July 31, 2017: Monday ONAIRprep

ODT: 20170731
PDF: 20170731

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You don’t know what fear is–until you sit in a dark radio studio at the beginning of your show — wondering if your wife was just being kind when she laughed at all those adlibs you practiced on her the night before.


“Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” –1 Peter 2:2-3

I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life. — Psalm 119:93


(From VerseOfTheDay.com)

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. — Psalm 30:5

Thought: God is the God of all comfort (see 2 Cor. 1). Even when he deals harshly with our sin and rebellion, it is for our good. It will last only a short while and then it gives way to rejoicing. If you are in a time of discipline or facing the cruel consequences of sin, please don’t give up. Morning will come, and on that dawn will come God’s grace. It’s more than worth the wait!

Prayer: Father, please bless your children who are facing hardships and difficulty. Please help them endure through “the night” so that when your dawn comes, they can experience the great rejoicing that lies ahead. Please bless the following people, dear Lord, and help them find your joy…. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayers for Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@heartlight.org.

BIRTHDAY VERSE” OF THE DAY (The chapter and verse correspond to the month and day!)

1 Corinthians 7:31 NIV = those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.


(NOTE: Some holidays may be duplicated due to various calendars reporting conflicting dates)

Today is MAKE TODAY BETTER THAN YESTERDAY DAY.  ***Which makes tomorrow “Make Today Better Than The Day Before Yesterday Day.”

This is SHADOW DAY. In 1930 Orson Welles starred as “The Shadow” in the show’s radio debut. At first, the Shadow was the narrator for changing stories, but later became a character in his own adventures. He knew what evil lurked in the hearts of men and scared the tar out of the bad guys.  ***Later, Alec Baldwin became “The Shadow” on the big screen and now nobody’s afraid of him.

Today is MUTT’S DAY, honoring all dogs that are not just one breed.  ***Why don’t we have anything like this for humans?  I’m German/Irish.  My wife is German/Czech, and what about Tiger Woods – I don’t even know what he is.  And President Obama even admits to being a mutt! How about we have a Human Mutt Day? Because really, if you look at it, just about everyone has some mutt in them if you look far enough back into your family’s history. So why is racism such a problem?

Today is MAKE HOMEMADE ICE CREAM AND INVITE THE NEIGHBORS OVER DAY.  ***Does anyone still make ice cream at home anymore?  It’s hard to beat when it comes to taste and texture.  There’s a “today in history” fact about ice cream as well.  On this day in 2001, a Tokyo exhibit featured sweet potato, squid, ox tongue, cactus, eel, crab, and octopus ice cream. Perhaps that’s why we don’t make homemade ice cream anymore.

This is PHONUITAR DAY. In 1969 Moscow police reported that thieves had stolen telephone parts from thousands of phone booths to convert their acoustic guitars to electric.  ***Proving that it’s not “Rock ‘n’ Roll” that corrupted society… it’s telephones.


National Mutt Day
Uncommon Instruments Awareness Day
World Ranger Day

COMING UP NEXT (Just a list, we are not endorsing the holidays posted below. Find more holidays and link to their websites at BrownieLocks.com)


Girlfriend’s Day
Mead Day
National Minority Donor Awareness Day
National Night Out
Respect For Parents
Rounds Resounding Day
Spider-Man Day
Tisha B’Av
US Air Force Day
World Lung Cancer Day
World Wide Web Day
World Scout Scarf Day


Earth Over Shoot Day or Ecological Debt Day
International Albarino Day
National Coloring Book Day
Take A Penny/Leave A Penny Day


Friendship Day
Watermelon Day
India Pale Ale Beer Day


Braham Pie Day or Homemade Pie Day
Coast Guard Day
International Beer Day
Tomboy Tools Day
Twins Day
National Chocolate Chip Day
Single Working Women’s Day
Social Security Day


International Hangover Day
Mead Day
National Disc Golf Day
National Jamaican Patty Day
National Mustard Day
National Oyster Day
National Underwear Day
Sandcastle Day


American Family Day
Friendship Day
Hiroshima Day
National Doll Day
National Kids’ Day
Sister’s Day
National Fresh Breath
National Root Beer Float Day


Assistance Dog Day
Lighthouse Day
National Psychic Day
Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day
Professional Speakers Day
Purple Heart Day


1498: Christopher Columbus discovered the island of Trinidad. ***Which was certainly news to the people already living there.

1845: The French Army introduced the saxophone to its military band. The instrument had been invented by Adolphe Sax of Belgium.

1928: Leo, the MGM Lion, first roared for the debut of the movie “White Shadows of the South Seas.”

1930: Orson Welles starred as “The Shadow” in the show’s radio debut. At first, the Shadow was the narrator for changing stories, but later became a character in his own adventures. He had the ability to cloud men’s minds so they could not see him and he knew what evil lurked in the hearts of men.

1964: Singer Jim Reeves died in a Tennessee plane crash at age 39. He had 51 Top 10 country hits and 11 #1 singles. Biggest hit: “He’ll Have to Go” in 1960.

1969: Moscow police reported that thieves had stolen telephone parts from thousands of phone booths to convert their acoustic guitars to electric.

1971: David Scott and James Irwin became history’s first moon riders, taking their lunar dune buggy for a 2-hour drive on the surface of the moon.

1973: The ABA Virginia Squires traded Julius Earving to the New York Nets.

1984: Reporter Leeza Gibbons made her first appearance on TV’s “Entertainment Tonight.” (audio clip)

1995: The Walt Disney Company agreed to acquire Capital Cities/ABC in a deal placed at $19 billion.

1995: Selena’s first English album, “Dreaming of You,” debuted at No. 1 in Billboard four months after her death. Selena was the first Latin artist to debut at No. 1.

1996: Three brothers, a sister, and two cousins all drowned while trying to rescue a chicken and each other from a 60-foot-deep well in Nazlat Imara, Egypt. The chicken survived.

1996: Ottawa-born Alanis Morissette kicked off her first Canadian tour before 15,000 fans at GM Place in Vancouver.

1997: Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago announced that “the Teddy Bear Lady,” a $15-thousand-a-year secretary who passed out teddy bears to children in the hospital, had left $18-million for research into children’s diseases. Gladys Holm, who never married and had no heirs, apparently had invested wisely in the stock market.

2001: A Tokyo exhibit featured sweet potato, squid, ox tongue, cactus, eel, crab, and octopus ice cream. The Mainichi Daily News called the unusual flavors “surprisingly tasty.”

2002: A knife-wielding robber in the Philippines was beaten up by his victim, a 25-year-old pregnant woman with a black belt in taekwondo. Clarissa de Guzman of Manila said when the robber focused his attention on her jewelry and money, she kicked him in the head, then in the groin and all over.


768: A man known as Philip began and ended his reign as Catholic Pope. *** He won it on the medieval game show, “Pope For A Day.”

1556: Ignatius of Loyola, Spanish Roman Catholic reformer and founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), dies in Rome. During his life he saw 1,000 men join his order and 100 colleges and seminaries established. Apart from his order, Ignatius’s greatest legacy he left in his Spiritual Exercises, a devotional guide that has been in constant use for over 460 years.

1566: Bartolome de las Casas, the first Spaniard ordained in the New World and “Father to the Indians,” dies in Spain. He wrote several books detailing the horrors committed upon Native Americans by the Spanish settlers, and argued for the humanity of the Indians against many of his countrymen who had described them as children or subhuman.

1966: After John Lennon proclaims the Beatles to be “more popular than Jesus,” residents of Alabama burn the band’s records and other products.

1970: The complete New American Standard Version of the Bible is published.


  • actor (“Las Vegas”, Insp. Jack Ellis on “The Division”, Clark Kent/Superman on “The Adventures of Lois & Clark”) Dean Cain 51 (audio clip)

  • actor (Blade movies, U.S. Marshalls, Murder At 1600, Demolition Man, Passenger 57, Major League) Wesley Snipes is 55

  • actor (Detective Steve Sloan on “Diagnosis Murder”) Barry Van Dyke 66 (audio clip)


(Music Artist Birthdays From SongFacts.com)

1911 : George Liberace

1918 : Hank Jones

1923 : Ahmet Ertegun

1931 : Kenny Burrell

1939 : John West (Gary Lewis and the Playboys)

1942 : Daniel Boone

1943 : Lobo

1945 : Gary Lewis ((Gary Lewis and the Playboys)

1946 : Bob Welch (Fleetwood Mac)

1947 : Karl Green (Herman’s Hermits)

1953 : Hugh McDowell (Electric Light Orchestra)

1957 : Daniel Ash (Love & Rockets)

1959 : Bill Berry (R.E.M.)

1963 : Fatboy Slim

1978 : Will Champion (Coldplay)

SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE (Answering questions that have plagued mankind for minutes!)

How loud are the songs of whales?

People who live near the shores of quiet bays where whales visit can sometimes hear their beautiful songs even above water. At times, the whale songs can be loud enough to be heard indoors. The songs of humpback whales have been measured at 170 decibels underwater, which is equivalent to 144 decibels in the air (every 10 decibels represents a 10-fold increase in sound intensity.) This is louder than a jet engine, which blasts 140 decibels at full throttle. But the loud-song champions are the blue whales, whose earsplitting melodies can reach 188 decibels underwater (162 db in air), more than 100 times louder than a roaring jet engine. These ocean leviathans are the world’s champion loud noise making animals.


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A driver in England crashed his $340,000 Ferrari an hour after he bought it. The sports car was totaled but the driver walked away with only cuts and bruises.  ***Also totaled was this guy’s ego and his rate on auto insurance.

A supermarket in Scotland has come up with a relaxed check-out line where people are encouraged to take their time, talk and ask the cashier questions. ***And that sounds like a great idea… as long as nobody is behind you.  If there is, then that SUCKS!

Now they’re talking about Sean Spicer being on the next season of Dancing with the Stars. ***Well he’s already used to dancing around reporters questions, so why not!

When police in England stopped a taxi driver for speeding one recent evening, he blamed it on his passengers’ foul-smelling flatulence.  ***There’s a lesson to be learned here.  If the farts are IN your car, you can’t drive away from them – no matter how fast you go.

The Pentagon reportedly spends $84-million on erectile dysfunction medication every year. ***Okay… somebody needs to show me in writing what the definition of “national defense” actually is in this country.

Women prefer real men. As in men who have hairy chests and beer bellies, rather than men who dress well and get manicures. That’s the word from a survey of British women conducted by Lion Bar Ice Cream. They found 80% of women consider the metrosexual traits of hair straightening and frequent tanning to be a sexual turnoff. The poll also found that 10% of women like the smell of beer on a man’s breath, while 20% admitted they are attracted to men with “a bit of body odor.” ***Well then – if I’m ever single again I’m moving to Britain, post haste!

Anne Hathaway is in talks for the title role in a live-action “Barbie” movie.  ***Which sounds almost as appealing as a sequel to “Gem and the Holograms”.  Almost.

If you want to be so happy, whistle while you work — either literally or figuratively.  You need to find a job that offers meaningful work where you believe your contributions are adding to the company’s big goals. “That can be the most powerful force to keeping people happy,” says Dr. Jonathon Halbesleben (an associate professor of organizational behavior at the University of Alabama). While a competitive salary and benefits package are essential, they are not what ultimately make us happy at work or stay at the job. One way to achieve a happy workplace is through “job crafting.” This is a radical idea — at least from the boss’s point of view — where employees write their own job description based on what they’re interested in with specific tasks that suit their skills and make them happy. ***I can understand why the boss might be a bit nervous about that idea.  My perfect job description would be spending 8-hours a day watching Netflix while eating Cheetos.

Christie Brinkley says it’s hard to meet “nice guys” at age 63. ***I’m finding that very difficult to believe because, well, she’s Christie Brinkley and men from the age of 20 to 120 want to date her.

Police in Iceland really want drivers to stop looking at the Northern Lights. Iceland’s Road and Coastal Administration, is trying to figure out how to deal with tourists suddenly parking their cars in the middle of Iceland’s highways to snap photos of the lights.  ***Have you tried the OFF switch?

President Trump donated his entire second quarter salary as president to the Department of Education. ***Where teachers will educate our children in the English language so they can someday become President of the United States and speak with a sixth-grade vocabulary.


A survey by the UK version of the Girl Scouts (Girlguiding) found that marriage is not on the priority list for teens as much as it used to be. The majority of girls 7- to 21-years-old defined “success” as “being confident and independent” rather than “being married.” Just three years ago the majority chose marriage as the #1 achievement before 30.  ***I blame the media.  Why would women want to get married nowadays when the “standard” is (KANYE WEST) or (JUSTIN BIEBER)?

You’ve heard the joke that there’s a Starbucks on every corner. Not true — that’s just silly. But there’s one within 20 miles of 80 percent of Americans, and the furthest you’d ever have to drive to get your coffee fix from a Starbucks-owned store is 140 miles.  ***And the gas for that trip roughly equals the same amount as a Starbucks vent mocha.

According to a study from Harvard Medical School in Boston, fresh blooms brighten more than a room; they also lift your mood.  ***For those with allergies, they suggest watching a movie starring Orlando Bloom.

A recent survey says that 1 in 10 Americans don’t carry around cash anymore.  ***In THIS economy?  Who actually has cash?



OPEN: When last we left the jungle, Gruffy Bear was substituting in a bowling tournament and was bowling better than he’d ever bowled before. Unfortunately, every time Gruffy bowled well, it meant the team moved to the next level… and Gruffy would have to keep canceling his checkers games with Sully. He’s already cancelled three times… will he do it to Sully again?

CLOSE: That’s not good… Gruffy is now so caught up in himself and his bowling skills that he’s about to lose a good friend. Will he snap out of it? Tune in again next time, as FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns!

***You may simulcast “As the Jungle Turns” on the Internet stream of your live broadcast only. Any other Internet use of “As the Jungle Turns” in whole or part including podcasting of your live broadcast is a violation of copyright law. Thank you for your cooperation on this vitally important issue. If you have any questions, please e-mail us and ask about “Jungle Jam & Friends the Radio Show” usage.


Smoking is dumb. Lighting your cigarette in an unconventional way can be a Moment of Duh!

They say that cigarette smoking is hazardous to your health and Omaha’s Tim Green found that out the hard way. However, cancer is the least of Tim’s worries after he tried to light a cigarette using a propane torch.  He ended up starting a fire in his detached garage which left him hospitalized in critical condition with third-degree burns.



10. Something is in there shrieking in pain, but you can’t seem to find it.

9. You open the bowl of green growing stuff, and the Crocodile Hunter is right behind you saying “Look at the size of those teeth!”

8. The applesauce looks like sauerkraut and has begun fashioning rudimentary tools.

7. You suspect the mammoth has gone bad by now.

6. When you fail to close the door all the way, the meat drawer gets it for you.

5. The fridge bulb burned out six months ago, but there’s still plenty of light coming from that burping mass in the back corner

4. You have to put fresh meat in the freezer, because when you put it in the fridge overnight, something eats it.

3. The creatures inside have constructed their own “inner fridge” and it has been cleaned out twice since you last did yours.

2. Last week you tried eating some of the food from the back of the fridge. Today you woke up beside a road in Oregon, with no memory of the past week.

1. You reach in for the milk, but instead find something that looks like a jug of concrete.


How hard is it really to be a criminal in Alaska anyway? Think about it, everyone wears a ski mask. Nevertheless there are those who screw it up.

FILE #1: Roger D. Yost and William Isberg were arrested in Fairbanks after they tried to get a 500-pound safe out the door of a Moose Lodge hall. Who knows? They might have gotten away with it except they had no real way of getting the safe home after they apparently forgot they had arrived at the Lodge — on bicycles! (The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)

FILE #2: A police officer in Bollnas, Sweden, confessed that he robbed a bank, then returned to the same bank an hour later as the lead investigator of the crime. His colleagues became suspicious when he bought a new car for $31,400 (US) cash, using money from the robbery.

FILE #3: 24-year-old Dantzler L. Thomas of Minneapolis, allegedly tried to rob a grocery store, but tripped himself up when he put his gun on the counter so he could scoop up the cash. The store clerk lost no time in grabbing the discarded gun and turned it on the would-be robber who then ran out of the store.

STRANGE LAW: In Illinois you can receive a fine up to $1000 for beating rats with a baseball bat.


This Is Your Brain On Drugs” is about people doing dumb things under the influence, but addiction is no laughing matter. If you or someone you know needs help, there’s a toll free number you can call 1-800-438-0380. That’s the Addiction Hope and Help Line at 1-800-438-0380.

Drunk driving can now be blamed on high-heels!

Attorney Bill Thomas of Durham, North Carolina, has created a new defense for women accused of DUI: the high heel excuse. Thomas argued that the sobriety test was unfair because it required his client to walk a long straight line, pivot quickly and stand on one foot for 30 seconds, all of which were impossible because she was wearing stilettos with 3-1/2-inch heels which make women wiggle. He claimed that under the circumstances, she did remarkably well by balancing on one foot for 16 seconds. The judge agreed, invalidated the test and tossed out the case.


Secret signals – those secret signs you use with your spouse when you want to get off the phone or leave a party. There’s the “under the table claw,” secret hand signals, the hair flick, special phrases you’ll utter that actually are a secret code just between the two of you – indicating it’s time to leave the party or that the person has had enough dessert, etc. What secret signals do you and your spouse use when out in public?


QUESTION: What instruments did John hear in his vision of the heavenly throne?

ANSWER: Harps (Revelation 14:2-3)


QUESTION: Approximately how many pounds of food will you eat in your lifetime?

ANSWER: During your lifetime, you’ll eat about 60,000 pounds of food. That’s the weight of about 6 elephants.


Pay attention! If our next player doesn’t answer all ten T/F questions correctly we start all over from question #1! First person to answer question #10 correctly is our winner!

1. The world’s oldest piece of chewing gum is 90 years old. (False – it’s 9,000 years old!)

2. About 3,000 years ago, most Egyptians died by the time they were 20. (False – 30)

3. More people use blue toothbrushes than red ones. (True)

4. Your ribs move about 5 million times a year. (True, every time you breathe)

5. Lightning strikes about 600 times per minute on this planet. (False – 6,000)

6. The United States once issued a 5-cent bill. (True)

7. You’ll eat about 35,000 cookies in your lifetime. (True)

8. Fortune cookies were invented in China in 1918. (False – they were invented in America!)

9. The praying mantis is the only insect that can turn its head. (True)

10. Dogs and cats consume almost $7 billion worth of pet food a year. (True)


You have to match the blank in the tabloid headline with the word or phrase that has been removed!


38-year-old Amy Rice of Minneapolis watched in horror as a pit bull lunged at her 12-year-old Labrador’s throat. At first she tried to pull the pit bull’s jaws off the throat but when that didn’t work she decided to fight fire with fire. She bit the pit bull on the nose — and bit him hard. Broke the skin and ended up with pit bull blood in her mouth. But it worked. The pit bull let go. Animal care and control manager Dan Niziolek said the case was a first, even for more seasoned animal control officers. However, now Amy has to deal with a potential rabies scare as well as her own dog Ella’s wounds. The pit bull was quarantined after Amy’s doctor told her of a possible rabies threat. But she’s unhappy the pit bull, named Frances, wasn’t immediately locked up by animal control officers. She said, “It could have been a child. It just could have been so much worse. I really question the policy of not removing the animal.” (Star Tribune)



The principal called the mother of one of his students. He said, “I have some good news and some bad news.

The bad news is your son thinks he’s a frog.”

“What’s the good news?” asked the mother.

“The good news is I think we licked the fly problem in the cafeteria.”


Three men were flying on a plane over the jungle when it crashed. They were the only people who survived. They decided that starting the next morning one of them would go out and make weapons and see if he could kill anything.

So the next morning the first man went out. He didn’t come back till about noon. When they saw him they ran to him and helped him carry the deer back to the plane wreckage. They asked him how he killed it.

He said, “I find tracks… I follow tracks… I kill deer.”

So the next morning the second guy set out. He too came back at noon. When they saw him they ran to him and helped him carry the buffalo he had killed back to the plane wreckage.  They asked him how he had killed it.

He said, “I find tracks… I follow tracks… I kill buffalo.”

The next morning the third guy went out. The other two were watching and watching for him.  When it was almost sundown and he still hadn’t returned they started getting worried. Then they saw a person stumbling towards them he looked awful, really bad cuts and a broken arm. They went and helped him to the fire they had made and asked him what had happened.

He said, “I find tracks… I follow tracks… I get hit by a train.”


On the first day of Spring Training, a baseball scout brings a horse with him to add to the starting lineup. The coach asks, “Why on earth did you bring that horse here?”

The scout replies, “Wait until you see him bat.”

All the players are laughing, until the horse comes to bat. At this point, the horse grabs the bat and everyone quiets down. They stare at the horse. The pitcher, just shrugs his shoulders, and throws the ball toward home plate, when astonishingly the horse hits the ball deep into the outfield. The horse just stands there and does not move. The manager then yells at the baseball scout to tell the horse to run to first base.

The scout looks back at the manager and yells back, “If he could run, he’d be in the Kentucky Derby!”


A physics professor at the University of Connecticut claims to have designed a working time machine. ***He says all he needs to finish it is a case of plutonium and a Delorian.

An interesting trend among campgrounds across the country: lots of them are now offering free high-speed wireless internet.  ***Because who wants to go out camping and “get away from it all” if you can’t brag about it by uploading photos to Instagram?



A mother took her six-year old daughter to the ballet. This was the first time the little girl had ever seen a ballet and she watched wide-eyed as the ballerinas pranced around the stage on their toes.

When the ballet was over, the mother asked her daughter if she had any questions.

“Yes, Mommy,” the little girl replied, “Wouldn’t it be easier if they just hired taller dancers?”



One of the cool things about having a church with a bell tower is, well, the BELLS! But what if your neighborhood doesn’t like those bells-a-ringing?

That’s what’s happening in Frankfurt, Germany. Several complaints from residents of the town caused a court order to come to a church in the community. They don’t have to stop ringing the bells though… they just have to ring them more softly from now on – or pay a hefty fine.  ***MARLAR: Imagine that… a church being charged with disturbing the peace!



Yes, interruptions can be annoying, but they can also mean you are greatly loved.
By Bob Perks

“I’ll admit that I was angry,” I said. “All I wanted was peace and quiet.”
“You wanted to be left alone,” my friend said.
“Yes! Well, I didn’t want to be interrupted,” I replied.
“You wanted to be left alone,” he repeated.
I thought about what he was saying. I knew he was trying to make a point, and I just didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t respond to him and continued on with our normal conversation.
Later in the day I thought about what he was trying to say to me.

“You wanted to be left alone,” I repeated to myself.
Ron’s point was clear. About a year ago he lost his wife after a long illness. They never had children, and he has been struggling with the emptiness in his life.
I had been complaining to him about my Sunday. One day out of my life when I just really wanted to do nothing. I didn’t want to go anywhere. I didn’t want to see anyone. I just wanted to…be left alone, I guess.
My wife and I went upstairs to put the television on and watch some old movies. We never really get to see them because either the phone rings or we fall into a deep sleep just minutes later.
But today I was determined not to be interrupted. “I just won’t answer the phone,” I declared.
About 10 minutes into my “peace and quiet” the phone rang. “Don’t get it!” I said.
We didn’t.
Five minutes later it rang again. I knew then that it had to be my son, Keith. He always calls twice. Maybe it’s an obsessive-compulsive thing or just determination, but he always calls twice when we are out. The calls show up on our phone just minutes apart. I got up and grabbed the phone this time.
He could sense a bit of frustration in my voice, and I toned it down. I didn’t want him to feel like I really didn’t want to speak with him.

Afterwards, I crawled back into bed. Our dogs, Ricky and Lucy, often join us for a quick nap. They normally sleep through anything, but today every little sound made them bark. Ricky has a habit of getting down off the bed and then minutes later he will scratch at the bed or moan to let you know he needs you to get him back up again. He did it three times.

I had just settled down when the phone rang again. My wife said, “Forget it,” but my curiosity made me answer it. It was my brother. He was trying out his new cell phone and wanted to give me the number. We talked and I felt bad for not wanting to answer the call. He makes me laugh. Today I needed to laugh.

Not more than 15 minutes later the phone rang again. “You win!” I shouted. “I give up!” I grabbed the phone and almost yelled “Hello!” I heard the sweet voice of my neighbor from across the street. This was highly unusual for her to call at this time. I thought there might be a problem. “Bob, this is Grace. I just had to call you,” she said.
“Yeah, like everyone else today!” I thought to myself.
“I just finished my lunch and I was sitting here looking out my window. Every time I do I say, ‘You know you should call Bob and tell him.’”
“Tell me what?”
“I have been enjoying the beauty of your labor. Your flowers are wonderful, Bob. I sit here and enjoy my lunch just looking at those beautiful flowers you planted. Every time I do I say I should call and tell you. Well, as you and I know, life is all too unpredictable and much too short. So today I did it. Thanks, I love you, Bob!”
I thought back on that Sunday. My son called twice just to tell me about his day and to end the call with “I love you.” This November 11th he will celebrate 10 years cancer free. You would think I’d appreciate his call any time of day.
My dogs barked and moaned while I was trying to sleep. Every day of my life they give me unconditional love any time I want it and never get angry when I interrupt their sleep.
My brother called. He made me laugh. It was just last week I was so very worried about him. I thought I was going to lose him. Hearing his voice should be music to my ears.
My neighbor, who depends on me to watch over her, called to tell me she loved me and to thank me for the beautiful flowers she sees each day. Her warm smile and welcome hugs fill the gap in my own life. She reminds me of my mother who died from cancer when I was 21 years old.
Seven interruptions in my day.
Seven blessings. I thank God that I don’t have an uninterrupted life.
I’ll think I’ll give my friend a call. I know he doesn’t want to be left alone.



READ: Revelation 21:1-8

God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. —Revelation 21:4

n 1991, famed British guitarist Eric Clapton was stricken with grief when his 4-year-old son Conor died as a result of a fall from an apartment window. Looking for an outlet for his grief, Clapton penned perhaps his most poignant ballad: “Tears In Heaven.” It seems that every note weighs heavy with the sense of pain and loss that can be understood only by a parent who has lost a child.

Surprisingly, however, Clapton said in a television interview years later, “In a sense, it wasn’t even a sad song. It was a song of belief. When it [says that] there will be no more tears in heaven, I think it’s a song of optimism—of reunion.”

The thought of a heavenly reunion is powerful indeed. For everyone who has trusted Jesus Christ for salvation, there is the hope that we will be reunited forever in a place where “God will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying” (Revelation 21:4). And, most of all, it is a place where we will “see His face” and forever be with Christ Himself (22:4).

In our times of loss and grief, of tears and sorrow, isn’t it comforting to know that Christ has purchased for us a heavenly home where there will be no more tears! —Bill Crowder

What wonders await us in yonder fair land?
The face of our Savior, the touch of His hand,
No tears and no crying, no sighs or despair,
For Jesus is waiting to welcome us there.  —Kerr

When God wipes our tears, sorrow will give way to eternal song.



When fifteen guys wearing masks burst into a Taco Bell, you know something is up – but it’s not necessarily a robbery.  In fact, in this case, at a Taco Bell in Grant County, Indiana, the masked men weren’t there to take stuff, but to return it.  The masked men were toting six 40-gallon trash bags – all filled with individual packets of taco sauce (about 25,000 in all).  They left a note, saying they collected the packets over a span of three years and thought about using them for a practical joke, but decided against it and returned the packets to the Taco Bell.  ***MARLAR: It sounds like this truly IS the practical joke.  You just know they had fun planning this caper.  “Trash bags?”  Check.  “Taco sauce?”  Check.  “Alright then… we’re good to go.”



Apparently driving is more than just dangerous… it’s unhealthy!

Microbiologists from Britain’s Aston University found the typical car has 283 different types of bacteria present in every square inch. The dirtiest part of the vehicle was the gear stick, home to 356 germs per square inch. Drivers with children and pets were found to host a greater number and range of bacteria in their cars. The study, conducted for insurance.co.uk, found British motorists spend more than three years of their life behind the wheel and over a quarter eat there every week. One in four car owners said their car is littered with food wrappers and empty drink bottles, while one in six admitted to regularly leaving uneaten food in their vehicle.



When is a child prodigy NOT a child prodigy? When he fools scientists into thinking that he is one! 

The Department of Science and Technology in India sent what they believed to be a 13-year-old child prodigy to Germany to meet and interact with Nobel Prize winners.  But they ended up being embarrassed because it became obvious that the child was not a prodigy at all – which should have been rather obvious from the get go. The agency believed the boy’s claims, with no proof or verification; claims that should have been an obvious load of garbage to any agency claiming to be the ”Department of Science and Technology.” The boy claimed to have discovered a ”new fundamental particle which has ‘consciousness”’ and claimed to have written a book entitled ”Electro-gravity Unification.” And what says the Department of Science and Technology? They say they are shocked to learn he wasn’t what he claimed to be. But they shouldn’t be so shocked since THE SAME THING HAPPENED TO THEM FIVE YEARS EARLIER when one of their other ”child prodigies” turned out to be a fake; they believed his claim that he could turn water into gasoline by mixing the water with a secret herb.



  • If the cops show up, don’t let them in.

  • What’s the credit limit on your MasterCard?

  • Do we have a bail bondsman?

  • What’s the deductible on the new car?

  • You’re sure you won’t be back ’till Sunday night?

  • I don’t need to go to college — I’ll live right here with you.



In-between-meal snacks have taken a lot of heat in the war against obesity, but there are 10 healthy treats that will soothe your grumbling belly while boosting your energy level:

Dried apricots — A great source of iron, vitamin A, fiber and protein.

Fresh peaches — Eat a peach for fiber, niacin, potassium, beta-carotene and vitamin C.

Almonds — A low cholesterol, low-sodium treat.

Raisins — A healthy low-fat snack that’s rich in potassium, phosphorus, iron and copper.

Yogurt — Six ounces of this tasty treat offers riboflavin, vitamin B-12 and calcium.

Sesame sticks — A single ounce contains 3 grams of protein.

Baby carrots — Teeming with beta-carotene and vitamins A, C and B-6, as well as iron, copper and potassium.

Dried soybeans — High in fiber, protein, iron and potassium.

Low-fat peanut butter — A great source of protein.

Celery — Loaded with fiber and minerals.

Low-fat string cheese — A quick and easy source of protein and calcium.


Want to jump start your imagination? Wear something green. Scientists found the color of leaves, grass and “go” on traffic lights sparks creativity. They are even calling it “the green effect.” Researchers tested the power of colors by showing a group of test subjects a white rectangle and another group a green rectangle before giving them a creative task. The green subjects ended up with more imaginative and innovative results. Green also proved superior when pitted against red, blue and gray. “Green may serve as a cue that evokes the motivation to strive for improvement and task mastery, which in turn may facilitate growth,” concludes study head Dr. Stephanie Lichtenfeld, assistant professor of psychology at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany. Still, she cautions against going wild and painting your house green and buying a green wardrobe because the influence of the color is subtle. She also noted that the most powerful “green effect” was produced by the shade of the color seen on pine trees.

When you yawn, and that causes your dog to yawn, that means you’ve got one smart pooch. Some dogs find human yawns contagious, which suggests they are a rudimentary capacity for empathy, something scientists thought only applied to humans and chimpanzees. 72% of the 29 dogs tested by British researchers at London’s Birkbeck College were so sensitive to human yawns that seeing one made them yawn in response.

If you’re fat in your 40s, look out. People who are obese in middle age are more likely to experience a more rapid mental decline, including memory loss, than their friends who are of normal weight. That’s the word from French researchers at the Center for Research in Epidemiology & Population Health at INSERM in Paris. Those who are obese and also have high blood pressure and other problems linked to heart disease and type 2 diabetes have the highest risk for mental decline, but even those who are “fat and fit” will experience a faster loss of mental abilities, reports HealthDay News.  ***I am doomed.

No wonder we can’t resist dessert. We hate to diet because our brains are wired that way. Specifically, it is hunger-sensitive cells in the brain — known as AGRP neurons — that are responsible for creating those unpleasant feelings of hunger that so often lead us to fall off the diet wagon, according to scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia. To no one’s surprise, it is those negative emotions associated with hunger that make it so hard to maintain a diet and lose weight. While the AGRP neurons do not directly drive us to eat, they make us desire food so those unpleasant hunger pangs will go away. And it’s not just hunger. The Howard Hughes research team, led by Scott Sternson, also found a separate set of neurons in the brain that generate unpleasant feelings of thirst.


Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people. –George Bernard Shaw


Marie Asner has been reviewing films for over 35 years. Her outlets include radio, print and Internet. For more in-depth movie reviews of the following films, visit www.Tollbooth.org. Ratings from 1 (Low) to 5 (High).

JULY 28, 2017…

Atomic Blonde—When Charlize Theron dives into a role, she really does it. The actress trained for hours a day for months getting the stunts right.  This film concerns a British female spy in the 1980’s who is supposed to gather information to help bust a spy ring in Berlin. With all the action here—and watch those deadly spike heels—Theron goes into battle as Lorraine Broughton. She is in Berlin, just before the big crack in The Wall. The plot is adapted from the graphic novel by Anthony Johnston and Sam Hart called “The Coldest City.”  James McAvoy plays Lorraine’s contact, while Sofia Boutella (“Star Trek: Beyond”) is a French agent. Director David Leitch was once a stunt double for Brad Pitt and directed  “Captain America: Civil War.“ “Atomic Blonde” has action sequences that go on longer than what is usual in an action film. Plus, there is a rocking soundtrack. Fasten your seat belts. “Atomic Blonde” is rated R and is an adult movie. Rating of 2 for fans of the genre.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power (documentary)—The first “Inconvenient Truth” documentary with Al Gore won an Academy Award in 2006. Now, we have an update on the situation.  From melting icebergs to typhoon victims, the audience see what is happening to the world as the climate slowly warms up. What can be done? Gore knows. “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power” stars Al Gore. Rated PG 13. No rating.

The Emoji Movie—The little creatures that seems to decorate everything in cyber land now have their own animated film. The theme of the movie is that one emoji thinks he is imperfect because he can’t express emotion. What to do? Voices of T. J. Miller, Patrick Stewart and James Corden. “The Emoji Movie” is rated PG. No rating.

From The Land Of The Moon (opening in select cities)—is  French films starring Marion Cotillard. She goes into an arranged marriage to a land owner in Spain only to fall for a war veteran (Louis Garret.) What to do? “From The Land Of The Moon” is rated R. No rating.

The Incredible Jessica James (opening in select cities)—In this romance, a woman who writes plays (Jessica Williams) falls for Chris O’Dowd who has recently been divorced. Will this work out? The story is set in New York. “The Incredible Jessica James” is rated PG 13. No rating.

AUGUST 04, 2017…

The Dark Tower is adapted from the Stephen King books and stars Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba.

Detroit is directed by Kathryn Bigelow and is centered on the Detroit Riots. Stars Anthony Mackie.

Ingrid Goes West has Aubrey Plaza befriending someone on Instagram. It had to happen.

Wind River concerns an Indian Reservation murder. Stars Jeremy Renner.

Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature continues the animated  adventures of the little creatures and voiced by Will Arnett.

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Darren Marlar credits all non-original material to the author whenever possible. All other material is original, used with permission, or author unknown. We welcome all comments, questions, and suggestions. Darren can be reached via his website at www.DarrenMarlar.com.