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 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."

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