Thursday, August 31, 2006

Someone asked someone who was about my age: "How are you?" The answer was, "Fine. If you don't ask for details." Katharine Hepburn
“The man with the ball is responsible for what happens to the ball.”
(Branch Rickey) Mr. Rickey was talking about the game of baseball. In today’s world, I see the earth as a ball, and we humans as being responsible for what happens to the ball. We need to do a better job of keeping our eye on the ball. ;-) Jack

at the beginning of every school year we teach a familiar old song with a bit of a twist.
"we've got the whole world in our hands..."
you know the rest.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

“I arise in the morning, torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
(E. B. White) I suppose it is possible to enjoy trying to improve the world. That’s my plan. What’s your’s? ;-) Jack

I was introduced to E. B. White in a college literature class. Our assignment was to read his book, ONE MAN'S MEAT, which appeared in 1942, and was reissued two years later in expanded form, had a nonstop run of 55 years in print. It was compiled of White's columns for Harper's with three essays from The New Yorker. I still have the book. I think I'll go and reread it.
....I've started the "reread." It's great. BTW, the English professor asked, "do you know the origin of this book's title?" The smart students were able to answer correctly. CAN YOU?

How about just enjoying the world as we look for opportunities along the way to improve it?

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
Anne Frank (1929 - 1945), Diary of a Young Girl, 1952

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

“Everything I did in my life that was worthwhile, I caught hell for.”
(Earl Warren) Warren was known for integrity and courage. He headed the U. S. Supreme Court when it made landmark decisions on segregation, civil rights, separation of church and state and police arrest procedure. Eisenhower, who appointed him, later said, “It was the biggest damn mistake I ever made.” Try to do the worthwhile thing, regardless of the consequences. ;-) Jack

Monday, August 28, 2006

"I've heard of Alex Presley, but I wouldn't know his music." SISTER MARY PIA, a cloistered Dominican nun, who became a novitiate in 1950, before Elvis got his start.
“Sometimes it’s holding on that makes one strong. Sometimes it’s letting go.”
(Sylvia Robinson) Maybe it’s a situation; maybe it’s a life. There are times when we have to move on. Be strong today as you lean on family and friends. ;-) Jack

Friday, August 25, 2006

“In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.”
(Leo Tolstoy 1828-1910) This great Russian novelist was referred to as Christian anarchist and pacifist. He was an influence on Gandhi and M. L. King, Jr. His advice in this quote is a good one as we come to the end of a work week. Take time to look and appreciate the world around you. What are the good things you see? ;-) Jack

It takes no more time to see the good side of life than to see the bad.
Jimmy Buffett

Thursday, August 24, 2006

This is about putting things into perspective. Marv Levy, coach of the Buffalo Bills was asked if a certain game was a MUST-WIN. “No,” he replied, “World War II was a must-win situation. This is just football.” Try to remember this when your favorite team takes to the field this fall. In fact, remember it whenever you’re setting priorities. ;-) Jack

Through the ages there have been great men who have had a major influence on the people with whom they have come into contact with. One such man is Hall of Fame, former Buffalo Bills Head Coach Marv Levy. Levy, who has a Master's degree from Harvard, was best known as an intelligent and analytical football coach. Perhaps better suited for the political field rather than the football field, Coach Levy led the Buffalo Bills to an unprecedented four straight Super Bowls. He used his Harvard education to motivate and shape the careers and lives of many pro football athletes.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The 'Net is a waste of time, and that's exactly what's right about it.
William Gibson (1948 - )
“Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.”
(Rabbinical Saying) That’s an interesting thought. We have to be willing to GO WITH THE FLOW. I always let my grandchildren pick the radio station when they ride with me. “You know,” teaching and learning is a two-way street. ;-) Jack

The eyes of a child, so innocent and pure A child’s heart is full of song Take their tiny hand, and lead them to the light As adults we see pain in this world And it sometimes don’t seem right But through the eyes of a child The world seems magical There’s a sparkle in there eyes They’re yet to realise, the darkness in there soul The beauty of their smile Adventure Ocean wide Sure life is kinda gay but it doesn’t seem that way, Through the eyes of a child

reminds me of kahlil gibran's "on children".
your children are not your children.
they are the sons and the daughters of life's longing for itself.
they come through you but not from you,
and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

you may give them your love but not your thoughts,
for they have their own thoughts.
you may house their bodies but not their souls,
for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
you may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
for life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

you are the bows from which you children as living arrows are sent forth.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

“The dumbest people I know are those who know it all.”
(Malcolm Forbes) One of the seven traditional virtues is humility. Do you know any of the other six? I’ll try to post them on the blog along with the seven deadly sins. Be smart; be humble! ;-) Jack

I have a friend who is a bit of a 'know it all' and one of his favorite lines is "those who think the know it all are really iratating to those of us who really do." The only problem is that he doesn't know that it is intended as a joke.

These are from a poem by Prudentius who set them up against each other.
Chastity/Lust; Abstinence/Gluttony; Liberality/Greed; Diligence/Sloth;
Patience/Wrath; Kindness/Envy; Humility/Pride

The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues.
Elizabeth Taylor (1932 - )

Monday, August 21, 2006

“The teeth are smiling, but is the heart?”
(African Proverb) I can picture this in my mind. Try smiling with both your teeth and your heart today. People will like you for it. This world could use more honesty, don’t you think? ;-) Jack

Legends are often untrue, but Lincoln was the real thing. George Washington never chopped down a cherry tree, but Abraham Lincoln was honest. During his years as a lawyer, there were hundreds of documented examples of his honesty and decency.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

This a favorite hymn of many people. Here is some background information about these words written by an Irishman who lived in Canada..
What a friend we have in Jesus,All our sins and griefs to bear!What a privilege to carryEverything to God in prayer!
More than a century ago, on the streets of Port Hope, Ontario, a man could be seen walking along carrying a saw and a sawhorse. One day a rich man from across the street saw him and said to a friend, "He looks like a sober man. I think I'll hire him to cut wood for me." "That's Joseph Scriven," the friend replied. "He wouldn't cut wood for you. He only cuts wood for those who don't have enough to pay." And that sums up the philosophy of Joseph Medlicott Scriven, a devoted member of the Plymouth Brethren Church, who took the Sermon on the Mount literally.
Scriven was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1819. He fell for a lovely young woman, but on the eve of their wedding she accidentally drowned.
Scriven never recovered from the shock. The Irishman began to wander, hoping to forget his sorrow. At age 25, he finally settled in Canada.
His faith led him to do menial tasks for poor widows and the sick. He often worked for no wages and was regarded by the people of the community as a kind man, albeit a bit odd.
He later fell in love again and planned to marry a wonderful Canadian woman. But again, tragedy struck. His fiance died after contracting pneumonia.
In 1855, a friend visited an ill Scriven and discovered a poem that he had written for his ailing mother in faraway Ireland. Scriven didn't have the money to visit her, but he sent her the poem as an encouragement. He called it "Pray Without Ceasing." When the friend inquired about the poem's origins, Scriven reportedly answered, "The Lord and I did it between us."
Scriven never intended for the poem to be published, but it made its rounds, and was set to music in 1868 by musician Charles Converse, who titled it "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." It has since become one of our greatest hymns.
Scriven died in 1886 (ironically, in an accidental drowning). In his memory, the town of Port Hope erected a monument with this inscription from Scriven's famous song: In His arms He'll take and shield thee. Thou wilt find a solace there.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Tempted and tried we're oft made to wonder why it should be thus all the day long
While there are others living about us never molested though in the wrong
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
(This is a favorite of mine...the wrong shall be made right! ;-) Jack)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Perhaps it's happened to you. You go out for lunch, and you want to treat your guest. As the bill is being paid, the guest says, "I'll take care of the tip." Here's what Harry Golden writes about that.
I'LL TAKE CARE OF THE TIP – Harry Golden, circa 1955
He’s doing you a great big favor - He’ll “take care of the tip.” When you pick up the check you either treat or you don’t treat. Now when the fellow whom you are treating says “I’ll take care of the tip,” what is he really doing? First of all, you’ll notice, he always says, “Go ahead. I’ll take care of the tip.”
So for twenty cents (he never tips enough), what is he doing? He’s taking the edge off your own pleasure in treating, and for the great big twenty cents he is taking himself completely off the hook, spiritually, mentally, psychologically, to say nothing of – financially. What does he mean, “I’ll take care of the tip”? You pay $1.68 and he pays twenty cents – this you call “taking-care-of”?
The next time you pay the check and the fellow says, “I’ll take care of the tip,” do one of two things: either smile sweetly and say, “No, let’s split the whole thing down the middle,” or pick up a sugar bowl and knock him on the hay-ed.

(That's what I call, FUNNY! ;-) Jack)
“Anyone can buy new things, but only a strong person can throw old things out.”
(Unknown – Sent by Bill G.) Yesterday I spent time looking for something I must have thrown out., by mistake. It’s a big decision—to know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em, when to hang on and when to let go. Are you one of the strong persons? ;-) Jack

Progess means throwing out the twist ties that come with the bread. Having 20 is a lifetime supply.

When moving from a home we've been at for 43 yrs. is really a big test. I didn't have trouble getting rid of stuff, but Dick did, especially when it came to his workshop. He still brought to much stuff which he hasn't touched since we've been here 2 yrs. next month.

I work on a system of pile management at my home office.
(I'm looking at the pile on my desk right now. and I know where everything is! Don't try to straighten it out. ;-) Jack)

Having helped clean out my parents home and an old sister's trailer and 2 storage units and later her apartment after she died...I've learned what is necessary to keep, what is ok to throw and what is good to donate. Bob and I agree that if we aren't using it at least once a year maybe it is ok to get rid of it. No we don't throw away family heirlooms, some old pictures of people we don't know-yes. Sometimes they are hard to throw also because of the historical value for dating clothing, styles, old thrashing machines, family homesteads. In cleaning out my mom's home, we found pictures of Mount Rushmore under construction. One of my uncles had taken the pictures. Those we didn't throw nor the pictures of the World's Fair in Chicago. Many people comment about how clean "Bob's" three car garage is. We can actually get three cars in it if we have boat has to go outside to do it.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Linda Mackintosh is drowning in treasures. Piled high to the ceiling of her Connecticut home, her collection of paper bags, boxes, yogurt containers, office supplies and so much more allows only a narrow path to get from room to jam-packed room.
"Everybody thinks it's just a pile of old news, but to me it's a treasure!" Mackintosh said of her collection of old newspapers.
Mackintosh is one of at least 2 million people in this country with a condition known as compulsive hoarding. They suffer from a powerful urge to acquire and a paralyzing inability to discard.
"When I go to throw something out, I get nauseous, a headache," she said. "I break out in a sweat."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

“It’s more important to have fun than to be funny.” (L. J. Peters) What’s the difference between the two words, fun and funny? I have fun watching funny movies like, What About Bob and Christmas Vacation. What do you do for fun? Maybe you think that’s a funny question. ;-) Jack
“Quarrelsome dogs come limping home.”
(Swedish Saying) Dogs can teach us lots of lessons. Tiger was one of our family’s favorites. I can’t remember that he ever came limping home. We’d tell him to pick up something from the floor and put it in the waste basket, and he’d do it. Do you have an interesting dog story? ;-) Jack

Is Congress on recess?

DOGS ARE SMART! When I was a kid I can remember a a neat dog story. There was the only toy Dobberman I have ever seen. This was long enough ago that folks would let their dogs just run the neighborhood. Somehow this little guy got hurt and had a pin in his hip (you could see the pin on the out side). This dog could run nearly as fast on three legs as he could on four. After some time the pin wsa removed. You could watch him run down the street, as he would approach someone, they would say 'oh look at the poor little dog' and he would pull up the bad leg catch the sympathy. And then once past he would drop the bum leg and carry on. He sure had learned quickly how to play up a good thing. (From Pete in S. H.)

OLD SHEP (One of my all-time favorites!)
When I was a lad And old Shep was a pup Over hills and meadows we'd stray Just a boy and his dog We were both full of fun We grew up together that way
I remember the time at the old swimmin' hole When I would have drowned beyond doubt But old Shep was right there To the rescue he came He jumped in and then pulled me out
As the years fast did roll Old Shep he grew old His eyes were fast growing dim And one day the doctor looked at me and said I can't do no more for him Jim
With hands that were trembling I picked up my gun And aimed it at Shep's faithful head I just couldnt do it I wanted to run I wish they would shoot me instead
He came to my side And looked up at me And laid his old head on my knee I had struck the best friend that a man ever had I cried so I scarcely could see
Old Shep he has gone Where the good doggies go And no more with old Shep will I roam But if dogs have a heaven There's one thing I know Old Shep has a wonderful home

I have a book with the title, "Will My Dog Go To Heaven?" written by Heidi and Jorg Zink. Do you think that there're dogs in heaven? I believe it was Mark Twain who said, "If there are no dogs in heaven, I don't want to go there."
Let your mind wander. What would it be like to have dogs in heaven? ;-) Jack

I LIKED THIS DOG STORY FROM N. R. BURR: My parents had 4 different dogs during their lifetime, and each dog was given the same name "Pat". I don't know if that single name was just for simplicity, or if it was their way of keeping the memory of each dog alive from one pet to the next. All were very loving dogs.

HERE'S A "DOG" PROVERB FROM TIPPIE'S "DAD"...."Don't bite the hand that feeds you."

when we were little and still living in northern wisconsin, my dad aquired a black lab through a good friend who bred hunting dogs. he was pretty excited. much to my dad's dismay, manfred "the wonder dog" became a retriever of children-not hunted creatures. manfred was very afraid of storms and would hide under the dining room table when thunder boomed. one of my fondest early childhood memories was finding ruthie under the table with her arm around manfred. she was consoling him and i heard her say, "manfred, let me tell you all about god. never fear god is near".

after all "dog" is "god" spelled backwards.
reminds me of one of my favorite hymns-"all things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small. all things wise and wonderful, the lord god made them all!"

FROM CINDY IN N.H.: At least there will be dogs in my heaven! "God turns clouds inside out to make fluffy beds for the dogs in Dog Heaven, and when they are tired from running and barking and eating ham sandwich biscuits, the dogs each find a cloud bed for sleeping." -Cynthia Rylant

AND P.L. WRITES: We had a dog named Brandy who when he was thirsty would bring his bowl into us and drop it on the floor!

AMY FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE has an interesting and newsy blog. Here's what she says about dogs. I like what Samuel Butler had to say about our canine companions: “The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.”

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

“Put all your worries in a pocket with a hole in it.”
(Seen on a refrigerator magnet) Worries have a way of taking over our life so that we can’t appreciate some of the good things that are going on around us. Do you have any thoughts on this? ;-) Jack

Worrying and hurrying are a lot alike. Both of them can tend to take over our life, so we can't appreciate the good things going on around us. (Sent by N. R. Burr)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Last week I posted a story about some bandits who sang a hymn while they robbed people. The story suggested that, if caught, they should be sent to Sing Sing Prison.
This week I read that the warden at Sing Sing instituted a music program for the inmates, believing that music improves prison morale and helps the prisoners to seek better things. Sing Sing has a band of seventy-five members and an orchestra of twenty. Several have made their own instruments. There's a Glee Club of sixty and a Bugle Corps of twenty-two. The buglers play for the marching in to meals. All inmates, except those on Death Row, can particiapte.
A little girl was pointing up at the sky, "Look, an Angel!" she yells. Someone heard her and said, "No, that's only a cloud."
How wonderful to be able to see Angels where there are clouds. How sad to see only clouds where there are Angels.
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted, and behold, service was joy.”
(Tagore – Sent by Dana) This famous Indian writer and philosopher was born in 1861 and died in 1941. He was an influence on Gandhi. He practiced what he taught: A joyful life is a life of service. Look for a way to be joyful today! ;-) Jack

Schweitzer got to me as young college/seminary student and I was always impressed w/ a word from his writings which spoke loudly re his commitment being in part based on Jesus' words: "Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for my sake and the Gospel will find it." True, true, true. Life really means the most when you give it away. Contentment and peace follow soon after. Oh if one could live that way every day! It seems paradoxical but one really needs to work at it.....the older you get. Right?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A newspaper report emenating from Omaha, Nebraska, says, "Two masked bandits who told their victims they were once in a church choir sang the hymn which included the words, 'We will come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves,' as they held up and robbed nine persons in a drug store."
It would be nothing less than poetic justice for these two music loving miscreants to have a place allotted to them in Sing Sing.
"Good morning, my darling wife. I hope you have slept well, that you were undisturbed, that you will not rise too early, that you will not catch cold, nor stoop too much, nor overstrain yourself, nor scold your servants, nor stumble over the threshold of the adjoining room. Spare yourself of all these household worries till I come back; may no evil befall you. This is the ninth day I have been absent from you and by heavens it seems almost a year. I enclose 1,095,060,437,082 kisses."
Have you ever written a letter like this to your spouse?

Friday, August 11, 2006

“Bad is called good when worse happens.”
(Norwegian Proverb) Did you know that the collection of proverbs is called, paremiography? That makes me a paremiographist. I especially like those that have an unexpected ending. Do you have a favorite proverb? ;-) Jack

Thursday, August 10, 2006

“The poor have little, Beggar none; The rich too much, Enough not one.”
(Ben Franklin) Socialist? Communist? Capitalist? I saw my grandson give money to a “homeless” person as we left the ballgame last Monday. It caused me to wonder: Why did I pass him by? Why did John stop and give? ;-) Jack

This parable is one of the most famous from the New Testament and its influence is such that to be called a Samaritan in Western culture today is to be described as a generous person who is ready to provide aid to people in distress without hesitation. In many English-speaking countries, a Good Samaritan law exists to protect from liability those who choose to aid people who are seriously ill or injured.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

“Everything happens to everybody sooner or later, if there is time enough.”
This acerbic freethinker had a way with words, to say the least. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature, accepting the award, but refusing the money. It was a matter of principle. I like his quote about time. How about Jim Croce’s song about time? ;-) Jack

TIME IN A BOTTLE - Sung by Jim Croce
If I could save time in a bottle The first thing that Id like to do Is to save every day Till eternity passes away Just to spend them with you If I could make days last forever If words could make wishes come true Id save every day like a treasure and then, Again, I would spend them with you But there never seems to be enough time To do the things you want to do Once you find them I've looked around enough to know That you're the one I want to goThrough time with If I had a box just for wishes And dreams that had never come true The box would be empty Except for the memory Of how they were answered by you But there never seems to be enough time To do the things you want to do Once you find themIve looked around enough to know That you're the one I want to go Through time with.

* While in his third year of college, one of Jim's bands was invited to perform in a tour of Africa and the Middle East. "We had a good time," Jim recalls. "We just ate what the people ate, lived in the woods, and played our songs. Of course they didn't speak English over there... but if you mean what you're singing, people understand."* Early in his career, Jim injured his right index finger with a misplaced sledgehammer, forcing him to developed a new method of fingerpicking using only four fingers.* Croce wrote his hit song "Time in a Bottle" for his infant son AJ. Adrian James, who was born only two years before his father was killed in a plane crash (9/20/73).

Time is the one element over which we have no control. We have constructed clocks to measure it. We have broken it up into periods, era’s, and calculations in terms of generations beyond ‘our’ time, but reality for us only exists in the here and now. Romantics have written about bottling it like one would a commodity, but physically we can do nothing to stop its march.
Time is the issue upon which current life hinges, we can analyze it but we have no control over it. We can only choose what to do with the time we do have, focusing beyond our time looses credibility. Another intangible issue that influences our existence is the fact we possess morals.
The moral dimension is something that invokes heated debate in all manner of topic.
Some Theologians argue for instance against the concept of cloning. Many folk are prone to leaping to the conclusion that it is fundamentally wrong to “play God.” Yet how many of those same people would instantly change their tune if tomorrow they were faced with the prospect of a loved one or themselves dying from a disease or ailment that cloning technology could provide, and cure.

The clock of life is wound but once And no one has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop, At late or early hour.
Now is the only time you own; Live, love, work, and with a will;
Place no faith in tomorrow, for The clock may then be still.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know . I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.She said, "Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?"I laughed and enthusiastically responded, "Of course you may!" and she gave me a giant squeeze. "Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?" I asked.She jokingly replied, "I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, have a couple of children, and then retire and travel."No seriously," I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age."I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!" she told me.
She was chosen to speak at the Football banquet. Here is some of what she said.
"We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!""There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything, I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability.""The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in change. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets."

Billy Graham (now 87) writes: "All my life I've been taught how to die, but no one ever taught me how to grow old." And again, he says: "When you get older, secondary things, like politics, begin to fall away, and the primary thing becomes primary again."

93-year-old Jacob Jankowski looks in a mirror, sees bags under his eyes, a few strands of white hair spring absurdly from his spotted skull. “It’s no good. I can’t find myself anymore. When did I stop being me?”

You might want to share these thoughts with someone who's growing older. Look in the mirror! ;-) Jack
“The best bullfighter is the one in the box seats.”
(Mexican Folk Wisdom) It’s easy to give an opinion when you’re not in the arena. Sports, politics, religion, education-- There are always the second guessers. Are you sitting in the box seats? ;-) Jack

Usually there are a few who get seriously involved in something, but for the kibitzers there's standing room only.

Do you think it can be a situation where a person is sitting watching in the box seats and, with incredible need and strength, the bull charges into the stands and just a regular guy needs to tangle with him? For some reason it seems like the need to take a stand on some issue or problem always comes to me and forces me not to be a second guesser.

Monday, August 07, 2006

In this troubled word it's refreshing to find someone who still has time to be kind,
Someone who still has faith to believe that the more you give the more you receive,
Someone who's ready by thought, word or deed, to reach out a hand in an hour of need.
“We are all alike---in the inside.”
(Mark Twain) With the Middle East trouble in mind, I read about a 9-year-old Palestinian boy who died in a car accident. His heart, lungs, liver and both kidneys were successfully transplanted into five young people. All of them were Israelis. The parents told the doctors: “We want it to be an act of humanity.”
When will this world ever learn? ;-) Jack

Friday, August 04, 2006

British clergyman, Sydney Smith, writes: "Heat, ma'am! It was so dreadful here that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones." ;-) Jack

“Money is like manure. It should be spread around.”
(Brooke Astor) This wealthy 104-year-old has given nearly $200 million to libraries, museums and charities, causing a
squabble among her relatives. Bill & Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet are spreading the manure, too. What’s your favorite charity? ;-) Jack


That quote was also from "Hello Dolly" starring Walter Matthau and Barbra Streisand.

Dolly leaves the stage at the end of Act II with a wink to the audience as she takes a peep into Vandergelder's bulging cash register, and promises that his fortune will soon be put to good use. She quotes her late husband as she says, "Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It's not worth a thing unless it's spread around encouraging young things to grow."

Monica Almeida/The New York Times
A $2.5 million Henry Moore sculpture is a plaything at a pioneering Salvation Army center in San Diego. More Photos >
Published: August 4, 2006
SAN DIEGO — A Salvation Army center is an unlikely home for a $2.5 million Henry Moore sculpture, but here it stood, all but buried under summer campers using it as a jungle gym.
Slide Show: Salvation Army’s Community Center
Salvation Army Receives a Gift of $1.5 Billion (January 21, 2004)
The sculpture and the center, an $87 million complex featuring three swimming pools, indoor ice skating and skateboarding, playing fields and a 600-seat theater, were gifts from Joan Kroc, wife of the McDonald’s Corporation founder, Ray Kroc.
Mrs. Kroc, who died in 2003, also left the Salvation Army $1.5 billion to build 30 to 40 more Kroc centers now planned around the country, providing low-income neighborhoods the kind of facilities that even well-to-do communities can rarely afford.
But this new wealth and the glittering centers it is buying have posed a challenge for the Salvation Army and caused soul-searching about its core purpose.
The organization was wary of the gift from the time Mrs. Kroc first proposed it, and many of its officers continue to fear that the centers will confuse donors about its mission, leaving the impression that it is a flush charity that operates sleek recreation complexes rather than a frugal church that devotes itself to serving the needy.
“There’s a fear of this gift,” said Barbara Hunsaker, a member of the advisory board for the center here and a longtime volunteer at the Door of Hope, a transitional housing facility for homeless women and their children that the Salvation Army operates in downtown San Diego. “I’ve heard officers worry that it’s taking the army away from its mission. But this is their mission.”
Still, Cmdr. Israel L. Gaither, who assumed leadership of the national organization in May, worries that the Kroc centers will change not only public perception of the army but also the army’s perception of itself.
“We are at a crossroads, and the challenge for us is to remain true to our mission,” Commander Gaither said. “The whole idea is to build on what has been accomplished, not to build something completely different.”
Running the centers will require the army to adopt a more commercial mind-set than its customary charitable work entails. Mrs. Kroc’s $1.5 billion gift is believed to be history’s largest to a charity (though big foundations, another beneficiary of the wealthy, have often received more). But because it includes only enough endowment money to cover half the centers’ annual operating costs, the organization figures it will have to raise as much as $70 million a year for that purpose, some of it in fees from users of the facilities.
So when Salem, Ore., set about applying to be the home of one center, it did extensive research on what kinds of features would make money.
“Competitive pools offered a low return on investment; family aquatics centers offered high returns,” said John Sebby, executive director of development and public relations for the army’s Cascade Division, headquartered in nearby Portland. “Day care didn’t pay well, ice rinks did.”
Salem prevailed with a proposal that included a water park. It decided against an ice rink, which is the San Diego center’s biggest moneymaker, because the area already had several, and scaled back its library plans when it was awarded $25 million, $5 million less than it had asked for.
Many forget that the Salvation Army is a church, knowing it instead for the bells its volunteers ring to raise money during the holidays or for its thrift shops.
But the army’s real “business,” effectively putting into practice what it preaches, is operating a network of housing for the elderly, transitional housing for struggling families, summer camps and what are called “corps centers,” where services range from after-school programs to drug rehabilitation.
The organization also does disaster relief work. After Hurricane Katrina, victims, public officials and emergency workers spoke glowingly of the help the army had given them, often contrasting it with services from the American Red Cross.
Army officials cringe at the competition that such comparisons might suggest, but welcome the donations the attention is attracting. The army raised more than $360 million for hurricane victims, a fraction of the billions raised by the Red Cross but more than four times what it has raised for any other disaster and more than three times what its biggest annual fund-raising effort, the Christmas kettle drive, brought in last year.
Yet it is the new community centers — now planned for Atlanta, Phoenix, Honolulu and San Francisco, among other places — that are drawing the most notice.
“The army’s always been there, quietly behind the scenes taking care of what needs to be taken care of without much fanfare or attention,” said Janet Taylor, the mayor of Salem, which will break ground on its center in October. “This is going to raise their profile tremendously.”
The center in San Diego, formally the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, opened in 2002, before Mrs. Kroc’s death, as a pilot project. It quickly took root in the community.
A good example is the water aerobics class that Ms. Hunsaker takes in the Olympic-size pool on weekday mornings. When the class began, the participants were strangers. Now they share their homes for monthly potluck dinners, go on family trips together and raise money for the army’s programs. The group spans socioeconomic classes, drawing from wealthier parts of the city and surrounding areas as well as the lower-middle-class neighborhood that surrounds the center.
“Together we have survived breast cancer, hip replacements, divorces, marriages, new babies, dogs dying and car crashes,” said Mickee Norberg, a class member.
Two years ago the group published a cookbook that raised $3,000 for scholarships the army awards. It has sold aprons to raise money for the center, and members have donated food, toys and time to the army’s traditional holiday causes.
The site Mrs. Kroc selected for her center was down on its luck. Homeless people had moved in after a Ralph’s supermarket closed and a Home Depot made plans to move to nearby Lemon Grove. Many storefronts along University Avenue on either side of the center’s site were empty, and the rest housed tattoo parlors, strip joints, body shops and welfare offices.
“All around here was a two-to-three-mile radius where kids didn’t have any activities, nothing to do but wander around on the streets,” said Art Madrid, the mayor of adjacent La Mesa.
Now there are two Starbucks stores and a Sears Essential near the center, and teenagers can come float in the pools, join hockey and figure-skating programs or nurture dreams of becoming the next Shaun White while doing flips on their skateboards.
Membership and program fees are modest — an eight-week package of skating lessons, including use of the rink and skates, costs $88 — and no participants pay more than they can afford. Roughly 70 percent of the 2,500 people who use the center each day pay something.
“I think it’s great,” said Solene Goycochea, 15, strapping on her skates. “The ice is much faster than the place where I used to skate, and I like the people here better.”
Phyllis Taylor’s 11-year-old granddaughter, Madi, all but lives at the rink. “I was just going to do figure skating, but my friend pushed me to do hockey too, and I love it,” Madi said. At school she was the only student in her class being raised by her grandmother, but at the center she has made friends with three other girls just like her.
Ms. Taylor is also a convert. “When I first heard about this place,” she said, “the only thing I could think of was they were taking my Home Depot away. I had no idea I’d be spending half my life here.”
The center offers the Salvation Army’s traditional services like parenting classes, collecting and distributing food to the needy, and making referrals to social service programs.
It has also furthered the army’s disaster relief efforts. During wildfires here in 2003, the basketball courts became a shelter for 500 people, while the kitchen prepared meals for emergency workers. “The Kroc centers can be used in times of crisis for a variety of reasons,” said John Berglund, the army’s national disaster services coordinator.
But it is the recreation programs that have won over the neighborhood.
“I don’t know anything about the Salvation Army,” said Candy Henson, a water aerobics classmate of Ms. Hunsaker. “I just know what they’re doing for this community, and it’s good.”

Thursday, August 03, 2006


“Love is not blind. It sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.”
(Rabbi Julius Gordon) Have you ever used the expression, “I wonder what she sees in him (or vice versa)? Love causes us to look with a different vision. As the song goes, Love is a many splendored thing. ;-) Jack

Love is a many-splendored thing,It's the April rose that only grows in the early spring,Love is nature's way of giving a reason to be living,The golden crown that makes a man a king.Once on a high and windy hill,In the morning mist two lovers kissed and the world stood still,Then your fingers touched my silent heart and taught it how to sing,Yes, true love's a many-splendored thing.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

“A careful inventory of all your past experiences may disclose the startling fact that everything has happened for the best.”
(Unknown) I suppose that there may be exceptions, but that’s probably because we’ve still got some life to live, and the last judgment has yet to be made. What do you think? ;-) Jack

DAZ suggests that the highlighted line in The Optimist Creed relates to today's quote. The Optimists are an international service organization. Perhaps you have an Optimist Club in your community.
Promise Yourself -
· To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
· To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
· To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
· To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
· To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.
· To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
· To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
· To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
· To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to critize others.
· To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose. Romans 8:28

Look at the lyrics from Garth Brooks' song: Unanswered Prayers.
Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs That just because he may not answer doesn't mean he don't care Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers Some of God's greatest gifts are all too often unanswered... Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Catcher, Cal Fasano, was traded from the Phillies to the Yankees. He said, "You're just an animal, and sometimes you go from zoo to zoo." I laughed at that one. ;-) Jack
“Happy moments, PRAISE GOD. Difficult moments, SEEK GOD. Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD. Painful moments, TRUST GOD. Every moment, THANK GOD. (Rick Warren) Life has its ups and downs, its joys and sorrows. A religious dimension gives many people courage to ride the roller coaster. BTW, did you know that Good-Bye is a contraction of God Be With You? ;-) Jack