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PRESIDENTIAL WIT & WISDOM (click here to buy the book)
(None on the weekends or holidays.)
BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. –2 Corinthians 5:21
I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you… that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according Scriptures. — 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
HEARTLIGHT DAILY VERSE, PRAYER & THOUGHT
(Traditionally Income Tax Day)
Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. — Romans 13:7
Thought: Wouldn’t it be nice for God to let us off the hook at tax time? But he is calling us to his character, to be good, honest, and holy. In a world that is fallen and needs redemption, we must learn to live in it as God’s children, but not possessed by it. So we honor our responsibilities and commitments to others because in doing so, we honor our Father.
Prayer: Holy God, bless my government that it may more wisely use the taxes it collects from my fellow citizens and me. Please help me show respect and honor today, so that my obedience to your will may be personal and public, as well as private. 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 email@example.com.
“BIRTHDAY VERSE” OF THE DAY (The chapter and verse correspond to the month and day!)
1 John 4:15 NIV = If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.
TODAY IS SUNDAY – APRIL 15, 2018
(NOTE: Some holidays may be duplicated due to various calendars reporting conflicting dates)
WEIRD, WACKY, STRANGE, ZANY, ODD, BIZARRE, QUIRKY, UNUSUAL HOLIDAYS!
THERE ARE ONLY 253 SHOPPING DAYS UNTIL NEXT CHRISTMAS.
Today is TITANIC DAY. It was on this date in 1912 that the ship sank after hitting an iceberg. ***Titanic Day also represents that sinking feeling U.S. taxpayers are experiencing today. Yep… because today is…
INCOME TAX DAY. ***Your tax returns typically must be postmarked before midnight April 15th or they’re considered late. I’d say there’s no use griping about it, but…
Today is NATIONAL GRIPERS DAY. ***Gee… on Income Tax Day? Really?
Today is NATIONAL HOSTILITY DAY. ***Gee… on Income Tax Day? Really?
Today is NATIONAL TAKE A WILD GUESS DAY, a day honoring hunches, guesses, speculation, and other forms of “intuitive intelligence.” ***Kind of like what you did when gathering up your deductions.
Today is RUBBER ERASER DAY. ***Why is it Rubber Eraser Day? Yep – you guessed it, because in the United States, today is the day our income tax forms are due. A lot of rubber erasers will lose their lives in the final moments of today’s financial battle. Let us have a moment of silence for these brave erasers that have given and will give their all. Thank you.
SOME LAST MINUTE TAX TIPS TO AVOID AN IRS AUDIT
Don’t claim the War on Terrorism as a dependent
Don’t claim the voices in your head as dependents
Don’t pay your taxes with lottery tickets
Don’t list your current residence as “In a van down by the river”
Don’t include the yearbook page where you were voted “Most Likely To Never Be Audited”
TODAY IS ALSO…
Jackie Robinson Day
One Boston Day
Rubber Eraser Day
Take a Wild Guess Day
That Sucks Day
World Art 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)
MONDAY APRIL 16
National Bean Counter Day
National Health Care Decisions Day
National Orchid Day
Save The Elephant Day
TUESDAY, APRIL 17
Bat Appreciation Day
Blah! Blah! Blah! Day
Ellis Island Family History Day
Ford Mustang Day
Income Tax Pay Day
International Haiku Poetry Day
Malbec World Day
National Wear Your Pajamas To Work Day
Nothing Like A Dame Day
World Hemophilia Day
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18
Adult Autism Day
International Amateur Radio Day
International Day for Monuments and Sites
National Columnists’ Day
National Lineman Appreciation Day
Pet Owners Independence Day
World Amateur Radio Day
THURSDAY, APRIL 19
Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Action Day
Get to Know Your Customers Day
John Parker Day
National Garlic Day
National Hanging Out Day
National Ask An Atheist Day
National D.A.R.E. Day
National Stress Awareness Day
Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day
FRIDAY, APRIL 20
Chinese Language Day
International Cli-Fi Day
National Cheddar Fries Day
National Pot Smokers Day
National Teach Children to Save Day
SATURDAY, APRIL 21
Bulldogs are Beautiful Day
Husband Appreciation Day
National Chocolate-Covered Cashews Day
National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day
National Surprise Drug Test Day
National Yellow Bat Day
Queen’s Birthday (real date)
Record Store Day
Spring Astronomy Day
SUNDAY, APRIL 22
Chemists Celebrate The Earth Day
Girl Scout Leaders Day
Global Selfie Earth Day (NASA)
“In God We Trust Day” Day
Mother Earth Day
National Jelly Bean Day
MONDAY, APRIL 23
English Language Day
English Muffin Day
Impossible Astronaut Day (Dr. Who)
National Lost Dog Awareness Day
Movie Theatre Day
Talk Like Shakespeare Day
World Book & Copyright Day
World Book Night
TUESDAY, APRIL 24
Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day
Sauvignon Blanc Day
New Kids on The Block Day
World Day for Animals in Laboratories
World Meningitis Day
ON THIS DAY
2348 BC: According to Archbishop Usher, Noah’s Ark landed on Mount Ararat near the modern borders of Turkey, Armenia, and Iran. The natives call Ararat “the Painful Mountain” because its sudden storms, avalanches, and shifting glaciers make it almost impossible to climb. ***I love the fact that Archbishop Usher claims that Noah’s ark landed on Mt Ararat on April 15th. I thought the flood was water, not paper. –Duane Matz
1852: The first screw-top bottles were patented in Paris, France.
1912: At 12:50 a.m. EST, junior wireless operators at Cape Race, Newfoundland, received a report from the Virginian that they were trying to reach Titanic, but had lost communication. Titanic’s last signals at 12:27 a.m. were “blurred and ended abruptly.”
1934: Comic strip wife Blondie Bumstead gave birth to Alexander. She called him “Baby Dumpling.”
1947: Jackie Robinson became the first black player in a major-league baseball game since brothers Moses and Welday Walker played for Toledo in 1884. During his rookie year with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Robinson played first base.
1955: The first franchised McDonalds opened in Des Plains, Illinois. Ray Kroc, a milk shake machine salesman, had gotten the idea from a hamburger place in San Bernardino, California, run by the McDonald brothers. An opening day hamburger was 15 cents. The 49-cent Big Mac was introduced in 1968 and the 53-cent Quarter Pounder in 1971. Last year there were more than 31,000 McDonalds in 119 countries.
1957: Sun Records in Memphis released “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” by Jerry Lee Lewis. It would top the pop, country, and rhythm & blues music charts.
1958: During a concert in St. Louis, Buddy Holly’s Fender Stratocaster guitar was stolen.
1970: The Beer Can Collectors of America was incorporated. Headquartered in Fenton, Missouri, the group now includes over 100 active chapters.
1983: “Flashdance” starring Jennifer Beals opened in movie theaters throughout the U.S.
1983: Disneyland opened in Tokyo.
1995: Vatican police stopped animal rights activists led by singer Kate Pierson from entering St. Peter’s Square in Rome to urge Pope John Paul to back vegetarianism. The demonstrators were dressed as farm animals: a lamb, a cow, a chicken, and a pig.
1997: A French survey revealed that women with blue or green eyes had the best chance of living to be 120 years old.
2000: Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles became the 24th major league player to hit safely 3,000 times.
2001: After a truck trailer lost a wheel and crashed New South Wales, 24,000 bottles of beer sank into the Tweed River, near the town of Tweed Heads. Suddenly, local residents appeared in full scuba gear and started retrieving the beer until police warned they could be charged with theft.
2004: In the season finale to the NBC reality show “The Apprentice,” Donald Trump “hired” Bill Rancic over Kwame Jackson during a segment that was telecast live.
2007: A landlord in Stockholm, Sweden, lost a bid to evict a woman who annoyed her neighbors by allegedly sunbathing nude, smoking outside unclothed, disposing of her trash improperly, and sexually assaulted two building workers. A rent court ruled for the landlord, but the woman appealed and the Court of Appeal found, though the woman was not a good neighbor, her behavior was not bad enough to justify eviction.
TODAY IN CHRISTIAN HISTORY
1415: Jerome of Prague, a friend of Bohemian reformer Jan Hus, is seized by church authorities meeting at the Council of Constance. Under duress, Jerome recanted his Wycliffe-influenced beliefs and accepted the authority of the pope. However, when a crowd was assembled to hear him repeat the recantation, he changed his speech and eloquently defended both Wycliffe’s teachings and the recently executed Hus. Jerome was subsequently burned at the stake.
1452: Italian painter and scholar Leonardo da Vinci is born in Florence, Italy. Among his most famous religious works are the Virgin of the Rocks, The Last Supper, and St. John the Baptist.
1638: The castle of Hara, located on the Shimabara Peninsula, Japan, falls to invaders. Masuda Shiro Tokisada defended the fortress with 37,000 Christians, 17,000 of them combatants. They fought valiantly to the end—even the women and children. After the battle, all of the survivors were subsequently beheaded, save one Judas (Yamada) who had plotted to open the castle gate to the enemy.
1729: Johann Bach conducts the first and only performance of St. Matthew Passion during his lifetime at a Good Friday Vespers service in Leipzig, Germany. The choral work has been called “the supreme cultural achievement of all Western civilization,” and even the radical skeptic Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) admitted upon hearing it, “One who has completely forgotten Christianity truly hears it here as gospel.
1889: Belgian Roman Catholic priest Joseph Damien, a missionary to lepers on Molokai, Hawaii, dies from the disease.
1892: Dutch devotional writer Corrie ten Boom, known for hiding Jewish refugees in her home during World War II (an act dramatized in the 1971 film The Hiding Place) is born. She also died on this date in 1983.
1958: The Auca, Dayuma, is baptized. Her people had killed the missionaries who first came to bring them the gospel.
1983: Death of Corrie Ten Boom on her 91st birthday. She protected Jews from the Nazis and was incarcerated in a concentration camp. After the war, she became an internationally known evangelist.
HOLLYWOOD, SPORTS AND CELEBRITY FIGURE BIRTHDAYS
actress Emma Watson (Harry Potter movies) is 28
actress (Sense and Sensibility, Stranger Than Fiction, Nanny McPhee, also in two of the Harry Potter movies) Emma Thompson 59
(Music Artist Birthdays From SongFacts.com)
1894 : Bessie Smith
1918 : Eddy Arnold
1933 : Roy Clark
1937 : Bob Luman
1939 : Marty Wilde
1940 : Clarence Satchell (The Ohio Players)
1942 : Allan Clarke (The Hollies)
1944 : Dave Edmunds
1947 : Gerry Rafferty (Stealers Wheel)
1947 : Mike Chapman
1966 : Samantha Fox
1968 : Ed O’Brien (Radiohead)
SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE (Answering questions that have plagued mankind for minutes!)
Why is Jesus so frequently depicted as tall and slim with long hair?
TV, newspapers and magazines are likely to display the image of Jesus in one particular way… tall, slim, with long hair. How do they know how to depict Him? After all, He was a Jew, for whom graven images were forbidden. And don’t look in the Gospels for a description. He’s left there to your imagination. There actually is a very mundane reason for the image with which we are all familiar. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, when the Western image of Jesus became fixed, artists themselves were likely to look that way. They painted what they knew. The probably ascetic Jesus may have been thin, and Jews, it’s been suggested, might have had long hair to set themselves off from the Romans. Jesus may also have been a man of color, but we don’t just know. And it may not really matter.
(None on weekends. Want a customizable version with your specific station tag, FREE? Email me for more information! )
NEW NEWS KICKERS…
(Not posted on weekends and U.S. holidays.)
*****NOTE: THIS FEATURE WILL BE TAKING A BREAK FROM MARCH 31 THRU APRL 16. IT WILL RETURN TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 2018.*****
NEWS KICKER EVERGREENS…
(Not posted on weekends and U.S. holidays.)
AS THE JUNGLE TURNS
(Not updated on weekends and U.S. holidays.)
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD MONDAY’S EPISODE
OPEN: And now, FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns! When last we left the jungle, all of the animals were selling all of their possessions and packing up to move out of the jungle as fast as possible because they were all terrified of a giant, disgusting, loud, smelly, awful giant-footed monster! But just before everyone moved, Sully the Aardvark thought about something…
CLOSE: Oh great… so maybe the monster IS real! Tune in again next time, 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.
MOMENT OF DUH
Ever had a cyber-barbeque?
Officials responding to a complaint of smoke early one morning were led to a man barbecuing his computer’s modem in his backyard. The 39-year-old from Janesville, WI, told police he was sick of it operating so slowly, and decided to grill it up to make it work faster. His wife told police this isn’t his first time he’d destroyed a modem in anger. Previous instances, she says, have involved smashing them to bits and throwing them out windows. Police extinguished the smoldering modem, but were unable to save it. The dial-up device was unfortunately a total loss.
TOP TEN U. S. TAX FACTS
10. The Gettysburg address is 269 words, the Declaration of Independence is 1,337 words, and the Holy Bible is only 773,000 words. However, the tax law has grown from 11,400 words in 1913, to 7 million words today.
9. There are at least 480 different tax forms, each with many pages of instructions.
8. Even the easiest form, the 1040E has 33 pages in instructions, and all in fine print.
7. The IRS sends out 8 billion pages of forms and instructions each year. Laid end to end, they would stretch 28 times around the earth.
6. Nearly 300,000 trees are cut down yearly to produce the paper for all the IRS forms and instructions.
5. American taxpayers spend $200 billion and 5.4 billion hours working to comply with federal taxes each year, more than it takes to produce every car, truck, and van in the United States.
4. The burden of compliance is the equivalent to a staff of 3 million people working full time for a year, just to comply with the taxes on individuals and businesses.
3. The IRS employs 114,000 people; that’s twice as many as the CIA and five times more than the FBI.
2. 60% of taxpayers must hire a professional to get through their own return.
1. Taxes eat up 38.2% of the average family’s income; that’s more than for food, clothing and shelter combined. (This is just the Federal Tax – it does not include state, local, property, sales tax, etc.!)
THE FILES OF LAW & DISORDER
Forget the doughnuts… try a cheeseburger instead!
FILE #1: A suspect in a bar fight tried to avoid being arrested by offering to bribe arresting officer Deputy Mark Eastly – with a cheeseburger. “He told me that if I’d drive him to McDonald’s, he’d buy me two cheeseburgers if I let him go and didn’t take him to jail,” reports Eastly. The last of the big-time spenders, from Marathon, Florida, is being charged with a misdemeanor for the fight and now, a felony for the bribery charge.
FILE #2: Alvin Washington of Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania, was arrested for robbing a convenience store and was eventually sentenced to 32 years in jail for the crime. Alvin, was upset with the outcome of his trial, so he demanded a re-trial, but he needed a reason why. His idea? He was upset that he used a court-appointed lawyer and said he should have been able to act as his own legal counsel. He was granted a re-trial. At the second trial he was his own lawyer and did such a good job he no longer had to serve a 32-year sentence. Nope, now he has to serve an 80-year sentence. He was going to ask for another trial — saying an insane person represented him at his second trial — but decided to quit before he made it worse!
FILE #3: Police in Chatfield, Minnesota recently noticed a Honda Accord weaving down the road so they decided to pull it over. Upon doing so, they noticed a strong odor coming from the trunk, so they looked inside only to find 630 trout. The 3 occupants said they had caught the fish in a nearby river. Police doubted their story since all of the fish were twelve inches long, so they figured that they stole them from a farm or state hatchery. And that’s what they did, so they arrested the 3 men. But, even if the men were telling the truth and caught the fish from a river, their catch was 126 times the legal limit of five fish per person. So either way, they were out of luck.
STRANGE LAW: In Texas it is illegal for one to shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel. There are no laws against shooting a buffalo from other levels of the hotel though… at least not specifically.
THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON DRUGS
“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.
Moronic Mexican Mugger. This Einstein decided he’d mug someone outside a bar in Mexico City so he could get some more tequila-cash. So he pulled his gun and held it on the next person he came across.
The person he pulled the gun on happened to be a photographer taking pictures of patrons in and around the bar. The guy waved his gun in the photographer’s face and demanded all of his valuables, and then realized that the guy had a camera. So he rethought his plan, and just asked for a few snapshots of him with his gun instead. Thursday morning, on the front page of Mexico City’s newspaper, there was the picture of the mugger, posing with his gun outside the bar. We’re guessing the guy’s was already drunk at the time and didn’t remember the incident, because police busted him at the same bar later that next day.
- Who turned their taxes in the earliest?
- Who filed for the most extensions in the past for their taxes?
- How many folks are planning on waiting in line at the post office until midnight to get your taxes in the mail?
BIBLE BRAIN BUSTER!
QUESTION: What king passed an edict, ordering the death of babies under age two?
ANSWER: King Herod (Matthew 2:16)
QUESTION: From what is rice paper made?
ANSWER: The pith (the inner part of the trunk) of a small tree native to swampy forests of southern China and Taiwan
TRUE OR FALSE
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. John Wilkes Booth was booked with mugshot number 54018. (False – that number belongs to Lee Harvey Oswald)
2. The doorbell was invented in 1931. (False, 1831)
3. The avocado has the most calories of any fruit. (True)
4. The state of California raises the most turkeys out of all of the states. (True)
5. Beelzebub, another name for the devil, is Hebrew for “Father of Lies” (False – it is Hebrew for “Lord of the Flies.” That’s where the book’s title came from.)
6. In 1800, only 50 cities on Earth had a population of more than 100,000. (True)
7. Pearls melt in vinegar. (True)
8. Hummingbirds cannot walk. (True)
9. Oranges cease to ripen after picking. (True)
10. In the movie “Gandhi” 100,000 extras appeared in the funeral scene. (False – try 300,00! Approximately 100,000 of which received a small fee, and the other 200,000 did it for free.)
TABLOID MATCH GAME
You have to match the blank in the tabloid headline with the word or phrase that has been removed!
TWITTER _________ PAPER (TOILET)
A new site prints out your Twitter feed on rolls of toilet paper.
The site product charges $35 for four rolls of paper printed with 140-word Tweets.
The Tweets appear printed on sheets with about four Tweets per sheet.
Obviously this is fairly tongue in cheek, but we’re reasonably pleased we monetized Twitter in a way that avoided advertising,’ said founder David Gillespie, in an interview with Venturebeat, which found the company.
‘We all have other jobs, though would obviously like to make it a full-time thing. I don’t know where the revenue is, it may very well wind up needing to be funded by brands. I can’t imagine Kleenex putting their name to it.’
The site’s slogan is ‘Social Media has never been so disposable.’
THE WAY TOO EARLY IN THE MORNING TO UNDERSTAND THE PUNCHLINE EVEN AFTER TWO CUPS OF COFFEE JOKE OF THE DAY
Tax time doesn’t need to be all blues — look at it as a creative moment. Consider the taxpayer ordered in for an audit of his recent returns. He showed up with all his financial records, then sat for what seemed like hours watching the IRS accountant pore over the numbers. Finally the agent looked up. “You must be a tremendous fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,” he said.
“Why would you say that?” the taxpayer asked.
“You’ve made more brilliant deductions on your last three returns than Sherlock Holmes made in his entire career.”
A customer wanted to ask his attractive waitress for a date, but couldn’t get her attention. When he was able to catch her eye, she quickly looked away. Finally he followed her into the kitchen and blurted out his invitation. To his amazement, she readily consented.
He said, “Why have you been avoiding me all this time? You wouldn’t even make eye contact.”
“Oh,” said the waitress, “I thought you wanted more coffee.”
Before going on vacation, I decided on the spur of the moment to have my very long, curly hair cut to a very short style shaved to the neck.
My first day back, I passed my boss in the hallway. “Did you miss me?” I asked.
“Miss you?” he echoed. “Who are you?”
The Platypus can eat its weight in worms every day. ***I know it CAN, but why would it WANT to?
Wouldn’t you like to know who originated the income tax? Well Prime Minister William Pitt devised the first one that worked in England around 1800. The British government needed the revenue to prosecute its war with France. ***Pitt… how appropriate. Paying taxes is the pits, and the government’s need for our money is a bottomless pit.
The following was overheard at a recent high society party…
“My ancestry goes all the way back to Alexander the Great,” said one lady.
She then turned to a second woman and asked, “How far does your family go back?”
“I don’t know,” was the reply. “All of our records were lost in the flood.”
IT MUST BE TRUE BECAUSE I HEARD IT ON THE RADIO!
Recently we had a story of an Ohio man who claimed that he forgot to pay for a case of Pepsi that was at the bottom of his shopping cart has been discredited because of some surveillance tape. Tom Sturgis had claimed he was not a thief. Now, it’s been proven he truly is a thief.
On a recent stop at Giant Eagle in Brooklyn, Sturgis said he went through the self-checkout lane and bought $157 worth of groceries. He also said he forgot to include several cans of Pepsi he had underneath his cart. Outside, police arrested him on shoplifting charges. His story drew outrage and sympathy across the city, and it even got Sturgis on the radio one morning. But since then, Brooklyn police released surveillance video of Sturgis at the store on the day of his arrest. Police said Sturgis is shown with his stepson, who was bagging the groceries at the checkout line. But the video shows nothing beneath the cart while it was in the checkout line. Sturgis paid for the groceries in the cart, but police said as he left the store, he picked up the pop at a display in the vestibule, police said. He then left without paying for the new additions to his cart, police said. Brooklyn Chief Mark Tenaglia said a second video camera shows Sturgis loading six 12-packs of Pepsi into his cart before he exited the store. The total value of the soda was $21.54 with tax. Sturgis was arrested and charged with petty theft. “It was a total lie,” Sturgis said. “I did try to steal the Pepsi at Giant Eagle.” Yep… he told the truth only after he was proven to be a liar. (WPXI.com)
IMPOSSIBLE BECOMES HIM-POSSIBLE!
“Then Jesus said to them, `Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.'” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.” John 21:6.
We may need to recast, to redirect, our lives. We may have cast our net everywhere but in the right place for a goodly part of our life. Then one day something may happen that suddenly recasts it, redefines it, and we find ourselves casting our net on God’s side, finally, searching for answers. Then we will find the net bursting with blessings which we never thought possible. Impossible becomes Himpossible!
There’s another thought about spreading the net, especially for those directly in God’s work of casting the net for believers. There may be few and what we consider small fish in the net, and we may find this to be true for all of life. We see others reeling in big ones and feasting on successes. But Jesus asks us to “put out into the deep water and let [our] nets down for a catch” (Luke 5:4 NIV). Our catch is His and we aren’t to worry about it.
A Source Unknown has left this for us: “Keep about your work. Let your aim be as steady as a star. Let the world brawl and bubble. You may be assaulted, wronged, insulted, slandered, wounded, and rejected; you may be abused by foes, forsaken by friends, and despised and rejected of men, but see to it with steadfast determination, with unfaltering zeal, that you pursue the great purpose of your life and object of your being until at last you can say, `I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do.'”
Like Simon, we simply put our nets back out and let the Lord on the shore do the work!
(Patricia Erwin Nordman, Walking Through the Darkness)
DRIVE TIME DEVOTIONAL
THE TONGUE THAT DEFILES
Read: James 3:5-12
He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction. —Proverbs 13:3
My words have an effect on others; they also have an effect on me. When I speak evil, I not only reveal the sin in my own heart (Luke 6:45), I also reinforce that evil and cause it to grow. Jesus said it’s not what goes into my mouth that defiles me, but what comes out. James put it another way: “The tongue . . . defiles the whole body” (James 3:6). My untamed tongue corrupts me.
On the other hand, when I refuse to give expression to impure, unkind, ungodly thoughts, I begin to choke and strangle the evil in my soul.
That’s why the wise man said in Proverbs 13:3 that we must guard our mouth. When we do that, we starve the evil that is gnawing insidiously at the root of our soul. Do we want to put an end to the evil that so easily rises within us? With God’s help, we must learn to control our tongue.
You may say, “I’ve tried to, but I have no power to subdue it.” James agreed: “No man can tame the tongue” (James 3:8). But Jesus can. Ask Him to “keep watch” over your mouth (Psalm 141:3), and hand the bridle of your tongue to Him.
Let’s echo the prayer of the hymn by Frances Havergal: “Take my lips and let them be filled with messages for Thee.” —David Roper
Lord, set a guard upon my lips,
My tongue control today;
Help me evaluate each thought
And watch each word I say. —Hess
Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles. —Proverbs 21:23
WACKY WAYS STATES FATTEN THEIR COFFERS BY MAKING YOU PAY ODDBALL TAXES
(Sun) Every year at tax time, people fume at Uncle Sam’s piece of the pie – but wait till you see some of the wildest taxes on the books.
Tennessee became the 23rd state to tax illegal drugs. According to the law, you have 48 hours after acquiring your stash to report it to the Department of Revenue, which then issues stamps for you to stick on your box or bag of illegal drugs. Officials say they won’t arrest citizens for paying the drug tax. In North Carolina, they’ve had the tax scheme for 15 years, but only 79 folks have ever come forward to get their stamps.
Maryland takes a bite out of flushing the toilet, with a 2004 tax rule that adds $2.50 a month to the bill of every resident hooked up to the public treatment system, and $30 a year on everyone with a septic tank. Their aim is to raise funds to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, which has been badly polluted by waste water.
In Alabama, playing cards cost an extra 10 cents, and the seller has to pay an extra $4 in licensing fees every year.
If you prefer games a little more active than cards, you might want to watch out for jock taxes. They apply to out-of-town athletes and entertainers who make money in a handful of cities or states. California invented the jock tax in 1991 as a way to make the Chicago Bulls pay for beating the L.A. Lakers. Nowadays, most states with pro sports teams levy a similar tax on visiting teams.
Despite the chilly winters Minnesota is doing their bit to keep fur on animals and not in coats, with a fur clothing tax. Businesses owe 6.5 percent on the sale, shipping and finance charges for any clothing in which fur makes up three times more of the garment than the next most valuable material. Lucky for Minnesota bikers, leather is tax-free.
But the Easy Rider crowd might want to steer clear of Arkansas, or they’ll face a tax on tattoos. Since last July, all tattoos and body piercings cost an extra 6 percent.
If you’re thirsty in Chicago, prepare to pay an extra 6 percent in soda fountain tax or buy your soft drinks in bottles and cans.
LIFE… LIVE IT
BOOST YOUR BRAINPOWER
Good news. You can boost your brainpower and make “senior brain-drain” nothing but a bad memory just by doing mental exercises and adopting the right diet and lifestyle. Keep your mind youthfully resilient with techniques outlined by Dr. Molly Wagster of the National Institute on aging in Bethesda, MD.
Eat berries — Blueberries can rejuvenate the brain. Cranberries and strawberries also have a beneficial effect on brainpower.
Exercise — aerobic exercise can help improve brain function. Exercise also prompts the release of endorphins thought to fend off depression.
Reduce stress — Stress releases cortisol, a hormone that can damage the brain’s memory center. Meditation, relaxation and keeping a positive mental outlook will help you reduce stress.
Eat foods rich with vitamin E — Vitamin E, found in oils, green leafy vegetables and whole grains, is a vital brain protector. It promotes mental alertness.
Use your opposite hand — Most of us rely on our dominant hand to do simple tasks. Using your opposite hand for brushing your teeth, eating or working a computer mouse will engage both lobes of the brain and improve hand-brain co-ordination.
Challenge your brain — Discard the calculator and do the math in your head.
Get plenty of sleep — Sleep-deprived subjects score 30 percent lower on memory tests. Most people need 8 to 8.5 hours of sleep each night.
JUST FOR FUN
I KNEW IT!
When your middle school science teacher told you that you were wrong – you may have well been right!
According to a 2-year survey conducted by John Hubisz – a North Carolina State University physics professor – 12 of the most popular science textbooks used in middle schools across the country are riddled with errors. And, according to Hubisz, 85% of children in the United States have used those books. ***MARLAR: Teachers are resting in the fact that we’ve never used what we learned in Science class anyway.
WHOO HOO! IT’S TAX TIME!
Taxes, of course, are no laughing matter. Serious consequences await those who fail to file, falsely file, knowingly underreport or otherwise throw spitballs at the system. Just ask Willie Nelson, who lost the best little golf course in Texas to back taxes. Still, every year Americans try to shave what they owe on their personal income tax returns by pushing the envelope and letting their certified public accountant make the line calls.
Herb Wakeford, a CPA in Raleigh, North Carolina, recalls a Pittsburgh furniture-store owner who, after years of trying unsuccessfully to sell his business, hired an arsonist to torch the place. The insurance company paid off to the tune of $500,000, which the owner dutifully reported on his income tax return. However, along with taking the proper deductions for the building, its contents and the usual business expenses, he also deducted a $10,000 “consulting fee” he had paid the arsonist. An IRS audit two years later landed them both in jail. The IRS disallowed the “consulting fee” and slapped on $6,500 in additional taxes, penalties and interest.
Then there was the client who insisted on deducting the cost of his television and cable service against his accountant’s advice. “His reasoning was that he was a Spanish teacher at school, and the only reason he bought the TV and had the cable was for the Spanish channels so he could be able to teach his students better,” Howard recalls. “I told him, ‘Well now, not too many people out there can deduct the cost of their TV and cable, but if you can get away with it, knock yourself out.'”
Back when the Society of Louisiana CPAs manned a tax hotline, few inquiries stumped them. But Al Suffrin, SLCPA’s communications and public relations director, recalls one that did: “We took a call from an ostrich farmer who wanted to know how to go about depreciating an ostrich.” Strange as it sounds, you can depreciate an ostrich or any other livestock, as long as they’re used for breeding.
There was a time when deductions were as plentiful as dinner mints. “Many years ago when I was a young clerk, a local CPA kept a very large glass bowl filled with receipts in his office,” recalls Nancy Reynolds of Reynolds & Associates in Naples, Florida. “If a client came in and was a little shy of deductions, they merely dipped into the bowl and helped themselves to some of those glorious deductions.”
Sometimes deductions seem so logical they just have to be legal. One guys asked his CPA if he could deduct the cost of his dog food. His reasoning was that his dog was security for his house, therefore the dog food became a security expense.
And when all other loopholes seem closed, sometimes only a higher power can help. One fine February, a rookie tax accountant completed a slam-dunk return for one of the firm’s old and trusted clients and turned it in to his boss. There followed several loud whoops of laughter from the partner’s office. It seems the client had accidentally lost his dentures when they fell in the toilet, and had claimed them on his taxes as an act-of-God casualty loss.
MORE SHOW PREP STUFF…
TRUST YOUR CLERGYMAN
Sometimes donating to a favorite institution has a downside. Consider the priest who was preparing for Mass when an IRS agent arrived. The agent asked: “Father, do you know a Mr. Mahoney?”
“Why yes I do,” the priest replied. “He’s been a member in good standing in this parish for many years.”
“Did he make a $50,000 donation to the church as he claimed on his tax return?”
Without missing a beat, the priest replied, “Rest assured he will, my son — he definitely will.”
NOW THEY HAVE EVERYTHING
A businessman on his deathbed called his friend and said, “Bill, I want you to promise me that when I die you will have my remains cremated.”
“And what,” his friend asked, “do you want me to do with your ashes?”
The businessman said, “Just put them in an envelope and mail them to the Internal Revenue Service, and write on the envelope, ‘Now you have everything’.”
I just heard the most marvelous rumor of them all… that Form 1040 has been found to cause cancer in laboratory rats!
Dear IRS, I would like to cancel my subscription. Please remove me from your mailing list.
Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a refund from the IRS, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
A new arrival, about to enter a hospital, saw two white-coated doctors searching through the flower beds. “Excuse me,” he said, “have you lost something?”
“No,” replied one of the doctors. “We’re doing a heart transplant for an income-tax inspector and need to find a suitable stone.”
Stephen Sprenger, who owns the H&R Block on Denny Way [Seattle], says it’s that time of year: the time for ceiling deductions. Ceiling deductions? Sprenger says, “You ask how many miles the client drove and he looks at the ceiling and says, ‘About 8,000.'” –Jean Godden, The Seattle Times
If the Patriots thought taxation without representation was bad, what would they think it is today WITH representation? Tyranny?
IMPORTANT TAX QUESTIONS
Important questions all American taxpayers must answer before midnight tonight:
1. Did you attach your check or money order made payable to Internal Revenue Service? And if so, do you know where your next meal is coming from?
2. Did you attach your Forms W-2 to your return? Did you also attach the shirt off your back?
3. Did you use your preprinted label? If not, just who do you think you are and which day next week can you come in for an audit?
4. Did you place proper postage in the little box on the front of the envelope where it says “Place Stamp Here?” Did you also have sense enough to lick the stamp even though the IRS didn’t remind you to do it?
LETTER TO THE IRS
Enclosed is this year’s tax return & payment. Please take note of the attached article from USA Today newspaper. In the article, you will see that the Pentagon is paying $171.50 for hammers and NASA has paid $600.00 for a toilet seat. Please find enclosed four toilet seats (value $2400) and six hammers (value $1029). This brings my total payment to $3429.00. Please note the overpayment of $22.00 and apply it to the “Presidential Election Fund,” as noted on my return. Might I suggest you the send the above mentioned fund a 1.5 inch screw.” (See attached article…HUD paid $22.00 for a 1.5 inch Phillips head screw.) It has been a pleasure to pay my tax bill this year, and I look forward to paying it again next year.
Sincerely, A satisfied taxpayer
OTHER STUFF I WANT TO CRAM INTO TODAY’S PREP
(Not posted on weekends and U.S. holidays.)
(Feel-good stories! Only posted as new stories come available. Not posted on weekends and U.S. holidays.)
(Stories to get your dander up! Only posted as stories come available. Not posted on weekends and U.S. holidays.)
AND I LEAVE YOU WITH THIS THOUGHT
- Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being eminent. –Jonathan Swift
- A taxpayer is someone who works for the federal government but who doesn’t have to take a civil service examination. — Ronald Reagan
- The trick is to stop thinking of it as ‘your’ money. — Revenue Auditor
- The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax! — Albert Einstein
- The Government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul. — George Bernard Shaw
- The avoidance of taxes is the only pursuit that still carries any reward. — J M Keynes
- To please universally was the object of his life; but to tax and to please, no more than to love and to be wise, is not given to men. — Edmund Burke
- When there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income. — Plato
- Like mothers, taxes are often misunderstood, but seldom forgotten — Lord Bramwell
- There is no art which one government sooner learns from another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people. — Adam Smith
- There are two distinct classes of men… those who pay taxes and those who receive and live upon taxes. — Thomas Paine
- War involves in its progress such a train of unforeseen and unsupposed circumstances that no human wisdom can calculate the end. It has but one thing certain, and that is to increase taxes — Thomas Paine
- In the matter of taxation, every privilege is an injustice. — Voltaire.
- There are two systems of taxation in our country: one for the informed and one for the uninformed. — Honorable Learned Hand, US Appeals Court Justice
- Over and over again Courts have said there is nothing sinister in so arranging one’s affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everybody does so, rich and poor, and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands. Taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant. — Honorable Learned Hand, US Appeals Court Justice
- The haggis and European tax law have much in common. They both involve bloody processes, the end results are a mystery and those of a squeamish disposition should not get involved in the making of either. — Anon
- Your federal government needs your money so that it can perform vital services for you that you would not think up yourself in a million years. — Dave Barry (US columnist)
- We have from time-to-time complained about the complexity of our revenue laws and the almost impossible challenge they present to taxpayers or their representatives… Our complaints have obviously fallen upon deaf ears. — Arnold Raum (Senior US Tax Court Judge)
- Benjamin Franklin said nothing is certain but death and taxes: but at least death doesn’t get worse every year. — Anon
- Preparing my tax return always takes a lot of Kleenex. Not only do I cry a lot, but I wind up paying through the nose. –HaLife
- Non-taxable income is any payments received from outer space. –HaLife
- Remember, according to new IRS regulations, you do not have to file a return this year if, as of December 31st last year, you had been dead for one year or longer. –HaLife
- Income tax is what we pay the government to waste our money for us. –HaLife
- I didn’t have a medical deduction again this year, but I will as soon as I pay off my nerve transplant. –HaLife
- I finally paid my income tax. Now I’m ready to plea bargain. –HaLife
THE TICKET Movie Reviews with MARIE ASNER
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).
APRIL 13, 2018…
Beirut (opening in select cities)—This is a political drama/thriller starring Jon Hamm. He portrays a former diplomat who is called into action to save a friend from assassins. Also in the cast are Rosamund Pike (“Hostiles”) and Dean Norris. “Beirut” is rated R. No rating.
Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero—This is a true story, partially computer generated. Stubby began as a homeless Boston terrier, who was found by a young man going off to WWI. Logan Lerman plays the man who becomes quite fond of Stubby and before you know it, Stubby is on foreign soil and, it is discovered, has special skills. He can smell mustard gas from a distance, thus helping troops avoid that area, and he can find wounded soldiers so medics can help them. Talk about bravery. After the way, Stubby ends up being the most decorated canine ever and the first—and only—canine to be promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Helena Bonham Carter also stars, and is the narrator of the story. You will recognize Gerard Depardieu, also. “Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero” is rated PG. Rating of 2 for fans.
The Rider (opening in select cities)—For western fans, this film is about a professional rodeo rider (true story) who is at the top of his game when there is a serious accident. What to do next? What direction to go now? The film did well at Sundance. Cast includes Brady Jandreau, Tim Jandreau, Lilly Jandreau and Lane Scott. “The Rider” is rated R. No rating.
Miracle Season—This dramatic film, based on a true story, is about volleyball. Specifically, the Iowa City West High School Girls Volleyball Team. Their captain, Caroline (Danika Yarosh), nicknamed “Line” dies in an accident and the team is devastated. What to do? Helen Hunt is their coach, and together, the team decides to “go for the gold and for Line.” They start winning and you can figure out the rest. Other sports films that had similar themes include “The Mighty Ducks” and “Miracle” (both hockey), “Hoosiers” for basketball, “The Replacements” and “Necessary Roughness” for football. In this volleyball film, William Hurt is also in the cast along with Erin Moriarity. “Miracle Season” is rated PG-13. Rating of 3 for fans.
Flower (opening in select cities)—A coming-of-age film (think “Lady Bird” here), the film concerns a teenage girl (Zoey Deutch) living with her Mom (Kathryn Hahn) and the Mom’s boyfriend, Tim Heidecker. Enter, the boyfriend’s son (Joey Morgan) who has emotional problems and before you can snap your fingers, the teens are out for trouble and that includes harassing a teacher, Adam Scott. “Flower” is rated R. No rating.
APRIL 20, 2018…
Rampage stars Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) as a scientist whose friend is a large gorilla—but the gorilla keeps getting bigger and bigger…….
Super Troopers 2 has the group on the Canadian/US border. Stars Rob Lowe.
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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.