Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 5/31/16
“Perhaps there are not stars in the sky but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know that they are happy.”  (Eskimo Proverb)  Maybe primitive people aren’t so primitive after all.  Who knows for sure what happens after death?  I’ve read the Bible.  I’ve heard theological explanations.  In the end, it will just be a big surprise.  “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor the mind imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  What a tantalizing WW this morning!!! A totally different perspective on what's up there beyond our ability to touch and yet it makes me imagine the whole world and our atmosphere being wrapped by a holey blanket and billions of people shining their soul lights all together beyond that. Kind of a cozy image to be inside of.====JACK:  Yesterday I saw a picture of a young widow lying prostrate on a grave in a military cemetery.  The biblical words, "He is not here; he has risen" can refer to Jesus, but they can also give hope of a heavenly reunion.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  👍🏻====JACK:  I wonder what the Eskimos might wish for  when they gaze upward into the starry night?
When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you
If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do
Fate is kind
She brings to those to love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing
Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true
====LIZ:  geppetto... i only saw pinocchio once, as a child, but this scene i remember perfectly... a lovely sentiment.====LIZ  not unlike other native americans...====JACK: I had to do a double-take reminding myself that the Eskimos in Alaska are native Americans, too.

FROM MAGGIE:  Hello, Jack, your words this morning offer additional comfort. We just laid my dear mother-in-law to rest last week. She was 96 and had suffered multiple strokes. I rejoice in the thought that she now experiences those unspeakable joys.  Grace and great joy!====JACK:  Death can be good and bad.  Good in that we can be released from the chains that bind us..."Free at last, free at last," and bad in that we long to hold on to those we love.  "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good words, Jack.   hope you had a meaningful Memorial Day weekend.====JACK: Yesterday I went to the cemetery for our community's Memorial Day observance.  While there, I went over and looked down at my burial place.  It was meaningful. ====SP:  that can be a sobering moment.  i always tell folks to visit cemeteries because they have a way of putting  you in touch with eternity.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It's it a wonderful thought?  Heaven is just a mystery that's too beautiful to imagine.  I'm not drawn to golden streets and gems but just to be blessed to walk and talk (fly with angels wings!?!) With everyone up there.  To see my loved ones, people from the past, prophets, and even Jesus...it's unreal!!!  It actually makes me excited to be there...but in God's time.  Hopefully, I have time here still.====JACK:  In Handel's "Messiah" I like the aria, "Behold, I tell you a mystery," which introduces, "The trumpet shall sound."  It's one of my favorite parts of the oratorio.

FROM TARMART REV:  In the past two weeks four funerals . . .   For some reason, this old song came to mind--
"Don't let the stars get in your eyes
Don't let the moon break your heart
Love blooms at night
In daylight it dies
Don't let the stars get in your eyes
Or keep your heart from me
For some day I'll return
And you know you're the only one I'll ever love
====JACK:  SOMEDAY!  Someday, all of our questioning and wondering will have answers.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Death remains the great mystery....I think Jesus would have enlightened us with more details of "eternity" if we had the mortal capacity to understand it. All of these "near death" experiences we now read are interesting, even fascinating, many quite different in content, but all seem to get the message that we need to be about loving our fellow man while on Earth. Anita Moorjani's book is especially memorable to me in that genre.   I think of the time Bill and I spent a month in Democratic Republic of Congo, much of it at mission stations in very primitive situations, and how difficult it would have been to describe to them life in America, or for instance, the decorations of Marshall Field's gigantic store in Chicago at Christmas. They simply had no background to even envision such a thing... and without slides to  accompany our talks on Congo, it would be equally difficult for Americans to envision life in a  dusty village in the Congo! But many we met had a hope of someday visiting in America, even so. Now they have radio, some TV's and movies, so would have at least a skewed vision of life across the ocean!  Faith, and trust in the Love and Sovereignty of God are required of us. "We believe, Lord, help our unbelief!"====JACK:  The Eskimo proverb can be scientifically explained away for me, but for my spiritual self, I like it.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I hope Clem was looking down and smiling on Sunday—Kirk, Keith and Karna’s son, graduated Cum Laude from Gustavus!  A wonderful day!====JACK:  He would be proud...OR, He is proud?  I like the latter.

FROM ANON:  Thank you for those WW today. I love that Eskimo Proverb. I needed that today. Am still crying and missing my dog who died last week.. (I believe loved ones can be dogs too!) ====JACK:  I once made the mistake of trying to explain theologically to a young girl whose dog had died why heaven is for humans.  I won't do that again.  Perhaps you can follow the Eskimo proverb when you're outside on a starry night and picture your dog looking through one of those holes.

FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA:   I love this and have purchased sympathy cards with this quote. Thank you for sharing it.  Hope you had a nice weekend. I was in WI visiting my Mom and eating brats and cheese.====JACK:  We want to think that our loved ones who have "passed" are in a happy place.  The words of Scripture are an assurance of that to those who believe.

FROM PILOT CK:  I like that one a lot Jack.====JACK:  Where we live, there are so many tall, leafy trees that we don't get a full view of the sky like you do where you're flying.  I imagine that the Northern Lights are spectacular when you are in Alaska.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 5/27/16
“How far the little candle throws his beams!  So shines a good deed in a naughty world.”  (Shakespeare)  Did you know that, if the world were flat, on a dark night you could see a flickering candle for up to 30 miles away?  Boy Scouts are taught to do a good deed every day right where they are…helping wherever there’s a need.  Why not be a “good scout” today and do a kindness for someone?  Your good deed can help light up a “naughty world.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Shakespeare recognized the power of a candle's light.  There's also the old proverb, "It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness."  The candle light of two lanterns in the Old North Church in Boston gave a nighttime warning of the movement of British troops, heading to Lexington and Concord as the Revolutionary War got going.  Simple things matter.====JACK:  You never miss the light until the power goes out.  "Where are the candles?"  We now have a generator, and the power has only gone out briefly (during daylight) since we got it.  It's like insurance.  It's a waste of money until you need it.====RI:  Some people treat their faith as an insurance policy, only taking advantage of it when a problem comes up.  When personal circumstances go "dark" we call for the Light, scrambling and pleading for His help.  We can rest well because that Power never goes out.====JACK:  ...like having a flashlight handy, but never checking the batteries.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good words today, Jack.  thanks.   my Uncle Ellis spent almost 3 years guarding an ammo dump on Okinawa during WW II and he said that you would never light up a cigarette after sunset for fear of a sniper picking you off even from some great distance.   striking a match or even the  tiny tip of a cigarette could cost you your life.  and yes, it is amazing just how much darkness one little candle can dispel.  what if, instead of the light dispelling  the darkness, it was the other way around??  a sobering thought...  thankfully,  Jesus is the Light of the world. ====JACK:  During WW 2 we had blackouts (shades on the windows at night) so that potential enemy bombers would not be able to identify cities.  With the passage of time, "war stories" seem almost unbelievable.====SP:  we had them too in Miami, Fl. where i was born.  i don't recall any of that obviously but Mom talked about pulling down black shades on the windows and turning out lights, etc.  the whole city went dark for a time.   as you said, almost hard to believe that ever happened.====JACK:  I wonder what "hard to believe" stories from today will be remembered by the next generation?  "Grandpa used to drive his own car!"

FROM QUILTING CAROL:  Good Morning!  I just shared these words with a cousin who lost her dad this week.  I thought they spoke about his life.  My uncle/her dad was a tireless worker at their church, in their old neighborhood, for his children and grandkids as he shared his talents, kindness, help and love and he did it quietly without fanfare.  These later years he’s been a caregiver to his wife/my biological aunt who has Alzheimer’s. He been a great role model for us who knew and loved him.  His candle will shine for a long time.====JACK:  By forwarding WWs to your cousin is an example of how opportunities are there to spread the light and dispel darkness.  We had fun, as children, to sing This Little Light of Mine.  With the passage of time, it takes on added meaning.

FROM TARMART REV:  History has recorded a former McCullough was a "good scout" (our family history has him as a fifth generation ago, "McCullough" and other resources as, "McColloch")
McColloch's Leap was a feat performed during a September 1777 attack by Native Americans on Fort Henry, site of present-day Wheeling, West Virginia, during the American Revolutionary War.
In September 1777, during a Native American siege on the fort, Major Samuel McColloch arrived at the fort with forty mounted men from Short Creek. The gates of the fort were thrown open to allow the men entrance. Major McColloch lingered behind to guide and protect the men. The Indians attacked, and all of the men except McColloch made it inside before they were forced to close the gates. McColloch found himself alone and surrounded by Native Americans, and he rode immediately towards the nearby hill in an attempt to escape. McColloch had earned a reputation as a very successful "borderer" (one who protected the frontier borders from the Native Americans) and was well known to both the frontiersmen and the Indians. The Indians eagerly pursued McColloch, and drove him to the summit of the hill.  As he rode along the top of the hill, he encountered another large body of Indians. He now found himself surrounded, with no path of escape. He knew that, because of his reputation and history against the Indians, he would be tortured and killed with great cruelty if he were to be captured alive. With all avenues of escape cut off, he turned and faced the precipice, and with the bridle in his left hand and his rifle in his right, he spurred his horse over the edge to an almost certain death. The hill at that location is about three hundred feet in height, and in many places is almost perpendicular.  The Indians rushed to the edge, expecting to see the Major lying dead in a crumpled heap at the bottom of the hill. To their great surprise they instead saw McColloch, still mounted on his white horse, galloping away from them.  As legend of this famous "leap" became known, the place where it occurred became known as "McColloch's Leap". In 1917, the Daughters of the American Revolution placed a monument on the hill to commemorate McColloch's bravery. The monument still stands near the top of Wheeling Hill, next to U.S. Route 40(National Road).====JACK:  Have you been there?  Someone should have made a movie.  ====REV:  I have seen the monument some years ago and always thought the character, Flint McCullough, as a scout on the television series, Wagon Train, was a take off of Samuel McCullough. Couldn't prove, but have always wondered?

FROM CPA BOB:  We're not doing with our world any better than it was in Shakespeare's time.  Still naughty and probably more so.====JACK:  Good and evil are in the eye of the beholder.  It depends on what you're looking for.  There's good and bad in every age, as there is in every person.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  The pioneers on the prairie lit candles in their windows to guide people to the house in a blizzard...it could be seen for miles. I've read some true stories of such rescues from Pioneer diaries. Amazing how candles really do dispel the darkness when the electricity it out.  But they can't cook the food, or turn on the TV, or myriad other things electricity does ...but we're talking good deeds here to shed light in our chaotic world, which we can all do, if its only a smile to everyone you meet! Good thought, as usual!!====JACK:  Your comment on the value of electricity reminded me of a Christopher Morley poem, Power House.  There are different kinds of power.
Out for my evening stroll  I discovered on 84th Street  A power house quietly humming to itself,
And though I lived near-by  I had never known that it was there.      Some people are like that.
====OAKS:  Indeed. Interesting poem. I don't know his work!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Jack’s Winning Word 5/26/16
“When something’s troubling you, before going to sleep, jot down 3 things you can do the next day to help solve the problem.”  (H. Jackson Brown)  Brown’s Life’s Little Instruction Book evolved from a list of advice “notes” that he gave to his son when Adam left for college.  The song says “When you’re worried and cannot sleep…count your blessings.”  The advice in today’s quote seems like an idea worth trying.  Adam used it…and others, too.    ;-)  Jack

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  good advice because it is constructive & definitive... stops endless dwelling on the subject.====JACK:  It's one thing to read about it...another to write about it...and now I've actually got to do it.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  It is a wonderful idea anytime!!====JACK:  I'm sure  you've given advice to your children.  You probably could have written your own book.

FROM CL IN MICHIGAN:  I like that!====JACK:  Let me hear from you after you try it.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good words indeed.  btw,  my daughter and family who now live on a hobby farm near Northfield, MN are indeed getting some sheep next week.  even so,  counting blessings is better than counting sheep (unless  you are missing some, i suppose).====JACK:  Does she have a black sheep among the flock?  I think that it could be a "good message" idea.  I'm not going to suggest a name.  "Jesus loves the little children (sheep), all the children (sheep)..."

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  IF you can think of 3 things to do to  help solve it, it probably wouldn't be troubling you so much, but hey, don't knock it until you've tried it, right?! I love his LIFE'S LITTLE INTRUCTION BOOK...all 511 suggestions are succinct and practical.#436, "Have some knowledge of 3 religions, other than your own." #438, "Every person that you meet knows something you don't; Learn from them."  And on and on....:-) Bill gave  it to all of our kids...====JACK:  I like this one..."Learn three knock-knock jokes so you can entertain children."   Knock Knock  Who's there?  Henrietta  Henrietta who?  Henrietta worm that was in his apple.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 5/25/16
“When it rains soup the poor man has no spoon.”  (Swedish Proverb)  The Capuchin friars in Detroit trace their heritage back to St Francis of Assisi who had a special concern for the poor.  The Detroit Soup Kitchen has been going since 1929 and has served as many as 2000 people daily.  That’s a lot of soup.  Instead of eating at a sumptuous table on Thanksgiving Day, a church member would take his sons to work with him at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  Nice idea.  Will suggest that to my wife and children for our family.  Grandsons at 8 and 5 probably too young.  Granddaughter at 11 probably at right age. ====JACK:  You never know how and when a tradition starts.  Another friend of mine would sign up to be a Salvation Army bell ringer during the holidays and take his children with him.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  Our church used to sponsor a dinner for the seniors of Clawson...the men did the cooking, serving, etc.   we had a ball doing it.====JACK:  All those in need of such a mean are not necessarily the homeless...and they can be the servers, too.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Amen.====JACK:  Do you "see" any homeless in your community?  ====HG:  Our church has a very good ministry for prisoners in East Moline and homeless thru Harvest Bible Chapel, Davt.====JACK:  Have you ever gone to see it firsthand?  If not, it might prove to be a rewarding experience.====HG:  I'm a little busy as it is now. Good friends are in both places.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Boston has its share of "homeless" persons, populating the major intersections with their cardboard signs, requesting coins to help them.  From time to time a reporter from The Boston Globe will talk with them about their experiences...how they deal with bad weather, how they manage personal care, and how they fare getting "income".  They've been willing to discuss where they stash their bedding during the day, the isolated spots they choose to sleep at night, and the money they generally take in to survive on.  I was surprised to find that many of them get $80 a day.  It made me think, "why am I giving to them?"  Well, it's because I and others give to them that they survive, so when I see them at the intersection, I continue to submit and hand them a little support. ====JACK:  There will always be reasons to pass by.  In Luke 9:57 ff, we read...Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go."  And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."  Then He said to another, “Follow Me.”  But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”  Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.”  And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.”  But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”  As the saying goes...You win some; you lose some.

FROM MY LAWYER:  A friend of mine in Boca Raton, FL volunteers at "Helping Hands".  He's a "cook" and works on Mondays.  They get food donated from all the major restaurants in the area, as well as grocery stores.  They serve 3,000 needy people per day!!!  Ruths' Chris and the Capitol Grille are among their most generous donors.====JACK:  Might you consider going with your friend sometime to see "first-hand" what it's like?  Do you remember the TV ad for Life cereal?  The two brothers try to get Mikey (who hates everything) to "try" the cereal.  He likes it!  It can be that way with a visit to the BR soup kitchen, too.

FROM TARMART REV:  I remember the early apostles were very much concerned that this new apostle on the scene, Saul who become Paul, would always remember the poor (Galatians 2:10). I remember hearing of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen . . . being reminded of it today disappoints me that I never visited it during those nine years I was in Detroit area. 0;-/====JACK:  Are there any soup kitchens in your community, or places where the needy gather?  I know that you help people during the holidays.  What other help is available during the rest of the year?====REV:  We have a local Food Shelf in Willmar, a church that distributes food once a month on their grounds and 3-4 churches alternate providing a Sunday evening meal during certain seasons of the year.  I have a D Q card given me from the owner that can be used as well when one is in need of a meal. Not bad for our small community.

FROM MM IN FLORIDA:  Thank you so much.====JACK:  I hear that there are a lot of street people in Florida.  How is it where you live?

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  Back at the onset of desegregation I was the Title I teacher at a school that was to become quickly desegregated. Felt that we needed to have some sort of gathering event. So, we planned a soup supper. There were a great many in attendance, and we early on ran out of soup. We continued the "suppers" with a lot more soup as well as soup lovers. Soon the attendance became integrated. The kids intermingled. More people, more soup. Soon there were integrated tables. The soup supper became a tradition until the school was close. Buses took over.====JACK:  In our neighborhood, 3 churches, Lutheran, Catholic and Methodist decided to meet together during 3 Wednesdays in Lent for a worship service in the tradition of the congregation where the service was taking place.  This was preceded by a soup supper prepared by the members of the host congregation.  It was a good way to get acquainted with one another...and the various kinds of soups were a hit.  The brief worship service helped us focus on the reason for the season.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Our family has a tradition of helping the hungry and homeless from as far back as my great grandfather.  He opened a "poor house" for widows, widowers, the jobless and the homeless.  My grandmother worked there as did my father and his sisters.  Life lessons learned there was shared to the whole family.  Our family has worked for Gleaners many times, we have sponsored children, worked for the Marysville soup kitchen and food pantry.  Even our little grandkids have worked collecting and packing food.  I'm sure we could do a lot more, though ....perhaps we will look into something else....we are all called to help.====JACK:  In the community where I began my ministry the elderly and infirm who had little or no money were cared for at the "poor farm."  The origin of the word, poor, is from the Old French poure and from Latin pauper.  The poor were buried in the cemetery in pauper's graves.  I like the biblical story of the rich man and Lazarus.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Jack’s Winning words 5/24/16
“Wars arise from failure to understand one another’s humanness.  Instead of summit meetings, why not have families meet for a picnic and get to know each other while the children play together?”  (Dalai Lama)  Maybe the Dalai is on to something.  Instead of trying to reach agreement on religion, this world might start with ordinary common sense, compassion and concern.  “If we really want happiness, we must widen the sphere of love.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  I've been struggling with this for a number of years in regards to our local church. Under several pastoral leaderships in times gone by there were a number of all-church gatherings in social kinds of ways throughout the year. In more recent years, outside a yearly all-church community outreach with an "out of this world" kind of VBS, our two Sunday morning service congregants never are given any times to get to know each other. We are offering two different churches in the same building without bridging them together as a local family of faith. I personally feel we are missing a definite spiritual strength that would edify our church body to a greater dimension. I've and others have brought this up and obviously the only way presently to bring this into a reality is to come up and implement this ourselves without it being in the heart of the pastoral leadership leading the way...finding myself too tired to tackle it.====JACK:  Where there's a will, there's a way.  As the teachers used to say when I was in school..."Put on your thinking cap."  One observation comes to mind....Perhaps it's OK to have "two" congregations sharing the same building.  Each one has its own identity.  Perhaps one plans its own "picnic" and invites the other to come along, if they want to.  Maybe we should talk about it at Panera.

FROM EDUCATOR PAUL:  Just bring grandparents together with their grandchildren and tell the parents to stay home!  In a very short time...everyone will be sharing stories and becoming friends.
The kids would have so much fun...no lectures...no platitudes...just authentic!====JACK:  Sounds like a good idea, but first...maybe the parents and the grandparents could benefit from a similar experience...no lectures, no platitudes...sharing stories, becoming friends and having fun.  Maybe I'm over-analyzing....  However, I do get your point.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  a friend of mine says that all world leaders should meet once a year for a picnic at ground zero at either Hiroshima or Nagasaki.  he thinks that would prove a huge deterrent to all future wars.====JACK:  It would work better if they'd leave their "agendas" home, but that's wishful thinking.  I do think that it's interesting that in the last year of his presidency Obama has visited Hiroshima and Viet Nam.  Cynical me is suspecting an "agenda."====SP:  you could be right about that.  we will know more soon...====JACK:  Soon?...or else in the sweet by and by.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  Good message!====JACK:  Without having tongue in cheek, it might be a good idea for your Bible Study group to invite some Muslims to one of your meetings, not to try and convert, but to listen and learn...it works both ways.  It might also work at another time to invite some liberal political people (not necessarily politicians) to listen and learn.  Meetings like this seem to go better with food.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  "While the children play together"...that's a positive picture.  It's so obvious when families come together, how the children quickly get acquainted and play together.  They disregard their differences and respond to what they have in common.  They simply take advantage of whatever is in the interest of all of them and proceed amicably.  Pity that the adult world doesn't recognize such compatibility and follow.  The Bible tells us, "a little child shall lead them." ====JACK:   The Putin and Obama children are a little bit different in age,  but I think that they'd be able to get along and have fun at a picnic, either at the Kremlin or the White House.

 FROM DR JUDY:  Paul has been saying that the best route to peace is for the grandparents to come together and talk about their children before discussing politics and the peace process.====JACK:  Why do we spend so much time talking "politics" when we can do so little to affect it...and so little time talking about how much we can affect the "world" in which our grandchildren must live?

FROM PEPPERMINT MARY:  now that would be a holy moment!  our end of the year family picnic is this thursday.  55 children and as many family members who wish to attend.  we summit by sharing food, visiting, playing, and ending the day with a water balloon toss.  any quarrels, struggles, or troubles are forgotten in the fun of it all.====JACK:  I'd like to see Donald and Hillary do a balloon toss (instead of an epithet toss).  There's not enough fun in this world.====MARY:  It's a great visual thought !====JACK:  SPLATT!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Wars start because of man's cruelty and dehumanizing.  His fallacy is man does not begin a war against his brother or cousin.  However, we know mankind does declare war against his brother, as in the Bible numerous times.====JACK:  Parse wars down to squabbles between children.  Sometimes they start for the silliest of reasons.  Then, take it to neighbors not getting along...How do you solve that?  Then, move to husband and wife conflicts.  They can be wars of a sort, too.  Then escalating to conflicts between countries.  War has many faces.  Many of our disagreements are simply a failure to understand the other person's point of view.  You can't understand until you first talk about it.  Someone has to be the peacemaker.

FROM LS IN MICHIGAN:  Yes !   Thank you for this affirmation.   To my fellow human beings just do it !!!!  It starts with one. ====JACK:  Conflict of any kind starts with one...and the resolution of conflict starts with one, too.  I like the song..."Let there be peace on earth...and let it begin with me."
====LS:  Thank you for reminding me of the words - I embrace the words each day as a guiding light

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  This has worked in race relations. In Dixon, we had people in our church sign up to host people from the African American church for dinner and games nights, and vice versa. once the two congregations got to know each other as real people and friends, there was real understanding taking place. In Springfield the same. If only nations could find a way to do the same ! Hosting international students is also productrive for understanding, even for a weekend. We need to "reach our and touch" one another!!  I've been to the  Hiroshima atomic bomb museum in Japan...it will surely bring you to tears, and cause praying that there will never be another such devastating attack anywhere in the world!!====JACK:  See my blog response to Hawkeye George.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 5/23/16
“Why should I be willing to compromise, when I’m the one who’s right?”  (Ashleigh Brilliant)  History says that Sen Henry Clay was known as The Great Compromiser.  Lincoln said, “He’s my ideal of a great man.”  Clay ran for President but was not elected.  His response?  “I’d rather be right that President.”  Why is it that some people see “compromise” as an unacceptable word?  Read today’s quote again.  It’s ironic…and Brilliant!    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  i.e. and an excellent biography of Clay....a good legislator....but, in need of Grace!====JACK:  I wonder how he'd do as a "compromiser" in today's world?  LBJ's idea of compromise was to twist arms.  It's interesting to note how Lyndon's Texas has morphed from strong DEM to uncompromising GOP.

FROM TARMART REV:  To compromise or not compromise and stand one's ground!! A tough tackle indeed!! I'm reminded of a chart given a bunch of us young pastors back in the 70's of last century-- On the far left side, God's Eternal Kingdom and the far right, the World's Transient Kingdom. Then from right to left we were given division markers leading up to the eternal Kingdom of God with first, Fads, then Tastes, then Attitudes and finally Eternal Values that will never change. His emphasis was to determine what topics and the amount of time and effort spent on our Sunday messages.We were not emphasize the majority of preaching on those topics that were sure to pass on and fade away rather quickly from the minds and hearts of our congregation. ====JACK:  There's a stalemate when both sides refuse to move from their position.  There's still a stalemate when one side refuses to move.  Compromise depends on a willingness on the part of both sides to move.  In this world, there are some religious groups who see no truth except their own truth.  People have even gone to war over their religious beliefs...for example, the Crusades.  Some churches have given up on singing "Onward, Christian Soldiers" in their worship services.  What do you think of that?

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Adlai Stevenson, who also ran (twice!) unsucccessfully for Pres. once said, "In America, anyone can become president. It's one of the risks we take."  With today's chaotic presidential race, it seems very appropriate!  Compromise is certainly a part of most long term relationships; a lesson that sadly, some never seem to learn! But of course there are "core values" for each of us, on which we "hold fast". A. Brilliant gives us something to think about!!====JACK:  He's one I voted for who didn't win....and the world kept spinning.  I liked the picture of him sitting with his legs crossed.  You could see the sole of his shoe with a hole in it.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Compromise....that's nearly a cuss word in some people's lives.  We had a pastor who said he would never compromise and he didn't but he nearly took a whole congregation down with him.  When one's faith or belief is involved that's one thing but to compromise someone because you believe your's is the only way is another thing.     God's word is not to be comprised but all else can and should be worked out with compromise.  Of course, try to tell the one member of the church who is dead set on the idea to begin worship 15 minutes early to the member who believes thing should never be changed.  Or to the teenager who is dead set on going to a party but the parent who thinks the party would be detrimental to their child's being.====JACK:  I subscribe to the philosophy that there are no absolutes in this world, so there is always wiggle room for compromise.  Only God is absolute.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 5/20/16
“Keep raising your hands.”  (Mona Hanna-Attisha)  These words were spoken to the graduates of Mich State Univ recently by Dr Mona (who pinpointed the water problem in Flint, Mi).  Hands are raised by those who volunteer, who ask questions and by those who have statements to make.  This world is better off because of the hand-raisers.  Hand-sitters are “a dime a dozen.”  I’m always glad to hear of someone who offers challenges to young people.    ;-)  Jack

FROM DR PHIL:  Jack, Morning.  And  we raise our hands to give Glory to God.  Have a great day.
====JACK:  I'm in favor of that!  It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  Refer to the poem Leaners and lifters.............I am sure you still remember it.====JACK:  Yes, I know it.  "Two Kinds of People"  by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
There are two kinds of people on earth today,
Two kinds of people, no more, I say.
Not the good or the bad, for 'tis well understood,
The good are half bad and the bad are half good.

Not the happy and sad, for the swift-flying years
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.
Not the rich and the poor, for to count a man's wealth
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.

Not the humble and proud, for in life's busy span
Who puts on vain airs is not counted a man.
No! The two kinds of people on earth I mean
Are the people who lift, and the people who lean.

Wherever you go you will find the world's masses
Are ever divided into these two classes.
And, strangely enough, you will find, too, I wean,
There is only one lifter to twenty who lean.

This one question I ask. Are you easing the load
Of overtaxed lifters who toil down the road?
Or are you a leaner who lets others bear
Your portion of worry and labor and care?

FROM TARMART REV:  A good illustration and point!! We raise our in church in ways of expressing surrender and allegiance to God during our worship and praise times . . . I'm sure He is pleased then too as well when raised later in volunteer service to others in His name!!====JACK:  I suppose it's common to wave hands during the AG Church worship service.  Lutherans are into that kind of thing. They're also not into shouting out, Amen, either.====REV:  ...always interesting watching the former Lutherans and Roman Catholics acclimating into the charismatic style of worship . . . hands will come out somewhat straight forward, with their elbows bent at waist high, next, their hands will be raised at an height around their head and then finally for those jumping into it full flavored, their hands are found raised high above their heads. I suppose you have the reversed with those coming from the charismatic style to the liturgical?!====JACK:  I had a charismatic once who joined our church.  He had a difficult time accepting the idea of "grace", because he had always been told that he was not good enough.

FROM MY CHALDEAN FRIEND:  Her mother Mrs. Talia Hanna was an ESL teacher at WBHS from 1998 to 2008.====JACK:  I did not know that, but it was announced at the Michigan Week breakfast this morning when Dr Mona was being honored.

FROM ME IN NEWPORT BEACH:  Like this one.====JACK:  I like commencement speakers who give practical advice.  I heard one who quoted Dr Seuss..."You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who'll decide where to go."

FROM AW IN ILLINOIS:  Good one. Suits my Christian understanding.====JACK:  When the Lord asked, "Who will go for us?" Isaiah raised his hand and said, "Here am I.  Send me!"  The Lord likes hand raisers.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 5/19/16
“Who is this Jesus who rattles my cage?”  (Belden Lane)  An article in Sojourner’s magazine says that people are hungering for a Jesus they can take seriously.  That “Jesus” can lead to some conscience problems…like when I saw a girl standing at a corner with a sign asking for help.  I didn’t see her as “Jesus” until I’d driven past.  How about those in prison, in welfare lines, in substandard schools?  If they actually had the face of Jesus, would we act differently?  ;-)  Jack

FROM TARMART REV:  ...did talk to my sister celebrating their anniversary yesterday!! ====JACK:  Some Winning Words deserve a follow up.  Yes, yesterday was Visit Your Relatives Day.

FROM ST PAUL MIN ST PAUL:  hey, i was up at 4:30 this morning waiting for the WWs.  thought maybe you were under the weather.  but glad to get them later in the day rather than not at all. ====JACK:  Yes, I was up at that time, too.  But, a computer glitch kept me from sending out Winning Words until my Apple Valley "techie" solved the problem.====SP:  i sympathize.   these are wonderful "machines" but when they go haywire (where did that phrase come from?)  its usually a mess.====JACK:  Without going to Google...Hay used to be baled with wire that came in coils.  Sometimes it would uncoil into a mess and could not be used in the baling machine.  Now to Google..."This is likely to be a literal allusion to scrambled hay-wire - anyone who has handled coils of wire will be familiar with its determination to gather into an irretrievable tangle."

FROM JB IN OLV:  A long while ago I made the decision to give money, food, whatever to the people on the corners and the panhandlers downtown after the various events.  I am called to help…not to judge and not to worry about what the recipient will do with my gift.  A friend pointed out that I am leaving myself open to being taken advantage of….I have taken advantage of God too many times to count and He has been gracious in allowing me things that I probably could have done without.====JACK:  Interestingly, there was a St. Jacqueline who was so inspired by work of St. Francis of Assisi in helping the poor, that she to became a follower of his.  You could be a reincarnation of her.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Yes...........And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. ====JACK:  Yes, that passage has always been a "cage rattler" for me.

FROM SHARIN' SHARON:  I have a friend now who is struggling with homelessness and family is alienated. Hoping this person can see Jesus in the people this person meets at the homeless shelter. Already left one shelter downtown because had a big scare wherein another homeless person was kicked out of the facility at 10:30 p.m. due to the manager believing that person had been drinking. My friend didn't believe this way and really just thought the manager didn't like the person and so figured it was better to sleep outside here than sleep outside there. Trying to see Jesus in the vulnerable and also hoping the vulnerable and downtrodden see Jesus in me and others. Challenging to see clearly though and I'm sure many sins are committed all the time. Like your WW again today and glad you got the computer problem solved.====JACK:  Your responses are so interesting and so on point.  Thanks

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 5/18/16
“Home is the place, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”  (Robert Frost)  Did you know that today is Visit Your Relatives Day?  Sometimes we get so caught up in things that we lose track of relatives.  Maybe now’s the time for a letter, phone call, e-mail, Skype or an actual face-to-face.  We celebrated last weekend as 3 of my wife’s sisters showed up for a visit.   Lots of talk and laughter and lots of coffee.  What family stories come to your mind?    ;-)  Jack

FROM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  I suppose we are celebrating this weekend. I'm sure there will be many stories come Monday!====JACK:  Your kids and M's will be making deposits in their own family memory bank, as you did when you were their age.

FROM BS IN ENGLAND:  When my sister got married almost 6years ago our cousin Jenny flew in from South Africa, where she lives, as a surprise and came straight  to the church after the service had begun.  She snuck into the pew with me so when Jo turned around as Mrs Threagold her face was a picture!====JACK:  Real surprises, especially the pleasant ones, are the best kind....like when Sarah was told that she was going to have a baby, when she was in her 90s.====BS:  I hope that I  will not experience that particular surprise!====JACK: You never know, considering the medical miracles that seem to be happening every day.

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  Frost's thoughts about getting back to one's home is a bit outdated now.  Sadly, there are many homes where misguided children have destroyed their relationship with parents and are not welcomed back home.  Some "talk and laughter" could go a long way to bring such families back together.  I wish the story of The Prodigal Son was more common today, that parents and children who are estranged would have a change of heart, and get back to caring for each other.====JACK:  Everything is dated...even the present time.  That's why we have to look at things in the context.  The Bible is no exception.  Who are we?  Are we not different people at different times in our lives?  History books allow us to study what was, but even those books are colored by the author's view.====RI:  I'm always pleased to read the WW quotes you choose.  Moreover, to read your responses to the replies you receive.  Your manner is to look deeper into the issues, and you show understanding of humans, that we make mistakes.====JACK:  A good conversation never seems to come to an end...in person or by way of the internet.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Thanksgivings!  Up to 45 family members and sometimes friends come over to celebrate!  Oh what fun we have and what blessings and thanksgivings!  It has been the tradition for over 50 years in our family.====JACK:  I've read that Thanksgiving Day is the most family-oriented of all the holidays.  "Over the river and through the woods..."====JUDY:  You brought up a happy song we sang often on the way to Grayling....my grandmother and Dad and Mom lived on the Aug able River.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Hope it was a great visit with all the girls there, Jack.  I'm sure Mary enjoyed seeing them.  Hope y'all are doing great.  We are looking forward to Gloria's retirement on July 1 so maybe WE will have more time to travel and visit family.====JACK:  There was a lot of "remember when?" sharing.

FROM RJP IN NAPLES:  First family story that came to mind is when a church pastor called me at the office one day and asked if I thought it might be time to join the church with the other members of my family. When I inquired what the test would be he responded that HE was the test master and I had to pass his examination. Boy was HE a tough task master, but the good news was I gained a friend for life and made my family happy.====JACK:  We had some good days together when you and your family were part of the congregation.  If I were to retire to Naples we'd have lots of stories to exchange like the one about lunch at the Crash Landing.====RJP:  O my goodness won't you ever let me off the hook for than one transgression?????????  Chris is laughing .====JACK:  ...and she wasn't even there.

FROM JK IN CALIFORNIA:  I hope you had so much fun!!! Faye was so excited to visit Mary!! I hope she was so happy to see them all and that she has many memorable smiles that last a long time from the visit!!!====JACK:  It was sort of a mini-reunion.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  For most of us, "home" conjures up pleasant memories; Our big, inclusive family gathering is at Thanksgiving, always a great reunion time, but my own family still gathers for almost all the holidays, and often birthdays, with love, laughter and good food to enjoy.  As loved ones leave us, these also have a tinge of bittersweet nostalgia! Life goes on, but is never quite the same again. We've all experienced that; It probably makes our gatherings more precious, thankful for what we still have!!====JACK:  Family get-togethers (over time) have empty seats, but life has a way of filling them with new faces.  They go, and they come.

FROM SA IN WB:    I think the best thing is the stories during the holiday's and the way we celebrated these holidays.====JACK:  Since we live in such a diverse community we learn that there are other holidays than the ones we're used to... and that is good!

FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  I admire & respect who you are & am grateful that you don't seem to mind that I share what's on my mind when I read your "winning words"'  Keep up the good work.. ====JACK:  I suppose that through your radio program you have "on air" relatives, too.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 5/17/16
“Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something.”  (H. Jackson Brown Jr)  Someone I know was treated rudely by a bank teller.  She asked the person, “Are you having a bad day, or are you always like this?”  It was done in a caring way and not meant to be sarcastic.  Everyone we meet is probably carrying some kind of burden, so we need to give them some slack and go easy with the voice…or horn.    ;-)  Jack

FROM BB IN ILLINOIS:  I like the approach of “are you having a bad day or are you always like this” but think it would probably be taken often as sarcasm.  I will remember these words and smile in the days to come.  Thanks for the inspiration Jack.====JACK:  The thought that struck me was that-- everyone has something going on in their life, so we need to err on the side of kindness..

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  This is a great quote...so true!  As my mother used to tell us, "It doesn't cost a thing to be kind"...and I've tried to remember that.  You rarely regret things you DIDN'T say!  Keep the inspiration coming, Jack!  Good to have positive  thoughts in these difficult days! ====JACK:  I know that "everyone" includes you and your family.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  or the gun (God forbid) with today's road rage phenom... ====JACK:  As I read the "road rage" stories, it seems as though some who are carrying a gun for protection, can turn into the aggressor, given the circumstance.  A bullet, once fired, cannot be taken back.  ...and lives are changed forever.====ST PAUL:  that is why this crazy gun craze is so sad.  volatile people with a gun in  hand are very likely to do something they later greatly regret.====JACK:  Even the non-violent can turn violent, given the circumstance and an available weapon.

FROM MY CHALDEAN FRIEND:  Amen.====JACK:  I like the word, sympathy...feeling with, putting yourself in the other person's place.

FROM IKE AT THE MIC:  That reminds me of one of my "Ikeisms" which states: "it matters not so much what or how you say it, what matters is whether you are understood" mmm.  ====JACK:  I tend to be non-confrontational...thinking, but not speaking.  We are who we are.

FROM TARMART REV:  I will always remember the time in the summer of my 9th grade and being the first person in the bowling alley that late afternoon...I was heading for the pinball machine with welcomed excitement and said to the older lady proprietress, "Good afternoon, how's your day going?" She replied without hesitancy, "None of your damn business!" 64 years ago, and still fresh on my mind!!====JACK:  Maturity might of allowed you to respond, "Are you having a bad day, or are you always this way?"  Isn't it interesting how the mind allows us to go back in time...for the good or the the not so good?

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  I met a man who was afraid he lost something he loves. Money.====JACK:  The Bible says it well..."The LOVE of money is the root of all evil."

Monday, May 16, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 5/16/19
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”  (Anne Frank)  At the Holocaust Museum in our area there’s a sapling taken from the chestnut tree that inspired Anne Frank during her 2 yrs of hiding.  The seasonal tree cycle made her happy with the idea that one day humanity would have another chance.  The sapling says that it’s now our turn to improve the world.  What improvements are you seeing?    ;-)  Jack

FROM PC IN MICHIGAN:  I saw someone give up their seat on the bus today. It was reminiscent of Rosa Parks. The shuttle to the rental car lot was packed. A nice gentleman stood up and let a lady sit down. Common courtesy is at work and makes a difference.====JACK:  Someone stopped at our door with a bouquet of flowers and a smiling face...and the world was improved.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I certainly see much more tolerance in my kids and gkids for diverse ethnic groups, and cultures, and the Gay, Lesbian situation; In fact two of Mark's girls have interracial marriages: Abby married her college sweetheart, an African American, (and they have the cutest baby boy in the world!) and Krista married Spanish/Puerto Rican, and they have 2 girls and a son, so 4 of my 9 "greats" are interracial, and very well accepted in school and most places, including church.  Race relations are far from perfect, but they are certainly better than when I was young! ====JACK:  Space exploration, medical break throughs, the explosion of available information through the computer, wider acceptance of differing religions. etc, etc.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  WWs is surely one improvement...====JACK:  Through my daily winning words, I "speak" to hunreds more people than I ever did  by standing in a pulpit on a Sunday.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  That sapling has dropped a ton of nuts over the years. Break throughs in medicine are probably the most important.====JACK:  Your parents were like that sapling when it came to nut production.

FROM TARMART REV:  A little foggy at that moment, but the Son is shinning and will pop out again soon in the midst of the overcast!!====JACK:  Even a cloud can have a silver lining.

FROM TRIHARDER:  The tree, itself, has died, I believe.  Several saplings were clipped from its dying branches and sent around the world.====JACK:  I think you're right about that.  I recently read that, The President, the giant redwood tree is 3200 years old.  That means it was a seedling about the time the desperate letter of Ammurapi, the last king of Ugarit, reported the approaching fleet of the Peoples of the Sea. Shortly thereafter they destroyed both Ugarit and Alasiya (Cyprus).====TH:  We (in the Environmental Commission) sometimes talk about the age of trees when people want to take them down-- which president might have been in office, how many generations it would take to replace it.  A giant Redwood was felled when I was out in Redwood National Park about 8 years ago. I want to bring back a sizable stick from it but thought better of it.====JACK:  I'm glad that Mr Environmentalist followed his conscience.====TH:  There may have been cones or tape at the part of the tree that was close to the road. But there didn't seem to be any concern about people taking scraps of wood. I'm quite certain the fallen red giant would have fetched a pretty penny to any lumber company that was allowed to remove it.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 5/13/16
“Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.”  (Aristotle)  Cole Porter had the same idea when he wrote, “It's friendship, friendship  Just a perfect blendship  When other friendships have been forgot, ours will still be hot.”  The root meaning of “friend” is, to love.  “To love” is usually when two people are like one person…thinking, liking and appreciating the same things.  I wonder how Zuckerberg came up with using “friend/unfriend” for Facebook?    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I love your point on FB.     We have cheapened too many words.    Even the term "love" is used in such meaningless ways today....mostly to mean "like".====JACK:  Other words that seem to mean "less" than they used to mean...God, work, value, loyalty etc.
====JOHN: Did you have Art Arnold?   He tried to recruit me to teach Homiletics...I had taught Freshman Homiletics at the Sem when I was a Senior.     I am glad that I opted for the parish instead.....loved that "work.====JACK:  Arnold was one of my preaching-profs.  That phrase...connect it up with life...came from one of the Augustana Sem profs of the 1930s.  He was far ahead of his time.  The phrase could stand to be re-visited today.

FROM TARMART REV:  I guess he must have thought we might not always welcome some of those requesting to be our "Friend" on FB . . . or perhaps some may be found as un-welcomed after a time . . . but ending this brief comment on a positive "musical note":
(v) "WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS, All our sins and grief’s to bear! What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer! O, what peace we often forfeit, O, what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer!
(v) Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged, Take it to the Lord in prayer. Can we find a friend so faithful Who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness, Take it to the Lord in prayer.
(v) Are we weak and heavy laden, Cumbered with a load of care – Precious Savior, still our refuge, – Take it to the Lord in prayer. Do thy friends despise forsake Thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer; In His arms He’ll take and shield Thee Thou will find a solace there.
====JACK:  "In the Garden" is another hymn that describes Jesus as a friend..."He walks with me and he talks with me, and he tells me I am his own."====REV:  Yes, Sir . . . one of my favorites as well . . . especially on down days!!

FROM RI IN BOSTON:  That ancient wisdom describing "friendship" expresses it so well.  Musically, Cole Porter wrote about friendship, and so did Charles Converse with his hymn, "What a friend we have in Jesus", the friend who showed perfect love.====JACK:  There's an old Swedish hymn that describes Jesus as a friend in this way...
I have a friend, so patient, kind, forbearing,  Of all my friends this friend doth love me best;
Though I am weak and sinful, yet when sharing  His love and mercy I am ever blest.
====RI:  Humbly and gratefully expressed.  I like the meter and how poetic it is.
====JACK:  It's even better in Swedish...
Jag har en vän , så patienten , slag , överseende , av alla mina vänner denna vän doth älskar mig bäst ; Även om jag är svag och syndig , men när de delar hans kärlek och nåd jag någonsin blest .

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good quote.    is the exact quote,  "ours will still be red hot"?   or did i just dream that sometime in my life?  just curious...====JACK:  It doesn't rhyme when red is added.  Isn't it interesting how some acquaintances morph into friendships and how some friendships morph into lasting friendships?

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  👍🏻 Like====JACK:  I thought that you'd know the answer to the friend/unfriend question.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  What an interesting quote.  Are all your friends of like-mind? My friends, my dearest oldest friends are church friends so obviously we have a lot in common.  However, my newer friends and I have some things in common but not somethings.  They are fun too and good friends but not quite like the old.  The Girl Scouts sang and old song at their campfires... "Make new friends but keep the old; one is Silver and the other is Gold."====JACK:  Since we live in a diverse community, I find that many of my friends are diverse, too...color, religion, ages, gender, political views.  Perhaps the kindest and most "Christ-like" friend is a Muslim imam.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 5/12/16
“Many people take no care of their money till they come to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time.”  (Goethe)  When I rode the streetcar on Chicago’s northside, I’d smile as we approached Goethe St, and the conductor would call out, “Go-thee, Go-thee!”  Paulina became Pau-lee-nah and Leavitt was Leave-it.  It made no difference…the riders knew.  Back to Gur-tah.  He knew something about the transitoriness of money and time.    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  how do  you get an "r" sound out of Goethe?  answer: the same way you get Bret Favre to come out sound like Farrrve.====JACK:  There's a YouTube clip showing the NFL commissioner speaking Bret's name when he was first drafted..."Bret Fav-ree."  I sometimes had church members whose names were pronounced differently than they looked.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I tend to be very disciplined with both money and time...it makes life easier for me.====JACK:  I wonder if Wolfgang was speaking from experience?  I can imagine that we've all been guilty of wasting both time and money.  For me, being a Great Depression Kid, I learned the meaning of frugality.====JOHN:  In my retirement I have been much more accomplished at wasting time than I used to be!====JACK:  Retirement is about using time however you want to.  When my mother-in-law was in the nursing home she would say, "I feel like I'm just wasting my time." In her working years she was a church musician with several choirs, besides giving many piano lessons daily.

FROM JB AT LSTC:  And I’ve heard that street name pronounced Go-ee-thē. Chicagoans. What are ya gonna do with us?====JACK:  Here's one thing you might not know about a Chicagoan.  My grandmother was a fine seamstress and was asked to sew the wedding dress for the daughter of William Wrigley Jr, one-time owner of the Cubs and the founder of Wrigley's Chewing Gum.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Even people who plan for retirement sometimes under estimate what they will need.  It's hard to believe one can be "millionaires" but with health care payments they are living day to day.  It happens!====JACK:  The well-to-do are generally "wise" when it comes to financial planning.  It's those who live from paycheck to paycheck who have the real problem.  I always tell my grandchildren as they move into the adult careers...REMEMBER THE POOR! ====JUDY:  It's a very important lesson, but I'm sure you did a great job if teaching them about the poor.  When the ELCA was working to help the Tanzanian Lutheran Church we heard of their needs.  One of the items needed was motorcycles for the pastors to get to their churches.  Much to our surprise, Andy raised his hand and volunteered to raise the money for one motorcycle.  He was successful.  Our youngest grandson Noah wanted to "adopt" a Compassion Child for his 9th birthday.  It's not bragging on our part but our way of living with Jesus in front of us.  Of course, we fail a lot but we try and do our best.====JACK:  I'm reminded of the Bible Camp-fire song...
Living for Jesus a life that is true,  Striving to please Him in all that I do;
Yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free,  This is the pathway of blessing for me.
O Jesus, Lord and Savior,  I give myself to Thee,
For Thou, in Thy redemption,  Didst give Thyself for me;
I own no other Master,  My heart shall be Thy throne,
My life I give, henceforth to live,  O Christ, for Thee alone.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Oscar Wilde said it this way; "To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all."  I agree with critic Clive James. "If you don't know the exact moment  when the lights will go out, you might as well read until they do!"  Goethe's quote is pretty profound; well put!====JACK:  I just took a test based on a number of factors...family...current health...life practices etc.  It predicts your life span.  Mine is listed at 104.  I'm not counting on it.  "One day at a time, sweet Jesus!  That's all I'm asking of you."

FROM ANNE IN WATERFORD:  Funny====JACK:  New Yorkers sound funny, too.  "I need to tawwk to my friend from Lawnguyland to axe what soder she wants to serve with the vawdka at the parwty tomawrow."

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 5/11/16
“Stop focusing on how stressed you are and remember how blessed you are.”  (Gratitude Habitat.com)  Gratitude Habitat is an online site where people can share blessings they’ve received and inspiration that has come to them.  It’s also a place where “gratitude” items can be bought, like a gratitude umbrella, a Wonder Star, and a Peace Sparrow.  It’s a site for “Gratitude Quotes”, too.  Today’s words about relieving stress are just one of their suggestions.    ;-)  Jack

OM LBP IN PLYMOUTH:  There is a woman at church who always responds to the question "how are you?" With "I am blessed" ... Even after she has just had heart surgery. Even though she has had many hardships. Every time it is a smile and "I am blessed."  This week I found myself responding to her in kind. Normally I would have said exhausted but I was blessed to be exhausted. Blessed that my daughter has made friends at her new school to have for a sleepover. Blessed that I have a house with a lawn to mow and the physical ability to do it. Blessed that my mother is alive and living close enough that for a Mother's Day gift my sister and I could go to her house and help with spring cleaning. Greeting her that morning helped give a quick adjustment. I am blessed to have her and her grandkids in my church family.====JACK:  There are many meanings for the word, blessed.  The one I like the best is..."Connected with God."  That gives added meaning to the church lady's response...and to yours, as well.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  good words for today, Jack.  thanks.====JACK:  Gracias!  A common way to say, Thank You.  From the looks of it, it seems to be related to the word, Grace... one of my all-time favorite words.

FROM HY YO SILVER:  Thanks for this.  I'm having spinal surgery in a few days and my concerns are growing.  This is a boost.====JACK:  Take this prayer with you when you go for your surgery.  "The light of God surrounds me;  The love of God enfolds me;
The power of God protects me;  The presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I am, God is."  (James Dillet Freeman)
====HY YO:  Google the Adon Olam prayer...====JACK:  I like the last line..." The Lord is with me.  I will not fear."====HY YO:  THAT is what I was hoping you'd find!====JACK:...and that's what I'm hoping for you.

FROM DM IN LIV:  I love it and will definitely visit the website!  Thank you!====JACK:  You may notice that the Gratitude Umbrella (which you can order), has "Thank You" printed in many different languages.  You can see them when the umbrella is open and you look up.====DM:  I have to have one!  I try every day to live with an attitude of gratitude!  I am grateful for your Winning Words!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  The site sounds fascinating and I will check it out.  Stress is very bad and I really try hard not to let it get to me.  It has been a challenge for us a few times this year. ====JACK:  When we're in danger of losing our temper, we're encouraged to count to ten.  When in a stressful situation, perhaps we should pause and count ten (or more) blessings.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  I really like the phrase "I am blessed." And I feel it but don't say it out loud often enough. I'll use it when I'm sitting on the the west facing side of our walk with my late afternoon small cigar and martini, when friends and neighbors who come by and "How are you doing?". So much more the case than a liturgy of platitudes or details. I AM blessed with knowledge of God's presence every moment. I'm no "holier than thou". I am blessed.====JACK:  Blessings come in a variety of packages...big and little...fancy and plain...expected and unexpected, but none with "postage due" on them.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  WONDERFUL WORDS TO COMMIT TO MEMORY...ESPECIALLY AFTER A VERY LONG DAY FRAUGHT WITH CONCERN AND FRUSTRATIONS! ====JACK:  The "human" Jesus had those days, too.  ...times when his disciples just didn't "get" it.  ...times when he was abandoned by those who once were praising him.  ...the time on the cross when he wondered why God had forsaken him.  But, in the end, he called out, "Into your hands I commend my spirit."  It's good advice for all of us when we are stressed.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 5/10/16
“While others prayed for the good time coming, I worked for it.”  (Victoria Woodhull)  It’s a successful day when I learn something new.  Woodhull was the first woman to be nominated for President of the USA…and that was 144 years ago.  She was a leader in the movement to get voting rights for women.  Today’s her birthday.  Her quote is a religious truism.  Some people, in their prayers, expect God to do all of the work.  Some miracles are a partnership.    ;-)  Jack

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I learned something today, too. Had no idea a woman had ever been nominated for PRES! Yes, often we need to be the hands and feet of God for his work to be done on earth!  Interesting that Jesus told his disciples that they would do greater works than He'd  done, since he was leaving, and they remained to work!  That we know of, that is not often the case today.  Miracles do happen, but remain a rarity!====JACK:  There's a woman in our church whose maiden name is, Miracle.

FROM TARMART REV:  Always think of Noah and the ark with these reminders-- praying with a hammer in hand!!====JACK:  I hear that there's a replica of Noah's Ark in Williamston, Kentucky.  Is a visit there on your bucket list?

FROM TUCSON JUDY:  Thanks, Jack, for keeping these helps coming.  I was especially grateful to hear the name of Victoria Woodhull in regard to the women's right to vote.====JACK:  Will it happen this year...a woman nominated and elected...after 144 years?  Victoria may leap from her grave.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  God helps those who help themselves...====JACK:  Algernon Sidney, an Englishman, first came up with that quote.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 5/9/16
“The best prayers I know are ‘Help me, Help me, Help me’ and ‘Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.’”  (Anne Lamott)  Can you remember the last time you prayed…and why it was?  Even people who never pray, can come to a point where they can’t handle “it” by themselves.  Prayer is most often thought of as a religious exercise, but even before there were churches, God said, “Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will answer you.”    ;-)  Jack

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  i have always liked the phrase:  Man's extremity is God's opportunity.  translation:  when we come to the end of our rope,  God is there to meet us.====JACK:  Your response made me curious about the phrase, "When you come to the end of your rope."  Google to the rescue.    "A 'rope' is thrown to someone who is in a difficult place, such as deep water or the edge of a cliff. If there is not enough rope, the person might be in trouble. So to be 'at the end of your rope' means that there is no more help available, and the situation is not good."====SP:  i also wondered if it had anything to do with a hanging.  that really IS the end of your rope!!====JACK:  Sometimes Google says, "origin unclear."  I like my origin better than yours; a third one may be clearer.

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  My now deceased best friend, Deere executive and CPA Don Martin, told me the reason my company survived was because I spent the first hour of my day in prayer and Bible reading.  For this past Easter I wrote a poem for my family entitled EVERY DAY. It's about how I think of each of them every day.====JACK:  I remember the story of a successful businessman who had the letters D.F.T.P. carved on edge of his desk facing him.  When asked what it meant, he replied, "When I come up against hard decisions, it's a reminder to me...Don't Forget To Pray....I remember reading your Easter poem about your family--very touching.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Prayer is an ongoing conversation I have all day.  My last prayer was a few moments ago.====JACK:  That's pretty close to "pray without ceasing."  Of course, prayer is not only words, but it can be a life lived close to the Lord.====JUDY:  I think the prayer I say the most is help us walk in your path besides the thanks and please.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  Yes, ever since I read her book with  that quote in it, I have utilized the Help Me, Help Me, Help Me, and Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!, More Help! than Thanks! maybe in our present situation, but she is always a good read!!  And there are ALWAYS some things to be thankful for, no matter what!====JACK:  I'm in the process of reading a book about hymn origins.  It's interesting  to note how many of our hymns with "thanks" as a theme have come out of "help" situations.  "Now, Thank We All Our God," for example.====OAKS:  I have several books of hymn stories, too, and many, many of our treasured hymns were the result of suffering and loss, like It Is Well With My Soul, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, Safe In The Arms of Jesus, etc. Music is such a big part of our lives, isn't it?!

FROM KF IN MICHIGAN:  every day; also thank yous : )====JACK:  I just noticed...The Lord's Prayer doesn't have a "thank you" in it.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  When do I pray? At the slightest provocation! Like now. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. So often I need help! And I have SO much for which to be thankful. I love the nearness of God, and the availability of His counsel and help. What a Friend!!!!====JACK:  "Thou wilt find a solace there."  Solace is an interesting word.  Syn: comfort, consolation.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  God is not a genie who grants wishes.  He does answer prayers we all know that, but he also gives us two hands and two feet to do his work.  Just like the little child's song..."Two little eyes to look his way....two little feet to walk in his ways"...etc====JACK:  We'd all like "yes" answers to our prayers, but sometimes we have to be satisfied that a "no" answer is a good one, too.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 5/6/16
“’Shakespeare’s great.’  Duh.  Shakespeare’s cool, man.”  (Alex Flinn)  400 yrs after Shakespeare, we still use these sayings: Break the ice; Wild goose chase; Love is blind; Brave new world; Naked truth; Green-eyed monster; Bated breath; Fight fire with fire; Laughing stock.  Recently I read an article about people who’ve changed the world…Gutenberg, Plato, Edison, Jesus.  Shakespeare was also on the list.  I wish I’d paid more attention in English Lit.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  All those phrases below are attributed to Shakespeare?====JACK:  That's the point.  W.S. has more of an influence upon us that we might realize.  The same goes for the influence of Biblical "sayings": Bite the dust, Bird in the hand, A broken heart, A drop in the bucket, Fly in the ointment, Labor of love, etc, etc.

FROM HONEST JOHN:  We love going up to Stratford every year.    I study the Shakespeare play before I go.   That helps me.    I really enjoy them...and the other plays also..   This year we will see MacBeth.  (My wife is a McGregor).   We will see Chorus Line,  As You Like It, and the Hypochondriac by Moliere.    Great assortment.====JACK:  I was thinking of you when I chose this quote, knowing of your interest in Shakespeare...besides being interested in tennis, debate, politics, theology, philosophy, children's books, the Tigers. and on and on.

FROM TARMART REV:  I thought it interesting the last time I was in West Bloomfield and visited the newer Holocaust Center in Farmington Hills, they had placed a large timeline on one of their walls of the Jewish calendar covering the greater Biblical events up to modern day . . . along with Jesus and Mohammad, they had the date and existence of the Beatles . . . interesting thought to ponder, to say the least!?====JACK:  That is interesting.  I wonder who made that decision?  Just out of curiosity, I'll check into it.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  and also, breaking wind:)====JACK:  I wonder Adam and Eve had that problem, too?

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  It's never too late ..........to pay attention........or to repent.====JACK:  I might be enticed to audit a class...but taking something for credit (which involves tests) is not for me.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'll never forget seeing AS YOU LIKE IT at the theatre in Avalon, his home town ...you got every leer, nuance, and full meaning of the lines..It was incredible, and a wonderful comedy and experience!!  The first time i really understood and appreciated Shakespeare's wit and wry wisdom!====JACK:  Computer sources are soooo great!  I learn so much, and I also learn how much I need to learn.

FROM SBP IN FLORIDA:  I love Shakespeare's plays and sonnets. Especially after I'd discovered how to read them. A favorite quote is " This above all, to thine ownself be true."====JACK:  You can't go back and change the past, but if I could, I might have taken different classes in high school.  But then, I wouldn't be who I am today...  I'm satisfied to let the past be the past...back then, or yesterday.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 5/5/16
“You’re never too old to set another goal or dream another dream.”  (C.S. Lewis)  A reporter once asked a woman in her 90s if she had any children.  She replied, “Not yet.”  Sarah was about that age when God “informed” her that she was going to have a baby.  She laughed.  But, she had always wanted a child, and now her dream was to become reality.  Don’t give up on your dream…or setting a goal.  God isn’t called “omnipotent” without reason.    ;-)  Jack

FROM WRITER BETH:  Some days it's like you're mind reading! Thanks again for the daily perspective.====JACK:  You've probably experienced it, too...ideas just pop into your head.  How does that happen?  It mystifies me.  I'll take it as a gift from God.====BETH:  Gift of God, I think. The universe works in mysterious ways.  I still am freelancing. I'm doing a lot of work for the InterFaith Leadership Council, which I love. And various other projects, including on-going writing for J and J.  I think of you every day when I get my daily email - love it!

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  👍🏻====JACK:  Is there an emoji for thumbs down?  I suppose I could look it up.  (pause while I do it)  There is.

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  is it okay to have a goal that would rid the country of Trump??====JACK:  The goal is to have an open and fair election.===SP:  and we hope that will be the case...====JACK: The Bush vs Gore election was decided by the Supreme Court, and we survived.

FROM BLAZING OAKS:  I'd love to know that 90 yr. old! She made me laugh!  There are still some things I haven't done at 86, and hope to do, yet!  My grandson-in-law who works for the Cardinals Org. gave me four tickets (for two Cardinal-Cub games in St. Louis) which is something I've rarely done (once!) at Wrigley. So being a big CUBS fan, I am delighted to have that to look forward to!  I've been to a couple of Cardinal games in the new stadium, but they weren't playing the Cubs!  I still hope to make some trips to see things I haven't seen, as well, and wouldn't it be fun to Para-glide?!  Bungee jumped on my 70th, and rode the 12 story Disney Hot air balloon on my 65th. I'll have to think of something spectacular for my 90th . HA!====JACK:  George H.W. Bush went sky-diving on his 90th birthday.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Do we ever stop dreaming...another vacation, more time...better health...I still dream of becoming a Forest Ranger!====JACK:  Why don't you send in an application to the DNR and see what they have to offer?

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 5/4/16
“Work is more fun than fun.”  (Noel Coward)  Fun is what gives you pleasure…like riding on Cedar Pointe’s new roller coaster, 20 stories high, with a 90 degree drop at 75 mph.  Normal people might walk in the woods, go to the beach or watch a movie.  I admit that I’m one who found fun in my work.  Noel Coward wrote, Blithe Spirit…that kind of person who is happy and carefree and dances to music no one else hears.  Do you know anyone like that?    ;-)  Jack

FROM JB IN OLV:  Good rainy morning!  Yes I live with one of the people you describe. ====JACK:  ..."for better or worse, for richer or poorer..."====JB:  Almost 51 yrs years later..I can sincerely say life with Bill has definitely not been boring:)

FROM HAWKEYE GEORGE:  John Wooden said, "Make each day a masterpiece." I did not factcheck it.====JACK:  Whether he said it or not, it's something he would say...but, in fact, it is one of his points in what makes a person a success.

FROM RS IN TEXAS:  Someone said if you enjoy what you do it's not work.  Unfortunately many of us struggle with making what we do for a living fun.  Have to keep reminding myself that attitude and mindset can overshadow what might be a not so fun environment.====JACK:  Trump and Sanders seem to be exploiting this..."Are you working more and enjoying it less?"  I would rather concentrate on the positives..."Aren't you glad to have a job and to be able to live in a great country like ours?"  Unfortunately, that kind of talk doesn't make headlines and win elections.

FROM TARMART REV:  Putting my right foot in, taking my right foot out, putting my right foot in and shaking it all about, doing the hokey pokey and turning myself around-- that's what it's all about!! ====JACK:  I thought that the AGs considered dancing to be a sin...or is it just the close dancing? ====REV:  Remembering from my roller skating days in the 5th and 6th grades!! ====JACK:  The last time I was on roller skates they were playing, "Don't fence me in."  It's strange how I can remember that.====REV:  Memories that continue to bring a smile, a remembrance of a friend or a gracious thank you to God for bringing us through that particular unwelcome time past is truly a treasure!!

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  old saying:   if you enjoy your job,   you will never work a day in  your life!   i think we both would agree... ====JACK:  "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy."  I always left room for some play.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Absolutely!  We all love to hum under our breath and dance away!====JACK:  Is that they Chicken Dance that you're doing?====JUDY:  Nope, just old fashioned dancing.  In fact, Kimberly's family goes to a home school Cotillion every year.  It's a very formal event with girls and women in formal gowns and the guys in suits.  They learn the old old dances.  The little grandkids just move their little bodies in what they call dancing!  Their feet are movin' their hands are clappin'  and just have a ball.====JACK:  Ask your grandson what a "cotillion" is.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  Yes, I think I know a few—but I want to say you would not get me near that roller coaster.  I would have a heart attack!!!====JACK:  You probably get seasick in a rowboat, too.

FROM CHESTER THE GOOD:  If you are having fun it ain't work! Never worked a day in my life... even when I delivered ice and coal as a kid. Attitude, attitude, attitude.====JACK:  I still have an old ice pick.  Do you?====CHESTER:  Yes, but I haven't the slightest idea where it is. Used ice tongs to build my railroad tie terraces. They are great for picking up ties.====JACK:  I have a pair of ice tongs, too.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 5/3/16
“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world.  For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”  (Margaret Mead)  Time magazine recently named the 100 Most Influential People in the World Today.  Among those are Pope Francis, Rula Ghani, Tom Frieden, Mellody Hosbon and Mona Hanna-Attisha.  They have this in common—they’re people who care about others.  Mona lives in my town.  I’m sure that there are caring people where you live, too.    ;-)  Jack

FROM HONEST JOHN:  If Margaret Mead thinks that there are only a few caring people in the world and that she is one of them, she is full of beans and an egomaniac besides.====JACK:  I see MM saying that a few people CAN change the world, similar to the thought behind the mustard seed parable.  Scanning The "Time List," most of the 100 are political leaders.  I tried to pick out a few who made the list, because they are caring people.  My church experience has been that "a few" in the congregation really make it go...but, of course, all are important.====JOHN:  The "few" stopped the Persians at Thermopylae but did not prevail....the combined forces prevailed at Marathon....we need the many....and, I have found that most are caring people....maybe not in MM's cause but they are caring people.    Sometimes we get so caught up in our cause that we dismiss the good work of others.====JACK:  Another example is the little Dutch boy who put his finger in a hole in a dike where water was leaking through.  You may have used that story in one of your children's messages.

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  👍🏻====JACK:  "Thumbs up" seems to have originated in ancient Rome.  It the crowd gave that sign, the gladiator was spared.  "Thumbs down" meant that he would be killed.  We all like to see the first sign.

FROM TARMART REV:  Have blessed by many myself over the years . . . one or two to say the least have come from West Bloomfield, MI!====JACK:  This world generally thinks that bigger is better.  In the church world it doesn't always work that way.  Some smaller congregations have done some pretty effective work in "the Lord's vineyard."  The work you and your AG people did in WB is an example of that.  Daring to witness by worshiping in a  synagogue is just one example.  Sending the pastor to witness in a mall is another.

FROM DAIRYLAND DONNA:  One of my favorite quotes of all time - always!====JACK:  CARE  got it's start 70 years ago after WW 2, when a few charities decided to cooperate in putting together packages of food and clothing to be sent to people who were suffering as a result of what the war had done to Europe.  CARE stands for Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe.  In the years since, this small "idea" has expanded into a worldwide program to help the needy.

FROM LOUGAM:  Double negative...====JACK:  Some people are like that...more than just negative...double negative.  But, not you!

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  Perhaps there were others much more important than Mead but I haven't read the list yet.  Most of the caring people in our lives have just been there for us; including family, friends and fellow Christians at church.  We sponsor a little boy, Muslim, in Sri Lanka.  His father sent us a letter once expressing his thanks and love for his son and our relationship.  His mother just sent a letter saying she was his mother there and I was his mother here.  It's very humbling to know someone you don't know or perhaps will never meet prays and loves you as you do them.  It's life changing for both of us!

Monday, May 02, 2016

Jack’s Winning Words 5/2/16
“Every day, I feel, is a blessing from God.  I consider it a new beginning.  Yeah, everything is beautiful.”  (Prince)  When someone like Prince dies, there’s often interest in that person’s religious beliefs.  He was raised 7th Day Adventist and later became a Jehovah’s Witness (the door-to-door people).  His religion lately was a mixed-bag.  Today’s quote is intriguing, in that it seems to foretell a new life when the old one dies.  Could this be his view of Heaven?    ;-)  Jack
FROM MS IN MICHIGAN:  Pastor started her sermon yesterday with Prince's words: Dearly beloved: we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life...====JACK:  Our pastor's sermon dealt with a similar issue..."How to deal with life's demons."====MS:  I like the idea of a new beginning every day...====JACK:  I once knew a pastor who had a daily radio program.  He would begin each broadcast by enthusiastically saying, "Up, up and away.  This is God's day!  Are you going God's way?"

FROM FACEBOOK LIZ:  it is interesting that no one has said a negative word about prince's religious beliefs. encouraging, as so many make fun of the "guy in the sky" these days. i hope this is indicative of a growing acceptance of belief in a higher power.====JACK:  "Saying nothing" can be taken in a couple of ways...1) There's nothing negative to say.  2) It's irrelevant.  But, I do sense a general movement toward "spirituality," which does not necessarily equate to movement toward a particular religious group.====LIZ:  spirituality is a good thing, whether or not a person identifies w/a particular religion. i think we are all "programmed" to be spiritual. some just don't recognize it or acknowledge it.====JACK:  Inspired is a word that means, "spirit-in" us

FROM HONEST JOHN:  I think for many of us as we get old our religion becomes a "mixed bag"====JACK:  I guess that evolution doesn't just happen physically.  My religion became a mixed bag when I began to study philosophy.  Ome of the first things I learned was that "You can't put God into a box."====HJ:  I grew up as a Presbyterian/Methodist....went later to a Lutheran Church and then to a Lutheran College...learned there from debate that there are no unassailable positions and in my career was always more active in ecumenical organizations than in my own denomination.....  ====JACK:  Most of are what we were (in the home) religiously.  Time and circumstances, along with free-will, mold us into who (and what) we are.====HJ:  BTW...today we remember Athanasius....his Niceness Creed was written to drive folks out if the church.    I prefer the Apostle's Creed which developed as a baptismal creed to bring people into the church.====JACK:  Once in a while it would be good to follow the "saying" of the Apostles' Creed with Luther's Small Catechism's, "What does this mean?"

FROM ST PAUL IN ST PAUL:  also it was a sad life in some ways.  (i spent 2 hours inside Paisley Park some years ago when good friend Marty Haugen was renting out a room there to make a recording.  later Prince stopped renting it out to anyone because he would sometimes call for a recording session at 3 in the morning with all other musicians. expected to be present on a moment's notice!)   i will tell you more about the building sometime.  i.e.  if the fire alarmed sounded,  you had 90 seconds to exit the building and then all the oxygen was sucked out of the building in seconds.  this was his fire suppression system instead of water sprinklers which would have ruined all this recording equipment, costumes, instruments.  etc.   btw,  there is a woman at our church, Martha Preus,  who used to sew some of his costumes.  she was well paid and said to me one day, "he has a funny little body".  here is one more sad fact.  since 1971, some 96 rock stars in America have died of drug overdoses.    we think of Elvis, Michael Jackson,  Amy Winehouse,  Jimi Hendrix, Prince, etc.  but there are dozens of lesser known "stars" who also bit the dust.   google it for more info.  have a good day.====JACK:  Lots of fame and lots of money ain't all it's cracked up to be.====SP:  that is a for sure!

FROM TARMART REV:  A seemingly mixed bag of emotions and beliefs . . .it was a well documented adventure coming to an end here on earth in deed.====JACK:  Each life is an adventure, documented, or not.  Many cemeteries have a Potter's Field, where "undocumented" people are often buried.  However their names, along with yours and mine are written in the Book of Life.

FROM GUSTIE MARLYS:  I’m sorry, but all this attention to a pop star bothers me.  We have heroes dying every day and they don’t even get a blurb in the paper.  By heroes I mean service men and women, firemen and women, ordinary people who do more for the common folk than these pop stars ever did.  I think one night in the news would have been just fine—but this is going on for weeks.  We may even make the “State Color” Purple!  Puleeeze!====JACK:  You Minnesotans seem to have lots of pop stars...Prince, Gov Jesse "The Body" Ventura, Michele Bachmann. Al Franken.  But, you're right, a lot of decent people are overlooked in this world....however, not by God...and that's what's important, after all.====MARLYS:  That is right for sure.  And we are very fortunate for that.
Keith’s youngest was confirmed yesterday.  A very nice service.  There were 60 in the class so of course we had 2 services.  They sure don’t do it the way we did back in the day!  Ha!  I put a copy of Clifford’s column from the 1955 Lutheran Companion written after Rolf’s confirmation into her book.  The church gives them a loose leaf book that we can all add to.  I had a copy of my confirmation picture, Clem’s, and my Dad’s as well as a letter to add to Kaja’s.  Also a Max Lucado book—God thinks you are Wonderful.  I give a copy of that to all confirmands that I mentor.  I love it.

FROM OUTHOUSE JUDY:  These stars have so much talent but a lot of times it's not enough.  These stars seem to be falling at a starting fast pace.  I'm sure God knows what they believe and where they end up.====JACK:  Mary and I are Godparents for our niece, Jennifer Knight.  She sings with a group at Saddleback Church in California.  She's a pop singer.  You can watch her on YouTube at she sings her "hit," Twinkle and Shine.