Friday, November 30, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 11/30/18
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”  (Buddha)  In my study of Oriental religions, I was intrigued by Buddhism.  Life can be improved by right thoughts, and right thoughts can bring peace and happiness.  In a sense, the same can be said about practicing the teachings of Jesus.  Light a candle and stare at it.  What thoughts come to mind?   ;-)  Jack

FROM SF IN FL:  Love it!===JACK:  Don't forget to light that candle...and meditate.  Perhaps tonight?

FROM L&M IN WBM: Thanks Jack.  Good one.===JACK:  Mike can read some buddhist sayings while you look at your candle.

FROM WALMART REV:  "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine!" 0;-)===JACK:  Surprise Fran by setting out a burning candle at the supper table tonight and together singing..."This little light of mine."===PAUL:  I was thinking, “You Light Up My Life!” 0;-)===JACK:  Watch out!  Your neighbors might call  Mike Hanson and the WFD!

FROM HY YO SILVER:  There is a debate in the Talmud as Jewish law and traditions were shaped.
How should we light the Hanukkah candelabra, the Hanukkiyah (Menorah)?
Rabbi Shamai teaches that we should light all the candles the first night and as the holiday progresses, we light one less candle each night. IE - Night one, 8 candles; Night two, 7 candles; Night three; 6 candles and so on until the Eighth Night has only 1 candle lit. As the holiday diminishes (and as the oil in the Holy Temple ran out), so too should the light dwindle.
Rabbi Hillel teaches that we should light just one candle the first night and as the holiday progresses, we light one additional candle each night. IE - Night one, 1 Candle; Night two, 2 Candles; Night three, 3 Candles and so on until the eighth night the entire Hanukkiyah (Hanukkah Menorah) is fully lit, shining as bright as possible. Rabbi Hillel taught this way because the lighting of the Menorah should reflect the actions of the Jewish people: always increasing in holiness and always doing more to brighten the lives of others in our duty to be a light unto the nations.
Rabbi Hillel won the argument and for millennia, the Jewish People light our menorahs from 1 candle to 8, increasing the light to the world and always increasing our good deeds. Always improving. Always striving to be better.
Did you know that we are supposed to place the Hanukkiyah (Hanukkah Menorah) by a window or an open door so that it can be seen by others in the outside?  We are meant to display the menorahs as publicly as possible to celebrate the holiday and actually brighten the world.
Hope you’re well, Jack. Thanks for putting up with my story. Your Winning Words made me think about my holiday that begins Sunday evening.
===JACK:  Candles are used in ceremonies by many religions.  "God is the Light of the world!"  I've always been fascinated by the story of Hanukkah...regardless of the candle lighting order.  When I was a seminarian, I asked my pastor a question similar to the one you referred to.  He responded, "Does Jesus care?"  It helped me to prioritize what's important in the belief system.  Does God really care about "how" the candles are lighted?   BTW, I’ve read that there are 16 different ways to spell Hannukah.  Does God really care which of the 16 you use?  Maybe He likes a 17th.

FROM KZB IN THE ROCKIES:  Wow.  A beloved teacher at Dylan's school just died in a snowboard accident - he was in the back country and landed wrong in the deep snow.   I put together the program for it.   He was born and raised Buddhist in Boulder.  If this isn't a message from God that there is a unified religion...  What a great thing to find in my inbox on this day of Bindu's funeral.===JACK:  It's not only on TV, but at times it seems that we live in the Twilight Zone.  Coincidences often appear to be more than coincidences.  It's good that you could have a part in "doing something."

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  the 74 candles on my cake could be a bit depressing:):):).  on the other hand,  i know how blessed i have been to be able to reach this age in reasonably good health.  i suspect you would say the same.   i never used to read the obits in the Sunday paper but i do now and i am amazed at how many people die in their 40s,  50s, 60s and early 70s.   enjoy the day, Jack.  it is truly a gift!  blessings on your day...===JACK:  I at what age do we look back on what has been...and begin to look ahead at what might be? ===SP:  forgot to say:  this is a great quote from the Buddha.  there is a huge temple and a huge ondoor statue of Buddha just east of Farmington, MN,  not more than 10 miles from our home.  who would have thought....

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There's nothing prettier on a dinner table than lit candles.  We have them every dinner.  The light is a reminder to us Jesus came into our lives and provided the food for us.===JACK:  WOW  I never knew that people would put candles on the dinner table other than at special occasions!  Good for you,

FROM BB IN CHGO:  I love this one; a friend from LakeView Lutheran who had to leave Finland during WWII-occupation said she would meditate with a single candle lit and blow it out when done praying.  Her husband was a paraplegic for years and she cared for him so lovingly.  She was a light to me!===JACK:  I wonder how many "think" when they say in the marriage vow..."in sickness and health?"  ...and if they do...would think twice?

FROM JT IN ST JOE:  Have I shared with you something I did with the children when they were growing up?  On Valentines Day (a day for love)  I put a large candle in the middle of the table and gave each of us a candle,  with David and mine being lit.   Then Dave and i would light the large candle in the middle of the table and I told the children this represented our love.  Then each of the children lit their candle from the center one.  I asked them, "Is there less light in the big candle now that you have all lit your candles? "  I then emphasized that love multiplies it does not divide.  Having five children did not divide our love.  The light in the room was even greater.  Course I think the kids actually just had fun playing with fire and candles.!===JACK:  What a great teaching experience.  That also says something about sharing love in a large family.  As it is given, it is not diminished.  BTW, david just finished with the lights and is snow-covered.  Speaking of lights, I once had a church family that used live candles on their Christmas tree.  I was always nervous when visiting their home while the candles were burning.  The husband and wife are now living in Nova Scotia, but I think that they've now upgraded to electric lights.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 11/29/18
“You’ve got 3 choices in life: Give up, Give in, or Give it all you’ve got.” (Wall Plaque)  One of the characters in the Li’l Abner comic strip is Joe Btfsplk, the guy who walked around with a cloud over his head, bringing misfortune to everyone near him…Things are bad…Give in!  Give up!  What we need is a different “Joe”…Look for the positives, and…Give it all you’ve got. (BTW, if you want to pronounce Btfsplk..close mouth…stick out tongue…and blow!)   ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  A fourth alternatives....ignore the clowns and go ahead and do your best without them.===JACK:  ...and say to the clowns...btfsplk!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  a 4th choice is to go back to bed which i shall now do!===JACK:  My choice is to stay up and "smell the coffee!"

FROM LG IN CT:  This is a quote from Charleston Parker; I love it!  Another of my favorites: Do the right thing because it's the right thing to do. (W. Clement Stone)  Wishing you a beautiful day! ===JACK: I wonder how you'd look with a W. Clement Stone moustache?

FROM TAMPA SHIRL: Accentuate the positive ignore the negative!===JACK:  ...and don't mess with Mr In Between!!

FROM VW MARY:  You're such an early bird!===JACK:  You know what they say about the early bird...
Nobody likes me, everybody hates me  I think I'll go eat worms!
Big fat juicy ones  Eensie weensy squeensy ones  See how they wiggle and squirm!
Down goes the first one, down goes the second one  Oh how they wiggle and squirm!
Up comes the first one, up comes the second one  Oh how they wiggle and squirm!
I bite off the heads, and suck out the juice  And throw the skins away!
Nobody knows how fat I grow  On worms three times a day!
Nobody likes me, everybody hates me  I think I'll go eat worms!
Big fat juicy ones  Eensie weensy squeensy ones  See how they wiggle and squirm!
===MARY:  Tasty, I’m sure,  but think I’ll stick to coffee in the mornings!  I like being up early; I just don’t like running out of steam before the day is over….(what in your extensive memory triggered this????)===JACK:  Didn't you ever sing that song when you were a little girl?

FROM WALMART REV:  Great closure this morning, with closed mouth, tongue sticking out and blowing!! 0;-))===JACK:  Going for a 300 game and you get a split......btfsplk!

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Those WW are worth remembering.  If we want to be a part of something we have to commit ourselves...don't just "wilt" and let others do it.  Instead, if we believe in it, we should give it all we've got!  (BTW, your note about pronouncing Btfsplk reminded me of Lauren Bacall's well-known movie comment "You know how to whistle don't you?  Just open your lips and blow!")===JACK:  Herman Melville wrote: “There she blows!-there she blows! A hump like a snow-hill! It is Moby Dick!”

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 11/28/18
“In everyone’s heart stirs a great homesickness.”  (Rabbi Seymour Siegel)  It’s not only children who get homesick.  It’s a malady that can affect people of all ages when separated from people and places they love.  I wonder what the rabbi had in mind…a great homesickness stirs in the heart?  I’ve noticed that the holiday season is particularly hard for some people.  Is there a “cure” that you have to suggest for those times when you get “down in the dumps?”   :-(  Jack 

FROM LS IN MI:  Good morning.  When I feel homesick I write/send a card that I make or buy with a pretty US postal stamp on it.  I write my own words. The writing brings me closer to the person ( or place ) as I think about what to write and set my intention as I write to share the love I am feeling.  I envision the smile in their heart and upon their face as they receive/ read my card and place it in a prominent place for a period of time to enjoy.  Then,  I feel close to them even when I am away.  Homesickness gone and I ease into great joy with a smile on my face.
(  just last night I wrote 4 cards to mail and this morning a creative card to my husband who I will miss all day at work :)) ( also I send text messages to my 4 daughters each day to ease the homesickness I feel being away from them and my grandsons )
Thank you for asking.  I miss seeing you and envision one day our paths will cross and I shall give you a hug to let you know how much I enjoy reading my winning words each and every morning.
appy Holiday Season with my prayers for your continued good health and for the gift of  writing to continue to fill your heart when you feel homesickness.
===JACK:  Thanks for the suggestions.  They are just what I was hoping for.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Just keep busy doing necessary and interesting things each day and help friends who need help.===JACK:  "A friend in need is a friend indeed!"

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  When I'm down in the dumps, feeling a bit of hopelessness, I've found some quick relief by listening for an hour or so to the recording "Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Rodgers and Hart Songbook."===JACK:  Such a great singer, and so many great songs.  If I had to pick, i would be:  "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered."

FROM WALMART REV:  Find a welcomed spot at the gateway of the community (one of the many coffee shops found in one’s area), become friendly with those passing by and stopping in, as surely one will find another feeling the same and looking for a friend to share there experiences back home with. 0;-)===JACK:  Maybe the library...quiet, with action, plenty of things to get your mid off of some stuff and on to other stuff.

FROM SF IN FLA:  I experience it every time we transition to Florida. I miss my kids and grandkids so much… and then I adjust. We use FaceTime a lot and they will visit a couple of times. We will be home in December for the twins’ B’nai Mitzvah...sweet, wonderful boys, much like their dad!
Hope you are well. Stay warm!===JACK:  For me, it's sitting down for conversation with friends like you.  My trips to Minnesota allow me to interact with other family members.  The recent 1-week visit with my sister was beyond great (that only siblings can create).

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Counselor Gloria would know better than I, but maybe a phone call to someone you know loves you, and prayers are always good.  Speaking of prayers- can use all we can get for our granddaughter Sophia (11). She has been tentatively diagnosed with Guillain-BarrΓ© syndrome and is hospitalized while they try treatment. Thanks.===JACK:  Perhaps sharing problems can be a way of looking at situations with different eyes.  We can pray with and for each other!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  take more Melatonin:):):)  (spell?)    seriously,  find a good friend or family member and just hang out for a while....===JACK:  Sometimes it's good to sit down informally with a pastor friend.  (Be sure to pick up the check)!

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  I miss the Optimist Club and I particularly miss the holiday gift distribution. I have lots of memories of making a lot of people very happy and grateful.===JACK:  The annual party continues with gift wrapping Friday night and the party on Saturday.  200 kids and family members will attend.  Helping kids smile seems to take our attention off of our own situation

FROM JR IN PBC:  Dear One,  This is so true.....should anyone respond with a "cure",  clew me in. ===JACK:  There have been many suggestions, and I will forward them (and my responses) on to you.  The best way to see back and forth e-mail conversations with e-mail readers is to use the blog. to see my blog

FRP,M BLAZING OAKS:  Keeping busy helps keep the mind from focusing on negative feelings, and stopping to count your blessings! There is always, always, ALWAYS, something to be thankful for!! When I first lost my beloved mate (16 yrs now!) I dwelled on all the things we were missing, or would miss together, but I came to be very thankful for all the years we did share, the blessing of raising our children to adulthood, the meaningful life we had as pastor & wife team, etc. etc. I wonder if the Rabbi could be thinking of our heavenly home, and the yearning for God? Another possible view...===JACK:  "Who knows what lurks in the mind (of a rabbi?)" .Maybe the Shadow knows!  I guess it's like with the Bible.  You have to know the context to understand what is in the text.  I'd be surprised if were thoughts of the afterlife...but it could be.===OAKS:   Yeah, Many Jews do not believe in an afterlife, do they?  I know my good neighbors did not, but believe the good 
they do lives on after them, as a sort of eternity.  Just a thought....

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Just looked up an old hymn – looks like written by Thomas Taylor.
I’m but a stranger here,  Heaven is my home.  Earth is a desert drear, Heaven is my home…
I wonder if the Rabbi was referring to that type of heart sickness. In Chicago, the Presbyterian churches have Blue Christmas services, catering to folks who are feeling the blues especially during the holidays.  I am getting ready for Advent in the darkness – already sent  you the book on walking in the dark.===JACK:  I like that hymn and have often quoted during funeral services.  I don't believe that Jews have a heaven concept similar to that of Christians.  The death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus color most of what we believe, with some of the Book of Revelation added in.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The little grandkids are at Disney World for 2 weeks.  Melanie called (8 year old) to say they hadn’t talked to us for a long time (it’s been a whole week). She then talked all about what they had seen and done and passed the phone to her brother and sister.  Here they are at Disney World and they missed us “so much”!  That’s what grandchildren are love without reserve!     When I get down in the dumps, I pray, read and count my blessings!!===JACK:  I've never been to Disney World, but I've been to Cedar Point and ridden the roller coasters.  Those rides have a way of taking my mind off of other things.

FROM AA:  Join the West Bloomfield Optimist Club!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

 Jack’s Winning  Words 11/27/18
"Helping one person might not change the whole world, but it could change the world for one person.”  (Quoted by Brittany Trout)  I belong to a service club which delivers money and some cookies to needy people during the holidays.  A club member went to a home to drop off the gifts and noticed that the house was cold.  The furnace was not working and neither was the refrigerator.  On his own he arranged for the needed repairs and changed the world for that one family.   ;-)  Jack

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Do unto others as a good neighbor would do!===JACK:  I'm not surprised to see that you know the Golden Rule.  BTW, did you know that J.C. Penney's was known at "The Golden Rule Store?"  Employees were instructed to treat all customers according to the Golden Rule.

FROM WALMART REV:  At our church’s annual Wild Game Feed a couple of weeks back where we host, free of charge, a hefty portion of the Wild game donated and prepared by our churchmen as a community outreach to over 500 men, a man approached me thanking me for the same.
I mention he was thanking me, but actually what had happened was his furnace  somewhat exploded and he had called the fire department. I responded as well being the chaplain and discovered he and his family had no funds available for replacement. I immediately called the Salvation Army for their help, our church and another, and one of the local sheet metal companies. With us together donating the cost and labor, we had a new furnace installed and running before that winter day ended.
He told me because of that generous act of blessing his family, his life turned around for and pointed him in the direction of getting off overly-prescribed drugs, thinking more clearly about his lifestyle and family responsibilities and being more accountable to God and His ways.
True story given me Saturday, November 17, 2018. I wanted to compliment your encouraging word this morning, changing the world for one person and his family and for furthering the good of God’s Kingdom! ===JACK:  God seems to have placed you in the right place at the right time.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  and here i thought West Bloomfield Township was filthy rich and had no poor people.  silly me!   good for your friend to do such important work.    last month sotv gave away 15,000 lbs of food (yes, 7 1/2 tons) and that i am told has become a monthly average. they will give a way about 85 tons of food this year.   lots of good work to be done in this old world. ===JACK:  The harvest happens after the seed is planted.  Someone had to come up with the idea of collecting food for the needy...and someone had to come up with implementing it.  Congratulations to SOTV for helping to change the world for many people.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:   as George H W Bush used to say,  there are a 1,000 points of light out there if you just take time to look.===JACK:  Just because someone is Rep or Dem doesn't mean that they can't come up with an idea that is worth supporting by all.  Partisan seems to be a word that's overused in today's world.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  ♥️===JACK:  Maybe I'll save that heart for Valentine's Day.===LIZ:  i’ll send you a new one for valentine’s day...

FROM BB IN CHGO:  Great story; thanks for sharing.===JACK:  It's an even greater story when you know the person involved.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Like the story of the man throwing beached Star fish back into the Ocean on his morning walk: When questioned about the futility of trying to save all the beached fish, he replied ,"Of course I can't save them all, but it's Life-saving for the few I can help!" I regularly help my friend who is on a disability pension which never stretches to cover life's little emergencies, or even food and utilities at times, and whose family are all dysfunctional or in dire straights themselves.  My S.S. class often helps needs of the church family, or even at times, appeals in the newspaper that are legitimate, as we give each week to our treasury.  It's a good feeling to know you
make a difference to some,  in your little corner of the world!===JACK:  What do you think about the idea of Giving Tuesday...the Tuesday after Thanksgiving when people are encouraged to give online to charities.?  I wonder if it's a millennial-thing?  Whatever works!  It sort of reminds me of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.===OAKS:  It can't hurt, and probably does help some to give, who would not be motivated to do so on a regular basis. Maybe they need that one-day promotion...most of us (I think) give regularly throughout the year when we're able, so not as meaningful to us. It apparently works to bring in big bucks, with matching funds offered....

Monday, November 26, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 11/26/18
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”  (Seneca)  Wow!  2000 years ago, and they had the same problems as today…Don’t miss opportunities when they come.  I suppose we’ve all missed a few great chances, but let’s not dwell on that.  I like the sound of the word, ruminate, but I don’t like what it stands for…focusing in on the “what ifs.”  There’s a slogan by my computer: Get tough…Get off your duff!  It means, Get going and build that door!   ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  That is true of evangelism in the church...too many churches are waiting for people to come to them....we need to build bridges to the neighborhood and find folks.===JACK:
At our church we recently invited the Salvation Army brass ensemble to give a concert for the community, and people also signed up to be kettle bell ringers.  It was televised by the local cable channel.  We also have a community Christmas carol sing each year.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i am reminded of the saying:   opportunity may knock just once but temptation tries to knock the whole door down!===JACK:  Our doorbell doesn't work, so I've put a sign by it...DOORBELL DOESN'T WORK!  PLEASE KNOCK.  I should add...REALLY HARD! ===SP:  well.  great minds run in the same channels.  at least that is what i was taught to believe:):):)

FROM SHALOM JAN:  As I wind down the day and get to read my email, your Winning Words hit a "remembrance chord".  Years ago, while helping to register fellow youth for an old ALC Eastern District gathering, I noticed a sign in the hallway of the college building where we were meeting: "Opportunity knocks, but it doesn't knock down the door" -- which means, in many ways, the same thing -- get up and get going!===JACK:  Someone just told me that tomorrow is Giving Tuesday.  Could that be opportunity knocking at my door (...and yours)?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  And as Henry David Thoreau reminds us, "It's not enough to be busy. So are the ants.  The question is, What are we busy about?" Taking the "right" opportunity for me, that
is the key! Each day brings opportunities, whether small, or Life-changing!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 11/23/18
“Save some for Virginia!”  (Unknown)  Who was Virginia?  I vaguely recall the story about her as someone who was needy and how people at the Thanksgiving table would be reminded not to forget the Virginias of the world.  The Salvation Army doesn’t forget…providing 58.4 million meals and 10.4 million nights of lodging to needy people located in every ZIP code.  During this holiday season there will be many opportunities for us to remember Virginia.   ;-)  Jack

NROM BLAZING OAKS:  I became familiar with "Save some for Virginia" from the movie THE SNAKEPIT, which starred Olivia Dehaviland as a mentally ill person locked in a Psych ward.  When they showed the "dinner" scene the inmate passed the food around, saying "Save some for Virginia" (the newest inmate), but of course they never did...IT became an inside joke in my high school gang and  in my family! Virginia eventually recovered from her nervous breakdown, or whatever it was and was released, but it was a memorable movie!! Obviously, I've never forgotten it, even in my old age! :===JACK:  Thanks!  Now I remember.  I saw that movie when it first came out in the late 40s.  It was scary.  And even the re-runs are scary.  "Save some for Virginia" is even more meaningful, knowing the context.  I'll have to be watching for TCM to show it again on TV.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Happy Thanksgiving!  Everyday should be thanksgiving!  Everyday we are so blessed!  Everyday we should somehow bless someone else and give someone a hand up eve if their name isn’t Virginia!===JACK:  ...or Lazarus. (Luke 16:18-31)

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Salvation Army is perhaps the best of the benevolent institutions in America.===JACK:  I divide my benevolent giving among several different groups, but if I were to choose just one (apart from my church) it would be the Salvation Army.  They always seen to be present to help when there are people in need.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 11/21/18
A table prayer for Thanksgiving  (Ewan Aitken)
“For the hands that tilled,  for the hands that harvested,
for the hands that processed,  for the hands that transported,
for the hands that stocked,  for the hands that sold,
for the hands that bought,  for the hands that prepared,
for the hands that will hold,  for the hand that made the hands,
our hearts are forever grateful.  Amen.”

 FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  happy thanksgiving, jack. i am grateful for your friendship and for the wisdom that you share w/me!===JACK:  Giving thanks ias not just for food.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good prayer, Jack.  thanks.   btw,  a friend of mine also shares this illustration.  he says, you and i have never bought a loaf of bread in our lives!  the bread is actually free.  think about this:   we humans did not create the soil, the wheat seed, the rain, the sunshine, or the nutrients in the soil.  they are all free.  when we buy bread we are only paying for the LABORS of the farmer who sowed the seed and then harvested the wheat, the miller who baked the bread, and the grocer who sells the bread.  but the bread itself is free.   now pardon the pun,  but there is a grain of truth in that illustration.===JACK:  I guess that's the way it is with all things.  We've often sung a Table Prayer based on this Bible verse:  "All things come of thee, O God, and of thine own have we given thee." (1 Chron 29:14)===PAUL: I like it!   a friend of mine does not like the table prayer,  Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest.etc.   rather the believes that Jesus is the host of every meal and the provider too.   so the prayer should be about our coming to the table to acknowledge Jesus the the One who has made it ALL possible.   something to think about..===JACK:  As to "Come, Lord Jesus".... Picky, Picky!

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Happy Thanksgiving, Jack.  You are one of the the things I’m thankful for!===JACK:  We each have our many blessing to count...and you're on my list, too.

FROM PROUD MARY:  Sounds like an homage to all immigrants...past and present...working for a greater world. I am so thankful.===JACK:  Immigrants, past and present, don't always have nice stories to tell.  "We can't help all," but that doesn't mean that we can't help some!

FROM KLaM;  Happy thanksgiving.  Thanks for sharing your words.  Really enjoy them. ===JACK:   I'm thankful for my many WWs' friends...and some of them are even on my daily Prayer List.

FROM JLF:  That’s nice, is that our prayer for tomorrow?===JACK:  If so, would you like to be the one praying it?

FROM JE:  May God hold you in the Palm of His Hands.  I am thinking of you and wishing you peace and a Happy Thanksgiving.===JACK:  There's a song..."He's got the whole world in his hands."  One verse goes..."He's got you and me in his hands."  What a comforting thought!

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  This is a wonderful prayer.  Thanks===JACK:  I especially like the line, "for the hand that made the hands."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Very nice! Have a fabulous family Thanksgiving!! We'll be in Chicago with extended family, usually the only time all year we ALL get together! I bring lots of hamballs and some pies.===JACK: How about the days when everybody came over to your house?  Unbelievable! And FUN===OAKS:  Did it for many years, the last few with twin Jan's co-host at our Lake Home.
WE'd have 45-60; quite a gathering! And yes Fun. Always the Turkey Bowl Football game with everyone from 3-73! :-) Cards, games and GOOD FOOD!  Those were the days, my friend, but they have come to an end, to paraphrase a pop song!

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  Happy Thanksgiving!  Thinking of you today and thanking God for all that you mean to me.===JACK:  Thanks for the nice greeting.  Do the English have any day similar to Thanksgiving Day?  I know that they celebrate special days that are different from the Americans, like Guy Fawkes Night and Boxing Day. ===BS:   No!  We really don't  have any day similar when we get together with family, eat and give thanks for each other.  I wish we did.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 11/20/18
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread.”  (John Muir)  I read of a travel company, Flowers and Bread, which promotes tours with beautiful scenery and good food.  At your Thanksgiving table, will there be room for flowers?  During Detroit’s economic distress, efforts were made to preserve the Art Institute and not sell off its artwork.  A hungry man, with little money, used it to buy a loaf of bread and a rose.  John Muir would admire him.  Would you?   ;-)  Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  That man has my admiration.  He sensed the need to feed more than the body...he fed the soul.  We're regularly advised to "stop and smell the roses."  That man did more...he possessed a rose, which probably lasted longer than his loaf of bread.===JACK:  I'm reminded of the biblical story of anointing the feet of Jesus.  Now when Jesus was in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 9 For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.”  But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.  In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it bto prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.

FROM GDJ IN WISCONSIN:  Flowers are a miracle. Having them around the house does wonders for the spirit! Do you buy them?  Happy Thanksgiving dear friend. Please extend blessings to your family. We will kids, 4 grandkids, our new neighbors, their 3 kids and 4 dogs. Plus lots of flowers πŸ‘ΆπŸ‘ΆπŸ§‘πŸ§‘πŸˆπŸˆπŸˆπŸˆπŸ¦ƒπŸŒΊπŸ₯€πŸŒΉπŸŒ»πŸŒΌπŸŒ·===JACK:  Thanksgiving this year in Michigan and Christmas in Minnesota.  Family is a great blessing...and so are friends.  God is great; God is good!  There are roses on my kitchen table right now...beautiful red ones.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  Absolutely!===JACK:  No wiggle room?===JAN:  I believe that each person has their own list of priorities and, if one of your priorities is beauty, that's what should guide your choices.  There is no "end of the story" there.  He could have bought the rose to present to someone whose love had been gracious to him, or who had prayed for him, or who was just someone he met "on the street" who needed a lift in spirits.  Or, he could have needed that lift in spirits himself, to keep those suicidal thought processes at bay.  There are a dozen possible reasons for choosing beauty over butter for his bread.===JACK:  Absolutely!

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Yes, we get too caught up in ‘things’.===JACK:  R.L. Stevenson wrote, "The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings."  There are things. and there are things.  Prioritize!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:   Margaret bought two big bouquets yesterday for our Thanksgiving table. we will have 16 here on Thursday.    she will rearrange the flowers even more beautifully as she always does.===JACK:  I like the fall flowers...celosia, croton, dianthus and mums.===PAUL:  we also keep a huge bush of Hydrangea near our front door.  Margaret uses them in bouquets even in the dead of winter.===JACK:  It seems as though she's the flower lady and you're the bread guy!===PAUL: yes, i try to bring home the bread===JACK:  ...the bread-winner!

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  How good is life when your beauty bakes your bread?===JACK:  What a great thought!  The smell of baking bread is an added blessing.  We used to have a bakery near our home when I was growing up.  At 5 pm the loaves would come out of the oven,and I would often be there to take home a "hot" loaf of unsliced bread to be served at suppertime.===JON:  Yes, some of the memories of days gone by absolutely bring a warm smile.===JACK:  Even young people can have memories.  On Thanksgiving Day, ask some of the youngsters for their favorite Thanksgiving memories.

FROM PATG:  Happy Thanksgiving.  I enjoy your winning words every day.  Always look forward to an inspiring thought to start me off.===JACK:  Sometimes when I send out Winning Words I think of thI shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

FROM M&L:  Yes.  Good one, Jack.  Thanks.===JACK:  I had some misgivings as I sent this one...but what do I know?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Well most do, anyway! I  have made that decision in the past when money was very tight, but the blessings of a beautiful Azealia plant, or a bouquet of fresh flowers does lift the soul!  However, I do remember one time when Bill and I attended a candle-light Christmas service at the big downtown Presbyterian Church which was beautifully adorned with live poinsettia plants all around the sanctuary, on the steps, the rostrum, down the aisles,everywhere you
 looked, and I of course was enchanted, and bathed in the elegance and profusion of them, but  when I commented to Bill, he replied, "I was just thinking what all that money could have been used for, to help the poor, and for mission work. A few flowers would be nice, but I don't need hundreds to get me the Christmas Spirit!"  I agreed he had a point... To Each His Own, as the old pop song goes! Bill particularly loved the beauty of violin music! :-)===JACK:  I sometimes feel that I'm too careful in expressing opinions.  Maybe it's because of this quote that I came across many years ago.  "There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill behooves any of us to find fault with the rest of us."  (James Truslow Adams)  He's famous for another quote, too..."There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
===OAKS:  The first one was a favorite of my mom; I thought it was from Robert (Robie) Burns!  I stand corrected!  One gets into hot water much more often from something said, than from something
unsaid! YOU are probably wise to be cautious. You're loved AND appreciated Just as you are!

FROM JB IN OLV:  Absolutely!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  There will be bread but no flowers...Noah and Josh are allergic!  Besides there will be too much good food and candles to miss them.===JACK:  No allergies, but no turkey for two grandchildren who are vegan/vegetarian.

FROM COPPER COUNTRY PASTOR:  We are here at Antigo with Todd’s family for Thanksgiving.  Last evening we drove through Merrill on our way to Tomahawk where Eric was playing hockey.  But both going and coming I thought of you and Mary and the numerous experiences with the old Superior Conference events in which you and I were involved.    I’m thankful for you being a part of my life.   Thank you Lord for such friends and mentors!===JACK:  Thank you, too, for inviting us to be part of your family by asking us to be baptismal sponsors for one of your children.  An honor!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 11/19/18
“You are being manipulated.  You are the puppet.  They are the puppeteers.”  (Thomas Paine)  If you were to identify with one of the Muppets, who would you choose?  Miss Piggy, Kermit, Elmo, Gonzo…or Jim Henson?   Would you pick Henson…to be in control?  When   someone else chooses for us, frustration grows.  That’s why elections, the stock market, or job security seem to be out of our hands.  Keep this in mind when you are “the Henson.”   ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHNl  The Swedish Chef???===JACK:  I thought of you as the Swedish Chef, too...but only after I couldn't decide between Statler or Waldorf.

FROM DB IN WB:  (I think that I am in a position of being manipulated in a terrible way) ===JACK:  Yes, there are puppeteers in real life. It's a real problem.

FROM WALMART REV:  But I am trusting you, O LORD, saying, “You are my God!” My future is in your hands. Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly. Let Your favor shine on your servant (Psalm 31:14-16 NLT). 0;-)===JACK:  In a sense, God is a puppeteer to those who believe in predestination.  But for those who believe that God has given us free-will, he is a creator who stands by us a loving and caring father, ready to help in time of need.===REV:  Well said!

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  I don’t tell adults what to do! We are the land of the free and the home of the brave!===JACK:  Have you ever honked the horn on your car?===SHIRL:  Not that I know of. ===JACK:  I don't think that Mother Teresa ever honked the horn on her car, either.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Jim Henson but for a totally different reason.  I loved his imagination!  He could make puppets I could never imagine!   We are more like pawns in a chess game.  One move from some politician and we are moved one way and even lives change... for the good of the people or the detriment.===JACK:  I'd change "from some politician" to read, "from God," and then eliminate "or the detriment."

Friday, November 16, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 11/16/18
“By mid-November I always like to have an extra 15 pounds on me.”  (Holling Vincoeur dialog written by Diane Frolov & Andrew Schneider for Northern Exposure)  About a week ago we received our first winter’s snow.  It was beautiful, but a reminder of what’s in store.  East, west, north or south, life has a way of catching us off guard.  Time is short!  Are there words that need to be spoken, deeds that need to be done, fences that need mending?  Just do it!   ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL: so why does the world so often not see the wisdom of these words? ===JACK:  I'm not the Answer Man.  BTW, back in the radio days of the 30's, 40's and 50' there was a 15-minute program on Sunday nights called, The Answer Man, where questions submitted by listeners would be answered - ""Why does bubble gum bubble?".  Another program was The Bible Answer Man - "How tall was Jesus?"===PAUL:  i never heard of those programs but i imagine they were quite innovative at that time...

FROM DB IN WB:  Oh wow, Jack! (coincidence)  I have been doing just that lately!===JACK:  Wow!  The snow (making) man must have been looking.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  Thanks for the words of wisdom and encouragement!===JACK:  I enjoy it so much that I'm working ahead.  The Winning Words quote planned for 12/31/18 is:  “I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the years.”  (Henry Moore)

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  That’s funny!  I would like to say I’d like to take off 15 pounds.  Because of this snow, our leaves aren’t all picked up, the branch pile didn’t get burned the barn didn’t get swept.  But the gardens got cleaned out.  Do you think it will get warm before it gets colder this year?  I don’t think so!===JACK:  After "years" of experience, I have come to rely of the unexpected thaw..  It's not even winter, yet.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Enjoy each day! What today I am attending a class about China! Interesting people-all much younger than me! It should be very interesting. The first class on China that I took was at Columbia in 1953–also a long time ago!===JACK:  65 years ago!  Things have changed since then...including your cognitive skills...and mine.

FROM KANSAN DON:  I just read that India just opened its first elephant hospital.  Imagine the ambulance crew and siren. Hope the elephant doesn’t get scared and act up.JACK:  I'd hate to be the one administering an enema to the patient!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 11/15/18
“If you’re going to follow Jesus you’d better look good on wood.”  (Daniel Berrigan)  Two of us were discussing the meaning of the Berrigan quote… “O, now I get it.  If you choose to really follow the teachings of Jesus, you’ve got to be ready to endure pain and sacrifice.”  D.B. was a 60’s protest leader and a Catholic priest.  Eventually he was jailed, because of his words and actions.  Even from the beginning, it was never easy to follow the teachings of Jesus..  ;-)  Jack

 FROM WALMART REV:  "...nails, carefully aimed arrows and demeaning words are added to the mix." It seems to me the wood and nails are used more so in the third-world countries and the carefully aimed arrows and demeaning words are kept in stock and used affluently for America. 0;-/ ===JACK:  We might not always be aware of it, but there's a lot of suffering going on in this world for people who are trying to be faithful to "the Faith." 

  FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  a great quote, Jack. thanks!===JACK:  Even tho the words are from the Viet Nam War era, they are worth recalling for subsequent generations.  Right?===PAUL:  for sure.   he who forgets the mistakes of the past is condemned to repeat them.  S I Hyakawa. (spell?)   Jack, i just sent you my letter to the editor in response to a Star and Trib front page article last Sunday telling about how many young people are now bailing out of the church.  the NONEs.   checking the none box when asked about their religious affiliation.  peace

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  life tests everyone’s mettle. we all fall... it’s how we get up that counts. ===JACK:  Tradition says that Jesus fell 3 times on the Via Dolorosa...and we know that he also got us 3 times.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 11/14/18
"Maybe it's what's inside that counts, but being told you look good feels good!"  (Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka and Toshihiro Kawabata)  Do you want to put someone in a good mood?  Laura Newcomer has written “34 Ways to Bust a Bad Mood in 10 Minutes, or Less.”  Here are a few of the 34…Eat chocolate…Buy some flowers…Visualize your best self…Do something for somebody,,,Do some yoga.  The mind plays an important part ln helping us to feel good.   ;-)  Jack 

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Absolutely! And keep moving-both physically and intellectually! Enjoy each day!===JACK:  Has anyone told you recently that you look good?  You were looking good when I saw you at our last Moliner reunion.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Very true: A compliment on how you look,(or act) is a spirit-Lifter! Who can we sincerely compliment today? I'm sure there will be several opportunities, if we look around us, and really "see" people!  Our attitudes certainly color  our daily "doins" and moods. The mind is powerful!!===JACK:  Who doesn't like a compliment?  Not me!  ...or you?

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I’m all for #1...chocolate!!===JACK:  In the "olden  days" I would buy a large Hershey's chocolate bar.  Nowadays it's one of those kisses wrapped in silver.

FROM GOPHER LYNN:  Love this one!  All the below are good ones ===JACK:  Double chocolate?===LYNN:  I like a good piece of dark chocolate every now and then.===JACK:  Did you know that you can buy gopher-shaped chocolates?

FROM FM IN WI:  You’re right on, Jack===JACK:  Your comment, "right on" reminds me of the song, On Wisconsin.  Did you know that the tune belonged to Minnesota..."Min-i-so-ta  Min-i-so-ta etc"

FROM JT IN SJ:  My Grandmother told me when things are not going well for me,  to make someone else feel good or do something for someone else.  That is a long time ago and she was "old" when she told me that.  I'll be she was probably 60!===JACK:  JUST GOT BACK FROM A COMMUNITY CONCERT AT OUR CHURCH PLAYRF BY A BRASS ENSEMBLE FROM THE SALVATION ARMY BAND.  OUTSTANDING!  BEDTIME NOW FOR 60 YR OLDS

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 11/13/18
 “What are the American ideals? …They are the development of the individual through liberty, and the attainment of the common good through democracy and social justice.”  (Louis Brandeis)  I wish I’d saved the textbook from my college American Ideals course, but when a “girl” friend asked for it….  From what I remember, the basic ideals are: rights, democracy, liberty, opportunity and equality.  And…Gov’t is meant to protect them.   ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  and lets tell this to all our elected govt. officials, especially the Prez...===JACK:  As I recall, American Ideals was not a popular college course back then...and the same for Civics in high school.  Life often results in the past choices we have made.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  It is the "common good" that is being most ignored these days.  "My rights" seem to exceed "your rights" at every turn.  It is hard to teach young children that others have rights, too, in an age of "everyone gets a prize".===JACK:  Perhaps we need to teach the meaning of the word, compromise.

FROM WALMART:  That may of been written in the old King James Version , , , some of the modern translations seemingly finding it..."Gov't meant to shape them.===JACK:  Religion, like politics, has the problem of translating old language into new.  Courts are supposed to do that politically, but there's no authoritative religious court in the here and the problems continue.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  we are a constitutional republic, so democracy is a bit of a misnomer. the majority cannot vote away our constitutional rights.===JACK:  Note that the quote is from a past justice of the Supreme Court (the first Jewish Justice), respected by scholars, regardless of political leanings.  My comment is based on that quote and the reputation 0f Justice Brandeis.

FROM WBDB:  I am so glad that I got to thank some vets yesterday!===JACK:  I guess that any day is an appropriate day to say "thank you" for service rendered.

FROM GOP[HER LYNN:  I would have liked this course ===JACK:  Not an "Easy A!"

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  A timely message.===JACK:  To talk about Justice Brandeis and his respect for the Supreme Court could have been timely, too.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Social Justice is the one that is skewed toward white upper class and wealthy, as many, many, books and articles will attest! "Justice for all" is rarely practiced. Having worked with "The Innocence Project" is an eye-opener! I certainly feel blessed to live in U.S.,where
women are treated with much more respect and opportunities than many other countries that I have visited. American High Ideals give us something to strive for! Hopefully the majority of the population will benefit, even in this divisive land, at present.===JACK:  Sad to say, I think that it will take a long-lens telescope to see the day when there will be "justice for all,"  Maybe it will have to wait until all stand before God's Judgment Throne.

FROM NW SA:  I think that about covers it. A quote from Jefferson, "All people, irrespective of the accident of their birth, are entitled to enjoy aspiring to become fully complete and free human beings." (I need to check the accuracy of the quote) I like the emphasis on the freedom to '...enjoy aspiring...' . (The act) I think this part of being human has much to do with the status of the conversation about guns, police, freedom of speech (thinking of Charlottesville), predatory lending, and others...that, to some, infringe on that birthright to truly enjoy the process of becoming fully complete. Freedom from fear comes to mind.  I heard a story this morning on NPR about dementia and guns. Many aging veterans' identity is intwined with a special gun. The report offered some strategies for including those affected by the disease, in deciding the steps to take to avoid a tragedy. One veteran laughed with his wife, "We've both forgot the combination to the gun safe, and where its written down." I think that's a good problem to have. :).===JACK:  I think that it would be good to forget a lot of things besides combinations...and good to remember some things that we've forgotten.  The trouble is that we sometimes get mixed up as to what to remember and  what to forget.

FROM JT IN SJ:  Bravo....there are times (too frequently) when it seems we are being bulldozed away from our American.values.===JACK:  Synonyms for "bulldoze"...browbeat, cow, bully, hector; tyrannize.  Which one fits best for your comment?

FROM PRAW:  Maybe  another should be protect us from government?===JACK:   You may have a point...but, with no government,,,chaos.  Imagine driving with no traffic rules, or with rules and no enforcement.  

Monday, November 12, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 11/12/18
“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it’s the home of the brave.”  (Elmer Davis)  How do you say, “Thank you,” to military veterans who have served their country, often in the face of great danger?  The Italians have a word which they shout, Bravo!  It’s a cheer, it’s applause.  “You are brave!”  Maybe it’s a call, an e-mail, a personal letter, or just a handshake.  Thank some veteran this week!   ;-)  Jack

FROM LOUG:  Dear Lord,  Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the men and women who serve our country now and in the past, and for the sacrifices their families make so that we can all enjoy the blessing of freedom.  We praise you for calling them to help protect us, and for giving them the courage and ability to do their jobs well. Help them to see you working in their daily lives, whether in the field, at home, or abroad..Guide their choices and their actions, Lord, Surround them with your mighty angels; protect them in your mercy; cover them with your grace.  Guard their hearts while they are far from loved ones, and bless them with moments to cherish when they are together.
Hold these families close, Lord. May they look to You for the strength and peace that only You can give.  Amen.===JACK:  A good prayer...worth saying and saving.  Thanks  Did you compose it?

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  if you are ever in KC, MO,  go to the WW I Museum there.  it is rated as the 5th best museum in America.  it is sad, sobering, informative, and a reminder of how horrible a war can be.  and often how senseless.===JACK:  I hadn't heard of that museum.  I have visited the WW 2 in New Orleans...and that was impressive, too.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  We had our annual Veterans Day parade on Saturday! Our neighborhood was originally made up of Air Force families stationed at Mac dill in the 1970s ===JACK:  "Birds of a feather..." seems to apply to Air Force birds, too.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  I learned something watching SNL Saturday night.  The exchange between Pete Davidson and Dan Crenshaw was a great moment of healing.  Representative Crenshaw was asked dhow we can honor veterans,  “When you meet a veteran,instead of saying Thank you for your service, say Never Forget.  The veterans that I have met are so fearful that people will just forget the history of what they did,  I learned something!===JACK:  I think that it was Santayana who said, "Those who do not learn history ( or who forget history) are doomed to repeat it."

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Went to the VA hospital in Dallas yesterday. It’s amazing how much they appreciate a little attention and conversation.===JACK:  What a great idea.  There are veterans and there are veterans and there are veterans...those in the cemetery, the battle-participants (wounded and scarred) and the others who gave days of their life.

FROM THE SHARK:  This is how I say thank you to all Veterans every giving a free pizza or 3 free tacos to veterans.===JACK:  This is great and so like you.  BTW, Have any local Chaldeans been members of the Iraqi Army?===TS:  Yes.  In Iraq, it was a mandatory draft, if you didn't enroll in college.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Amen.  Made over 100 cards with grandkids for grandson Noah’s 4H Group to send to soldiers.===JACK:  I guess that those who are currently serving in the military deserve a "thank you", too.  We're never too young to learn to say, "Thank you!"

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  My Bill was a Navy Vet. of WW2, but only involved in one battle before the war ended. Then based on the tiny Isle of Eniwetok for a year. His ship was the USS New Jersey  He recalled when the loudspeaker came on with "NOW HEAR THIS", You'd better hear it, and act accordingly. A fact he drove home to our kids and his parishioners! :-)   BRAVO is a good word for our Vets; People seem more conscious of them than they did in earlier times, it seems to me. I, too, live for the day, when a child will ask his mother, " Mamma, what was War?!" Will it ever happen?? ===JACK:  Did Bill ever say that his "war experience" helped move him toward deciding to enter the ministry?  I see that there is a real need for military chaplains these days.  Different calls,,,but the same ministry!He didn't say that his navy experience had a direct influence on that decision, but he mulled over the idea when he was a SR in High School,and I'm sure thought about what he would do with his life, when he had all night shifts  on the tiny Isle looking out over the ocean. He often said
  God called him to be a pastor, so I could be a pastor's wife! :-) We were a good team! He sold Life Insurance, taught Jr.High Math, managed the Men's dept. at Moline Sears store, ran Oaks & Sons construction CO. before going to Seminary when he was 30. all those Experiences helped him to be
an effective pastor, I think! His call to ministry is quite a story, moving us to Canton, and then to Elgin and Seminary while he served as Asss't Pastor at FBC there. Sometime I will give you the details...:-)===JACK:  Isn't it amazing how the choices we make (even the little ones) have such a big effect on our lives and the lives of others?

FROM LK IN NI:  Who are the veterans?===JACK:  Technically speaking, a veteran is a former member of the Armed Forces of the United States (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard) who served on active duty and was discharged under conditions, which were other than dishonorable....but the word is described...A veteran (from Latin vetus, meaning "old"); it is a person who has had long service or experience in a particular occupation or a "veteran pastor."



Friday, November 09, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 11/9/18
”Whose faith story are you helping to shape?”  (Seen on a plaque)  It’s said that the average person “meets” upwards of 10,000 people in a lifetime.  Sociologist Stephen Whitehead suggests that in this globalized society it could be tens of thousands…family, friends, co-workers.  Your place/job in society may skew the numbers, but “how many” is really not that important.  Even if it’s only one, that’s important.  Who is “one” who has helped to shape your life?   ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  my parents. ♥️===JACK:  I expect a similar response today from many of my friends.

FROM WALMART REV:  I must admit its a dear friend from Nazareth of some 2,000 years ago and His many friends along life's pathway. I met one such pastoral friend of His named "Jack" back in 1984 and have been friends ever since shaping each other's life. 0;-)===JACK:  I still recall the time I first met you as you walked into my office to introduce yourself and tell of your desire to begin AG work in the area.  Only God would know that our friendship would continue for over 30 years.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  My mom was the biggest faith and life shaper I had, but she also had truly amazing Christian women friends who were my Sunday school and vacation Bible school teachers who also shaped my life.  As I grew older they became my friends as well.  There have been two pastors who have also shaped my faith life – you and Hollis Bishop (pastor I worked for before leaving IL). You two continue to guide me in thinking about how my faith life can be consistent but also grow and change – to be open to new ideas and how to welcome people who might be different than me. I have been truly blest.  Now I wonder who I might have helped on their faith journey…am I living up to my task.===JACK:  I seem to remember having met your mother.  Am I right?  In my history of starting new churches, your husband,  Bob, was the kind of person I was looking for,.  In my opinion, he was a difference maker.  I'm sure that was characteristic of his as he came into people's lives.  Of course, you were that kind of person, too...just in a different way.  Two of my great friends!===CAROL:  ===CAROL:  I’m sure you met my mom as she was a big part of our lives and always involved.  Yes, Bob can be a difference maker.  He is a hard worker wherever you put him, but he’s always ‘challenging’ a person of faith.  He likes to push buttons and make people think.  Know we have cherished our friendship with you and Mary.===JACK:  Do you recall your first date with Bob?===CAROL:  Our first date was to a football game.  The following weekend we went to homecoming our senior year – 1960. That’s a lot of water over the dam.

FROM JDR IN SOCAL:  Here's something to consider:    " Steve Jobs Died a billionaire at age 56.  This is his final essay:  "I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world.  In some others' eyes, my life is the epitome of success.  However, aside from work, I have little joy.  In the end, my wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to.  At this moment, lying on my bed and recalling my life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in have paled and become meaningless in the face of my death. You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone bear your sickness for you.  Material things lost can be found or replaced.  But there is one thing that can never be found when it's lost - Life.  Whichever stage in life you are in right now, with time, you will face the day when the curtain comes down.
Treasure love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends. Treat yourself well and cherish others.  As we grow older, and hopefully wiser, we realize that a $300 or a $30 watch both tell the same time.  You will realize that your true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world.  Whether you fly first class or economy, if the plane goes down - you go down with it.   Therefore, I hope you realize, when you have mates, buddies and old friends, brothers and sisters, who you chat with, laugh with, talk with, have sing songs with, talk about north-south-east-west or heaven and earth, that is true happiness!  Don't educate your children to be rich.  Educate them to be happy.  So when they grow up they will know the value of things and not the price.  Eat your food as your medicine, otherwise you have to eat medicine as your food.  The One who loves you will never leave you for another because, even if there are 100 reasons to give up, he or she will find a reason to hold on. There is a big difference between a human being and being human.  Only a few really understand it.   You are loved when you are born.  You will be loved when you die.  In between, you have to manage!   The six best doctors in the world are sunlight, rest, exercise, diet, self-confidence and  friends   .     Maintain them in all stages and enjoy a healthy life."===JACK:  It seems as though Steve Jobs was more than the Mouse, the i-Pod, the i-Pad, and the i-Phone.  In fact there's more to each of us than meets the eye.===JDR:  just have to reply to today's "winning words" beautiful mother, Margy...hugs,===JACK:  My mother was a Margie, too--and a major influence on my life.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  There are many who have helped shaped my life for the better - including you.  On another note, if you enjoy kids, music and a good message, you will enjoy this  -   Hope your day is fabulous.===JACK:  I know of a businessman who keeps a file of letters of appreciation that he has received.  On the "down days" he goes to that file to be uplifted.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  You are, Jack!===JACK:  As a child, did you ever sing this song?
Two little eyes that blink, blink, blink,  Two little eyes that see;
Head and shoulders; knees and toes;  And many more things make me.
Tra la la la la la,  Two little eyes that see,
Two little eyes that blink, blink, blink,  And many more things make me. 
It gives one pause to realize that "eyes" are looking at us as examples.

FROM DS IN SOCAL:  Actually, I think YOU were amongst the many that helped shape my life.  I miss those good old days.===JACK:  The church and the YMCA (and the people I met at those places) helped shape my life.   A major remembrance of the good old days.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I hope I helped shape the faith of my choir kids and also the confirmation kids I had.  Now—who knows?? ===JACK:  When I wonder about things, like the things you say you "hope" for, this country/Gospel song supports my thinking...
When we see Jesus coming in glory When he comes down from his home in the sky
Then we shall meet him in that bright mansion  We'll understand it all by and by
Farther along we'll know all about it  Farther along we'll understand why
Cheer up my brother live in the sunshine  We'll understand it all by and by 

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i suspect hundreds if not more...===JACK:  As a pastor, I saw teaching Confirmation classes as an "immense" responsibility.

FROM DAZ IN CO:  YOU!πŸ˜€===JACK:  We've shared a wide variety of experiences, haven't we?  That's what friends are for.

FROM STARRY KNIGHT:  FAye ❤❤❤❤ #1===JACK:  That seems reasonable!

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 11/8/18
“On a clear night and you see the moon smiling down on you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”  (Neil Armstrong’s family)  Perhaps you’ve seen, First Man, the movie about the first human landing on the moon.  A friend of mine was part of the team that made it happen.  Often, on a bright moonlit night, I look up and marvel that such an event as the moon landing took place in my lifetime.  During your life, what marvelous event comes to mind?   ;-)  Jack

  FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  my birth! :):):)    the computer and the internet.   heart  transplants.   the jet engine.  the Red Sox winning the World Series 4 times after an 86 year drought!===JACK:  Those happened in my lifetime, too.===JACK:  Have people ever been offended (or taken it in the wrong way) when you've winked and smiled at them?

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  On a clear day, or on a cloudy day, Barbra's voice brightens my day.===LIZ:  this was one of dad’s favorite movies & songs, “annie.” no one does it better than barbra...the sun always shines again. if not tomorrow, then the next day... or the day after that. bet your bottom dollar!===JACK:  Gaga has Little Monsters.  Mariah has Mariah's Lambs.  There are Fanilows, Claymates and Parrotheads.  Sometimes Barbra's fans are called, "People who need People!"

FROM WALMART REV:  Up till now, my lifetime on planet, I thought the moon was winking at me in agreement?!?! 0;-)===JACK:   Have people ever been offended (or taken it in the wrong way) when you've winked and smiled at them?===EWV:  You can count them on one hand over the past many years here in Willlmar . . . usually lumped them into just the greeting in general . . . only 2 or 3 come to mind.===JACK:  Life is full of risks.  To do nothing is a risk, too!

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  All my children and their families have accepted Christ, and I think they are tithers.===JACK:  Congratulations.  I'm pleased that my children seem to be following the teachings of Christ.

FROM DB IN WB:  1) seeing blood moons  2) seeing the ocean floor and tropical fish firsthand ===JACK:  I've heard that the4 ocean is the most unexplored frontier on Earth.===DB:  Thank you for helping bring to mind such beauty and wonder!  for fun:   go to You Tube and type in  "scuba video"  search for whatever looks interesting.  Certain parts of the world are known for their extraordinary diving due to the water clarity. Belize is one site, Indonesia is another. I was at John Pennicamp Park in Key Largo. It was pretty good. I saw parrot fish and queen fish, and a baby nurse shark and a tiny fish that was magenta!  Amazing!

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  The births of my daughter and grandkids.===JACK:  Of course, but, apart from about learning to fly a helicopter?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  The births of my 4 children; Riding high above the panoramic terrain of IL in the 12 story high Disney Hot Air Balloon; Trip to Japan during Cherry Blossom time; Yes, the Space saga is certainly fascinating and spectacular!  (I cannot believe that 207 people have prepaid ($250,000.00!) to be a passenger on the first tourist rockets to go 100 miles up into space, and view the Earth, and experience weightlessness , tentatively scheduled for 2023!) So many
"Spectaculars" in our lifetime! Who would have thought of robots and drones in the work force, of computers and phones with instant messaging and information , etc. etc. etc. during our childhood in the 30's and 40's??! Incredible years to be alive, haven't they been?!===JACK:  ...and, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,  Nor have entered into the heart of man  The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Cor 2:9)

FROM APPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  I was on a USAF C-141 transport bound for Europe when the landing occurred. A matter of tremendous excitement and pride for all aboard.  You may remember that I am a ham radio operator. My present emphasis is on bouncing signals off the moon back to other hams. You really get the feeling of the distance when you simply ping and listen for your own echo. Your signal takes around 2 1/2 seconds to return and because of Doppler effect its tone is either higher (when the moon is rising and getting closer) or lower (on moonset). The signal is extremely weak under the best of conditions.===JACK:  Are the "ham operators" a dying breed?  It would be such a terrible loss if they went the way of T-Rex.  What is the source for new operators?

FROM SHALOM JAN:  That event was witnessed on TV at the "clubhouse" for a park where we were vacationing together by our then-3-year-old son and my dad, his only grandfather.  That's a pretty cool event for my 52-year-old-son to remember!===JACK:  9/11 kept me glued to the TV.  I'd rather be watching the moon landing...more positive.

FROM MY LAWYER:  Indoor plumbing!  When I was a little boy growing up on a farm here in Oakland County, we had a one-hole privy.  Fortunately, it was just in the summertime, so we didn't have to wade out in the cold!!!===JACK:  What I remember about outhouses was the odor , the bees, and the catalogs and their shiny paper.===ML:  I remember my Dad shoveling lye in the hole about once a week!!!  All that aside, look what we've witnessed during out lifetimes.  From privies, to watching men walking on the moon, to instant world communications, etc.  Just amazing.  Think of what changes our grandchildren will experience!!!===JACK:  My grandchildren and I may see the same things today, but they understand more than I do.  They skim through the information on their Smart Phone while I hunt and peck on my old-fashioned Flip Phone.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  There are so many! We used to love to drive across the state to see the rockets go up!  And now we love to visit NASA!===JACK:  I'm told that the sight, as well as the sound, make the lift-off event spectacular!

FROM JP IN MF:  I always marvel that my mother's grandpa Harvey, who lived with us, was 19 when Wright brothers flew at Kitty hawk AND alive for manned space flight. Talk about blowing your mind!===JACK:  Yes, that is a "two-fer."  Does it count for anything that I knew Harvey and was his pastor?

FROM CPA BOB:  The polio vaccine, end of the Vietnam war, revitalization of Detroit (excluding schools), particularly downtown, the Tigers winning the 1984 World Series.  I’m sure there are many more.  What have others come up with?===JACK:  The Salk Vaccine!  How could I forget?  Read the blog for some more interesting =comments. 
===BOB:  I was thinking public type events.  Of the comments in your blog, the miracle of childbirth would come first for me. Thanks for giving us so many things to think about.===JACK:  As I sat down at the computer to begin my day...for some reason your name came to mind even before I touched the keys.  Twilight Zone!

FROM PRAW:  I thought of a pizza pie..=== JACK:  Do you remember the song, That's Amore withe line:  "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie?"  It was sung by Dean Martin.

Dean Martin - That's Amore - YouTube

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 11/7/18
“If you do not change direction, you may wind up where you are heading.”  (Buddha)  A pastor that I knew would begin his daily radio program with these words…”Up and away, this is God’s day.  Are you going God’s way?”  Then, he’d suggest positive ways in which life could be made better.  Today might be a good time to do a self-check.  Up and away!  Are you satisfied with where you’re heading?  Are there possible adjustments that could/should be made?  ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  MN made some positive changes last night!===JACK:  "You gotta accent the positive, e-lim-i-nate the negative" sang Johnny Mercer.===PAUL:  So true! ===JACK:  In case you don't know that song...
Gather 'round me, everybody
Gather 'round me while I'm preachin'
Feel a sermon comin' on me
The topic will be sin and that's what I'm ag'in'
If you wanna hear my story
The settle back and just sit tight
While I start reviewin'
The attitude of doin' right

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

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

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

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

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

You got to ac (yes, yes) -cent-tchu-ate the positive
Eliminate (yes, yes) the negative
And latch (yes, yes) on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  "My Beautiful Balloon" by the 5th Dimension is a great song with a great message.  Have you ever ridden in a balloon?   I was scheduled for one, but it was scrapped because of unfavorable wind conditions.===LIZ:  no, not sure i would want to! i quit flying decades ago, after challenger crashed. had just returned from phoenix.
am considering meeting college friends in florida next spring... we shall see!

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Lot’s of ways I know I can be better. Thanks for the reminder to do something about it.===JACK:  Every day presents a new opportunity to get "it" right.

FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  On that theme:  Ikeism #311states:"If God does not seem as close in your life as he used to,guess who moved?"===JACK:  Are you familiar with the word, immutable? ===IKE:  According to Webster's definition it means unchangeable or unchanging  & that's why I thought my '' ism'' was appropriate for your message, because when people change their belief of their religion they are upset that their religion is not as meaningful as it used to be to them.
The religion stays the same it is their change that has caused them less belief in a higher power.
One of my favorite quotes about religion is: "The purpose of religion is to comfort the troubled & trouble the overly comforted"===JACK:  Do you think that God ever changes his mind?

FROM CZB IN NH:  Was this purposely timed for after elections? ;)===JACK:  There's an old saying, "If the shoe fits,..."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  So many good books which help to "change' or adjust our daily lives, like
My Utmost For His Highest, (Oswald Chambers), an oldie but goodie, and the newest one I'm reading, "Be Anxious For Nothing" by Max Lucado, who is so good at putting things clearly understandable and "doable'! Key verse:  "Rejoice in the Lord Always"...the focus being on IN THE LORD, as of course there are times in our lives where we cannot rejoice in our circumstances.  Plenty of help out there, if we strive to take a higher road!===JACK:  "You can lead a horse to water..." ...but sometimes you patiently need to lead a blind horse to the water.===OAKS:  I imagine you've had your share of "blind horses" to lead!===JACK:  I have to remind myself that I, too, have been a blind horse in my lifetime..  These words from Amazing Grace, by God's grace can apply to me..."I once...was blind, but now I see."

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  One day at a time is my philosophy!===JACK:  Each new day presents you with new choices.

FRO KZB:  LOVE this!===JACK:  Buddha's not such a bad guy!===KZB:  Yeah, he’s pretty wise!===JACK:  So you're saying that "he's a wise guy?"

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 11/6/18
“The ingredients of good conversation are truth, good sense, good humor and wit.”  (William Temple)  I would add to Temple’s ingredients this one--have a genuine interest in other people and what they have to say,..and you might learn something, too!  One thing I particularly enjoy about being a pastor is the chance to talk with people…of all ages…from a variety of backgrounds.  We’ve shared ideas about truth, some good sense and some good jokes, too.   ;-)  Jack

 FROM SF LEAVING MI FOR FL:  Love it. And yes, that is definitely your gift to yourself and to others!  Leaving shortly for the airport.  Be well. See you in the spring!  Warm (literally too) regards,===JACK:  It's sometimes said that a person who hogs the conversation has "eye (I) trouble." That's not a problem when we get least, not on your part.  I like this song!
That's What Friends Are For - YouTube

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:   i would like to have a dinner party w/you as a guest!  ===JACK:  I remember well our first dinner party, a couple of years ago, held on the streets of Moline.  You brought the cake.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  One thought I've been dwelling on lately is, "Love your neighbor as yourself."===JACK:  I recall how you once drove to Michigan to meet me for face to face conversation.  Your concern for others is not just a recent one.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  when i was at the sem for those 3 years as 1/2 time interim campus pastor, i sometimes told the students that if they did not truly enjoy conversing with people of all ages, in all walks of life, and all conditions of life,  they should perhaps think about a different profession.  i sometimes got some strange looks in response.===JACK:  It might not "fly," but I'd like to have you (or someone like you) conduct a required conversation with seminarians on "Tips on how to become an effective pastor."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Love those with a good sense of humor!  Good conversation is a treat, and you're right, you hear some interesting stories shared! (The cache of "Marilyn" stories are fairly extensive by this time in my life! Usually good for a hearty
laugh!)  As my grandchildren used to say, ""Nitwit Nana strikes again!"  Hoping the voters elect a few new faces, with good sense, great ideas, and respect for the truth!! I'll try to keep my sense of humor!===JACK:  My favorite "M" story is about how you ran out of gas on the bridge in the morning with no purse...the policeman...the tow truck driver...etc.


Monday, November 05, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 11/5/18
“Your life is the result of your choices.  What will you choose today for your tomorrows?  (Robert Allen)  Recently, I saw this sign in a doctor’s office: “Thou Shalt Not Whine!”  Have you heard any political whiners lately?  Perhaps the whiners (or all of us) should read this  thought-provoking essay: “Is voting a right, a privilege or a responsibility?” Think about that!  If it’s a Blue Wave or a Red Wave, unless you have voted, “Thou Shalt Not Whine!”   ;-)  Jack

 FROM VW MARY:  All three, don't you think? Listened to a high school classmate rant about politics for over an hour last night ☹️.===JACK:  Over an hour?  Over a minute of ranting is too much for me..  A "RIGHT" is the most important to me.

FROM GOOD DEBT JON:  A result of choices and very much environment.===JACK: In Michigan we have a chance to vote on an anti-gerrymandering issue.  One way, or the other...the effectiveness of casting a ballot will make a difference.

. FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i voted early for the first time. voting is a right!===JACK:  Should the "right" to vote early be offered to all voters?===LIZ:  i do not like early voting, bc it gives our beloved gov’t more time to manipulate the results.  It should be left up to the states whether to offer it.===JACK:  As a child I was taught that "cheaters never win."

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Again, why either/or?     Why isn't it all three?===JACK:  As a citizen I have a "right" to reject all three and choose not to vote (without being made to feel guilty) .===JOHN:  But since voting is a duty  , you have a right to exercise your privilege.===JACK: Which "duty" is it?  A requirement? or a moral obligation?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Certainly both a right and a responsibility. My son's 92 yr. old wheelchair-bound mother-in-law is set to get out to vote tomorrow, no matter what the weather! She's blind and frail, but WILL vote. Listens to the endless news and political ads, so is well-versed on candidates!  I'm sure most of us are hoping for some changes;  We've lost so much morally, civility-wise and  sensibility toward those different than we are: Such divisiveness fosters hatred and violence! PRAY and VOTE! That's something we can all do! Then whine if we have to...:-(  (Our Governor's race is the most expensive in history...$$$ talks, but both candidates are far from Ideal! :-(  )===JACK:  Who is the IDEAL candidate?  When the crowd was asked what to do about Jesus, they cried out, "Crucify him, crucify him."===OAKS:  Yes, I hear you...even Jesus was not considered by this crowd,  worthy of being saved, or released.... The way of the World...?

FROM HUNGRY HOWIE:  If you don’t vote then you can’t bitch ===JACK:  There are winners and losers, and there are sore-losers.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Today’s WW motivated me to look up the derivation of the word “Whine”. It turns out that it is old english meaning”whistling through the air”. That means to me that whining is a passive activity void of action to help solve the problem. It has such relevant meaning today and tomorrow. So, we can “stop whistling in the air” and take action!   VOTE!!!!!!===JACK: A more descriptive word for whine is mewl!
...and, NO, I don't want to be paid to vote
FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  someone told me that in Australia,  they pay everyone a small amount to go and vote.  seems like a good idea to me.  also,  in AZ i often see this sign:  Stop in and we can WINE for a while:):)===JACK:  I like the rejoinder..."Do you want some cheese with that whine?"...and even setting aside a "Voting Holiday" would be subject to abuse.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  re: whether voting is a right, privilege or responsibility......I think it's all three.===JACK:  During this "go-round" in Texas, responsibility seems to be the dominant reason.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  I’m hoping that when the elections are over and voters have made their choices, the media will accept graciously whatever the results are.  This last two years of ‘whine’ by the media has me to the point of not watching many news programs anymore.  We can’t always have our way when it comes to people making choices; teams winning/losing a game.  Life moves forward and changes will be made; elections will happen again and new choices will be made and life will move forward once again and changes will occur…maybe to our liking and then again maybe not.  I would like to choose to look on the positive side of life, but understand there is a lot of unnecessary tragedy in life that we must also address.  Our area is worrying about a young 13 year old girl taken from her home after her parents were murdered and now 3 Girl Scouts and one of their leaders (a mom to one of the deceased girls) have lost their lives doing something good and others are injured by someone being irresponsible with his choice about drinking and driving.  PS It snowed here yesterday, stuck around for a while and then thankfully melted.  Might see more of it yet tonight and tomorrow.===JACK:  What disturbs me more than "the media" ate the PACs (Political Action Committees) which pay the profit-making/losing media to run the incessant ads...particularly the negative ones.  Give me a break (That will come on Wednesday)===CAROL:  I agree with this too…if you just listened to the negative political ads you know none of them are fit for office.===JACK:  ,,,and yet they see3m to be effective, which says something about some of the voters.

FROM THE SHARK:  That's why I always vote Jack, so I can whine often :)===JACK:  What I like from you is your inside knowledge/background to explain the reasons for a win or a loss.

FROM AW IN WB:  Well said, Jack.  Keep up your good work.===JACK:  After the voting is over and the results are tallied,  we need to be reminded of the last words from the novel, Gone With the Wind,.."after all, tomorrow is another day!"

FROM JDR IN PSCAL:  voting is all of things you mention.....oh, how I wish the California politicians could have been on term limits years ago===JACK:  Be careful what you wish for.  In Michigan we voted for term limits, and it didn't seem to make a bit of difference.

Friday, November 02, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 11/2/18
“If we don’t heal our own hood, who will?”  (Nelly – the rapper)  birthday 1974)  As a kid, , Nelly moved from hood to hood, but wherever he lived was important to him.  Most people are proud of where they live.  Our high school fight song was, We are Moliners!  Moline was our hood!  Do you feel like that about where you live?  During this time of a divided nation I’m listening for a Nelly-voice calling out, “If we don’t heal our own hood, who will?”   ;-)  Jack

FROM RVB:  That is why I’m still so connected to my home church and love the roots of my hood in respect and history of the Jewish faith and traditions. Thanks for reminding me!!===JACK:  I think that I'd feel the same way, if we were to exchange places.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  my 2nd favorite fight song is this ^ ===JACK:  I always thought that the Univ of Iowa Fight song was" We're from I-o-way...That's where the tall corn grows."  Thanks for enlightening me.===LIZ:
and you can’t beat meredith wilson. my mom’s old ‘hood/alma mater.===JACK:  Were your mom and Meredith in the same Iowa class?===LIZ:  no, he was born in 1902. she, in 1923...

FROM GOPHER (POLAR) LYNN:  I was a Polar in high school – fight song was “We are the mighty mighty Polars”    mascot was a polar bear.  I have so many fond memories of high school
===JACK:  Have you ever taken "The Polar Bear Plunge" where members in swimming suits dive into ice-chocked waters?  Not for me.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Jack,  we just saw the movie,  The Hate U Give.  its quite powerful and disturbing but does end on a small note of hope.  mostly about race relations and growing up "in the hood".  go for a matinee===JACK:  My children grew up in a different hood than I did, and it reveals that "we are who we were."===PAUL:  i was only in Moline, Ill. once in my life as a teen when my  Bro was a student at Augustana College.  he dated Marty Lindberg for a time whose Dad taught at the seminary.  perhaps you had him as a Prof.  I  can't even recall why we were in Moline.  but i saw an actual, working steam locomotive switch engine with smoke pouring out of its stack  and i thot it was the coolest thing i had ever seen.    i love railroading and even model railroading to this day.  but that was a highlight that i clearly recall to this day.  i assume it was soon taken out of service for reasons of air pollution, if for not other reason.===JACK: Conrad Lindberg was one of my profs.  The coal-buring engines gave way to the cheaper and cleaner-burning diesels.  I remember when the switch was made.  I don't think that pollution was that big of an issue.

FROM JDR:  Were your mom and Meredith in the same Iowa class?===JACK:  It may sound like a "corny" song, but it's OUR song!.

FROM DS IN SOCAL:  I have had wonderful friends in the "neighborhoods" of all the places Ruth and I have moved to, but NO feeling is the same as our original Moline "hood" when we were growing up.  The 50's were definitely a different, and I feel, better time.  I still think of Moline as "home"===JACK:  Even tho I was born in Des Moines, I always claim Moline as my home-town..
===DS:  You almost had it's  "our team's the FINEST you've ever seen"   
===JACK:  Since you're so smart...What are the words to the Augustana Fight Song?===D:  All Hail to you Augustana, all hail to the Gold and Blue, our heroes we cheer to victory as .......Do you want me to continue?===JACK:  That's enough, thank you.  Do you know the Augie cheer that goes, "Rootum, scrootum,etc>? 

 FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  We have always had the right to think for ourselves! Mother was a republican and Dad was a strong union Democrat and the were married for 73 years!===JACK:  Just like Kellyanne Conway and her husband.===FRPM TAMPA SHIRL:  A good reminder of our high school days- a loooonng time ago!===JACK:  BTW, Do you remember when girls weren't permitted to be cheerleaders?  At the time, did you think that that was unfair?===SHIRL:  I do remember Joline from Moline. I also remember Kenny Johnson!===JACK:  I think the Class of 45 might have been the last one with male cheerleaders...only.  Bill Gustafson was one.  Tom Getz was an earlier one.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Jack, I'm so happy to be living in Iowa along the Mississippi River. Our neighborhood is very special to us, having moved here in 1976. Sue & I started an annual Fall Picnic for our area of 75 homes in 2004 or 5, which has had good success.  But I'm still a Moliner and am going to the M Men's night for basketball this January.===JACK:  For me, nothing has replaced the "growing up" years.

FRO SHALOM JAN:  Good one!  As a resident of Pontiac, my hood is charged more for life, health and auto insurance, gets fewer road services such as patching and scraping, and still has an unconscionable unemployment rate.  So, I keep urging people to vote, to attend meetings held by our Representative, Brenda Lawrence, and in other ways seek to improve things here.  We need a lot of healing but we need to act on that ourselves, too.===JACK:  Pontiac, IMO, seems to be making a turn-around.  Baby steps, to be sure, but steps.===JAN:  "'The times are bad! The times are troublesome!' This is what humans say. But we are our times. Let us live well and our times will be good. Such as we are, such are our times."--Augustine of Hippo.........Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams."--Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky..."We will not raise arms against other nations, we will not practice the art of war, because through Jesus Christ we have become children of peace."--Origen of Alexandria--3rd century...and another. from Mother Teresa of Calcutta:  "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."  Ain't that the truth!===JAN:  I agree!  I hope, "Slow but sure wins the race," applies.  :-)

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  We are the Pioneers mighty mighty Pioneers!  We grew up in Harper Woods.  Harper Woods is s little under 2 miles wide and long but there were 9 school.  There was Harper Woods High School, Regina High, Notre Dame High, Bishop Gallagher, Lutheran East High and Tyrone, Beacon, Parsells, and Queen of Peace.  Needless to say, we were all strong supporters of our own schools!  The other schools called us “Harper Hoods” and we were looked down on.  Everyone has issues and we’ve all learned how to deal with it.  Well, mostly all of us.  It was appalling to see that pastor at the Jewish funeral screaming.  I asked for prayers for her but she did a lot of damage to the Christian imagine.  In my humble opinion.===JACK:  I guess that every "time" has its appaling events.  I try to put them in the rearview mirror.