B-B-B are passed around..."Beans, beans the magical fruit..."  It would happen at our house.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Good one! Blackledge must have been a farmer.===JACK:  Todd's name should be familiar to you...Penn State quarterback who led his team to a national championship and went on the the pros and to a broadcasting career.  He's now a high school basketball coach..  ===GEORGE:  Your last sentence confirms to me that he is a humble man. Maybe he is a Christian? ===JACK:  While humility (and serving others) can be characteristic of Christians, persons of other religions can do that, as well.  I like what C.S. Lewis said about us as Christians: "We should be as "little Christs" to others.  Yes, humility is one of those "little Christ" things.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/16/18
“Remember, we all stumble, every one of us.  That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand.”  (Emily Kimbrough)  I was Googling around and saw a picture of two chimps holding hands.  What do you suppose I saw?  A sign of affection?  An act of helping?  When you see two humans holding hands, what do you see?  Affection, a desire to help, two becoming one?  Idioms say a lot.  Shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm, eye to eye.  I see a need for more of that.   ;-)  Jack

FROM F.L.:  i have no one to hold my hand, and things couldn’t be much worse, literally===JACK:  The Beatles song comes to mind..."I wanna hold your hand."  I'm sure that's the feeling of other Winning Words readers, too.  Not being able to do by way of the internet, I can ask my friends to join me in praying on your behalf.  A pastor once asked someone in a problem situation, "Can I pray for you."  The person responded, "It can't hurt."  No it can't, but it certainly can help.  Another song..."His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches (you)"===FL:  ty. ♥️

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  our synod's Tanzanian ministry (to dozens of churches there) is called Bega Kwa Bega;  its Swahili for "shoulder to shoulder"  .  blessings on your day, Jack.    i also know of a true story of two WW II vets who had each lost an arm in the war.  one lost the left arm and one right arm.  .  but together they figured out how to sit and play the piano together.  it was a moving sight to see and hear them play.===JACK:  Two great stories!  "Bega Kwa Bega"--I'll have to try and remember that.  And...I wonder if Google can find those piano players for me?  I want to see and hear them.  (Loooong pause)  No luck!  But, I have the image in my mind.===SP:  Jack,  google  St. Paul Area Synod Bega Kwa Bega and you will get lots of info about this ministry.  every church in our synod has a "sister church" somewhere in southern Tanzania.  our village is called Tungamalenga and we as a congregation have been over there at least 15 times.  we have a group there right now.  and we have had them over here 3 times.  we built a clinic in this small village and staffed it with a medical student named Barnabas.  a really find Christian fellow.    the government now wants to use this clinic as a model for other villages.  and because the country is so poor,  the govt. is delighted to have such a Lutheran presence.  also, in Iringa,  40 kilometers from our village, the entire synod over 20 years has built Tumani (Swahili word for HOPE) University.  it started with 14 students and now has well over 1200 students.  and many of our synod churches pay for the student's tuition.   Kristin Levorson, from our church, has been over there all 15 times (or more), has learned Swahili, knows all the area pastors and bishops,  and has done a fab job in "shepherding" this ministry.   right now, she is finding funding to put 3 new wells for water for 3 area villages.  its quite a story.   also,  all i recall about the two WW II vets  was that they were in a home of some kind in New Jersey.  if i find that article in one of my files, i will send it to you.  take care,  plh      p.s. sometime i will tell you about the Illulah Health Care Center about 100 kil. east of Iringa.  we joked 30 years ago about building the Mayo Clinic of Tanzania and you know what?  by the grace of God it has become that!  last time i looked it had 22 buildings,  many Docs, and was serving at least a 3 or 4 hundred mile radius of Tanzania.  Randy Hurley, a cardiologist from our church,  goes over twice a year on his own dime and spends two or three weeks there at a time.  a remarkable fellow who just literally fell in love with the people of Tanzania.  all these stories give me hope for the future of our world.===JACK:  I remember visiting your church once when a pastor from Tanzania was present and being honored by your congregation.  Impressive work being done!...I still want to see and hear those piano players.

FROM DB:  Thank you. Slowly, things are getting better.  I am met with  challenges, plus I am embarking on new territory - its the only way that I can move forward. It requires a lot of courage, but prayer certainly helps open doors and make things better.===JACK:  Challenges are called challenges, because they require a desire to change things, to move ahead.  You're right!  Courage and prayer do open doors.  Courage and prayer are also needed to walk through the open doors.  May God bless you.

FROM LBP:  The HS youth came back from the national gathering a week back and shared with the Church their hand in hand symbol. They clasped hands with fingers interlocked to show that my neighbors strength covers my weakness and my strength covers my neighbors weakness. A Kinda cool thought.===JACK:  My sister's granddaughter was a counsellor at that same youth convention ...over 30,000 participants.  The Church is in in good hands when the hands  of our young people are locked together with the Hand of God.===LBP:  Science at this age is about capturing the curiosity of a child to help them observe things around them, to try things, and to learn from what happens. It's developing logical thinking, careful observation, and patience. As a rule follower, I get antsy to have a portion of the curriculum untouched, though I know that my son and I can talk about the life cycle of a butterfly or the water cycle of evaporation to rain. So really it's more about skills. Though I'm working on my patience and observation skills to see when there really are skills missed, or maybe they are just being taught in a different way than I saw them in my daughter's class.===JACK:  Lucky is the child who learns good stuff at home, too.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There is definitely a need for more hand-holding.===JACK:  ...and hand-folding, too!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I needed someone to "hold my hand" in comfort, after listening to the Trump-Putin summit in Finland this morning! AGHHHH!  Our AB Women's symbol for the theme TOUCH, was 4 hands and forearms,  with divers ethnic coloring  grasping one another in a "square" which was very effective. There is a lot of world-wide clasping of hands to help, (as your blog emphasized...good information from the Lutherans!) which is comfort and inspiration!  My Lutheran niece, who is a pastor in Texas had young people at the recent convention. A GREAT experience for them!!  AB Baptists have extensive work in Congo, Sudan, Thailand, Cost Rica, etc.===JACK:  When will there be in America less SELF and more WE?  I recall the WE, and I miss it.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Definitely a desire to help and to be friends!===JACK:  Perhaps you've heard the saying: "To have a friend, be a friend!

FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  On that theme there is an anecdote I've used in some of my seminars that you might appreciate:  This married couple is walking in their neighborhood holding hands & a nearby neighbor is so impressed that he runs up to tell them excitingly: "WOW",you've been married for over 55 years & you are still walking hand in hand,how romantic!  The husband responds FORGET romantic,the only reason I hold her hand when we're walking is that anytime I let go, she runs off  to go shopping.  Just sharing...

Friday, July 13, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/13/18
“The purpose of meditation is to make our mind calm and peaceful.”  (Kelsang Gyatso)  It has been reported that when divers found the Thai soccer boys in the cave, they were meditating.  Their coach, a former Buddhist monk, had taught them how to handle anxiety and how to be at peace with the world.  A friend of mine has a meditation room in his home.  It’s such a peaceful place.  Where do you find peace?  Where are your fears calmed?  Meditation isn’t just for Buddhists.    ;-)  Jack

FROM WALMART REV:  … every morning with John Freed and his Winning Words!!" 0;-) ===JACK:  It's a form of meditation when I sit at the computer and begin to compose "the words" for the week.  Ommmmm!===REV:  I have that same experience preparing and typing up my daily devotional on FB . . . 0;-)

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  This was an amazing search and recovery of these boys and their coach. A feel good story except for the one Thai navy seal that died.===JACK:   I think of the Bible verse, applying to Jesus, but also relevant to the Thai SEAL: "Greater love has no man than this, that a man gave up his life for his friends."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  My entire home is peaceful ===JACK:  That means, wherever you go, you hear: "Pax Vobiscum!"

FROM FREMONT SUE:  I read the book by Dan Harris Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics.  I am not a skeptic about mediation, but it turns out I am fidgety.  I’m still trying, but there doesn’t seem to be a  mediation room.  sigh===JACK:  In our family we called it the B,R,. as in,   "I'm going to the B.R."

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  this could be a good example of mind over matter but if it works,  its okay with me.===JACK:  Some people have the same idea about religion, too.===SP:  fair enough, but it can't JUST be mind over matter.  faith has to have a bit more substance than that....  at least for me...===JACK:  Why can't faith be mind over matter?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Mediation to me is prayer.  I love to pray outdoors.  I find much peace when I am praying in the first church.===JACK:  By "the first church", I suppose you mean the out-of-doors.  Inside, outside...it doesn't matter to God.

FROM LBP:  I learned just recently that my son’s kindergarten teacher had been doing some meditation with them last year. They use an app called GoNoodle that has lots of short videos to inspire movement. But he showed me some that are for calming and meditation or reflection. Pretty cool for 5-6 yr olds.===JACK:  It seems as though Andy has a great teacher.  Does she dress in a yellow robe, too?  Meditation might have helped with some of my behavior problems as a kid. ===LBP:  Alas,... wish she had done the science curriculum... but a foundation in human skills is probably good for wild 6 year olds===JACK:  Spoken like a parent who is a "scientist."  As a pastor, I think that meditation is more important at this point (Kindergarten) than science.  As I recall, I had fun at a 5-yr-old learning about Native Americans,  In those days we called them, Indians.  We were excited to learn that they actually lived where we lived.  They were led by Chief Blackhawk, and their tribe was the Sauk and Fox.  Learning about that was more interesting than memorizing the periodic table.

FOM AMcC:  i meditate daily.  I find peace in God .  I am grateful.===JACK:  Meditation...Brother Lawrence learned to do it in the monastery kitchen while scrubbing pots and pans.  He wrote a book, Practice of the Presence of God.  Have you read it?

FROM STARRY KNIGHT:  I need this for sure===JACK:  We are are trapped, from time to time, in caves..in placeas where we are afraid, in situation from which there seems to be no way of escape.  But, some have found a way...call it meditation, call it time for reflection, for quietness, or call it a time for prayer.  Even if it's only for minute each day, it can (and does) help.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  PART OF PRACTICING yoga IS doing meditation. We all need to do devotional reading, and center our thoughts.For me it can happen almost anywhere, and almost any time,  depending on my schedule. It helps to take life's ups, downs, and in-betweens, in stride! ===JACK:  I heard today about a book, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics.  That caused me to listen to an interview on NPR with the author Don Hanson.  He meditates 2 hours a day, but says that it can be done in a minute each day, too.

Dan Harris On The Power Of Meditation For The Fidgety Skeptic | Rich ...


Feb 8, 2018 - Ultra-athlete Rich Roll talks with ABC News' Dan Harris about how meditation transformed his life & his new book,10% Happier: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics. ... Zomorod: author and host of the Note To Self podcast on NPR.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/12/18
“Happiness starts with a smile.”  (Sent by Carol Stanonik)  When you’re on a bus or subway laughter isn’t what you expect.  A Belgian ad agency, working for Coca-Cola, hired an actor to start laughing on a crowded train, with today’s quote as the tagline.  The result showed how happiness can be contagious.  Even a simple smile at someone will often result with one in return.  This world, at times, can be unkind.  Let’s help to make it a happier place.    ;-)  Jack    Coca-Cola: Happiness starts with a smile - YouTube

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  and a friendly "hello" can often end up with some kind of brief but meaningful conversation too...===JACK:  A friendly hello is for strangers and casual friends.  The hearty HI and and BIG laughs are for close friends and family (in my experience).===SP:  but do you think carefully about those choices when you meet people or are  your responses more spontaneous and off the cuff?===JACK:  You probably dated many girls including Margaret.  Was the  attraction spontaneous, or off the cuff, or did you think carefully about your decision that she was "the one?"


FROM HONEST JOHN:  We are up here in Stratford....yesterday we saw The Music Man....the anthem of Positive Thinking....it was enjoyable.....===JACK:  That's one of my all-time favorite shows.  Harold Hill had the right idea...if you think it and believe it, you can.  That's something like preaching on a Sunday...or writing Winning Words.  I even made it a point to visit Mason City, Iowa.
===HJ:  We went there, too.    I love the show.   This was the best presentation of it that I have ever seen===JACK:  I liked how 76 Trombones and Goodnight My Someone were the same tune played at different tempos.  Beautiful music.

FROM KF:  Good one! But my favorite Coke commercial is still "I'd like to teach the world to sing", flash-mob style, followed by "Just Wave Hello" : )))===JACK:   That's my BEST, too.  but messages need to change in order to keep relevant...just like with preaching...and parenting.  The Santa Claus that most folks relate to is an image created by Coca Cola.  They hire creative ad people.

FROM JACK TO CAROL:  Do people laugh during quilting, or do they just quietly sew?===QC:  Quilters mostly laugh when they are sewing…unless we make a mistake and have to rip out what we’ve just done.  Most of us have can even laugh about the ripping out.  There are times that we share tears as sad things do happen in our lives, but we know we have a wonderful caring and loving support group in our fellow quilters.  Laughter does dominate though!  Do pastors find things to laugh about in congregational work?  I can only begin to imagine that!===JACK:  Pastors usually are good at adapting to situations.  With other pastors, they generally talk shop, keep checking their iPhones (in case there's an urgent message), and there's a good bit of laughter, because church and church people can be funny as well as holy.  If I would happen to drop in on your group, I'd try to blend into the situation, except for the sewing.  I think that I might be able to do ripping.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  A smile makes everyone happy especially the smiler 😊😊😊===JACK:
 There are smiles that make us happy  There are smiles that make us blue
There are smiles that steal away the tear drops  As the sum beam steal away the dew
There are smiles that have a tender meaning  That the eyes of love alone will see
And the smiles that filled my heart with sunshine  Are the smiles that you gave to me.
===SHIRL:  I love that song! Thx!

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  THAT is hilarious!! I'll bet all the WW readers today are laughing our loud! :-) Smiling  is contagious! I hope we all "catch it" and pass it on!===JACK:  How about the laugh of the Great Gildersleeve?  For real laughs listen to Carol Burnett "Bloopers."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  That’s a very “smiley” Commerical.  Too bad I like Pepsi better.  That will almost make me switch.  Smiling is very contagious but laughter is down right an epidemic! ===JACK:  When Pepsi Cola first came out, Coca Cola came in 6 ounce bottles.  Pepsi came in 12 ounce bottles, twice as much as Coke.  Pepsi's radio ad was a musical jingle..."Pepsi Cola hits the spot.  Twelve full ounces, that's alot.  Twice as much for a nickel, too.  Pepsi Cola is the drink for you."

Retro Pepsi Radio Commercials - YouTube


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/11/18
“Let parents bequeath to their children, not riches, but the spirit of reverence.”  (Plato)  Reverence is more than a “churchy” word.  To reverence something is to respect it, to see it as something holy, an ideal.  The flag, for example, stands for “the positives” in America, the  freedoms and the sacrifices to preserve them.  It’s not a perfect country, but we respect the respectable.  Even Jesus showed how, in life, to separate the wheat from the chaff.    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  you teach me something new so often! did not know “reverence” could be a verb. thought it was “revere.”===JACK:  I'm  sure you researched it before you wrote.  I beat you to it.  Grammar can be fun.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Since we are focusing somewhat on the Supreme Court right now, I thought of Clarence Thomas' statement: "One of the advantages of living in a free, democratic society, is that each day we have many opportunities to be leaders, simply by leading virtuous lives"
Our kids learn reverence and respect when they see it in others, as well as hearing about it! ===JACK:  I think that much of our frustration comes from having those we look to as leaders act like sheep.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  :-) ;-)===JACK:  Do people laugh during quilting, or do they just quietly sew?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/10/18
“The best of us must sometimes eat our words.”  (J.K. Rowling)  Recently a man made the news by eating 74 hot dogs.  JKR has written 7 Harry Potter books.  Imagine eating those words.  But, what she’s talking about are the many times that people (you and I) have said things that we shouldn’t have said.  There’s a warning in the Bible: “Be quick to listen and slow to speak.”  If only there were a pause button connected to the tongue…but there isn’t, so be careful!    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  And... sometimes.. that stupid thing that came out of my mouth haunts me forever!===JACK:  A person who was caught stealing sheep has ST branded on his forehead, reminding everyone that he was a Sheep Thief.  But that person mended his ways and did many good things for the poor and for the community.  Years later someone new came to town and asked about the man with the ST on his forehead.  The townsmen paused and said, "It's been a long time.  I think that it stands for Saint...A roundabout way to encourage you to forget the past and live positively in the present.

FROM WALMART REV:  Yes sir, be careful!! 0;-)===JACK:  Even the Bible has a "Be Careful" warning..."Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."  (1 Peter 5:8)

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything !===JACK:  That sounds like something you learned at home.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  HA! One of my mom's oft reminders:"Keep your words sweet; you may have to eat them!"  Not always successful in teen years, but more so as we matured! I read a quote by Bishop Michael Curry (Chicago Tribune) that seems appropriate, "If Humanity ever captures the
energies of Love, It will be the second time in history that we have discovered fire."  Loving words ignite loving responses! Impressive array of Kudos for you in Yesterday's WW. I'm sure well-deserved, although that was NOT your intention. (Knowing you, we KNOW that!!) Thanks for spreading energies ===JACK:  Who was the "sassier", you or your twin (or neither, since you both were well-behaved)?  While having a multiple birth is cute, it must be doubly difficult for the mother to have 2 newborns, 2 terrible-twos, 2 teens, but it evens out as they mature.  As to yesterday...I was sorry that Goethe's quote seemed to be overlooked.  It was such a good one.===OAKS:  We really weren't "sassy"...kids didn't talk back to parents like they do these days! Or other adults, either, usually!

FROM SHALOM JAN:  Better we should eat God's words (Matt. 4:1-11) and then live on their nurture than to have what I call "foot 'n' mouth disease" to which I am so prone!  God bless you for the reminders!    ===JACK:  At least you're not entering any hot dog eating contests.  At Holy Spirit we once gave out Bibles with sections marked to be read each day.  In one year those who followed the program would have read the entire Bible in a year.  I still have a copy of the One-Year Bible.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Maybe Britain exiting Brexit is another example of foot-in-mouth? ===JACK:  I have a hard time with that Brexit thing.  In or out?  When they refused to adopt the Euro, they weren't really in.  It's hard to come to grips without being an Empire any longer.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I’ve read “Make sure your words are always sweet because you may have to eat them!”  I have no idea who said it but they’re good ones!===JACK:  When I first started  as a pastor, the worship service began with the Confession of Sins..."Forgive us, because we have sinned by thought, WORD and deed."===JUDY:  Words do hurt!  Much worse than smacks.  My friends name is Charlene.  She’s not fat but she not skinny either.  One time her male teacher in grade school called her by name.  He said, “Charlene....well there’s nothing lean about Charlene.”  She has never forgotten that and says that all the time.  She doesn’t like to be called Charlene because of that but prefers Char.===JACK:  "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me."  Not true!

Monday, July 09, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/9/18
“Divide and rule is a sound motto.  Unite and lead is a better one.”  (Goethe)  Goethe is one of the most quotable authors in my stack of “good quotes.”  His education included the study of six languages, besides lessons in dancing.  He read a lot and learned to put his thoughts into words, becoming one of the greatest writers of the modern era.  I Googled “Information” about today’s quote and up popped, Jack’s Winning Words 2007.  I’m a source.  WOW!    ;-)  Jack

FROM VW MARY:  from vw mary:  😊If only our leaders would heed Goethe, by way of Jack! ====JACK:  I read this Salman Rushdie quote this morning:  "Democracy is not polite.  It's often a shouting match in a public square."  Maybe frustration is the price that we have to pay to be able to have democracy.  It allows change by the voting process.

FROM WALMART REV:  "...always has been a 'winner' in my book since coming across him in the mid to late 1980's!" 0;-)===JACK:  I met him in my college philosophy class, but had trouble with the guttural pronunciation of his name.  At first, I spoke it like the Chicago streetcar conductor:  "Next stop, GOthy Street!"===REV:  I was speaking of that dynamic Holy Spirit Lutheran pastor of West Bloomfield, MI!! 0;-) ===JACK:  I'm not in the same league as the Great Goethe.

FROM HONEST JOHN: You are a font of wisdom!===JACK: Have you ever sung the hymn, "Come, thou fount of every blessing?"  I like the line..."Here, I raise my Ebenezer."  I wonder how many in the congregation (including the pastor) know what that means.

FROM CARRIE:  I hope you are doing well.  I still read you every morning – thanks for inspiring me.===JACK:  You are an important member of my Winning Words family.  Today, I'm asking G-d to especially watch over you.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  πŸ˜Ž ===JACK:  Thanks for your unspoken support.  May today be a good one for you ===LIZ:  πŸ˜‰

FROM LS:  You are a source to me. Thank you.  I am glad that your recognition is apparently global. Hope for all the world to be a better place because of your commitment to writing WINNING WORDS. ===JACK:  You  can find lots of stuff on the internet if you push the right key.  Sometimes the right key is, Delete!  At other times, it's, Save!

FROM LBP:  Cool! 😊===JACK:  Yes, it is cooler today that it was recently.===LBP:  Ha ha. I’m a child of the 80s. “Cool” is still in my vocabulary ;)  Though happy for the milder weather too ===JACK:  My stepfather was in a restaurant once, and the waitress asked, "How's your dessert?"  He responded, "It's cool!"  She said, "I can put it in the microwave for you."

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  congrats! πŸ˜€===JACK:  Wolfgang should get all of the credit.

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Wow. That is very impressive.===JACK:  What's impressive is the "new" work that you are doing for the Jewish Federation in reaching out to donors for the Foundation!

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Indeed, you are.  Thumbs up on that!  Goethe's gone but you're still with us and enlightening us.===JACK:  Yes, Goethe's gone (heart attach at age 82), but he's not forgotten:  He left behind...four novels; epic and lyric poetry; prose and verse dramas; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism;  memoirs, and treatises on botany, anatomy, and color. In addition...numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him...and lots and lots of quotable quotes.===RI:  I knew Goethe was erudite, but I didn't realize he was so prolific.  Thanks to you for continuing to educate me.

FROM VOLUNTEER JIM:  You are a much greater source than you will ever know.===JACK:  I meant this to be about Goethe's quote on leadership.===JB:  I got your quote loud and clear and agree.   I frequently fail to tell the important people in my life how much they mean to me and didn't want to miss this chance to let you know you have a great positive impact on my life and how I live it.===JACK:  It works both ways.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Wow, now that is special!  You not only enlighten your readers but the whole world!!!  I’m honored to be your friend!===JACK:  I was just surprised...at how the internet is able to pick up stuff.

FROM SG:  Yay, you're famous!!===JACK:  This has backfired.  I meant the emphasis to be on the quote.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  You are that and a lot more, Jack. Your ability to make us take pause and think is so important. Thank you.===JACK:  I have to pause and think before I write...like with preparing a sermon.

FROM DR JUDY:  Congratulations on becoming a source!!! :)===JACK:  I was warned by the professors in college, "Check your sources, check your sources!"

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  you are way too modest, Jack!   but that is also why people love you too!===JACK:  Like the guy said, "In my humble opinion..."  Someone whispered, "His opinions have plenty to be humble about."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  WOW is a very appropriate reaction!===JACK:  Do you remember the expression, "You could have knocked me over with a feather?"  It wasn't quote like that.

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  I always knew you were a source. Google is just catching up.===JACK:  You were my first computer teacher.

FROM TRIHARDER:  Agreed! Who in our midst had tried to do that over the last 60 years? ===JACK:  When I was choosing the quote, I was thinking within 2 rather than 60.===TH:  Yes, I know. W was supposed to be the uniter.  He failed. Too much hatred and distrust for Obama who also did a poor job of reaching out, despite his inviting rhetoric. I just don't know of anyone since, possibly, Eisenhower (who was fighting "commies" in a post war America) when views weren't so extremely divergent and society had not yet progressed toward accommodating minorities (race, sexual orientation and inc. women) which seems to be basis of much of our current discord. ===JACK:  The phrase..."East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet."  Rudyard Kipling had a way putting situations into words.  In the quote he is lamenting the gulf between the British and India that existed.  Although the twain did meet in that case, it was not a happy meeting.  In the present american political situation, the gulf seems to have become a chasm.

DROM SHALOM JAN: You are a lot more famous than you realized in this technical age!  Good for you!===JACK:  What if I were on Facebook and Tweeted, too?

FROM JT IN SJ:  WOW is right.  Maybe you should author a book with the contents being your winning words and the thoughts you share about those words!!  I think it is a great idea!!===JACK:  Once, someone did put together a book of Jack's Winning Words.  Maybe 250 copies were printed and sold on Amazon.  They were gone before I even got a copy.  I had thought of doing one of those daily tear-off calendars.  Someone even offered to help.  BTW, I once preached a funeral sermon in which I mentioned sending out Winning Words each day.  After the service, a stranger came up and asked, "Are you Jack from Jack's Winning Words?  I'm so glad to meet you."  Maybe I should write a book!

Friday, July 06, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/6/18
“Be thankful for today, because in one moment your entire life could change.”  (Unknown)  “In the blink of an eye.”  An eye blink is about 4/10s of a second.  If a batter blinks, the fastball will pass him before he opens his eyes again.  That’s how fast life can change for us…in the blink of an eye.  Perhaps you know of someone who’s experienced that.  Regina Brett wrote: “God never blinks!”  What comfort to know that God’s unblinking eye is on YOU!    ;-)  Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Good words. In Rock Island on July3, while watching fireworks at the Centennial Bridge a huge tree branch fell on the crowd at the county courthouse, killed 2 and injured several, IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE.===JACK:  A person that I know was setting off fireworks for family and friends.  One of the items did not go off, so (knowing better in hindsight) he went to check on it.  In the blink of an eye, he lost an eye and is within one eye of being blind.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  how true this is!  yesterday we attended the funeral of a women who seemed very healthy until she had a massive stroke and died at age 76.  also, a good friend lost a son a week ago to a motorcycle accident.  both very sad life-changing events.     every day is a gift! ===JACK:  Every pastor,I'm sure, has similar stories to tell.  After news of a tragic death, I usually felt unease as I drove to make first contact with the family.===SP:  for sure.   when first out of the seminary,  those situations scared me half to death.  it was only later that i realized just how MUCH the family wanted and needed my/our presence at that moment.   i will say my 3 quarters of CPE in a hospital were also very helpful in letting me be more at ease with death, dying, and trauma.  take care, old and wise friend.===JACK:  In a couple of hours I'll be making one of "those" calls.  Tho not because of a death, it is one where a pastor and friend is wanted and needed.===SP:  bless you for going to her.   i guess we never fully escape our ordination vows:):):)==JACK:  It was not a "have to," but a "want to" call.  I never saw my work as fulfilling an ordination vow.  It was work that I enjoyed (and still enjoy) doing.  Besides, I got to meet the daughter and her 1-month-old son.  ===SP:  truthfully i can't even recall just exactly what the vows stated but in a general sense,  it was to serve God's people, the church,  and the needs of the world in general.===JACK:  Are you sure those aren't the words people say when they join the Church?

FROM DM IN LIV:  I was a little uneasy reading the first part of today’s Winning Words but then I got to the part that says “God never blinks!” and I breathed a sigh of relief.  Thank you and have a beautiful, blessed day!===JACK:  Be aware today...that God really does have His eye on YOU!  ===DM:  Oh…now that has a whole new meaning. 😊

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  Thanks for the song of the day...”he’s got his eyes on you”. I have had a series of life changing events this spring/summer. Some good some sad all challenging. Life goes on and I’m thankful for each day’s adventure❤️ ===JACK:  If it didn't change, it wouldn't be life.  Are you now done at Peppermint?  If so, what is your fondest memory?===MARY:  the school will remain with me forever although we closed the doors on may 25th.  there are so many individual memories and lovely stories.  i think my sweetest memories are of "door opening" time each day.  happy children coming in to start the day and greet their friends.  even the ones having a bit of trouble were joy to me for they were the ones that would sit on my lap until ready to join the group.  i heard the best stories and could share my stories with them.  i never wanted to be away from my home when i was little unless my mama or daddy was with me.  the children seemed to appreciate that fact. i am pondering my next stage in life and wondering how i can continue to work with children and parents, (really just more children as i aged).  there is so much information "out there" but so little guidance for families in stress.  i'll come up with a way.  you did with your winning words.  i thank god for them every day.  it's the first thing i read when i wake.  thank you.===JACK:  Creative people, like you, will come up with the idea that fits.

FRO FACEBOOK LIZ:  a year ago tomorrow we lost my beloved father... in the blink of an eye. he was waiting for my daughter to pick him up for dinner out. he fell asleep in his chair, dreaming of a good meal and the company of his cherished granddaughter.  that’s the way to go at age 90, he’d tell you...===JACK:  I have a book in my library, "They Went That-a-Way," which describes how some of the famous and no so famous people died.  Your father's death was unusual in the way it happened.  But, of course, he was unusual...very special.  You were fortunate.

FROM ANNE McC:  Padre Pio  "Pray, hope, don't worry."  I live one day at a time.  I thank God for a good night's sleep and that I can still take my own shower.  Each morning and night I abandon myself to Him and pray that He helps me to accept whatever I am sent,  God is good.  These are the thoughts I had when I read these words of Pastor Freed's WW.  Peace and prayers, ===JACK:  We have so much to be thankful for...and it's more than material things.  Faith, family and friends are 3 F's.  God is good!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  My nephew in law was riding his 4-wheeler without his helmet, fell off, hit his head and suffered brain damage and is partially paralyzed on his left side.  In the blink of an eye!   Thankfully, God is always on the job.===JACK: I believe that "God never blinks," but I'm interested to know what you mean by "o, the job/"===JUDY:  “His eye is in the Sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 7/5/18
“Sometimes I just want someone to hug me and say, I know it’s hard.  You’re going to be okay.  Here’s a chocolate and 5 million dollars.”  (Unknown)  Often when a child gets a bump or a scrape Mommie will kiss it, and it will be all better.  As we become adults life’s owies are harder to cure.  Money might solve some problems…some TLC…A friend who will listen can help, too.  There are hurting people out there today.  Let’s see what we can do to help!    ;-)  Jack

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Wisdom displayed again!===JACK:  Common sense!

FROM JT IN SJ:  I'll send you a hug.  Just ask me.  and a chocolate will be OK too.  I don't happen to have 5 million dollars.  Would a dollar help?===JACK:  It's a deal.  I'll take it!

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i find that most people seem to be “all talk.” social media is rife w/those prevent suicide memes that say “i am there there for you...” but in actuality, they couldn’t be bothered.===JACK:  Most of my friends are the face-to-face kind, although I do appreciate the social media ones, too.  E-mail hugs and kisses (Hershey's) aren't the same.  Getting 5 million?  I'm not holding my breath.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good words, Jack.  thanks.===JACK:  A pastor friend of mine asked a shut-in if their was anything he could do for her.  "I'd like to have recite the 23rd Psalm for me."  He had brain freeze and couldn't remember how the Psalm started.  Seeing a Bible on the table said, " I think that it might have more meaning for us if I read it from your Bible."  She was pleased that he was so thoughtful.===SP:  smooth move, preacher man!===JACK:  We each have our moment and our stories...and there's no one smoother than the King of Smooth, PLH.

FROM LBP:  You have a serious message but I laughed at the quote. Helping out of a bind is one thing, 5M is gonna bring a whole new variety of ‘troubles’===JACK:  "If I win the lottery..." Have you ever bought a lottery ticket?   I would guess that you haven't.===;BP:  Actually, I have. I very rarely do, but sometimes I get caught in the crazy allure of a big jackpot. Have you?===JACK: The odds of winning the Mega Millions Jackpot arw 259 million to 1.  I can't even win at 1 out of 10. ===LBP:  Awe, come now. On average you will win at 1 out of 10, 10%  of the time, provided the play is fair. Odds of “winning” if you never play are zero. But sometimes I’m ok with those odds too===JACK  Ooops.  Odds are a specialty with a stats person.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  One day at a time! Always do your best and God will do the rest!===JACK:  That seems to be your mantra...and it's a good one, too!===SHIRL:  What you are is God’s gift to you. What you become is your gift to God!===JACK:  ...and another good one. ===SHIRL:  Did you see the wonderful show on the mall last night! I like it all-especially Jimmy buffet and The Beach Boys!===JACK:  Yes, I saw them.  Some relatives of mine saw Buffet live at Target Field in Minneapolis last week.  I think it's time to rename the Beach Boys and call then the Beach Fogies, but they're still good.===SHIRL:  I guess we saw Buffet in key West which is very apropos and our twins were Beach boy fans and still have many records in my house!===JACK: I have a Beach Roys CD, too.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I think it was Mark Twain who observed, "I'd rather have 100 friends than money; If ever needed, they'd all be wiling to send a buck!" (paraphrased)  I see you have at least one friend who offered a buck! :-) Millions are beyond most of us, but a kind word, helping hand, a meal, flowers,  driver  when needed (that's been a need of mine with this broken wing!) etc. Are ways we can all show we care. God bless the many kind-hearted who do so!===JACK:  Are you good for a buck, too?  I offer prayers for your healing from that fall.  What's that worth?===OAKS:  That dear Jack is priceless!!! And I'm in for a buck whenever!===JACK:  If it were you in need, it would be worth at least a Jackson...or more.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  A friendly smile or a little compliment helps tremendously.===JACK:  The "out of the blue" notes of appreciation are especially meaningful.  Try that with your pastor...or your husband.===JUDY:  Great idea!!!===JACK:  Ideas really work when they're put into action.