Monday, December 31, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 12/31/18
“I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the year’s.”  (Henry Moore)  “I will…” instead of, “I’d like to...”  Usually, if I want to do something, I do it.  The procrastination list is for stuff that can wait until the last minute.  How about you?  Try making a daily “I WILL DO…list” and see if that works!  (Oops..just remembered..time for 2nd set of exercise reps.. back in 15)…I’m back, and it works!  For resolutions?  One day at a time, Sweet Jesus goes the song.   ;-)  Jack

FROM LS IN MI:  Yes!  Each day I awake, God willing, I, with the highest intention, make a new day resolution and commitment to myself. At the end of the day I give thanks for all that my day held and the 23rd psalm comforts me for I believe,  as I sleep and when I awake my life will be  as It should.  I give thanks to God.  May good health and joy bless you and your loved ones in 2019.
===JACK:  If we have "A Way of Life" ingrained in us, it becomes natural to follow that way without giving thought about "resolves."  It's just the way I live!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Your “Will Do” list is kind of like my “Daily Goal”.  I have to accomplish my daily goal I set for myself each day.  Now, yo be truthful, I haven’t been sticking to my goals lately because life sometimes gets in the way.  But, when I’m home, there is a daily goal.  Sometimes it very simple and sometimes it very difficult and takes a few days.        Have a very Happy and Blessed New Year!!  God bless you!===JACK:  For the new year, place an I WILL DO in front of your daily goal, with some !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! after it.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  One of Bob's cousins shared this tonight.  I don't know the author, but it has some wonderful thoughts.
ONE TREE CAN START A FOREST;
ONE SMILE CAN BEGIN A FRIENDSHIP;
ONE HAND CAN LIFT A SOUL;
ONE WORD CAN FRAME THE GOAL;
ONE CANDLE CAN WIPE OUT DARKNESS;
ONE LAUGH CAN CONQUER GLOOM;
ONE HOPE CAN RAISE YOUR SPIRITS;
ONE TOUCH CAN SHOW YOU CARE;
ONE LIFE CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE;
BE THAT ONE TODAY AND THIS COMING YEAR!!
Happy New Year
===JACK:  What a great thought for taking with us into the new year!

FROM EILEEN:  Good idea to make a commitment to get certain important tasks done, appreciate the idea, lefts see if I can stick to...===JACK:  I'm often good at giving advice.  I need to remind myself that the advice is for me, too.


Friday, December 28, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 12/28/18
"If at the end of the year, if I can say I had fun, it was a good year.”  (Simone Biles) Perhaps you remember Simone as the 2016 Olympic gold medal gymnast.  She was exciting; so were her teammates.  It was a fun-time.  Looking back on 2018, we can recall some fun times and maybe some not-so-fun times.  Life goes on.  It was like that for Simone.  She’s unwilling to let the “Nasser situation” define her.  She’s moved on.  2019 can be moving-on-time for us.   ;-)  Jack

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  I have a friend who can’t move forward because she keeps looking back.  She’s often very negative in her thinking because of this…and a little lack of self worth too. I’m hoping her new grandchild will help see there is a happy future!  Happy New Year!  How much longer will you be in MN? Or are you already back home and missing out on our crazy rainy, snowy,  slushy weather?===JACK:  The weather is how we see it.  So is the world.

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  I have a friend who can’t move forward because she keeps looking back.  She’s often very negative in her thinking because of this…and a little lack of self worth too. I’m hoping her new grandchild will help see there is a happy future!

Happy New Year!  How much longer will you be in MN? Or are you already back home and missing out on our crazy rainy/snowy/slushy weather?

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 12/27/18
“Deal with the consequences of your actions, because life ain’t no video game.”  (Kraku, Hosaka & Kawabata)  The first video game I remember was Pong which evolved into The God of War, a game that gives players a sense of control (amid violence).  Life isn’t always like that.  It can seem completely beyond our control.  However, don’t be discouraged.  We can win the war of day-to-day living when we realize that God is on our side…My God and I!   ;-)  Jack

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 12/26/18
“Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; teach us to be patient and always to be kind.”  (Helen Steiner Rice)  In my Googling I came across Kindness.org, a group with a mission to inspire and motivate people to be kind to others and to publish stories of kindnesses shown.  During this season of Good Will, what are some examples of kindness that you have seen?  After all, “That’s (part of) what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown!”   ;-)  Jack

Monday, December 24, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 12/24/18
“I love people who get excited about stars.”  (Helson Facebook picture)  A science program on NPR said this about stars: “There are more stars in the observable universe than there are grains of sand on all the beaches on earth!”  The Bible tells how one of those stars excited some wise men and guided them to Bethlehem.  It’s said that when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.  On this Christmas Eve, let us offer our wishes and prayers to the creator of all stars!   ;-)  Jack

FROM LS:  .......And I give thanks for the star dust that is you, created and held by God, your creator,  in loving embrace. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ===JACK:  I like trees, but one of the drawbacks is that they block out my view of the stars.  Some people want it all!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Our deepest prayers of gratitude for our Savior who traded a cradle for a cross so we would live with Him forever!  CHRISTmas Blessings===JACK:  HE'll go down (has gone down) in history!

FROM SS AT HS:  Thank you and prayers for a star filled new year!===JACK:  Thanks for that nice Christmas present of prayers!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 12/21/18
“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.  If we did not sometimes taste of adversity…”  (Anne Bradstreet)  Today’s the first day of winter.  What’s the weather like where you are?  …only 89 days ‘til spring.  Ahh!  But Anne is not writing about weather; her words are about life and its changes.  Others have written:  Every cloud has a silver lining, or At the end of the storm is a golden sky.  What do you think?  Have you experienced benefits from adversity?   ;-)  Jack

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:    I am so pleased that you are able to travel and enjoy being with family.  No doubt you have attended many carol concerts, as have I,  but they are so enjoyable.  Last Sunday we had the Nine Lessons and Carol Service.  The church was full and afterwards warmed mulled wine and mince pies served.===JACK:  I don't think that I've tasted mulled wine, and it's been a long time since I've had mince pie.  In my next life I plan on taking a trip to England...and maybe have mulled wine.

FROM JB IN OLV:  My niece who is a self proclaimed "pagan" would tell you that both Light and Darkness are good....and that the creator wouldn't have created them if we didn't need them.
Winter for us is a time of fires in the fireplace...reading long books...enjoying time at a much slower pace with our family and friends....at one time it meant skiing..though not now.  For me it is a time of introspection and listening to what is happening around me.  Neither B nor I have been interested in going South...we enjoy all the seasons.  I suppose even Vietnam had it's benefits for our marriage...when you start off being separated 6 mos after the ceremony you don't take your husband for granted..or at least I haven't. A  college professor called it the work of ;ife...all the stages and all that goes with living. But that's another discussion.===JACK:  Pagan, or not...God made the night, and he made the day...and it was good!  Even adversity can turn out for the good...given enough time.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Absolutely!  It’s what makes life life!  “God did not promise joy without pain”.. we make it through knowing there is a rainbow waiting”===JACK:  I've often used this poem at funerals.  It was written by Annie Johnson Flint.
God hath not promised skies always blue,  Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,  Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
  But God hath promised strength for the day,  Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,    Unfailing sympathy, undying love

FROM B & M:  Thank you so much for your "winning words" over the year.  Personally, they are inspiring for us.  There is a sailor's saying, "that a red sky at night is sailor's delight, but a red sky in morning is a sailor's warning".. This was very true out at sea and along the coast.  Out here in Colorado land it does not apply.===JACK:  So many great memories associated with your family.  Thanks for resurrecting them in my mind.

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  this was a good one,  Jack.  thanks!      it is supposed to be in the high 60s here today and if the sun comes out,  it will surely go higher.  blessings on your day,===JACK:  It's not quite 60 in Minnesota, but our hearts are warm!

FROM JH ON THE DETROIT RIVER:  Warm wishes for a blessed Christmas.  Warm regards ==JACK:  It's on the 2019 "Bucket List" to get down to see you at "the refuge."

FROM TRIHARDER:  If we had no winter, There would be no skiing, sledding,  ice skating, snow shoeing, snow ball fights, snow men, glaciers, polar bears ...===JACK:   My fondest memories are of winter.  Summer recollections: sweat, flies, sunburn, hand-held cardboard fans...

FROM BREX:  That's a good word on the shortest day of the year.  A Blessed Christmas, Jack! ===JACK:  I guess that also makes it the longest night.  I tend to like daylight best.  And, if it were up to me...I'd do away with Daylight Saving Time (Fake-Time).

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  you cannot taste w/o tasting sour...===JACK:  Is that a fact?

FRO PRAW IN ILLINOIS:  89  days to spring is not so much.l We have a  trailer dealer in Decatur who posts a sign and changes the numbers every day as a count-down to spring.   I pass the sign nearly every day and thank God.===JACK:  Somebody has been posting on Facebook...the number of days until the Cubs' Opening Day baseball game.

FROM HAPPY TRAILS IN NOVA SCOTIA:  My Dad's standing weather prediction was "clouds in the sky and the sun shining through." Took me a while to realize it was about life.  All the best to you and your wonderful family. We will be blessed to have our new/second refugee family and some other team members at our home Christmas Day. It's a mother from Liberia with four children. She has been through two wars and told me of times there were so many bodies lying on the street that she had to step over them instead of walking around them.===JACK:  Thanks for that real-life refugee story.  At Christmastime we recall how "the Holy Family" were refugees fleeing into Egypt.  I think of the Emma Lazarus words...“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,  The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.  Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,  I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.  Thanks for living them out in your community.

FROM AA:  I always say when one door closes another door opens===JACK:  When I was going door to door in the process of looking for prospects for the new church I was trying to start,  I knew that if I stopped at 10 houses I would get 1 prospect...100 houses, 10 prospects.  I did not become discouraged by 9 "not interested" answers, because I had met 9 new people, and the next one would be a "winner."

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 12/20/18
“Some business owners are saying that this could be the greatest Christmas ever.  I always thought that the first one was.”  (Art Fettig)  Some interesting notes – 1. Over 1 trillion dollars will be spent by Christmas shoppers.  2. Self-giving is a major part of the buying.  3. More and more shopping is being done online.  It’s head-scratching to see how Christmas has evolved.  From something so simple as a birth in a barn, hardly noticed, to what it is today?   ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I think of how it has evolved  here in America since I was a kid....we got one present...usually not a big deal....we didn't have a Christmas Eve or Christmas service....only a "piece" to recite on the Sunday before Christmas....put up our Christmas tree on Christmas Eve....almost always had snow on the ground for good sledding....===JACK:  I remember most the Christmases when we, as a family, went out and cut down our own Christmas tree, tied it to the top of our car, and drove back home, just like the Griswolds in  Christmas Vacation.  I, too, memorized "a piece" for the Sunday School program.

FROM CJS IN WI:  I agree Jack the first Christmas was the best ever.  Without Jesus this world would be dark.  Merry Christmas!  Love your Winning Words!===JACK:  As the saying goes...
"Jesus is the reason for the season!"

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Yeah - as a numbers guy, I figured that just two percent of that trillion would probably be enough to keep the 20 million that are starving in Yemen alive. We told the kids that this year we we taking some of the money we would normally spend on gifts and giving it to ELCA world hunger relief in their names. We have so much, and so many have so little.  Merry Christmas, Jack. May your gifts be contentment, comfort and happiness.===JACK:  The beginnings of our "system of values" usually begins in the home.  Thanks for being a family that is trying to make this world a better place.

FROM NO IN MI:  Today's WW reminds me of a sermon T and I recently listened to.  It's called "It's Not Your Birthday" in a series called Advent, by Ashley Wooldridge.  Ashley is one of two young teaching pastors at our favorite church in AZ, called Christ Church of the Valley.  I know you already have plenty of resources, but if you ever want to check out some great stuff, you could google their website and have access to amazing sermons, music, etc.  This church has nine campuses around the Phoenix area with a combined average attendance of 30,000 per week.  They are doing amazing ministries there, and we can't wait to be part of it all when we get there in January.  Anyway, I just had to share this with you.  Thanks for your WW.  We look forward to reading every day and sharing with friends.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.===JACK:  Some of the larger churches are able to put on amazing Christmas programs, but one that I remember was the time that a Sunday School shepherds was walking down the church aisle, and his grandma said out loud, ""He's wearing my bathrobe!"

FROM OPTIMISTIC MATT:  Merry Christmas Jack. I’m thankful for you and your daily Winning Words.===JACK:  I wonder if the internet is one of God's gifts?  It certainly allows us to have more contact with family and friends.  Christmas is a good time to be thankful for the many gifts that we so often take for granted.  God is good!

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Love that one!===JACK:  Did you ever celebrate Sancta Lucia's Day in your home?  Were you ever the one wearing the crown of candles?===MARLYS:  No, I don’t think it was popular then, but even if it was, my Dad was the Swede.  His mother died when he was 6 so I’m sure he didn’t know about a lot of Swedish traditions that we now do.  Mom was Norwegian and Danish and they did not have Lucia.  I was in the Lucia Court when I was at Gustavus tho.  That was fun.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I totally agree with Art!  As fun as it is to see the grandkids open their gifts, it’s nothing compared to why we open gifts!  We make sure they know Why we celebrate Christmas!!===JACK:  Christmas is a lot like Easter.  It's more than a "one-day" event.  Every day is a day to celebrate that God became human, that God promise life beyond this life.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Excellent quote! I am one of those shoppers, and every year I swear to
simplify, and yet keep buying for all my family, in addition to Xmas money!  I do give to charities, church, and one man in prison (son of a pastor friend,  who has died) but yes, how did it come to this?! People like me! :-(===JACK:  At some time you must have memorized Hebrews 13:3.

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  sadly,  the true meaning is still "hardly noticed" by many...===JACK:  In reality. it only matters to those who believe it matters.===SP:  that was almost profound,  Jack. ===JACK:
I SAW JESUS TODAY HERE IN MINNESOTA
WE PULLED UP TO THE RED LIGHT,
WAITING FOR THE GREEN
THERE HE WAS STANDING AT THE CORNER
WITH A SIGN IN HIS HAND. 
I COULDN’T SEE THE PRINTING
THERE WAS NO TIME TO LOOK AT HIS FACE,
BECAUSE THE LIGHT TURNED GREEN,
AND WE HAD TO BE ON OUR WAY
TO WHEREVER WE WERE GOING.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Today I went to a Minnesota Orchestra Concert—it was called Minnesota Christmas.  We sang Christmas Carols, there was story telling by Kevin Kling and a quartet, they showed the story by projecting pictures behind the Orchestra.  If you have been to Orchestra Hall, they have big box shaped things for acoustics on which they projected wrapping paper—it changed periodically.  The whole concert was just fantastic.  They sang a version of the Halleluia Chorus that had everyone laughing out loud.  How lucky am I to have all these wonderful things to go to!===JACK:  I went there a couple of weeks ago to a Thrivent-sponsored Christmas Concert featuring the same orchestra.  Fantastic!

FROM JT IN ST JOE:  Good morning Jack   I agree the first was a greatest!  Last evening a group of us went across the street to the senior living apartment and celebrated Christmas with a some who live there.  True Christmas event ===JACK:  Christmas come but (more than) once a year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 12/19/18
“You can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”  (Ronald Reagan)  I read of a “grandma” who was living in poverty because she was answering every request for money received from “needy” groups.  Recently, I got a publication which rates most charities on how they use their funds…A-B-C or D.  It’s been a helpful tool when it comes to making choices.  The ELCA and the Salvation Army have good ratings.  Pies have only so many slices.   ;-)  Jack 

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  The publication that rates charities is very revealing.  I subscribe to the publication too, and have been shocked in some cases, how much of the money is distributed within the collecting organization, and how little gets to the charity itself.  It's shameful!  Regarding the charity contributors, I like your analogy...pies have only so many slices.===JACK:  Life is often like that.  Some seem to get more (and others, less) than they deserve.  But, I think that God has a way of sorting things out in the end.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Thanx, Jack. We have learned to not to try to help everyone who comes along. We just don't have the resources.===JACK:  It's as my mother-in-law would say to her children when they would come to her with dilemmas..."Do the best you can!"

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Add St. Pauls Union Gospel Mission to that.  Also Feed my Starving Children.  I agree—that list is very helpful.===JACK:  There are so many "worthy" causes.  Thanks for introducing me to two of them.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Your rating guide would be helpful! We receive so many appeals, all of which sound desperately needed!  You're right, you do what you can in your little corner of the world, and through missions, and legitimate concerns. I usually ck out those to whom I send donations!  But, true, everyone can help someone!!===JACK:  Some U.S. Presidents say words that live after them.  "We have nothing to fear but fear, itself," and "The buck stops here."  Reagan's words about helping people are as true to day as when he first spoke them...

FROM STARRY KNIGHT IN CA:  Yes on all 3 accounts!!!! ===JACK:   I think you've got it!

FROM ST PAUL IN MESA:  make mine Pecan...===JACK:  A friend was with me in a pizza place and asked the server how many slices in a pizza.  She said that there were eight.  "Cut it in to sixteen.  I'm hungry tonight!"

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It’s so hard to want to send something to everyone.  We have our favorites who receive our funds.===JACK:  I know that if you had given all that you could give... and if some real need came up after that, you'd find a way.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 12/18/18
“Our children change us, whether they live or not.”  (Lois Bujold)  A lot has been written about parents influencing their children.  In what ways are you today because of past parental influence?  Now, think about how a child influences a parent…from the first crib cry to the adolescent crying for this toy, these clothes, this food.  Marketers know it!  Going in a different direction…ponder how this world has been changed by a child born in Bethlehem!   ;-)  Jack

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Both my mom and Bill's were sticklers for always telling the truth!  My children have influenced me to be a recycler and not to litter.  They recommend good books (usually non-fiction, like, "How Democracies Die", and The New Jim Crow" something that will edify me!)  Especially this time of year, the Christ child ushers in a time of extra concern and kindness to those in need.  We all "need a little Christmas" as Auntie Mame sang so well!===JACK:  It's amazing how our children still change us.===OAKS:  By the way I saw the movie GREEN BOOK yesterday, and
its the best thing I've seen all year.  Funny, and often very poignant, a black concert pianist, and an Italian driver of his tour car, set in early 60's. It's a Do NOT MISS!  (He's touring in the South... enough said...)

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  Very good!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 12/17/18
“Four stages of life:  1. You believe in Santa Claus  2. You don’t believe in Santa Claus  3. You are Santa Claus  4. You look like Santa Claus."  (Wall Plaque)  In the news recently was the story of a teacher who was fired because she told 1st graders that Santa Claus isn’t real.  But there was a real Santa Claus, a Saint, Nicholas, who lived in Greece centuries ago and secretly gave gifts to needy families.  I don’t think a teacher would be fired for telling that story.   ;-)  Jack

FROM WALMART REV:  Ho! Ho! Ho! 0;-)===JACK:  Have you ever been a Santa Claus with a beard and red suit?  I know that you've been a "Secret Santa" in the past.  How about this year?

FROM DR J:  ;-) I still believe!===JACK:  ...and do you still sit on Santa's lap?===DR J:  I’d break Santa I fear!!! ğŸŽ…

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I don't think she was fired for telling about St. Nicolas; It wasn't her place to enlighten 1st graders about there being no Santa Claus...that is a parent's prerogative!  My own kids believed for a few years after 1st grade...!===JACK:  My point is that we focus so much on the fictional that we miss the real.  The real is often the better story.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 12/14/18 
“It will be alright, and if not, it will soon be over.”  (Unknown)  “It’ll work out” is a phrase I often use when talking with someone about a problem.”  Experience has shown me that it’s true.  Facing up to a problem is a first step in arriving at a solution, often unforeseen.  Another step is realizing that a 3-minute egg takes 3 minutes.  The French say, “Il faut donner du temps au temps.” Give time to time…Don’t rush it; it’ll work out (usually)   ;-)  Jack

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Time does have a way of solving most problems.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  it is not all right to write “alright.”

FROM LBP:  The hosts of a podcast I listen to have this philosophy. They identify an end time for stressful things that is easy to relate to. A big presentation to give? "It will all be over by dinner time." A big project in the fall? "it will all be over by Thanksgiving" Not everything has an obvious end-time, of course, but when it does it can be helpful to put it in perspective.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 12/13/18 
“Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.”  (Sydney J. Harris)  As a child, I recall being asked, “If you had 3 wishes..?”  My first would be, “I wish that I could have all of my wishes come true!”  Not satisfied with 3, I wanted it all.    Why is it that, though we have much, we want more?  …but wishing for a better world ain’t so bad!   ;-)  Jack

 FROM SP IN SP:  that is actually at the heart of Christian theology while also recognizing the sinfulness of humanity.===JACK:  Simul justus et peccator!

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  smart kid. i said the same thing!===JACK:  Did it work for you?  Not for me!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Change is painful but necessary.  It’s not always necessary and sometimes is down right dangerous....especially when trying to be “politically or religiously” correct.
   I myself always wished I had unending wishes!===JACK:  There's a song..."Wishing Will Make It So" and another song, "It Ain't Necessarily So."===JUDY:  There ya go!!  The two different aspects of change or wishes!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 12/12/18
“Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.”  (Unknown)  Have you ever wanted to be someone else …better looking…a better job…fewer problems?  I saw a couple of kids running up and down some stairs…while I was looking for the railing.  I thought, “I’d like to be young again.”  Later I saw this headline…How To Love the Skin You’re In.  I expected an article about being satisfied with who you are; instead, it was an ad for Dove soap.   ;-)  Jack

 FOM BS IN ENGLAND:  Brilliant!  I'm  using Dove!===JACK:  So, you have Dove in England?  You probably have a McDonalds, too.

FROM SP IN SP:  your skin has served you well, Jack.  i could say the same about mine.  i think most people sometimes dream about their youth but, truth be told,  would you really want to go back and start over again?  that is a fascinating question in my mind.===JACK:  If I knew then what I know now?  Yes and no!

FROM CJS IN WI:  I always enjoy your Winning Words so much.  You inspire me.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Ha! Funny. Especially when we're young, we sometimes envy attributes of others, but as the saying goes, when older, you get comfortable with what you have, and are. Love this saying!  Being an identical twin put us somewhat in the spotlight; we were noticed, and of course came to like that attention!  We were never shy!  Like snowflakes, we're all unique; even twins! ===JACK:  Today's social media emphasizes that you MUST be young and beautiful.  STRESS!!

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Funny!  I know what you mean about hunting for the railing.  I used to marvel when I watched Clifford take 2 steps at a time!  Don’t know how he did it!===JACK:  Many churches have people stand, rather than kneel, for communion.  Too hard for many to get up.  CAN was younger then, but recall his hyper-ness.===GM:  We really do neither.  We do communion by the intinction method.  We have to commune the whole congregation and fit the whole service into an hour.  We have 4 services on a Sunday.  The parking lot is kind of a disaster if we run over.  Ha!  It really works well.===JACK:  Jesus served communion while sitting at a table.  Intinction is another way.  Whatever works.  It's not "the way" but the meaning behind "the way."

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I always wanted perfectly white teeth.  But I have all mine so I’m happy with off white.  I laughed about the Dove soap ad!!===JACK:  An ad promises that if you use their product, your teeth will be white as snow!  The Bible says something about the stain of sin being made white as snow.===JUDY:  I would definitely rather have my sins washed white as snow!  Thank you Jesus!

FROM PRAW IN IL:  Bah! Humbug.===JACK:  So you're tired of looking young and beautiful.....!

FROM JT IN SJ:  ha ha  That is good.  Yes I think it would be good to be younger.....prettier...more mobile....well let's see, must be even  more benefits.  But then it's not so bad.  I'm happy, glad where  in my life!  It's all good.===JACK:  Stay the way that you are.  Good advice for most people.
===JT:  More!  "Funny Prayer about Getting Old at the Caregiver of the Year Dinner" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/vPFCn3itBFE

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 12/11/18
“Nobody goes through life without a scar.”  (Carol Burnett)  I’m reading C.B.’s book which describes her life in show biz.  As with most people, life has its bad times.  I have a knee scar which reminds me of a childhood fall.   You probably have scars, too.  …and there are mental scars…hidden from others…but we “see” them!  Carol sees her scars as reminders of what made her who she is today.  Robert Schuller wrote:  “Turn Your Scars Into Stars!”    ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP IN PTG:  I have a scar on my shin where a rooster attacked me. I learned to carry a rake.
===JACK:  That's a good one.  I can visualize.  A goose attacked me when I was a child.  Scary!  It only scarred my mind.  Don't get too close to Mother Goose!

FROM SP IN SP:  good words from Schuller but they didn't seem to do HIM any good.... kind of a sad ending to his story... ===JACK:  Yes, a sad ending by the world's measurement, but God has a way of turning our scars into stars...at least, that's my hope.  "It's not over 'til it's over" and we each stand before "the judgment throne."

FROM SF IN FLA:  Reminds me if the title of my nascent book, ‘Everyone Has a Story’. With your encouragement, I am moving it!===JACK:  "Nascent" is a good word. I guess that it could apply to each of us as we move out into the world today.  Keep working on that book.  I like the (possible) title: Everyone Has a Story."  Think of the many people that have been in your life and the story behind each one.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I have another saying by Schuller, "When the going gets tough, the tough, get going".Bill and I worshipped in the Crystal Cathedral once, so beautiful, and the sermon was tops, as was the music (Bill thought more "entertainment" than "worship"...). I also have his book "Horns into Halos". He had a way of saying and writing things that did get your attention. His faith was certainly tested in the end, with the brain tumor, and disintegration of that ministry!  Carol Burnett gave us so much fun and laughter, in spite of her sometimes sad personal life; She is an inspiration to laugh in spite of scars! (which we do all carry: Me, far fewer than others I've known!)===JACK:  I liked Schuller for a variety of reasons...Our ministries paralleled...We both started a new church at about the same time...I met him personally and talked with him, one on one...I liked his positive message and the way h e was able to hold his listener's attention...I like the fact that the Crystal Cathedral was an organized congregation (Churches that I've served have folded, too)...Illness has a way of "changing" family situations.  Having said that...the final judgment for each of us, including Robert Schuller,(and Carol Burnett) is God's.

FROM DAZ IN CO:  There are good scars from successful operations. I have a scar over a hole in my skull behind my right ear where they went in to fix nerves related to my Trigeminal neuralgia. That was a very painful condition which the operation cured. In fact, I look upon that as one of the many miracles in my life. ===JACK:  I remember the before and after of that situation.  Yes, some scars are worth it!

FROM DS IN SOCAL:  FROM DS IN SOCAL:  Strangely, I, just the other day showed MY knee scar from when I was about 7 years old.  Still looks the same 74 years later.===JACK:  Do you remember the days of basketball knee pads?  They saved me from having other knee scars.  They didn't prevent me from having a knee replacement.  Any b-ball injuries for you?

FROM JB IN OLV:  ....or wrinkles:)===JACK: For you, those are laugh lines.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Everyone has scars both inside and out because we go wildly through life.  We all have different ways of obtaining our scars but we all continue to survive!  With God’s help.===JACK:  Others see the outer scars, but we are the only ones aware of those unseen.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 12/10/18
“Laughter is the best medicine, and the cool thing is, you can’t o.d. on it, and the refills are free.”  (Rob Paulsen)  I’ve read that laughter can aid in healing for sick people.  One suggestion was to bring a “whoopee cushion” to the hospital when visiting a friend, and put it on the chair before the doctor comes in for his consultation.  Of course, that will depend on the doctor’s sense of humor.  Also, it is said that having a good sense of humor helps people live longer.   ;-)  Jack

FROM SP IN SP:  i recall a study that said laughter relaxes heart muscles.   so here is a joke.  where do pencils go for a vacation?  they go to Pencil-vania, of course:):):)    (Pennsylvania, just in case you didn't get it:):):).===JACK:  I always liked the song about the states…
Oh, what did Delaware, boys? Oh, what did Delaware?
Oh, what did Delaware, boys? Oh, what did Delaware?
Oh, what did Delaware, boys? Oh, what did Delaware?
I ask you now as a personal friend, what did Delaware?
She wore her New Jersey, boys. She wore her New Jersey.
She wore her New Jersey, boys. She wore her New Jersey.
She wore her New Jersey, boys. She wore her New Jersey.
I tell you now as a personal friend, she wore her New Jersey.
Other verse pairs include:
Oh, what does Iowa? She weighs a Washington.
Oh, what does Idaho? She hoes her Maryland.
Oh, what does Tennessee? She sees what Arkansas.
Oh, where has Oregon? She's gone to Oklahoma.
Oh, what did Massa-chew? She chewed her Connecti-cud.
Oh, how did Flori-die? She died in Missouri.
===SP: who sang that song?  was it Perry Como by chance?===JACK:  I learned the song at a YMCA Camp one summer, along with "I wear my pink pajamas."
===SP:  i NEVER wore pink pajamas.   but do you recall that song about camp that began with Hello Mutter, Hello Father,  here I am at Camp   something or other...
Allan Sherman - Hello Muddah Hello Faddah (1963) - YouTube
...and back to pajamas...since you always went to church camp, it's no wonder you missed on this one.  (Tune: Battle Hymn of Republic)
I wear my pink pajamas, in the summer when it's hot.
I wear my flannel nighties in the winter when it's not.
And sometimes in the springtime and sometimes in the fall,
I jump right in between the sheets with nothing on at all.
Chorus:
Glory, glory, Hallelujah;  Glory, glory, What's it to you?
Balmy breezes blowing through ya,  With nothing on at all.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  drs do not have humor, first of all, and bodily functions are not humorous. ===JACK:  OK.  I'll leave the cushion at home when I come for a visit.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  I like this "drug of choice"!===JACK:  Between Pepsi and Coca Cola, I choose Coke, first sold in "drug" stores.===JAN:  Since it had cocaine in it, that's where Coke belonged.===JACK:  Now, you'll be able to buy Mary Jane cookies in Michigan.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  You won't live too long after a beating from an irate Doctor!===JACK:  Here some actual names of doctors practicing dentistry...   Dr De Kay, Dr.Filler, Dr.Fear, Dr.Tusk, Dr. Drewel, Dr Les Plack, Dr.Fang, Dr.Hurter, Dr.Toothaker, Dr.Daryl B Payne, Dr.Smiley, Dr.Schotz, Dr. Spits, Dr. Yankum, Dr Screech, Dr. Phil Ing, Dr. McCavity.


FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Thanx Jack. this will be in this week's Champions bible Study. ===JACK:  Most Bible readers laugh (or, at least. smile) when reading...Genesis 18:11-13.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I would put a whoopee cushion on my doctor’s seat but only after surgery!===JACK:  Some doctors do have a sense of humor.  I had my tonsils removed by a doctor who was my uncle.  Afterward, he gave me jar with my tonsils floating in some kind of liquid.  I wonder whatever happened to that jar?  My mom probably "ditched" it.===JUDY:  I imagine she did!  When Andy was born, I saw a lump in his mouth.  They took him back quickly to see the Dr.  He came in a few minutes later and said, “Mrs. Lenn, your baby has a tooffy!”===JACK:  Goofy! 

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Oh Yeah! I have a DR. with a terrific sense of humor, and Bill's heart surgeon, when he gave the surgery  report to me, said, "We had to do quite a lot of work on Bill's heart; We needed more veins than we could take out of one leg, so used some from his chest, as well. Since he's a hand ball player. we wanted him to have a one good leg to stand on!" :-)  My twin was a great one for turning any disaster into a funny situation. Once when she accidentally turned the oven UP instead of down to WARM, when she had company for dinner, and everything was VERY well-done (!) she breezily told them (I was there)  that she was giving them a Biblical meal; In ancient times it was known as a burnt offering!. They never forgot the "burnt offering dinner" which she served with some hastily fixed grilled cheese sandwiches. :-)  A sense of humor often saves the day, and we've all experienced it. My twin and I did a program, entitled "She who laughs, Lasts"...and our research turned up a ton of evidence about how healthy it is to laugh! It was a very funny program! ===JACK:  One of our church members was reading the scripture on a Sunday and stumbled over a word.  She began to giggle, then snicker, then laugh, then snort.  She ran down the aisle into the narthex, laughing all the way.  I think that her sister got up and finished the reading.  Memorable!
===OAKS:  Jan and I were terrible gigglers growing up, especially in  church or some solemn occasions when you absolutely should NOT be giggling!!  I loved the songs you wrote in the blog today. Brot back camp & retreat memories!  I copied them down for old times sake...maybe sing 

to my "greats" ?!===JACK:  When singing to the children, you might try this one..."He's got His eye on you, He's got His eye on you.  My Lord sittin' in the kingdom, He's got His eye on you."  Then, 
begin to substitute someone's name for the "you,"  Like, "He's got His eye on Grandma..."  Point at the person when you come to the name.  You came make up the tune, or I can sing it to you over the phone (just kidding).

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  That makes a lot of sense!===JACK:  What makes you laugh?

Friday, December 07, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 12/7/18
“Time moves in one direction, memory in another.”  (William Gibson)  Do you know the significance of these numbers?  12/7, 9/6, 9/11, 1492?  I read an article on what enables us to recognize and recall.  Everyone doesn’t have the same cognitive skills…often depending on age an experience.  For example, how about these expressions?  Glo-up, That’s Boss, Ankle-Biter, In Cahoots!  Part of understanding one another often depends on recognizing their slang.!   ;-)  Jack

FROM JB INOLV:  9/6 is a trick question........a child is born...it is a biblical  reference.  The rest are obvious.☺===JACK:  I should have known that I couldn't fool you.===JB:  You did make me really think twice.....you should write questions for Jeopardy:)

FROM WALMART REV:  You don't say!===JACK:  I remember a comedy skit.  A guy answers the phone..."You don't say!...Hummm...You don't say....You don't say!"   The 2nd guy asks, "Who was that?"  The 1st guy answers: "He didn't say!"

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  i rely on urban dictionary a lot when communicating w/younger people. i also look up slang/idiomatic expressions from my generation to determine whether they will know what i am talking about. we will recognize those of our own generation in heaven bc of our common language, music and taste... see ya there someday!===JACK:  A writer from the Detroit area, Mitch Albom, has written a book: The Five People

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 12/6/18
“I’m really glad that our young people missed the Depression and missed the Great Big War, but I do regret that they missed the great leaders that we knew.”  (Ann Richards)  If you were to name the great leaders in today’s world, who would be on your list?  Is there an FDR?  …or a Patton  …or a Toscanini  …or a Schembechler?  The Great Depression and the Great War weren’t so great when I “lived” them, but I’m glad for the leaders we had.   ;-)  Jack 

FROM MSUJS:  Schembechler??  Dantonio.  Izzo. 😀   I like the Italians===JACK:  I figured that "Bo" would get a response from you.  I didn't realize that Engler was Italian.

FROM EATWL:  This quote on leadership was timely. I’m headed in for an interview....in my interview I’m prepared to talk about my own leadership and thinking of our great leaders of our county is encouraging! How’d you know?! Lol===JACK:  "God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform."

FROM SP IN SP:  go back to bed, Jack.  its waaay too early for you to be up and about:):):)    you need your rest and so do I😀===JACK:  As the saying goes..."Early to bed, early to rise makes a man..." You know the rest!===SP:  can make a man exhausted too!  my deepest REM sleep is between 4 and 7===JACK:  It's 11:25 am, so I guess you REM number is 7 hours and 25 minutes.

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  Has to be Winston Churchill  and Margaret Thatcher, although many people did not like her!===JACK:  I  thought of Churchill, too.  Leaders may lead, but they are not always great.  I agree that Winnie was great!

FROM JT IN SJ:  I don't remember much about WWll but I remember rationing and cousins who came home in military uniforms   It is interesting to me how the adjectives describing George Bush are the stark opposite of adjectives describing trump. What will trump's legacy and funeral be like? ===JACK"  I can remember rationing and the end of WW 2, but I can't remember a time when there was such sharp diversity of opinion over a president,  Well, maybe when the current dimes were first minted.  Anti-FDR Republicans would hand one of the coins to someone and say, "Smell this!  It really stinks to me.  What do you think?"

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  I think I can agree with Ann’s statement.  I feel sorry for our young people of today as their should be “leaders” are not setting great examples for them in how they conduct their lives, their careers and their interactions with others.  Too many of them are only interested in what the world has to offer them, what they can gain and not so much how they can serve without thinking about themselves.  Some young people have really sad home lives as well with parents who are not good leaders and role models for them. I do wonder where our world is going.
Yesterday afternoon I was at church and a little boy about 4 came toward me. I said, “Hi” to him and he kind of stopped and backed up a bit.  I thought how sad – yes, he doesn’t know me well. (I know his parents.)  They go to a different service than we do so we don’t always have lots of contact.  His mom was standing off to the side waiting for him and we said, “Hi.”, but he still kept his eye on me like I was to be watched.  I don’t ever remember as a child being afraid of a stranger.===JACK:  It's a different world out there today...in many ways.  "Stranger Danger" is a well-known phrase.  Maybe, in the rearview mirror, we'll be able to see that the good outweighed the good...I HOPE!

FROM JB IN OLV:  Mr. Mandela,  Bishop Tutu......two individuals our family heard speak at Cobo Hall and Tiger Stadium.   Merkle....her bravery in opening up Germany to the refugees.  These are but a few.
The nuclear bomb practices at school, polio, the many neighbors that contracted TB spending months and sometimes years in the hospital...Vietnam...drafting the kids of blue collar families because they wouldn't/couldn't raise/or have the connections to cause problems.  I have a Monday night Bible Study at my house....and quite often I have members that fondly remember life in the small towns they grew up in.  For those of us that grew up in immigrant pockets in Detroit life was very different.
As far as the leaders ....imagine Roosevelt, Churchill etc being placed under the microscope of the news media we have today......The work of life is, I guess, just that....work...no matter which generation you get to live in.===JACK:  Yes, it's true.  "We are who we were."  Each generation's view of the world and its leaders is colored by the events of that time.  As for microscopes...God has the ultimate one, and no one escapes detection.  That's why "the grace of God" is such a great gift.

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Yes our country has been lucky in most of our leaders! Have u read Flag of our Country and Flyboys? They r great books in my opinion. My grandchildren in Orlando read them in high school! What is going on in Minnesota? And what do u think about the new law about marijuana in Michigan?===JACK:  No, I haven't read those books.  Maybe I'll have re-enrol in high school.  'm in Minnesota visiting my son and his family and will be flying back to Michigan on Christmas Day.  I voted against the pot-law in Michigan as did several police officers that I know.  What also bothers me is "lame-duck legislation."  As the song from Cabaret goes..."Money. money, money!"

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  As Adlai Stevenson once wisely said, "In America, anyone can become
President. It's one of the risks we take". He was a man of integrity, and great wit, and eloquence, and very humble as Governor of IL, and a worthy Presidential Candidate, even tho he lost the election.
 twice to Gen Dwight Eisenhower.  I'm sure we have some very good leaders even now in America, but Politics has become the game of the extremely wealthy, which doesn't always produce the most qualified Gov't. leaders! :-(  Ronald Reagan might be right when he said, "It has been said Politics is the 2nd oldest profession.  I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first!". But we keep on keeping on...doing our bit for democracy!===JACK:  Yes...I'll take our way anytime over how it's done in Russia and North Korea.  I always like the picture of Stevenson with his legs crossed, showing the sole of his shoe with a hole in it.  Can you imagine that today?

FROM FM IN WISCONSIN:  How this was brought home yesterday at the funeral for George Bush – and the ‘entrance’ of our current president!===JACK:  I didn't get to watch it on TV, but I did see the picture of the presidents and their spouses sitting together.  GHWB wanted them all to be invited to help bring a semblance of unity to the country.  To me, that was the action of a good leader.

FROM KANSAN DON:  Are you sure about Schembechler?  How about Ghandi and Bonhoeffr? ===JACK:  Bo was put in there to stir up anti-Bo people, but he was a good coach, and a coach has to be a leader.  Gandhi and Bonhoeffer certainly were significant people, but were they leaders, such as Tutu and Niebuhr?  I guess it depends on your definition of a leader.  Hitler was a leader, but not a great person.

FROM INDY GENIE:  As I read the WW’s and then the response to them, I am struck by the idea that we are all leaders in some way. We are to be courageous and kind in standing up for what we believe to be true, just and authentic. Leadership isn’t just the job of our great leaders, although it is wonderful when we have them.  I think our current climate calls us to be leaders  ...even if we don’t want to be!===JACK:  The leader is no leader if there are no followers.  When there's chaos, someone has to step up and say, "That's enough."  That person is a leader.  The little boy shouted, "The emperor has no clothes!"===GENIE:  So true! The children shall lead us!

FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA:  SO true. So sad. I do think the winds are changing. Felt encouraged with the results of the mid term elections - more diversity and young people.===JACK:  Well, Wisconsin and Michigan began to clean out the barn, but the elephants are not going without leaving something behind.

FROM DAZ IN COLORADO:  Sometimes it seems like it takes tough times to bring out the great leaders some of whom you mentioned. Like Lincoln. The trouble is that sometimes not so great and positive leaders show up.===JACK:  Ordinary people sometimes became leaders simply because a situation at hand needs someone to do something...Rosa Parks (on the bus)...Todd Beamer (on Flt 93).  ...and Lincoln, of course

FROM DB IN WB:  I love this message because these leaders gave hope. Like a great coach, good leadership can take an underdog team into first place. Wasn’t Seabiscuit (racehorse) like that? Who can you think of who might be inspirational today?===JACK:  I don't know about Seabiscuit, because I haven't seen the movie, but I like college basketball, and I think that John Beilein is a good leader.  He seems able to attract good players to follow his advice, to make them better, to do it without wanting attention for himself...and appearing to be a person of character.  Basketball just happens to be his leadership job.
 

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 12/5/19
“As a cure for worry, work is better than whiskey.”  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)  One of the causes for depression is loneliness, which often leads to alcoholism.  Alcohol abuse led to the death, at age 29, of country music star, Hank Williams.  Ironically, one of his “hits” was, I’m so lonesome I could cry.  The good news is that researchers are finding new and amazing ways to combat depression  A support group and finding new interests helps, too.   ;-)  Jack
I'M SO LONESOME I COULD CRY (1949) by Hank Williams - YuTube

FROM TAMPA SHIRL:  Just keep busy, keep learning new things, keep reading, and keep old friends and make new ones!===JACK:  Get up early, read Winning Words and drink coffee instead of whiskey.===SHIRL:  I am up early today because it is 53 degrees today and I had to turn on the heat! ...and, I do not drink coffee or whiskey! I drink Diet Coke without caffeine and water!===JACK:  It's a little colder than 53 here in wintry Minnesota.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:   That's a sad song, for sure! Apparently he wasn't successful in melting whoever's "Cold, Cold, Heart"! So he was so lonesome, he could cry...:-(  I hadn't realized he  died that young!  Work, or volunteering, or getting out regularly socially, all keep one from sitting and dwelling on negative things, but some people are shy or insecure, and that's difficult for them. But most of us have come to know that "drowning your worries in alcohol" does not solve them, so grab a good book or inspirational material, and reset your mind!  Emerson is right.===JACK:  People who are in the entertainment business (including, in a sense, pastors) need affirmation that that they are successful in what they are doing, and if they don't receive it, they tend to become depressed, and can lead to "whiskey," or what whiskey stands for.  So, as Waldo wrote, "Work is better than whiskey."  Your suggestions are good, also.

FROM PINSP:  we have had two funerals at the church, one in August and one in Nov.  One was 58 and  the other was 54.  both literally drank themselves to death.  soooo  sad for the surviving family.
===JACK:  Alcoholism, opioid, suicide...soooo sad for all involved and for society in general.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  I had no idea he was only 29.  I was so afraid of becoming an alcoholic I would never touch it and still don’t.  My best friend’s mom was a bad alcoholic and I saw her too many times not to be severely effected by her drinking.     They are coming up with more and more ways to deal with issues which is a very good thing.  Drug overdoses can be revived with a shot.  Some cities are encouraging their citizens to carry the meds on them to help those who pass out!  My son in law uses it a lot on the job!  Now if we could find a safe way to stop the use!!===JACK:  Sneaking "a smoke" out behind the barn seems soooo mild compared to nowadays.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:   Generally speaking, the more you work at something the better you can become.===JACK:  Generally speaking, entertainers feed off of positive audience response to assuage self-doubt.  Were you ever cheered...or booed?  I knew of a minister who once was booed.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 12/4/18
“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”  (Thomas Campbell)  Tombstone epitaphs have a way of describing the person in the grave and how they are remembered,  For example: Still dancing in heaven - She asked for so very little, but gave so much - So Small. So Sweet, So Soon - No man is indispensable, but some are irreplaceable - Step softly, a dream lies buried here.”  On a lighter note, seen as a physician’s epitaph:  The doctor will see you soon   ;-)  Jack 

Monday, December 03, 2018

Jack’s Winning Words 12/3/18
“There’s a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker.”  (Charles Schulz)  As I went through the MSP Airport I smiled when I saw a figure of Snoopy wearing a pilot’s helmet and goggles.  Charles Schultz makes me smile—and think!…like when a philosophy of  his became a bumper sticker: “Life is like a 10-speed bike.  Most of us have gears we never use.”  I’ll never forget the teacher who took me aside and told me, “You can do better than this!”  ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  Good one!===JACK:  You've probably seen that Snoopy!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It was a good day to sleep in!  One of the highlights of my day was reading the newspaper.  I’ve pretty much stop that habit because we don’t get it anymore.  I read it for top to bottom except the ads.  I’d read everything and save the cartoons and puzzles for last.  Charlie Brown was and still is one of my top favorites...B.C. Was and still is my favorite.===JACK:  I now read the Detroit Free Press online since they've started printing with smaller letters.  I like most of the comics, but I laugh at Pearls Before Swine (not your style).

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Nice to hear you can sleep in at least one morning.  The ‘mouse’ here was awake at 4:30 this morning. ===JACK:  Yes, it was nice to get some more zzzzs.  I'm in MN for most of Dec, so son David was able to wake up the snoozing mouse.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I don't remember seeing that Charlie Brown bumper Sticker, but it's a good one!  Charles Schulz has made us smile for many years with his humorous bits of "child" philosophy!  As Henry Ward Beecher said, "A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon with no springs--jolted by every pebble in the road." Life is a lot less bumpy with a sense of humor!! (Knock, knock! Who's there?  Noah.  Noah Who?  Noah lot of jokes and funny stories and you'll feel better!) AUGGRRH!===JACK:  Joke: "He was the apple of his mother's eye, but he  wasn't appealing to me."  Did you ever say those words?  Bumper Sticker:  The Universe can be difficult!"

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  I believe there are many of us who have been blessed with teachers who put us on notice by saying, "You can do better than this!"===JACK:  ...and I even remember his name: Mr. Ekblad.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  https://youtu.be/x6zypc_LhnM
this is the very first skating “program” gisela had at age five. russian pairs champion/coach suggested “la cucaracha.” i said it’s gotta be linus and lucy...she used this as her music for over a year for practice/competitions. gisela was a heck of a skater... very fast, w/spins faster/better than most pros. her jumps? not as great. you can tell from the music where the spins were!===JACK:  I continue to like Charlie Brown Christmas.  Part of its success is due to the piano accompaniment by Vince Guaraldi.  When that music is used with a daughter's skating program...even better!

FROM WALMART REV:  One of my Bible college professors was telling my roommate when it became apparent I was cutting too many times in his class, “Paul is is nice guy, but he’s got to attend class if he is hoping to pass?!?!” I’ve never forgotten that either. 0;-)===JACK:  You and I are both examples of how the Lord can use imperfect vessels in His work.

FROM SHALOM JAN:  I am glad you got a couple hours of additional sleep!  And I love Charles Schulz and his philosophy that showed so much in his Peanuts cartoons.  The retired pastor who was at Faith L.C. in Arlington when I was about 8 or 9 years old would stand on the chancel steps and talk to the children.  More than once he said, "Do your best.  Angels can do no better." And, that was my guiding principle throughout my schooling.  Blessings on your day!'===JACK:  When my wife and her siblings would complain about schoolwork..."It's too hard!!!"  She'd reply, "Just do your best."