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.

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