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PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION: 20151216
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The Post Office has asked us to remind you to wrap your packages really tight. They hate to throw them and not have a perfect spiral.
BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY
An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”—Matthew 1:20-21
1 Timothy 6:6 = But godliness with contentment is great gain.
HEARTLIGHT DAILY VERSE, PRAYER & THOUGHT
The angel said to [Mary], “Do not be afraid, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever.” — Luke 1:30-33
Thought: Jesus is identified by many names stated or implied in the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). Notice how Jesus is identified in just this one passage: child, son, Jesus, great, Son of the Most High, King, son of David, and leader of Israel (Jacob). Jesus exhausts all descriptions, and yet chose to be limited to imperfect descriptions by becoming human. But this flood of names and descriptions helps us find Jesus as our Savior in every trial and blessing of life. Jesus is Savior for all seasons.
Prayer: Holy and Almighty Father, I thank you for all the ways Jesus is described and all the names he is given. They help me see the breadth of his nature and the depth of his character. Please bless me that I may always find a dimension of Jesus’ ministry or a name or description of Jesus to help sustain me, when I walk through the shadows of doubt caused by the evil one. Help me, O Father, to see Jesus and not my preoccupations and biases so that when he comes again, I will know him, and he me. Through the glorious name of the Savior I pray. Amen.
“BIRTHDAY VERSE” OF THE DAY
The chapter and verse corresponds to the month and the day!
Romans 12:16 NIV = Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
TODAY IS WEDNESDAY – DECEMBER 16, 2015
(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 09 SHOPPING DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS.
Today is NATIONAL CHOCOLATE COVERED ANYTHING DAY. ***MARLAR: Celebrating is mandatory!
Today is NATIONAL EAT WHAT YOU WANT DAY. ***MARLAR: Which goes right along with “Chocolate Covered Anything Day.”
STUPID TOY DAY. A day to think back to the dumbest toy you ever received as a gift. ***MARLAR: What was the lamest toy you ever had as a kid? Mine was those cardboard punch-out characters that had little flaps in the back to help them stand up. What kind of action figures are those?!?! A slight draft and your entire story line of how “paper super-hero-guy is rescuing paper damsel-in-distress” is blown way – literally.
Today is BARBIE AND BARNEY BACKLASH DAY, the one day each year when Mom & Dad can tell the kids that Barbie and Barney don’t exist. (
TODAY IS ALSO. . .
Barbie and Barney Backlash Day
National Chocolate-covered Anything Day
COMING UP NEXT
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 17
Clean Air Day
Wright Brothers Day
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 18
Arabic Language Day
International Migrants Day
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 19
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 20
International Human Solidarity Day
Poet Laureat Day
MONDAY, DECEMBER 21
Celebrate Short Fiction Day
Crossword Puzzle Day
National Flashlight Day
International Dalek Remembrance Day
Phileas Fogg Wins a Wager Day
Short Girl Appreciation Day
World Peace Day/Winter Solstice (11:48pm)
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 23
Human Light Celebration
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24
Egg Nog Day
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 25
A’Phabet Day (No “L” Day)
Christmas Pudding Day
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 26
National Candy Cane Day
National Thank-You Note Day
National Whiner’s Day
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 27
Howdy Doody Day
Visit The Zoo Day
MONDAY, DECEMBER 28
Holy Innocents Day
Endangered Species Act Day
National Chocolate Day
Pledge Of Allegiance Day
ON THIS DAY
1809: Napoleon Bonaparte was divorced from the Empress Josephine by an act of the French Senate.
1884: W.H. Fruen of Minneapolis patented the liquid-dispensing vending machine.
1973: O.J. Simpson became the first NFL back to rush 2,000 yards in a season.
1976: History’s oldest goose, George, died in Lancashire, England, at age 49, some 24 years older than the average old goose. George was owned by Mrs. Florence Hull.
1978: Kenny Rogers hit #1 on the Billboard singles chart with “The Gambler.”
1979: In his last regular season game, quarterback Roger Staubach led the Dallas Cowboys to overcome a 13-point deficit and defeat Washington in the final five minutes of the game.
1980: Colonel Harland Sanders died at 90. He founded Kentucky Fried Chicken at age 66, and sold it four years later for $2-million.
1985: Actor Sylvester Stallone married actress Brigitte Nielsen, while the couple was filming the movie Cobra.
1995: A Fort Worth, Texas, bank robber was arrested as he left the bank, which was next door to a police station. The bandit had tipped his hand when he stood patiently in line several minutes at a teller’s window wearing a ski mask.
1998: Kevin Cole of Carlsbad, New Mexico, set a world record by blowing seven inches of spaghetti out of his nose. The previous Guinness spaghetti nose-blowing record was five inches. ***MARLAR: His parents must be so proud.
2002: Canada ratified the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 treaty on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
2003: A Florida man was arrested in Orlando for driving a stolen car to a police station to claim personal property. When asked to provide identification, Ronald A. Mahner showed his driver’s license. A routine check showed the license was revoked for life and the car had been stolen four days earlier — the day Mahner was released from prison after serving time for drunk-driving, car theft and driving while suspended.
2006: A nervous grandmother mistakenly put her 1-month-old grandson through an X-ray machine at Los Angeles International Airport. A startled security worker noticed the shape of a child on the monitor and immediately pulled him out. Doctors at a local hospital said he did not receive a dangerous dose of radiation.
TODAY IN CHRISTIAN HISTORY
345: Eusebius (not to be confused with historian Eusebius of Caesarea) becomes bishop of Vercelli, Italy. After refusing to sign the condemnation of Athanasius at the Council of Milan, he was exiled. But he was pardoned by Julian the Apostate and led the movement to restore the Nicene Creed—and thus orthodoxy—to the empire.
1714: Revivalist and evangelist George Whitefield, the best-known figure of the American Great Awakening, is born in Gloucester, England.
1811: A massive earthquake rocks the central US. Many people believe it foretells the end of the world, and black slaves rejoice aloud that now their owners are “going to get it.”
1870: An African American, Bishop Paine, organizes the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church.
1904: Sundar Singh burns a Bible in a rage at Christians whom he somehow blames for his inner misery which stems in part from his loss of his beloved mother. A few days later Sundar was miraculously transformed by the revelation of Christ to him and becomes and apostle to India, Tibet, and the world.
HOLLYWOOD, SPORTS AND CELEBRITY FIGURE BIRTHDAYS
- Actor (“Law & Order”, “The Cleaner”, Miss Congeniality) Benjamin Bratt, 52
- TV news journalist (“60 Minutes”) Lesley Stahl, 74
- actress Liv Ullmann 76
(Music Artist Birthdays From SongFacts.com)
1770 : Ludwig van Beethoven
1882 : Zoltan Kodaly
1899 : Noël Coward
1943 : Tony Hicks (The Hollies)
1946 : Benny Andersson (ABBA)
1949 : Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top)
1968 : Christopher Thorn (Blind Melon)
1971 : Michael McCary (Boyz II Men)
1979 : Flo-Rida
SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE
Is it okay to write “Merry ‘X’mas,” or does that slap Jesus in the face when it comes to his birthday celebrations?
Xmas may be a much maligned term for Christmas that brings to mind commercialism and crassness, but in reality, this is an ancient term with lots of tradition. The word “Christmas” means “Mass of Christ,” later shortened to “Christ-Mass.” The even shorter form “Xmas” – first used in Europe in the 1500s – The X in Xmas is a descendant of the Greek equivalent of “Ch,” as in Christos (which means Christ)., therefore “X-Mass.” The letter X has stood for Christ since at least A.D. 1100 and the term Xmas was first cited in 1551. In fact, the scholarly abbreviation for Christianity is Xianity.
CHRISTIAN ARTIST NEWS
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A mandate from Casting Crowns Juan DeVevo: No Oreos exist except double stuff or greater…so let it be written. So let it be done.
Tim Hawkins: My kid spilled his Pringles on the floor this morning. I’m just glad I was there for him when the chips were down.
The Sidewalk Prophets have a new tour sponsor. The band tweeted: 16 shows in 19 days made possible by coffee!
Josh Wilson was having some fun at the expense of fellow artist Dan Bremnes as the tour together on the Noel Tour. Josh put a tumbleweed in Dan’s bunk.
Danny Gokey says his Christmas tour with Tenth Avenue North may have changed him forever. He said: Having Tenth Avenue North on this Christmas tour has somehow turned me into a disco King. Attached was a picture of Danny rocking an afro.
The members of Rush of Fools were having a little fun in their tour bus this week. Group member Wes Willis posted a picture of a CarolinaReaper, the world’s hottest pepper. Wes said: Our bus driver Frank brought two out. We are at $160 to have Jamie Sharpe, the bands drummer, eat one.
Jason Gray was focused on Star Wars over the weekend. A couple members of the security team brought light sabers to Jason’s concert over the weekend, Jason posted a picture with his son. He said: Gus… I am your… Father. No. I mean, really. I am.
From Kutless member James Mead: I’d like to meet ONE person who’s gotten rootie toot toots, or rummy tum tums for Christmas.
Using your smart phone to entertain your son during dinner can sometimes have unexpected results. Casting Crowns Chris Huffman recently sent a tweet made up of random letters and numbers. He followed it with another tweet explaining. Chris said: that was a “Silas playing with daddy’s phone during his dinner & daddy wasn’t aware he got on Twitter”………tweet.
Casting Crowns Jaun Devevo says there a some Christmas songs that he actively tries to avoid. He tweeted: Musically, my Christmas time is spent avoiding certain songs like cow pies in a pasture.
(No news on the weekends. Audio clips are only valid for a few days before being removed from our servers.)
NEW NEWS KICKERS…
In Germany an unidentified man was wanted by the cops for a string of burglaries. When the officers came to his house to arrest him, he bolted out the back door and hid in a neighbor’s garden. Unfortunately for him he left behind his Staffordshire bull terrier. When the cops let the dog out, he headed straight for the garden where he stood wagging his tail near the bushes where the crook was hiding. ***Man’s best friend… maybe. Cops’ best friend… definitely.
A newlywed doctor’s honeymoon became even more memorable when she delivered a baby mid-flight. Dr. Angelica Zen, a UCLA physician, was traveling back from her honeymoon in Taiwan when a woman went into labor over the Pacific Ocean. The resident doctor had to think fast, performing her very first unassisted delivery of a baby, as the plane diverted to Alaska, where the mother and her newborn daughter were rushed to a hospital. *** Upon landing the baby was deported though because it was born over Taiwanese air space before arriving in the U.S. and didn’t have a valid passport.
According to a study, December is a particularly deadly month for heart attacks. *** So this could be the year you won’t have to worry about buying everybody CHRISTMAS PRESENTS…whew!
Sports Illustrated announced Monday that Serena Williams is its 2015 Sportsperson of the Year. Many horse-racing fans are upset that the Sports Illustrated recognition didn’t go to American Pharoah, the horse that became the first animal in 37 years to win the Triple Crown. *** Then again, it’s SportsPERSON of the year… and American Pharaoh is a HORSE. That would’ve made for an awkward follow-up sexy Sports Illustrated photo-shoot.
NEWS KICKER EVERGREENS…
62% of teens surveyed want smartphones for Christmas. The other 38% want world peace. ***Just kidding, they want an PS4.
People unwilling to quit smoking to improve their own health may consider giving up cigarettes to spare their pets the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. A new survey says Twenty-eight percent of pet owners who smoke say they would try to quit based on knowledge that second-hand smoke could harm their dogs, cats and other pets. Another 11 percent said they would think about quitting. ***MARLAR: “I don’t really care if my smoke kills me or my family, but if little Fifi might get sickie-poo…”
Blame the potato chip. It’s the biggest demon behind that pound-a-year weight creep that plagues many of us, a major diet study found. Bigger than soda, candy and ice cream. And the reason is partly that old advertising cliche: No one can eat just one. “They’re very tasty and they have a very good texture. People generally don’t take one or two chips. They have a whole bag,” said obesity expert Dr. F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer of the St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York. Even more evil than potato chips? French fries. What we eat and how much of it we consume has far more impact than exercise and most other habits do on long-term weight gain, according to the study by Harvard University scientists. ***MARLAR: So when eating your triple cheeseburger and chocolate shake, just give up the fries and it’s like being on Jenny Craig!
This may come as no surprise to residents of New York City and other big urban centers: Living there can be bad for your mental health. Now researchers have found a possible reason why. Imaging scans show that in city dwellers or people who grew up in urban areas, certain areas of the brain react more vigorously to stress. That may help explain how city life can boost the risks of schizophrenia and other mental disorders, researchers said. Previous research has found that growing up in a big city raises the risk of schizophrenia. And there’s some evidence that city dwellers are at heightened risk for mood and anxiety disorders, although the evidence is mixed. In any case, the volunteers scanned in the new study were healthy, and experts said that while the city-rural differences in brain activity were intriguing, the results fall short of establishing a firm tie to mental illness. ***MARLAR: I’ve spent quite a bit of time in downtown (Chicago) and I totally agree – there is something mentally wrong with those people.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TODAY’S EPISODE… “Alphabet Song”
DAILY COMEDY CLIP
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TODAY’S EPISODE… Chonda Pierce, “Naked X-Ray”
AS THE JUNGLE TURNS – WEEKDAY VERSION
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD WEDNESDAY’S EPISODE
CHRISTMAS EPISODE – REPLAY!
OPEN: And now, FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns! When last we left the jungle, Gruffy Bear was really excited about his new idea to create a holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus. But since he sleeps all winter, he doesn’t know that it already exists – it’s called Christmas! And now he’s getting ready for the long hibernation!
CLOSE: Don’t you just hate it when you wake up in the middle of the winter and someone’s making a lot of noise? And we still don’t know yet what this story has to do with Christmas – but we’ll find out, As the Jungle Turns!
AS THE JUNGLE TURNS – SATURDAY/SUNDAY VERSION
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE EPISODE FOR THE WEEKEND OF DECEMBER 19/20
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 jungle animals had pretty much stopped making all of their own decisions in what to do during the day, because they had a new friend in the jungle – a small lion. And lions are king of the jungle, so now all decisions, big and small, are being decided by the little guy…
CLOSE: Uh oh, looks like the jungle animals might be thinking about changing their mind about their new king! Will they plan an animal coup? We’ll 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.
MOMENT OF DUH
Tree climbing ends up as a Moment of Duh!
A 14-year-old boy in Connecticut climbed a rope tied to a tree branch 25 feet from the ground, lost his grip, fell and became injured. So now his family is suing the town! Why? Apparently for not knowing their son was going to do this and therefore for not having cut down the branch ahead of time.
TOP TEN REASONS FOR KEEPING CHRISTMAS ALIVE
- Without Christmas, the candied fruit market would collapse!
- Without Christmas, our slow, uneventful lives would have no stress whatsoever!8. Without Christmas, barking dogs wouldn’t have a music career!
7. Without Christmas, Santa would only be a really weird fat guy with poor fashion sense!
6. Without Christmas, there would be no Christmas bonuses!
5. Without Christmas, you’d have to waste money buying all your own underwear and socks!
4. Without Christmas, your cat would never know the joy of coughing up tinsel!
3. Without Christmas, December would feel a lot like February!
2. Without Christmas, Eggnog becomes just a disgusting beverage!
And the number one reason for keeping Christmas alive is:
1. Without Christmas, there would BE no Easter! —That means there would also be: no hope, no forgiveness, no victory over the grave. If that’s the case, then the TRUE meaning of Christmas is certainly something worth celebrating!
THE FILES OF LAW & DISORDER
One of the Power Rangers foils a robbery in North Carolina!
FILE #1: In Durham, North Carolina, A four-year-old boy quickly changed into his Power Ranger costume and attacked when his family was held at gunpoint by an armed robber. Little Stevie Long sneaked out of the room while the robber was pointing a gun at his five-year-old sister Mary and mother Jennifer. Minutes later, he leapt back into the room dressed as a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger, waived a plastic sword and yelled, “Get away from my family.” Here’s the best part — IT WORKED! The robber and his accomplice, who was waiting outside the apartment, fled. They did take credit cards, jewelry, and cash but relatives said they abandoned plans to take Stevie’s mother to an ATM to withdraw money when they saw Stevie. Stevie said, “I scared the bad guys away.” On the other hand, Stevie’s aunt, Heather Evans, said a counselor had suggested Stevie needs to improve his distinction between fantasy and reality adding, “He fully believed he morphed.”
FILE #2: In Orlando, Florida, 18-year-old John DeWitt was fleeing from a security guard at the Orlando Ale House after the guard suspected he was about to burglarize the building. John’s brief flight ended when he jumped into what he thought was a garbage can to hide in. It wasn’t garbage at all. It was a huge drum of discarded restaurant grease.
FILE #3: A man in China thought he’d be pulling off the jewelry store heist of the century. In the middle of the day the crook walked into the store, went behind the counter and started dumping trays of diamonds into a bag. He was shocked when security personnel nabbed him. Why? Because just minutes before he’d drank a tea he was told would make him invisible.
STRANGE LAW: In Alabama, it’s illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle.
THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON DRUGS
Today’s “Brain on Drugs” story is doubly dumb!
A Kansas man got a wire coat hanger stuck in his throat. Just that sentence right there bears repeating. A Kansas man got a wire coat hanger stuck in his throat. Now – what on earth was he doing with a coat hanger down his throat, you might ask? Good question… but the answer is just as bizarre. He got the coat hanger stuck in his throat as he was trying to remove a balloon that he’d swallowed. Yeah – he swallowed a balloon. I’ll pause yet again. It gets better… the balloon was filled with cocaine. Okay… so why is this doofus swallowing cocaine filled balloons? Well, get this. He says it was an accident. His excuse is that someone put the balloon in his drink at a party and he accidentally swallowed it. What – the guy didn’t notice a large piece of rubber filled with white powder floating in his drink? He expects us to believe that? Even if you didn’t notice it in the drink, don’t you think your brain would think that something was up when the texture of what’s in your mouth suddenly changes from wet and wonderful to the taste of an old inner-tube?!? Anyway, the man needed emergency surgery to remove both the hangar as well as the balloon. Police say he could face possession charges. I guess they don’t believe him either.
Today is STUPID TOY DAY. What was the lamest toy you ever had as a kid?
What’s one Christmas song that instantly gets you into The Spirit Of Christmas?
If you could only watch ONE Christmas movie this year, what would it be?
BIBLE BRAIN BUSTER!
QUESTION: How many years in total did Jacob work for Laban before he returned home?
ANSWER: 20 Years (Genesis 31:41)
QUESTION: Who was the first U.S. President to decorate an official White House Christmas tree?
ANSWER: Franklin Pierce
QUESTION: Who was the first actress to walk off the TV set of “This Is Your Life?”
ANSWER: In 1993 Actress Angie Dickinson became the first person in 500 shows to walk off the TV set of This Is Your Life. Angie said, “Not on your life!”
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!
- Christmas trees are edible. (True. Many parts of pines, spruces, and firs can be eaten. The needles are a good source of vitamin C. Pine nuts, or pine cones, are also a good source of nutrition.)
- Christmas trees are banned in Germany. (False. In fact, quite the opposite. Christmas trees are known to have been popular in Germany as far back as the sixteenth century. In England, they became popular after Queen Victoria’s husband Albert, who came from Germany, made a tree part of the celebrations at Windsor Castle. In the United States, the earliest known mention of a Christmas tree is in the diary of a German who settled in Pennsylvania.)
- Christmas is placed on December 25th in order to replace a pagan festival – much like Halloween was. (True. Christmas was once a moveable feast celebrated at many different times during the year. The choice of December 25, was made by Pope Julius I, in the 4th century A.D., because this coincided with the pagan rituals of Winter Solstice, or Return of the Sun. The intent was to replace the pagan celebration with the Christian one.)
- Christmas trees with full branches have to be shaped by hand as they grow – they are not found in nature. (True. Cultured Christmas trees must be shaped as they grow to produce fuller foliage. To slow the upward growth and to encourage branching, they are hand-clipped in each spring. Trees grown in the wild have sparser branches, and are known in the industry as “Charlie Brown” trees.)
- The tradition of burning a Yule Log is to ward off evil spirits. (False. During the ancient 12-day Christmas celebration, the log burned was called the “Yule log.” Sometimes a piece of the Yule log would be kept to kindle the fire the following winter, to ensure that the good luck carried on from year to year. The tradition was handed down from the Druids.)
- During the Christmas buying season, all the credits cards combined are used an average of 5,340 times every minute in the United States. (False – that statistic is just for Visa cards alone!)
- During the Christmas/Hanukkah season, approximately half a billion candy canes will be made. (False – it’s more than three times that many! More than 1.76 billion candy canes will be made.)
- The Christmas shopping season begins so early because of our military. (True. During World War II it was necessary for Americans to mail Christmas gifts early for the troops in Europe to receive them in time. Merchants joined in the effort to remind the public to shop and mail early and the protracted shopping season was born.)
- Electric Christmas tree lights were first used in 1895. (True – the idea for using electric Christmas lights came from an American, Ralph E. Morris. The new lights proved safer than the traditional candles.)
- For every real Christmas tree harvested, a seedling is planted in its place. (False – two or three seedlings are planted in place of the one that is harvested. You can have a Christmas tree and still be “green!”)
TABLOID MATCH GAME
You have to match the blank in the tabloid headline with the word or phrase that has been removed!
U.S CONFIRMS THE EXISTENCE OF __________ (MERMAIDS)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed that mermaids exist and that they are growing in numbers.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reportedly published a post on their “Ocean Facts” newsfeed titled “Conclusive Evidence of the Existence of Aquatic Humanoids.”
The agency went on to say that “magic females”, who first appeared in cave paintings in the late Paleolithic (Stone Age) period some 30,000 years ag, when modern humans began to sail the seas, do exist and are living in all the oceans of the world.
Animal Planet television recently aired a special called “Mermaids: The Body Found,” that also proved the existence of mermaids.
National Ocean Service spokeswoman Sandy Nixon told WWN that “at least 65 mermaid researches and experts gathered on the island of Tahiti to examine all the known evidence and have concluded, emphatically, that half human half-fish hybrids are living peacefully among us.
THE WAY TOO EARLY IN THE MORNING TO UNDERSTAND THE PUNCHLINE EVEN AFTER TWO CUPS OF COFFEE JOKE OF THE DAY
A Jewish lady named Mrs. Rosenberg was stranded late one night at a fashionable resort – one that did not admit Jews.
The desk clerk looked down at his book and said, “Sorry, no room. The hotel is full.”
The Jewish lady said, “But your sign says that you have vacancies.”
The desk clerk stammered and then said curtly, “You know that we do not admit Jews. Now if you will try the other side of town…”
Mrs. Rosenberg stiffened noticeable and said, “I’ll have you know I converted to Christianity.”
The desk clerk said, “Oh, yeah, let me give you a little test. How was Jesus born?”
Mrs. Rosenberg replied, “He was born to a virgin named Mary in a little town called Bethlehem.”
“Very good,” replied the hotel clerk. “Tell me more.”
Mrs. Rosenberg replied, “He was born in a manger.”
“That’s right,” said the hotel clerk. “And why was he born in a manger?”
Mrs. Rosenberg said loudly, “Because a jerk like you in the hotel wouldn’t give a Jewish lady a room for the night!”
A waiter brings the customer the steak he ordered with his thumb on the Steak.
“Are you crazy?” yelled the customer, “Your hand’s on my steak!”
“What?” answers the waiter, “You want it to fall on the floor again?
A Scout Master was teaching his boy scouts about survival in the desert.
“What are the three most important things you should bring with you in case you get lost in the desert?” he asked.
Several hands went up, and many important things were suggested such as food, matches, etc. Then one little boy in the back eagerly raised his hand.
“Yes Timmy, what are the three most important things you would bring with you?” asked the Scout Master.
Timmy replied: “A compass, a canteen of water, and a deck of cards.”
“Why’s that Timmy?”
“Well,” answered Timmy, “the compass is to find the right direction, the water is to prevent dehydration…”
“And what about the deck of cards?” asked the Scout Master impatiently.
“Well, Sir, as soon as you start playing Solitaire, someone is bound to come up behind you and say, “Put that red nine on top of that black ten!”
Stacy Moore is in a bit of agony over her XSTACY plates. The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles is demanding she turn in the personalized plates because they violate a prohibition against drug references. But Stacy says XSTACY is simply a play on her name, so she’s appealing. ***MARLAR: If she wins in court she says she’ll be XSTATIC.
A man in Idaho is going to jail because he ran his truck into a hair salon – apparently upset over a haircut he received. ***MARLAR: Imagine how upset he’s going to be with the haircut he gets in prison!
A DIETER’S CHRISTMAS
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all around my hips
Were Fanny May candies that sneaked past my lips.
Fudge brownies were stored in the freezer with care
In hopes that my thighs would forget they were there.
While Mama in her girdle and I in chin straps
Had just settled down to sugar-borne naps.
When out in the pantry there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the kitchen I flew like a flash
Tore open the icebox then threw up the sash.
The marshmallow look of the new-fallen snow
Sent thoughts of a binge to my body below.
When what to my wandering eyes should appear
A marzipan Santa with eight chocolate reindeer!
That huge chunk of candy so luscious and slick
I knew in a second that I’d wind up sick.
The sweet-coated Santa, those sugared reindeer
I closed my eyes tightly but still I could hear;
On Pritzker, on Stillman, on weak one, on TOPS
A Weight Watcher dropout form sugar detox.
From the top of the scales to the top of the hall
Now dash away pounds now dash away all.
Dressed up in Lane Bryant from my head to nightdress
My clothes were all bulging from too much excess.
My droll little mouth and my round little belly
They shook when I laughed like a bowl full of jelly.
I spoke not a word but went straight to my work
Ate all of the candy then turned with a jerk.
And laying a finger beside my heartburn
I gave a quick nod toward the bedroom I turned.
I eased into bed, to the heavens I cry
If temptation’s removed I’ll get thin by and by.
And I mumbled again as I turned in for the night
In the morning I’ll starve… ’till I take that first bite!
IT MUST BE TRUE BECAUSE I HEARD IT ON THE RADIO!
“D” IS FOR “DARREN”
You know the old children’s game (excellent for long car trips) where you think of a name, place, and item for sale beginning with the same letter: “P my name is Paul, and I come from Poughkeepsie and I sell potatoes.” Turns out there may be more to it than we thought: People like their names so much that they unconsciously opt for things that begin with their initials. In what they call “moniker maladies,” a pair of researchers find that most students want As, but those whose names begin C or D have lower grade point averages than students whose names begin with A and B. ***MARLAR: I’d say this study is DUMB, but I DID get a lot of D’S in school. DANG IT!
A MILITARY FAMILY’S FIRST CHRISTMAS
by Gina Toro
It was December 1986; and after being apart for six months (John in Fort Bragg and me in Korea) it was our first Christmas together. Every thing was good! My boys (from a previous marriage), John and me, we had just bought our first home, but best of all; we were expecting our first child.
Because we were just starting, our financial situation did not allow us more than the bare essentials: 2 beds, 2 pots, 4 plates, 4 cups and 4 forks. The only thing that was missing was a Christmas tree. The Christmas tree is to me, the main sign of this wonderful season, we MUST have one, I do not recall how we finally got one, but I do know that the good old faithful “Thrift Shop” was mention.
Not long after we moved into our new home, we found a gift wrapped packaged on our door step, it was from our realtor, the package felt a little warm, we figured it was from the sun, thought nothing of it an placed it under our beautiful non-themed Christmas tree. Throughout the month of December, it was the only thing we had there. As time went by, our situation did not improved much. I could tell John was concern about what to get for the boys, after all, it was the first Christmas with “Dad”, then, I discovered Big Lots, AHA! 2 nice and very good-looking hard plastic bikes. And so, John was introduced to the wonderful tradition of “some assembly required”.
Christmas day, 5 am. We were awaken by the screams of two happy boys announcing that “Santa ate all the cookies and drank the egg nog, and he believed our promises to be good from now on, because he left really nice bikes for us”, but now, we had to go and open our present, the solitary package that has been there all this time. “Of course” we said, and run to the living room behind this little people, eager to see what Mom and Dad got. We tore up the paper in excitement, and what we found, has been the “First Christmas Story” of our family ever since, you see, our realtor’s wife was a baker, and she had baked a special German bread for us, which by now was as hard as a rock. We laugh, until tears came out of our eyes, as we tried to explain to our kids what that strange looking rock was for.
DRIVE TIME DEVOTIONAL
Congratulations! You’re a member of the generation with the most entertainment opportunities.
How do I entertain thee? Let me count the ways: TV. Movies. Internet. Music. Concerts. Computer games. Sports participation. Sports viewing/listening. Radio. Virtual reality. Amusement parks . . . yawn . . .
Do you feel over-entertained?
Probably not. When you grow up in the middle of an entertainment-obsessed society (which you have), the norm is all you know.
In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul reminded the believers who they were and that they needed to be careful about how they built on their lives. He said, “If any man builds on this foundation [Jesus Christ] using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. . . . Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” (vv.12-13,16).
Entertainment can be “straw.” It robs you of opportunities to touch lives and uses up precious time for real service and ministry.
Now, don’t grab the remote. I’m not saying that all entertainment is bad (we still want you listening to the show after all)! Some entertainment helps relax the mind and encourage the heart. You may be able to attend a game or go to a concert with a friend as a bridge to reach them for Christ.
I’m talking about moderation. A little entertainment is fine. Taking in too much leads to lack of passion for Christ. Even “good” entertainment (Christian concerts, CDs, videos) can become an idol that snatches your time and passion from Christ.
Yes, you’re a part of an entertainment-driven society. But you can turn it off and turn to Christ for your ultimate joy and satisfaction. Be choosy and stingy in your entertainment selections. Focus your attention on Christ.
BEARY COOL STORY
A child has been found three days after being missing – in a mother bear’s den!
A mother bear appears to have cared for a missing 16-month-old Iranian toddler who was found safe and sound three days later in the animal’s den. The child’s parents, from a nomadic tribe, returned to their tent after working in the fields to find him missing. Three days later, a search party found the baby, who they said had probably been breast fed by a mother bear, in a den some six miles away from the nomadic settlement. A medical examination showed the baby was in good health.
LIFE… LIVE IT
TOP FIVE PET-FRIENDLY HOTELS
Travelling on the road this Christmas? Taking your pet with you? If so, what hotel will allow Fido or Fluffy to stay with you?
Petside.com has named The James Hotel of Chicago the No. 1 hotel destination when traveling with pets. The Windy City luxury hotel offers a host of amenities for pet owners and their furry friends, ranging from spa services to a gourmet pet menu from David Burke’s Primehouse Restaurant to in-room training sessions with an award-winning animal behaviorialist. Four other hotels across the country made the list. Here they are:
- The James Hotel – Chicago, IL
- The W Tuscany – New York, NY
- The Hotel Monaco – Denver, CO
- Bowen’s By The Bays – Hampton Bays, NY
- Hyatt Regency Century Plaza – Los Angeles, CA
JUST FOR FUN
As if worrying about computer viruses isn’t bad enough… now we have to worry about fungus eating our compact discs!
Is it possible that now we have another intruder among our high technology that we have to guard against? First it was computer viruses that are STILL a problem, and now it looks as if we have to worry about compact disc fungus! I know, it sounds like something that you’d treat with Gold Bond Medicated Foot Powder, but it’s a real fungus! Scientist, Victor Cardenes, discovered the fungus a few years ago when his friends in Central America told him about how their compact discs had stopped working and had developed an almost transparent look in some places. Apparently, the CD Fungus was eating through the supposedly indestructible CD! It had burrowed into the CD from the outer edge, then devoured the thin aluminum layer and some of the data-storing polycarbonate resin. Dr Cardenes said: “It completely destroys the aluminum. It leaves nothing behind.” Biologists at the council had never seen this fungus, but concluded that it belonged to a common species. ***MARLAR: Now, have a nice day.
SIGNS YOU’RE HAVING A BAD HOLIDAY SEASON
- All of the Christmas cards you receive are addressed to “Resident.”
- You’re riding in a one-horse closed sleigh, and your wife keeps whining, “Oh what fun we’d be having if only this were an open sleigh!”
- You’ve had more than one fist fight with a mall cop.
- Every person you know gets you an industrial-sized bottle of Clearasil.
- Two words: tinsel rash
MORE SHOW PREP STUFF…
SO IT’S A DATE?
This next one has to go in “The Promotions that Backfired Hall of Fame”. The Umbria Italian restaurant in Scotland, had what they thought was an ingenious idea to lure people in for dinner. The restaurant owners created over 300 handwritten notes, from a mysterious source, inviting people to a secret romantic rendezvous at the restaurant. They dropped notes through the doors of more than 300 homes that read: “Darling, missing you already. Could we get together soon at the new place in the village, for lunch or dinner? Love U XXX … Do not tell you-know-who.” And boy did people respond, but not the way they were hoping. The Umbria Italian restaurant was inundated with phone calls from suspicious wives and husbands. In fact, one married man actually having an affair says he is considering suing the restaurant for inadvertently exposing his adulterous relationship! ***MARLAR: Oh yeah, I’m sure that’ll go over well with the judge. “But Judge, I didn’t want my wife to find out, so the restaurant owes me money!”
Dreaming of a White Christmas? The National Weather service is out with a map showing your chance of having at least an inch of snow on the ground on the 25th based on past holidays. Officials say Idaho, Minnesota, Maine, Upstate New York, the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and, of course, the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada Mountains all have a high probability of seeing a white Christmas. And, Aspen, Colorado, is just one of about a dozen locations in the Northwest boasting a 100% historical probability of seeing a white Christmas. Check out the map http://1.usa.gov/19CbiN3. ***MARLAR: As for those of here in Chicagoland… we have about a 41-50% chance of a White Christmas.
OTHER STUFF I WANT TO CRAM INTO TODAY’S PREP
8 Simple Phrases That Can Change Your Relationships from Family Minute.
1.”I was wrong.”
- “Help me understand.”
- “That hurt me.”
- “Thanks very much.”
- “I value you.”
- “I respect you.”
- “I love you.”
- “I choose you.”
Pro-lifers are out with their own study that debunks a Texas study claiming an increase in at-home abortions. The University of Texas published a study in November linking the state’s abortion facility regulations to the number of women self-inducing abortions. But according to pro-lifers, the study was motivated by a pro-abortion agenda and is based on “egregious” errors. The Director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council pointed out that the survey’s definition of “self-induction” skews the results. Officials also point out that the study also does not indicate any time frame for the action.
One Florida woman embraced the spirit of the season of giving, and started a chain reaction of 250 people paying it forward. According to ABC News, Torie Keene of Lakeland, Florida, was paying for her meal at her local McDonald’s drive-thru Wednesday morning when she told the cashier that she wanted to pay for meal of the car behind her. When the cashier told the next car that their meal had been paid for by Keene, she said that the passenger was so moved that she also decided to pay for the meal of the car behind her, and after that a chain reaction of people paying it forward began.
Christmas shopping is hard. It isn’t always easy to find a gift that a friend or family member will actually want to use and that they don’t already have. Thankfully, Relevant magazine can help. The online magazine has compiled a list of 18 products to check out this Christmas. And, in addition to making cool gifts, each of them is making a difference in some way: Giving back to a community in need, helping the environment or providing assistance to the less fortunate.
AND I LEAVE YOU WITH THIS THOUGHT
Tonight’s TV movie is a remake of “It’s A Wonderful Life,” with Justin Bieber. The world finds out what it would be like if Justin was never born, and decides to keep it that way.
THE WAY WE WORK
(Updated as it comes available. The Way WE Work is written by Mark Elfstrand from 1160Hope.com in Chicago.)
One of those early maxims you learn in the military is “Don’t volunteer for ANYTHING!” If you have to ask why, you haven’t been there. Those who miss this lesson early on will learn.
One chap shared that he was at Army basic at Ft. Oklahoma back in the 1980s. A drill sergeant asked if anyone could drive a truck. A few raised their hands. Those who responded “spent the next two days building a gravel parking lot using a pile of gravel, a garbage can, and two entrenching tools.” Enough said. Lesson complete.
A few weeks ago, I read an item from Jeff Haden, a writer and contributor to Inc.com. He is also the author of Transformed: Dramatically Improve Your Career, Business, Relationships, and Life…One Simple Step at a Time. Jeff blogs as well.
Jeff’s article was titled, “Why You Should Sometimes Work for Free.” It’s more than just the idea of volunteering. He’s advocating pro bono work as well.
One friend of Jeff’s has a policy against anyone working for free. His reasoning? “I don’t think anyone should give away their profession.”
Okay…that’s one person’s perspective, albeit a wrong one in my view. The reason it’s wrong is that this poor soul must believe that the ability to do his professional work comes of his own will. In other words, no creator or support team (teachers, mentors, etc) were involved in providing or in first giving him the abilities he has and then helping him develop those talents.
I see it differently. My work is in broadcasting. Frequently I have been told I have a “wonderful radio voice.” While grateful for the compliment, I quickly admit that I had very little to do with it. Close to nothing. I was born with the voice I have. There is training and technique involved to develop the use of a voice, but the product itself is not mine for which to take credit.
Whatever your skills and abilities, you would be well advised to realize much of what enables your success is a gift from God. Stroke victims come to realize how vulnerable we are in the human body. I have some blockage in my carotid artery. A very small amount of junk accumulating there could put an end to any number of functions I depend on daily. My very existence—apart from any abilities—is a gift from God.
With that in mind, how can one not offer themselves in some form of service because of a grateful heart? Christmas time is a season when we see volunteers of many stripes take action. Even the Grinch must take off his hat and salute the sweetness of human compassion expressed by volunteering.
And kudos to those who offer pro bono services of any kind throughout the year. Some do legal work. Others provide financial services. Some do creative work of writing. Even speaking activities of various kinds.
Jeff Haden’s article offered several reasons why “working for free” offered the giver personal benefits. His ideas included:
- You get to stretch a little
- You get to be more creative
- You get to flex a few atrophied muscles… and lastly…
- You get to do the right thing
Staying on that last point, it brings up the issue of heart motivation. Doing any kind of charitable activity out of corporate or personal self interest has a measure of defeat involved. Sure, the work may be beneficial. But the heart of the giver is not in it; it’s giving out of selfish ambition. Usually for recognition or some tax write-off.
This brings me to an important personal policy of mine. I try to contribute my time and abilities to the causes to which I’m most drawn. Aggressive fund raisers or charity organizers tend to ask and almost obligate one to service. It’s a gentle form (usually) of guilt motivation. Also, a lousy reason to serve others. So please, don’t volunteer me.
This Christmas season, I hope you can see added beauty in the One who lived a human life totally out of love and sacrifice. His entire life was pro bono. From the earliest recorded days of the “ministry” life of Jesus of Nazareth, He was a giver.
He gave His wisdom through His teaching. He gave His power to heal every kind of disease. Jesus made an offer only He could make: to forgive sins. Not cover them up…forgive them. Blot them out. A free gift. Just believe.
Let’s add one more. He brings us peace, not as the world gives. Jesus said it this way, “I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn’t like the peace that this world can give. So don’t be worried or afraid.” (John 14:27, CEV)
Oh…and as far as volunteering for show, Jesus also said this: “When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do, you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven. (Matthew 6:1, CEV)
Friend, Jesus’s call to His disciples 2000 years ago is the same call He makes to you today: “Follow me.”
That’s The Way WE Work. Click on the link to the right to connect via Facebook.
Catch “Let’s Talk with Mark Elfstrand” weekday afternoons from 4-6pm on AM 1160 Hope for Your Life. To listen to the live broadcast or a podcast of previous shows click here.
THE TICKET Movie Reviews with MARIE ASNER
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).
DECEMBER 11, 2015…
In The Heart Of The Sea—Just like Russell Crowe’s film of a few years back, “Master and Commander,” the sea film footage is spectacular with special effects, too. Men are like a speck on the ocean and no communication when the whale attacks. This isn’t the entire story, though. Chris Hemsworth stars as one of the officers. “In The Heart Of The Sea” is rated R. Rating of 4.
Lady In The Van (opening in select cities)—Maggie Smith (“Downton Abbey”) stars as Miss Mary Shepherd, who “kind of “ parked her van in someone’s driveway and proceeded to live there 15 years. Talk about unwanted guests. This film is adapted from the play by Alan Bennett and Smith played this role on the stage, too. “Lady In The Van” is rated PG 13. No rating.
Bleeding Heart (opening in select cities)—Jessica Biel stars as a woman who discovers she has a sister (Zosia Mamet) and that sister is in trouble with an abusive boyfriend. What to do? Also in the cast is Kate Burton. “Bleeding Heart” is rated R. No rating.
DECEMBER 18, 2015…
Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Road Chip and fans (you know who you are) get ready for further adventures of the animated Chipmunks. Need I say more? Voices of Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler and Jesse McCartney.
Sisters stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in a love/hate sister relationship.
The best until last: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS and fans will be sleeping on sidewalks by movie theaters to get tickets. New stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega work with mature stars, such as Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. The Force is here!
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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.