April 18, 2016: Monday ONAIRprep

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Yesterday afternoon after the show, I saw a guy with a sign that said, “WHERE WILL YOU SPEND ETERNITY?” which freaked me out because I was on my way to the Motor Vehicle Agency.  –Arj Barker




To me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.  — Philippians 1:21


For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. — 1 Corinthians 1:18


Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. — Philippians 4:4-5




(From VerseOfTheDay.com)

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. — Colossians 4:5-6


Thought: Jesus warned about our giving account for every idle word (Matthew 12:36-37). Paul takes it a step further and emphasizes how important this is with those who don’t know Christ. We want to seize every opportunity when around those who are not Christians and show kindness, care, and control in the way we use our speech. Someone’s eternal destiny may be resting on our conversations with them.


Prayer: Holy and Righteous God, I know you hate it when your people wound and drive unbelievers away. Please help me display a winsome attitude with all people, but especially those who do not yet know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. 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.




The chapter and verse corresponds to the month and the day!

2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV = So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.




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


Today is INTERNATIONAL SPECIAL LIBRARIANS DAY. ***MARLAR: That’s sweet – a whole day dedicated to librarians with special needs; like those who never could learn the Dewey Decimal System.


This is NATIONAL BUILDINGS SAFETY WEEK. ***MARLAR: It’s just my opinion, but don’t you think that the safety of buildings should be a priority more often than just one week per year? How about a National Buildings Safety All Of The Time celebration?


Today is PET OWNERS INDEPENDENCE DAY, a day for pet owners to sleep all day and let the pets do the work.  ***MARLAR: Oh, if it were only that simple!  I’d LOVE to get our cat, Patches, to clean the bathroom – but she even freaks out just watching us take a shower.  “Hey, how can you just stand there and let the water pour all over you?!?!  Are you CRAZY?!?!  Do you have any idea how long it’s going to take to lick yourselves dry now?!?!”


Today is NATIONAL ANIMAL CRACKERS DAY.  ***MARLAR: And if you think you’re animals are going to do the work for you today, well then you’re a little crackers as well.




Adult Autism Day

Boston Marathon

National Columnists’ Day

National Golf Day

National Lineman Appreciation Day

National Stress Awareness Day

Pet Owners Independence Day

World Amateur Radio Day





Bicycle Day

Education and Sharing Day

John Parker Day

National Garlic Day

National Hanging Out Day

Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day

National Wear Your Pajamas To Work Day



Chinese Language Day

International Cli-Fi Day

National Cheddar Fries Day

National Pot Smokers Day



Bulldogs are Beautiful Day

High Five Day

National Ask An Atheist Day

National D.A.R.E. Day

Kindergarten Day

National Chocolate-Covered Cashews Day

National Surprise Drug Test Day (***How can it be a surprise if we know today is National Surprise Drug Test Day?)

Queen’s Birthday



Chemists Celebrate The Earth Day

Earth Day

Girl Scout Leaders Day

Global Selfie Earth Day (NASA)

“In God We Trust” Day

Mother Earth Day

National Jelly Bean Day


Satchmo Days (22-24)



English Language Day

Impossible Astronaut Day

National Dance Day

National Lost Dog Awareness Day

Movie Theater Day

Talk Like Shakespeare Day

World Book & Copyright Day

World Book Night



Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day

National Pet Parents’ Day

Pinhole Photography Day

Mother, Father Deaf Day

New Kids On The Block Day

World Meningitis Day



Eeyore’s Birthday

Hairstylists Appreciation Day

Hug a Plumber Day (Plumbers Day)

International Marconi Day

License Plates Day

National Mani-Pedi Day

Malaria Awareness Day

Parental Alienation Day

Red Hat Society Day

Save the Frogs Day

Sense of Smell Day

Spring Astronomy Day

World Day for Animals in Laboratories

World Penguin Day




1775: Paul Revere began his famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington, Massachusetts, to warn American colonists the British were coming.


1877: Charles Cros wrote a paper that described the process of recording and reproducing sound. In France, Mr. Cros is still recognized as the inventor of the phonograph. In the U.S., Thomas Edison gets the credit.


1923: Yankee Stadium opened in the Bronx, New York. It was baseball’s first three-tiered stadium. The Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-1.


1924: Simon & Schuster published the first Crossword Puzzle Book.


1936: Gene Autry, the Singing Cowboy, recorded “Back in the Saddle Again.”


1945: St. Louis Brown outfielder Pete Gray went one for four in his first major league game. Pete had only one arm.


1966: Bill Russell was named player-coach of the Boston Celtics, the first African-American coach in the NBA.


1979: 18-year-old Andreas Mihavecz was discovered near death in a government holding cell in Hochst, Austria. A passenger in an auto accident, he apparently was forgotten and given neither food nor water for 18 days. He survived.


1981: Tom Seaver of the Cincinnati Reds struck out Cardinal Keith Hernandez to became only the fifth pitcher in major league history to earn 3,000 career strikeouts. But the Cardinals won the game, 10-4.


1990: A jury awarded a St. Louis woman $27,500 in damages from a man who bit her in a bar. The woman testified that the bite caused such “searing and throbbing pain,” she could not sit down for three days.  ***MARLAR: Oh, so that’s where he bit her.


1991: Charlie Kovacs of Seymour, Victoria, Australia, set the world camper speed record by towing his Roadster camper at a speed of 126.76 miles an hour. ***MARLAR: But his kids still kept yelling, “Are we there yet!”


1999: Wayne Gretzky played his last National Hockey League game as his New York Rangers lost to Pittsburgh 2-1 in overtime at Madison Square Garden.


2001: A San Francisco man was arrested for a string of bank robberies after he dropped a receipt with his name on it at one bank and left his resume at another. Police said the 37-year-old bandit was intoxicated during the robberies.


2002: Actor Robert Blake was arrested in the shooting death of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. Blake, who played Little Beaver as a child in 20 movies and later was TV’s “Baretta,” was acquitted of murder but found liable in a civil case.


2003: Scott Peterson was arrested in San Diego in the death of his wife, Laci, who was eight months pregnant when she vanished on Christmas Eve.




1161: Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, dies. He repeatedly quarreled with his superiors about church appointments and other political questions, but he the influential French abbot Bernard of Clairvaux supported him. Theobald helped strengthen the English church and build the career of Thomas Becket, whom he recommended as chancellor to England’s newly crowned King Henry.


1587: English Protestant historian John Foxe, author of Actes and Monuments of Matters Happenning to the Church (the shorter version is now known as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs), dies at age 71.


1870: Isabella Thoburn opens her school, one of the first for the women of India. Seven frightened girls are coaxed to attend.


1874: Having died nearly a year earlier (May 1, 1873) in what is now northern Zambia, missionary-explorer David Livingstone (whose remains had been brought, as his tombstone reads, “by faithful hands over land and sea”) is interred in London’s Westminster Abbey.




  • Actress (“Sabrina the Teenage Witch”) Melissa Joan Hart 40 (audio clip)
  • TV host Conan O’Brien 53
  • Actor (Will on “Will & Grace”) Eric McCormack, 53 (audio clip)
  • Actress (Daphne Moon on “Frasier”) Jane Leeves, 55 (audio clip)
  • actor (Rick Decker on “As the World Turns,” Jeff Colby on “Dynasty”) John James 60 (audio clip)
  • actor (Less Than Perfect, “Heroes”) Eric Roberts, 60 (audio clip)
  • Actor (Barry Dekumbis on “Ally McBeal,” Ira Buchman on “Mad About You”) John Pankow 62 (audio clip)
  • actor (Ghostbusters, Honey I Shrunk the Kids) Rick Moranis, 62
  • Actor (John Q, Riding In Cars With Boys, Any Given Sunday, The General’s Daughter, True Crime) James Woods, 69 — John is said to be a very intelligent man. He scored a perfect 800 on his verbal SATs and a 779 on the math section.
  • Actress (the original The Parent Trap, That Darn Cat) Hayley Mills, 70
  • Actress (Della Street on “Perry Mason”) Barbara Hale, 95 (audio clip #1, audio clip #2)




(Music Artist Birthdays From SongFacts.com)

1918 : Tony Mottola

1924 : Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown

1935 : Paul Rothchild

1938 : Hal Galper

1939 : Glen Hardin (The Crickets)

1940 : Mike Vickers (Manfred Mann)

1946 : Lennie Baker (Sha Na Na)

1946 : Hayley Mills

1946 : Skip Spence (Quicksilver Messenger Service, Moby Grape, Jefferson Airplane)

1958 : Les Pattinson (Echo And The Bunnymen)

1966 : Ana Voog (The Blue Up)

1970 : Greg Eklund (Everclear)




Why do we call a worldly person “sophisticated?”

This is all about wise guys. It starts with the ancient Greek word sophos, which meant wise. But it’s not a straight line from there to sophisticated. In the 4th century B. C., a school of philosophy that emphasized verbal cleverness and skillful arguing over deep, serious thought was called sophistry. (The ancient Greeks didn’t have a word for smarty-pants… and the word “lawyer” came much later.) Medieval Latin continued this line of thought, applying the word “sophisticare” to mean adulterating something or watering it down. As the word morphed into sophisticated, a transformation of its meaning also occurred. By around 1700, sophisticated meant artificial (not far from adulterated), and unsophisticated came to mean pure and natural, the opposite of artificial. It was almost 1900 before sophisticated evolved yet again from the negative sense of artificial to the positive meaning of complex, knowledgeable, and worldly… much like yours truly. (Source: www.worldwidewords.com)




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(No news on the weekends.)



A woman was arrested at a Florida WalMart recently for driving around on a motorized cart while enjoying drinks and snacks she hadn’t yet paid for.  *** How is this news?  This happens at every Walmart at least twice a week.


Walter Cavanagh holds the record for the most credit cards — 1,497. His total line of credit is $1.7 million. Cavanagh says his credit card obsession started in the late 1960s when he made a “silly bet” with a friend: the guy who could collect the most credit cards by the end of the year would win dinner.  *** All those credit cards, and the other guy has to buy dinner… what a cheapskate.


Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has signed a bill that allows some members of churches to provide armed security for their congregations, after undergoing firearms training.  The bill, dubbed The Church Protection Act, specifies that those designated can carry guns into church buildings.  It also allows people to carry concealed weapons without a permit. Representative Andy Gipson of Braxton says the law gives small congregations an option to defend themselves against attack.  ***And incorporating Jesus’ teachings of “turn the other cheek”, this requires you to get shot on both sides of the face.


An apparent attempt by North Korea to fire a medium-range ballistic missile on Friday, failed.  ***If they keep this up they’ll end up accidentally nuking themselves and we won’t have to worry about them anymore.



It’s no secret that millions of Americans are sleep-deprived, and being drowsy at the wheel is adding to the dangerous mix of cell phones and texting that drivers face each day.   In a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 41 percent of drivers admitted that at some point in their lives, they had nodded off at the wheel. Eleven percent said they’d fallen asleep within the past year, and some drivers confessed they had been asleep for more than a minute on a multilane road.  After analyzing the data, researchers say accidents involving sleepy drivers are responsible for significantly more accidents than previously thought.  ***MARLAR: It’s thought that one factor is many young drivers attend public schools and are so uneducated that they think cruise control is the same as autopilot.


A survey of America’s commuters reveals some interesting facts. Chief among them: many folks text and drive.  ***MARLAR: At least, I think that’s what the story said – it was hard to read it on my phone while driving in this morning.


Researchers have identified a gene that can cause symptoms of major depression and said it may be possible to use gene therapy to counteract its effects.  ***MARLAR: Yeah… jeans getting too tight on me gives me the blues too.


High school students spend three hours or more on the average school day playing video or computer games or using a computer for something other than school work.  ***Although it can be argued that these kids were simply preparing for the future and will be more ready than the rest of us when the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse finally does take place.












OPEN: And now, FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns!  When last we left the jungle, a small badger had managed to convince all of the jungle animals that if they bought fancy shoes from him, they’d all be the envy of their friends.  Unfortunately, it’s kind of impossible for everyone to be the envy of everyone, so Millard decided to get even fancier shoes…


CLOSE: Doggone it… and I just bought these shoes too.  I can’t afford to keep doing this on my salary.  And how can Millard afford to buy an even fancier pair than the fancier pair he bought after buying the original fancy pair of shoes?  He doesn’t even have a job!  How much longer are we all going to keep doing this?  Find out next time, As the Jungle Turns!






OPEN: FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns!  Last time, everybody was so caught up in their own talents, voices, and instrument playing that nobody was making beautiful music together… because nobody was together at all!  In fact, even all of the band members wanted to do their own solos!  Everyone wanted their own spotlight.


CLOSE: Okay, I think we’ve gone just about as far with this solo-thing as we can go.  If individual piano keys and individual guitar strings won’t play together, what’s left?  Find out 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.




Today’s Moment of Duh tells us what not to do during tax season… or anytime for that matter.

Now that tax day is finally past, I feel it’s safe to give you a particular Moment of Duh that I’ve been saving. I didn’t want to give you any ideas that might land you in jail if you tried them. Here’s an example of what NOT to do in filing your taxes. In Queens, New York, Michael Graham has been busted by the IRS after he filed 1800 bogus tax returns, hoping to collect $1.6 million in fraudulent refunds. Instead he only received one refund, worth about $900. He slipped up when he cited employers that did not exist and used consecutive social security numbers on his returns. He’s now doing three to ten in federal prison.





  1. Tug-of-War across the ocean


  1. Save on gas by hooking them to your bumper before you leave the house. Then on the way home just pop it in neutral baby!


  1. When the next tornado comes, your trailer ain’t going nowhere!


  1. Connect them all to form a giant rope, placing a G.P.S. locater on one end. Flush that end down the toilet, and see where it ends up


  1. Make 50,000 pairs of giant suspenders.


  1. Become the envy of the neighborhood by making the worlds largest hammock.


  1. Make the International Space Station turn a profit by starting the world’s highest bungee jump.


  1. Give the Statue of Liberty dreadlocks.


  1. Bounce the moon like a yoyo.


  1. From: Acme Inc. To: Wylie Coyote Contents: (1) 25 ft Deluxe Slingshot Frame




A very successful bank robbery becomes unsuccessful in the files of Law & Disorder.


FILE #1: From Cleveland, comes the story of Jesus Ortega who had just pulled off a successful bank robbery. Now he was faced with the question of what to do with his cash. Three bags of it in small bills. He decided to go to another bank and open up a savings account. He slipped up when he told the teller he was homeless and unemployed and the cash was donated to him. The suspicious teller called the cops who identified him as the thief. He assured his place in the files of Law & Disorder when, as the cops were leading him out, he shouted back to the teller and asked her what interest rate he would be getting.


FILE #2: If you can’t do something because it’s illegal, you shouldn’t get angry. That’s what a man in Germany learned. The 38-year-old filled up his tank at a gas station, only to be told by the station’s cashier that they wouldn’t take his money. The reason? It was fake money. The cashier didn’t have to call the police to report the man, though. No. The man got so angry that he drove off to the police station to complain that the gas station would not accept his fake currency! They also found out that he didn’t have a valid driver’s license either!


FILE #3: A high school student in Georgia ruined his school’s 20th birthday celebration by jumping into a 16-foot long cake. Benjamin Jamieson, who said he did it as a dare, was arrested and taken away in handcuffs after his principal called the police. The school board at Lassiter High School later decided not to press charges but he has been suspended from school for five days.


STRANGE LAW: Frightening a baby is against the law in Mole, Missouri.




Some helpful tips for would-be drug traffickers.

Tip #1: Don’t be a drug-trafficker.

Tip #2: If you decide to be a drug-trafficker, don’t traffic your drugs in a stolen car.

Tip #3: If you decide to be a drug-trafficker and traffic your drugs in a stolen car, don’t then park your car illegally in a handicapped parking zone.

An alert Greenwood Village, Colorado police officer noticed just such a scenario. When the officer approached the vehicle and talked to two teenage girls in the car, he noticed that the steering column had been damaged. It didn’t take Kojak to put two and two together and when he took the girls into custody for auto theft, one of them mentioned there were illegal drugs in the vehicle; at which point this kind of traffic came to a screeching halt.





Psychologists have discovered that the manner in which people eat Oreo cookies provides great insight into their personalities. Choose which method best describes your favorite method of eating Oreos:

  1. The whole thing all at once.
    2. One bite at a time.
    3. Slow and methodical nibbles examining the results of each bite afterwards.
    4. In little feverous nibbles.
    5. Dunked in some liquid (milk, coffee…).
    6. Twisted apart, the inside, then the cookie.
    7. Twisted apart, the inside, and toss the cookie.
    8. Just the cookie, not the inside.Your Personality:
  2. The whole thing. This means you consume life with abandon, you are fun to be with, exciting, carefree with some hint of recklessness.


  1. One bite at a time. You are lucky to be one of the 5.4 billion other people who eat their Oreos this very same way.  But that’s okay, not to worry, you’re normal.


  1. Slow and methodical. You follow the rules. You’re very tidy and orderly. You’re very meticulous in every detail with every thing you do.


  1. Feverous nibbles. Your boss likes you because you get your work done quickly. You always have a million things to do and never enough time to do them.


  1. Dunked. Every one likes you because you are always up beat. You like to sugar coat unpleasant experiences and rationalize bad situations into good ones.


  1. Twisted apart, the inside, and then the cookie. You have a highly curious nature. You take pleasure in breaking things apart to find out how they work, though not always able to put them back together.


  1. Twisted apart, the inside, and then toss the cookie. You are good at business and take risk that pay off. You take what you want and throw the rest away.


  1. Just the cookie, not the inside. You enjoy pain.




QUESTION: What are the four rivers in the Garden of Eden?
ANSWER: Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates. (Genesis 2:11-14)




QUESTION: What was the name of Tonto’s horse in the TV series of the Lone Ranger?





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. Almonds are the only nuts mentioned in the Bible. (False – pistachios are mentioned also)


  1. The first child ever born on the continent of Antarctica wasn’t born until 1978. (True)


  1. The average person takes between 8,000 and 10,000 steps a day. (True, according to the American Podiatric Association)


  1. There are 21 flowers on each Oreo cookie. (False – 24)


  1. Ancient Latin and Aramaic are related to every modern language, but not to one another. (True)


  1. Orchids release a chemical that intoxicates hummingbirds. (False – but it does intoxicate bees)


  1. The average age of a new grandparent in the U.S. is 57. (False – it’s 47!)


  1. The rhesus monkey is the only animal that can be taught to hum a tune. (True)


  1. The average American eats 16 slices of pizza a year. (False – 46)


  1. There are lyrics to the theme song from Star Trek. (True!)




The rim of the star-light

My love

is wand’ring in star-flight

I know

He’ll find a star-clustered reaches


Strange love a star woman teaches.

I know

His journey ends never

Hi star trek

Will go on forever.

But tell him

While he wanders his starry sea

Remember, remember me.




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


Researchers have concluded that a rare lunar event was the real cause of the sinking of the Titanic.

Exceptionally high tides caused by a rare conjunction of celestial events could have placed the fateful iceberg in the Titanic’s path.

The Titanic collided with an iceberg the night of April 14, 1912 and sank within hours, with the loss of around 1,500 lives.

And according to a team at Texas State University, an unusually close approach of the moon three months earlier could have raised water levels, refloating hundreds of beached icebergs.





A Baptist man lived in a traditional Catholic neighborhood. Every Friday, the Catholics were driven crazy because, while they were morosely eating fish, the Baptist was outside barbecuing steaks. The Catholics worked on the Baptist, attempting to convert him to Catholicism. Finally, after much pleading and some threats, the Catholics succeeded. They took the Baptist to a priest who sprinkled Holy Water on the man while saying, “Born a Baptist, Raised a Baptist, Now a Catholic!”

The Catholics were ecstatic but this was short-lived for, the next Friday evening, the scent of barbecue once again drifted through the neighborhood. The Catholics all rushed to the ex-Baptist’s house to remind him of his new diet. They found him standing over the cooking steaks, sprinkling water on the meat and saying, “Born a cow, Raised a cow, Now a fish!”



A fisherman from the city was out fishing on a lake in a small boat. He noticed another man in a small boat open his tackle box and take out a mirror. Being curious the man rowed over and asked, “What is the mirror for?”

“That’s my secret way to catch fish,” said the other man. “Shine the mirror on the top of the water. The fish notice the spot of sun on the water above and they swim to the surface. Then I just reach down and net them and pull them into the boat.”

“Wow! Does that really work?”

“You bet it does.”

“Would you be interested in selling that mirror? I’ll give you $30 for it.”

“Well, okay.”

After the money was transferred, the city fisherman asked, “By the way, how many fish have you caught this week?”

“You’re the sixth,” he said.



There was once a young man who, in his youth, professed his desire become a great writer.  When asked to define “great” he said, “I want to write stuff that the whole world will read, stuff that people will react to on a truly emotional level, stuff that will make them scream, cry, howl in pain and anger!”  He now works for Microsoft, writing error messages.




The American Academy of Pediatrics says there’s no evidence that over-the-counter cold and cough medicines actually work in children under 6.  ***MARLAR: But it does make them go to sleep faster.


The worst soda for your teeth is RC Cola, followed by Cherry Coke and Coke. That’s the word from a study by the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine that concludes that exposing teeth to soft drinks, even for a short period of time, causes dental erosion.  ***MARLAR: Which is why I’m switching to carbonated coffee.





Three men were sitting together bragging about how they had given their new wives duties.

Terry had married a woman from Utah, and bragged that he had told his wife she was going to do all the dishes and house cleaning that needed done at their house. He said that it took a couple days but on the third day he came home to a clean house and the dishes were all washed and put away.

Jimmie had married a woman from Florida. He bragged that he had given his wife orders that she was to do all the cleaning, dishes, and the cooking. He told them that the first day he didn’t see any results, but the next day it was better. By the third day, his house was clean, the dishes were done, and he had a huge dinner on the table.

The third man had married a Texas girl. He boasted that he told her that her duties were to keep the house cleaned, dishes washed, lawn mowed, laundry washed and hot meals on the table for every meal. He said the first day he didn’t see anything, the second day he didn’t see anything, but by the third day most of the swelling had gone down and he could see a little out of his left eye. Enough to fix himself a bite to eat, load the dishwasher, and call a landscaper.




Not only do dogs bite, so do some cops!

Here’s how to literally take a bite out of crime.  Two police officers in Calcutta, India, have been suspended from duty because one of them bit the hand of a truck driver. Did he bite the man in a struggle; was the truck driver resisting arrest?  No.  The police officer bit the man because the truck driver refused to pay a bribe to the police. Apparently, police officers in Calcutta are very poorly paid and often ask for or accept bribes from drivers to tear up traffic tickets, but this truck driver would have no part of that. He wanted to go about paying it the legal way. The investigation is still in the works.





Joan Wester Anderson
It was an autumn morning in 1971, shortly after our family moved into our first house. The children were upstairs unpacking, and I was looking out the window at my father, moving around mysteriously on the front lawn. My parents lived nearby, and Dad had visited us several times already. “What are you doing out there?” I called to him.

He looked up, smiling. “I’m making you a surprise.” What kind of a surprise, I wondered. Knowing my father, an engaging and quixotic man, it could be just about anything. But Dad would say no more and caught up in the busyness of our new life, I eventually forgot about the surprise.

Until one raw day in late March when, again, I glanced out the window. Dismal. Overcast. Little piles of dirty snow still stubbornly littering the lawn, as boots and wet mittens cluttered our closets. I had always hated Chicago winters—would this one ever end? And yet…was it a mirage? I strained to see what I thought was something pink, miraculously peeking out of a drift. And was that a dot of blue across the yard, a small note of optimism in this gloomy expanse? I grabbed my coat, and headed outside for a closer look.

They were crocuses, not neatly marching along the house’s foundation (where I never could have seen them from the window), but scattered whimsically throughout the front lawn. Lavender, blue, yellow and my favorite pink–little faces bobbing in the bitter wind, they heralded the hope I’d almost lost. See? they seemed to say. You’ve survived the long dark winter. And if you hang on a little longer, life will be beautiful again.

Dad. I smiled, remembering the bulbs he had secretly planted last fall. What could have been more perfectly timed, more tuned to my needs. How blessed I was, not only for the flowers, but for him.

My father’s crocuses bloomed each spring for the next few seasons, bringing that same assurance every time they arrived: Hard times almost over, light coming, hold on, hold on… Then, apparently, the bulbs could produce no more. A spring came with only half the usual blooms. The next season, about 1979, there were none. I missed the crocuses, but my life was busier than ever, and I had never been much of a gardener. I would ask Dad to come over and plant new bulbs, I thought. But I never did.

Our father died suddenly, on one exquisitely beautiful day in October, 1985. We grieved intensely, deeply, but cleanly, because there was no unfinished business, no regrets or lingering guilt. We had always been a faith-filled family, and we leaned on it now. Of course Dad was in heaven. Where else would such a beloved person go? He was still a part of us; in fact, he could probably do even more for his family now that he was closer to God.

And if I wondered, just a little, in the quiet darkness of my room, if I unwillingly questioned what I had been taught because faith suddenly seemed to demand more bravery than I could muster, no one else ever knew. We suffered. We handled our pain. We laughed and cried together. Life went on.

Four years passed, and on a dismal day in spring 1989, I found myself running errands and feeling depressed. Winter blahs, I told myself. You get them every spring. It’s chemistry. Perhaps. But it was something else too. Once again I found myself thinking about Dad. This was not unusual—we often talked about him, reminiscing and enjoying our memories. But now in the car, my old unspoken concern surfaced. How was he? And, although I hated to wonder, where was he? I know that I know that I know, I told God in the familiar shorthand I often use. But do You think that You could send a sign, just something little, that Dad is home safe with You?

Immediately I felt guilty. God had been very good to me, and He had a right to expect something in return. But sometimes, I told myself as I turned into our driveway, faith is so very hard.

Suddenly I slowed, stopped and stared at the lawn. Small gray mounds of melting snow. Muddy grass. And there, bravely waving in the wind, one pink crocus.

Hold on, keep going, light is coming soon… There was no way, I knew, that a flower could bloom from a bulb more than eighteen years old, one that hadn’t blossomed in over a decade. But there the crocus was, like a hug from heaven, and tears filled my eyes. God had heard. And He loved me, so much that He had sent the reassurance I needed in a tenderly personal way—so there would be no doubt.

The pink crocus bloomed for only one day. April 14th. My father’s birthday. But it built my faith for a lifetime.





Paul Van Gorder

Read: Ephesians 6:5-9

Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. – Psalm 100:2

As a boy, I never shared my father’s enthusiasm for the soil. For several summers he had a little plot of ground in the country where he planted a garden. It provided physical therapy and relaxation for him, as well as a bountifully laden table for family and friends.

Back then, a hand-pushed plow was used to break up the ground, and the initial plowing, therefore, was often difficult. I remember helping my dad load his cultivator into the trunk one day and going with him to his garden. When we arrived, he prepared to make the first furrow while I took the lunch basket and picked a comfortable seat under the shade of an apple tree.

I was totally unsuspecting as I observed my father attach a rope to both handles of the cultivator and make a harness. Soon an unwilling boy was in front of that plow. Dad pushed and I pulled—and grumbled. Up one row and down another—over and over again. How miserable I was doing my duty!

Sometimes when we’re asked to serve the Lord in a particular way, we reluctantly accept, but we do so only out of a sense of obligation. When that happens, we need to pray for a willing spirit so that we can “serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2).


I am happy in the service of the King,
I am happy, oh, so happy;
Through the sunshine and the shadow I can sing,
In the service of the King. —Ackley
© 1912, The Rodeheaver Co.


A willing spirit changes the drudgery of duty into a labor of love.





A teacher in Ohio has gotten herself in a “sticky” situation with the parent’s of one of her students. Kim Longino-Johnson from Cleveland is suing her son’s fourth-grade teacher for pouring Elmer’s glue over her son Christopher. In her lawsuit of $600,000, she states that he has suffered physical and psychological damage. Christopher was peeling dried glue from his hands when his teacher, Marilyn Burns, intentionally poured glue all over his head, face and other parts of his body. The teacher, who was suspended without pay for one day after the incident, was said to be suffering from a ‘heightened level of stress’ after taking on additional students and organizing extra activities for her pupils. ***MARLAR: And now she’s dealing with a $600,000 lawsuit.  Yeah, that should help her stress levels decline.





Sometimes I talk about insane lawsuits on the show, and usually I side with the defendants because, hey, these are insane lawsuits! This time, I’m not sure WHO I should side with.

The mother of a 13-year-old girl is suing the owners of a train station because they arrested the girl after she ate potato chips on the train station’s property. The train station has a ban on eating and drinking at the station and the girl is suing the station’s owners for violating her constitutional rights. ***MARLAR: Constitutional rights? I find it amazing that just because someone doesn’t like something or doesn’t think it’s fair that they suddenly claim that it’s unconstitutional. WHERE in the Constitution does it say we have the right to eat potato chips? She ought to be suing the school district for not teaching her the Constitution.  Or maybe she can sue her parents for not teaching her common sense.





A bodybuilder has been banned from an England gym for grunting too loudly when he lifts weights. Staff at the Sam Jones gym say Paul Hayman is upsetting other members when he works out and grunts loudly. The British Weightlifters’ Association claim that no one in the gym has ever complained about the moaning or groaning before. They defend that it is purely an involuntary reaction.





  • “Since absolutely nothing interesting happened today, we’re just going to give you the weather and call it a night.”
  • “Due to the extremely graphic nature of this program, we’ve changed our minds and decided not to show it at all.”
  • “Since our ministry has all the money it needs at present, we won’t be asking for any funds for the next six months.”
  • “We’re going to be running a least eight commercials now, so this would be a good time for you to get a snack.”




Exercise can reduce your risk of stroke.

You can reduce your risk of stroke by up to 64 percent by getting some exercise every day. The key is moderation, both in the amount of time you spend exercising and in the intensity of your workouts. You don’t have to train like an athlete to get the full benefit. A brisk 45-minute walk will do the trick,, as will 45 minutes of fairly vigorous housework. Gardening, biking, swimming and weight training are all good alternatives. If you opt for weights, use lighter resistance and aim for a high number of repetitions for each exercise.  ***MARLAR: I’ve already begun biking five miles every day.  And fortunately scooters don’t use a lot of gas.




A new study claims that the number of Americans who pray or even say they believe in God has hit an all-time low.  San Diego State University psychology professor Jean M. Twenge led the study, published in the journal Sage Open, which looked at data from 58,893 respondents to the General Social Survey. Researchers found that five times as many Americans in 2014 reported that they never prayed when compared with Americans in the early 1980s. Nearly twice as many over the same period also said they don’t believe in God.



Some very cool things happened at a recent Tigers baseball game thanks to a fan in the stands. 39-year-old Bill Dugan was on fire in the foul ball department. Catching one foul ball is exciting; but according to WJR Radio, Dugan caught five. The best part, he gave them all away to kids in the stands.



Days after her third birthday, Paige Mason and her mom are still opening the thousands of cards and presents they received from all around the world. According to Today.com, Both Paige and her mom suffer from a rare condition that makes their bones fragile and break easily. All Paige wanted as a present was birthday cards — so her mom Stacy Mason posted a request on social media asking for just that. The girl’s birthday wish has come true in a big way! Mason told TODAY her daughter probably got between 8,000 and 9,000 cards, from all 50 states and 22 countries.





You MIGHT be a radio program director if:

  • If you take your coffee break and bathroom break at around :22, :38, & :52.
  • If your ‘best friends’ work at record companies and only call between 1 and 3 on Friday…
  • If you’ve scolded your family for talking on a quarter hour….
  • If you’ve asked your minister about his reference to “The (good) Book”…
  • If, when asked where you live you’ve given a response like “Arlington/Dallas/Fort Worth”…
  • If you’ve grounded your five year old for saying “uhhhh”…..
  • If they ask your age at the DMV and you answer “18-34″….
  • If you’ve ever listened to a station with a stopwatch in your hand…
  • If you discipline your children by telling them they’ve been “day parted”…
  • If you wish ‘time and temperature’ gave the time two ways…7:35, that’s 25 before 8…
  • If someone comments on the quality of your church choir, and you say “I’m still waiting on the research for that”…
  • If you’ve had lunch this week on ‘trade out’….
  • If more than 50% of your home music collection is labeled “Promotional-Not for sale”..




Marie Asner has been reviewing films for over 30 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 15, 2016…


The Jungle Book—Adapted from the book for the screen, this movie is in animation and about the boy, Mowgli (Neel Sethi) who is raised by wolves and was brought to them by a black panther (Ben Kingsley).  When a Bengal tiger (Idris Elba) wants no humans in the jungle, Mowgli and his friends go on a journey to find out who he really is. Voices include Bill Murray, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson and Christopher Walken. “The Jungle Book” is rated PG. Rating of 3 for fans.


Barbershop 2: The Next Cut—Film Four in the series about owning a barbershop and how one has to become inventive in fighting street gangs.  The cast includes Ice Cube, Cedric The Entertainer, Regina Hall, Bernie Mac, Anthony Anderson and Common. “Barbershop 2: The Net Cut” is rated PG 13. Rating of 2 for fans.


Criminal—Kevin Costner is an ex-con with a ;mission in his head.  He has implanted memories and must complete someone else’s mission. The CIA is involved. Also in the cast are Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones and Gal Godot (the new Wonder Woman.). “Criminal” is rated R. No rating.


Everybody Wants Some!!—A comedy directed by Richard Linklater, this film is about college baseball in the 1980’s. You could write about any sport and put this title on it, but baseball is the theme here and the stars are Zoey Deutch, Ryan Guzman and Blake Jenner. “Everybody Wants Some!!” is rated PG 13. No rating.


Hardcore Henry—The over-used story of a vigilante (Sharlto Copley) trying to find a kidnapped wife, but this time, the action is viewed through the eyes of the vigilante, who has been brought back to life (think of television’s “Second Chance”) as a soldier. The cast includes Haley Bennett, Tim Roth and Will Stewart.  “Hardcore Henry” is rated R. No rating.


APRIL 22, 2016…


The Huntsman: Winter’s War has Chris Hemsworth back as The Huntsman and this time against two evil sisters.


A Hologram For The King stars Tom Hanks, based on Dave Eggers novel, as a salesman going to the Middle East to get a big contract.


The Meddler is about a lonely widow whose daughter doesn’t like her meddling, so points her in another direction. Stars Susan Sarandon.


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