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PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION: 20161221
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Does anyone else do this? Every year our Christmas tree looks exactly the way it did the year before – but every year my wife insists on taking a picture of it anyway.
BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY
We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. –Romans 8:28
Psalm 33:8 = Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him.
When King Herod had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'” — Matthew 2:4-6
HEARTLIGHT DAILY VERSE, PRAYER & THOUGHT
Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment. — Proverbs 12:19
Thought: “Tell the truth the first time, then you won’t have to remember what you said.” This truism by the famous Speaker of the House, Sam Rayburn, is good medicine for us today. Telling a lie seems gratifying at the time, but it nearly always catches up with us and gives us the added burden of trying to remember what we said and why. Truth endures; a lie is a momentary illusion that ends up a trap filled with burdens.
Prayer: Holy and Righteous Father, please forgive me for lying, exaggerating, and withholding the truth when it is needed. I want my heart and my lips to be invested in forever. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
The Thoughts and Prayers for Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to email@example.com.
“BIRTHDAY VERSE” OF THE DAY (The chapter and verse corresponds to the month and the day!)
Romans 12:21 NIV = Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
TODAY IS WEDNESDAY – DECEMBER 21, 2016
(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 04 SHOPPING DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS.
Today is FOREFATHER’S DAY. ***Four fathers? Who the heck has FOUR FATHERS?!?! How is that even possible?!?! (Actually, this day marks the Pilgrim landing at Plymouth Rock on December 21, 1620. It wasn’t until almost a year later that they celebrated the first Thanksgiving.)
Today is LOOK AT THE BRIGHT SIDE DAY (audio clip) and WORLD PEACE DAY. ***But those will only work if you’re ignoring Humbug Day.
Today is HUMBUG DAY (audio clip). Today everyone is allowed 12 “bah humbugs.” Are you a Scrooge? Here’s a few warning signs…
Your only holiday decoration is a rotting pumpkin.
The treats you leave for Santa include a banana, prune juice, and a venison steak.
The light display on your roof is in the shape of a howitzer.
Your idea of Christmas dinner is a Slim-Jim, and a cheese log.
- The only tree in your house is a dead ficus.
You buy all of your Christmas Gifts in one night, at the same place you buy your gas.
- You hang up wreaths made of poison ivy.
- You dress up pit bulls as cows in the live nativity scene on your front lawn to take care of those pesky Christmas carolers.
- Every Christmas gift you gave included the bill.
- You set up surveillance cameras around your chimney just in case Santa wants to try any “funny business.”
- Every year you give your workers a 10% bonus: 10% of the amount you gave them the previous year.
- You wrote chain letters on the other side of all of your Christmas cards.
You’ve set the words “bah humbug” to music. (audio clip)
TODAY IS ALSO…
Ann & Samantha Day Link
Celebrate Short Fiction Day
Crossword Puzzle Day
International Dalek Remembrance Day Link
National Flashlight Day (Shortest Day of The Year)
National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day Link
Phileas Fogg Win A Wager Day
Short Girl Appreciation Day (Shortest day of the year)
World Peace Day/Winter Solstice
Winter (Winter Solstice) 5:44 AM EST
COMING UP NEXT (Just a list, we are not endorsing the holidays posted below.)
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23
Human Light Celebration
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24
Egg Nog Day Link
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25
‘Phabet Day or No “L” Day
Christmas Pudding Day Link
MONDAY, DECEMBER 26
Boxing Day (Canada)
National Candy Cane Day Link
National Thank-you Note Day
National Whiner’s Day
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28
Holy Innocents Day
Endangered Species Act Day
National Chocolate Da Link
ON THIS DAY
1838: Though she joked that the “D” in her name stood for “Devil,” 18-year-old Charlotte D. Moon professed her faith in Christ to classmates at Albemarle Female Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia. At a time when women were not “called” to be missionaries, Lottie Moon pushed her way through the Baptist Foreign Mission Board to spend 39 years ministering in China. Today, Baptists support some 5,000 foreign missionaries with their annual Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
1913: The first crossword puzzle was published, in the New York World.
1937: The first feature-length color cartoon with sound premiered at Hollywood’s Carthay Circle Theater. Walt Disney’s Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs included 250-thousand of the one-million drawings 750 cartoonists completed for the project.
1955: Singer Laverne Baker recorded “Jim Dandy:” in New York City.
1966: The Beach Boys received a gold record for the single, “Good Vibrations.”
1970: Elvis Presley met President Richard Nixon at the White House after the singer offered to become a “Federal Agent-at-Large” to help fight drug abuse. Elvis was not made an agent, but his photo with Nixon is the most requested reproduction from the National Archives, more than the U.S. Constitution.
1970: “Hey Old Man,” the first single by the Festfolk Quartet – later known as ABBA – reached No. 5 in Sweden.
1979: Willie Nelson made his acting debut in the Robert Redford film, “The Electric Horseman.”
1993: “TV Guide” reported that early “Gilligan’s Island” press releases gave Gilligan’s first name as “Willy.” The name never was used on the TV show.
1993: First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, in an interview with Associated Press, said her husband, President Clinton, had solicited her advice on major issues; but, she added, her powers were limited.
2000: President-elect George W. Bush resigned as governor of Texas. Lieutenant Governor Rick Perry was sworn in to replace him.
2003: A man who wanted to share his stock market winnings with the public tossed $9,350 in small bills from the observation deck of a tower in Nagoya, Japan, causing a scramble for the money in the streets below. The man told police he had too much money, didn’t need it, and wanted to give some back to the world. Police said the man did not break any laws. ***What about littering?
TODAY IN CHRISTIAN HISTORY
1118: Thomas a Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury who clashed with England’s King Henry II, is born in London.
1511: In Hispaniola, preacher Antonio des Montesinos counters the conquistador sentiment “Gunpowder against Indians is incense to the Lord” with a fiery sermon denouncing Spain’s atrocities in the new world.
1620: English separatists known as the Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts.
1807: Anglican clergyman and hymn writer John Newton, author of “Amazing Grace,” dies
HOLLYWOOD, SPORTS AND CELEBRITY FIGURE BIRTHDAYS
actor (Jack Bauer on “24”, Young Guns, Lost Boys, “Designated Survivor”) Kiefer Sutherland 50 (audio clip)
actor/comedian (“News Radio”) Andy Dick 51 (audio clip)
actor-comedian (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) Ray Romano 59 (audio clip)
actor (Snakes on a Plane, Die Hard 3, Pulp Fiction, Unbreakable) Samuel L. Jackson 68
actress (Monster in Law, 9 to 5) Jane Fonda is 79
TV talker Phil Donahue 81
(Music Artist Birthdays From SongFacts.com)
1926 : Freddie Hart
1940 : Ray Hildebrand (Paul & Paula)
1940 : Frank Zappa
1942 : Carla Thomas
1943 : Albert Lee (Ten Years After)
1943 : Gwen McCrae
1946 : Carl Wilson (The Beach Boys)
1951 : Nick Gilder
1953 : Betty Wright
1965 : Gabrielle Glaser (Luscious Jackson)
1971 : Brett Scallions (Fuel)
SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE
Where did we get the Nativity Scene?
It was not too long ago that nearly every community had a nativity set in the park or center of the town. Recent changes in the interpretation of laws have made this tradition unlawful in most communities. The nativity scene is a very old tradition. It is a tradition that started in 1223. Saint Francis of Assisi enjoyed the pageantry and glory of Christmas. He wanted this special season of the year to be festive and enjoyable. At Greccio, Italy in 1223 he re-created the birth of Christ with live actors and life-size scenery. He used living animals and a wax figure of the baby Jesus to reenact the glorious birth. The word crèche is a French word for crib. The crèche created by St. Francis succeeded way beyond his greatest hopes. Even within his own lifetime the crèche became quite popular. Ever since the first crèche, sculptors, architects and painters have fashioned and painted Nativity scenes. As medieval society grew more complex, the religious and secular began to merge in the celebration of Christmas. The crèche was often built in the town by the lay organizations like the craft guilds. At the same time, in the church, the same group of people would build the Nativity as parishioners. The Nativity scenes in some cities are quite elaborate and well known. Those built in Barcelona, Spain and Munich, Germany are famous for their ornate handiwork. One of the most famous and elaborate Nativity scenes in the world was built in the 18th century for King Charles III of Naples.
CHRISTIAN ARTIST NEWS
This is just a tiny sample of the 5-6 pages of material you could be receiving three days a week from ChristianRadioShowPrepServices.com!
Kerrie Roberts says her Christmas song Thank You Child has a special place in her own life. She posted. I loved singing this Christmas song when I was waiting for our little girl to arrive, thinking of Mary singing her own lullaby to Jesus. Holding my own baby now, I cannot imagine what her heart must have felt. “Thank you child. You’re the one who gave me life.” http://fb.me/10aZGCLus
Colton Dixon is dealing with the reality of married life this week. He posted all my wife wants for Christmas is for me to clean out the garage.
Mercyme guitarist Mike Scheuchzer asked Siri “what do you want for Christmas?” Her response: Inter-species peace. And Reese’s Pieces. https://www.instagram.com/p/BN7ZgZqjIL_/
A revelation for Casting Crowns Megan Garrett. She posted: Decluttering my kids’ rooms, sitting in the floor, wondering who even gave my kids all this junk…..Me. It was me. What have I done.
Francesca Battistelli is a Florida girl but she spent her weekend in Minnesota. She posted the temperature for the day at 4 degrees and added: Sooooo, this is the WARMEST it will be for the next 36 hours. Help. What’s a windchill?
An interesting thought in this week before Christmas from Nicky Gumbel: If you want your children to turn out well, spend half as much money on them and twice as much time with them.
Matthew West had to post a picture of a t-shirt he saw on the front row at one of his recent shows. The front of the shirt said: I saw Beiber and I saw 1D but Matthew West is the best. Matthew posted: take that Bieber!
Third Day’s Mac Powell exchanged Christmas gifts with David Crowder over the weekend. The two are on a Christmas tour together. Mac reported: He gave me a B.A. Baracus A-Team lego set. I gave him Chewbacca jammies
Comedian Bob Smiley says his airline has really been on the ball today. He posted over the weekend there was just one small thing they overlooked; they didn’t schedule a pilot for his flight.
Crowder is going back in time for his latest giveaway. David Crowder announced this week that he is giving away his new album American Prodigal on cassette tape. Also included is it’s very own cassette player.
(No news on the weekends. As on ONAIRprep subscriber, you can get a fully-produced, customized version of the Daily Dose of Weird News FREE with a station or show specific tag! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details!)
NEW NEWS KICKERS…
China’s pole-dancing squad has pulled out of the World Pole Sport Championships in Florence, Italy, because the flags of competing countries flown outside the venue somehow didn’t include the Chinese flag. ***Whoa… there is a pole-dancing championships?!? Good gosh, what has happened to this world?!?!
A Florida dad says his daughter tricked him when she asked for a ride to a Fort Lauderdale bank where she was supposedly going for a job interview. She actually robbed the bank. ***So next time a friend or family member tells you they’re going to the bank for a job, you might want to ask them to clarify it a bit.
A man in upstate New York broke into his neighbor’s home during a recent house fire to save their trapped dog. Michael Orchard fled the burning property with the pup and cradled it in his arms while resting on the front lawn. But it turns out that Orchard was actually tripping on a mixture of LSD and cough syrup. There was no fire and the entire scenario was just a result of his hallucinations. ***That might also explain how the dog was able to sing The Talking Heads’ “Burning Down The House” during the entire incident.
Remember how awful an idea creating a movie based on video games was? PIXELS, anyone? Well… now the small screen wants to get in on the ludicrous idea. Believe it or not, soon you can play Candy Crush, while watching Candy Crush- on TV! Somehow CBS is developing a one-hour TV game show of Candy Crush, based on the mobile app. ***I think the Super Mario Bros movie might be more entertaining… and that’s not saying much.
Letting Rover slobber all over you may seem unwise (you know what he licks). but “although your pet’s mouth contains loads of bacteria, his lick is essentially harmless as long as you are both healthy,” says Jan Bellows, D.V.M., president of the American Veterinary Dental College. Keep your dog’s tongue away from open cuts, and avoid the love if his breath stinks it can be a sign of gum disease, and the bacteria can transfer to you. ***When does a dog’s breath NOT stink? I mean… it’s a dog… it’s going to have dog breath!
NEWS KICKER EVERGREENS…
Planning on giving someone a gift card for Christmas? A consumer advocate group says millions of dollars are wasted on gift cards every year that are not used before their expiration dates. As many as one in three gift card recipients fail to cash in before time runs out. *** Which reminds me, I have about $100 worth of fried cheese curds I gotta cash in before the end of the year…
Scientists say the Earth is becoming more like Saturn. Some astronomers say the earth is developing rings just like the planet Saturn. The discovery has both astronomers and theologians scratching their heads. Some astrophysicists believe the rings may be a bi-product of global warming. Some religious experts say the ring is probably a sign of the impending second coming of Christ. ***Or it’s a new advertising promotion by Target.
Normally, tobacco is associated with causing cancer – not curing it. But researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine in California say a personalized vaccine made from tobacco plants could help cure cancer. The treatment, which would vaccinate cancer patients against their own tumor cells, is made using a new approach that turns genetically engineered tobacco plants into personalized vaccine factories. ***The downside is that intensive care units will now have to have smoking and non-smoking sections.
People who complain they have no time to exercise may soon need another excuse. Some experts say intense exercise sessions could help people squeeze an entire week’s workout into less than an hour. Intense exercise regimens, or interval training, was originally developed for Olympic athletes and thought to be too strenuous for normal people. But in recent years, studies in older people and those with health problems suggest many more people might be able to handle it. If true, that could revolutionize how officials advise people to exercise – and save millions of people hours in the gym every week. ***So now we open up the phones and ask, what excuse can we continue to use to get out of exercise? I could use a few ideas…
WONDER WOMAN (This feature will be disappearing in 2017)
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TODAY’S EPISODE… “Jog Backwards”
DAILY COMEDY CLIP (This feature will be disappearing in 2017)
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TODAY’S EPISODE… Mike Williams, “Pepper Spray and Battery Acid”
AS THE JUNGLE TURNS – WEEKDAY VERSION
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD WEDNEDAY’S EPISODE
EPISODE 0044 – CHRISTMAS 03 of 09
OPEN: FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) now bring you As the Jungle Turns! Last time on As the Jungle Turns, Gruffy Bear was getting annoyed at his new neighbor – because he kept pounding on the wall while Gruffy Bear was trying to hibernate through the winter! But what’s the pounding all about? Gruffy is about to find out, As the Jungle Turns!
CLOSE: Now that’s what I call caroling! But it’s all new to Gruffy Bear – he always sleeps through the winter, so he’s never seen or even heard of Christmas! How’s he going to take all of this? Find out next time – As the Jungle Turns!
AS THE JUNGLE TURNS – SATURDAY/SUNDAY VERSION (This feature will be disappearing in 2017)
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE EPISODE FOR THE WEEKEND OF DEC 24/25 & DEC 31-JAN 01
OPEN: And now, FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns! Last time, after thinking that the giant gorilla might just want to be friends (rather than eat the animals one at a time) they decided to go back to the footprints. Millard wasn’t too keen on the idea, seeing as he was almost made a meal of the last time, but they went back anyway. And suddenly…
CLOSE: So making friends with the gorilla didn’t work… will the animals try again to sell all of their possessions and move out of the jungle? Will they ever stop running and being scared? Tune in again next time to find out… As the Jungle Turns!
***You may simulcast “As the Jungle Turns” on the Internet stream of your live broadcast only. Any other Internet use of “As the Jungle Turns” in whole or part including podcasting of your live broadcast is a violation of copyright law. Thank you for your cooperation on this vitally important issue. If you have any questions, please e-mail us and ask about “Jungle Jam & Friends the Radio Show” usage.
MOMENT OF DUH
Sometimes it’s the teacher that needs to learn a lesson.
Rhonda Bennett teaches preschool in Weston, West Virginia. Recently she was talking to her class about race. After bringing a bi-racial 5-year-old girl into her class as an example of people with “different” skin color, she then went on to explain to her class that the little girl looked different even than her parents because she was adopted. Unfortunately, the 5-year-old had no idea she was adopted. But she knows now.
TOP TEN REASONS TO PUT OFF YOUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE
10. Let’s face it, all wives snoop around the house blatantly looking for their presents, so what choice do we have but to hold off on our shopping?!
9. By ignoring the shopping frenzy until the last possible moment, we men are better able to focus on the true meaning of Christmas!
8. Life is so stressful these days because we have to constantly make choices. Why not look after ourselves and beat the holiday stress by limiting our choices to what’s left in the local pharmacy at 6:30 pm on Christmas Eve?
7. Like a fine stallion, or a world-class runner, most men put in their best shopping performances just under the clock!
6. The best shoppers are those who examine the trends to see what gifts are “in” for this year. Obviously, the longer we wait, the more definitive the trend. Is it our fault that we are so thorough in our study that the “in” gifts are sold out when we go to buy them? NO! It is the greed of the big corporations and their heartless grab for cash that are to blame!
5. By perpetuating the stereotypical myth of men being uncaring, last-minute shoppers, we are, in fact, making women feel better about themselves. Our last minute scrambles, therefore, show us to have great concern and sensitivity.
4. At 6:30 pm Christmas Eve, whatever remains unbroken on the store shelves has proven its durability!
3. If you buy your present too soon, you may lose the receipts–or not be able to locate the guy selling stuff out of the trunk of his car!
2. How better to enter into the Christmas experience and share in Joseph’s feeling of panic when he found out there was no room in the inn, than to hear: “There is no more stock on the shelves?”
1. It’s a hunting and gathering, survival of the fittest, genetic thing! We’re, therefore, just celebrating how God our Creator has made us!
THE FILES OF LAW & DISORDER
The British supermarket chain Tesco has a problem with thieves stealing Christmas trees from their store lots.
FILE #1: …”Christmas trees are at the top of every thief’s wish list,” says Jacky Stephen, Tesco’s tree buyer. “And the stolen trees are extremely easy to sell.” So the store has hired security guards for the trees. Not just any guards: retired army commandos who will wear full camouflage gear and be equipped with night vision goggles. “We use a lot of tactics that we used to use in the army,” said one of the guards.
FILE #2: Beniamin Todea was having trouble starting the engine of a car when two policemen happened by. Our friend thought it would be a good idea to ask the cops to help him start the car by helping to push it. However, when the policemen saw the car’s stereo on the front seat they became suspicious and thought it would be a good idea to start asking questions. The jig was up when the guy didn’t know the license number of what was supposedly his own car and he now faces up to five years in jail.
FILE #3: Police officers in Indiana caught a burglary suspect when he ran to the local jail. Christopher Newsome was suspected of breaking into the Randolph County Courthouse and taking money from a receptionist’s desk. He ran to the front door of the jail in Muncie when sheriff’s deputies gave chase. Chief Deputy Sheriff Ken Hendrickson said: “We love it when they run to the jail for us.”
STRANGE LAW: Throwing snowballs will result in a $50 fine in Provo, UT.
THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON DRUGS
Even Christmas isn’t immune to brains on drugs.
Military police in Jacarepagua, Brazil, got suspicious when a street vendor selling Santa Claus dolls tried to run when he saw them. They chased the vendor down and took a close look at the toy Kris Kringles: they were all stuffed with cocaine. Officers recovered more than 200 grams of the drug from the St. Nick dolls.
What Christmas TV special have you not seen for a while that you would really like to see this year?
BIBLE BRAIN BUSTER!
QUESTION: Who worked seven years to earn his wife?
ANSWER: Jacob (Genesis 29:18 = “So Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, ‘I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.'”)
QUESTION: The first printed reference to Christmas trees appeared in Germany in what year?
TRUE OR FALSE
Pay attention! If our next player doesn’t answer all ten T/F questions correctly we start all over from question #1! First person to answer question #10 correctly is our winner!
1. During the 12 days of Christmas in medieval England, people wore costumes to church and gambled on the altar. (True.)
2. Matthew’s biblical account of the Wise Men says there were actually four wise men, not three. (False – the passage does not mention how many there were at all. The number was presumed to be three because of the three gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. But that is only an assumption.)
3. Jesus was born on December 25th. (False. In fact, nobody knows for certain when Jesus was born, but in 350 A.D., Pope Julius I declared December 25 the official date. In 529, Emperor Justinian declared Christmas a civic holiday.)
4. The ringing of bells during Christmas is supposed to drive away evil spirits. (True – it’s a holdover from pagan times. Unless, of course, you’re referring to the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” at which point ringing bells means an angel just got its wings!)
5. King Richard II once had a holiday feat that needed 2,000 cooks to prepare the food. (True. In 1377, King Richard II had a magnificent holiday feast – for 10,000 people.)
6. As a tradition, caroling began in France. (False. It began in the Roman churches in the early second century, then spread to France, England and America.)
7. The Christmas card tradition wasn’t born until the late 1800’s. (False, it was born during the Victorian Era.)
8. Exchanging gifts on Christmas Day didn’t become standard until the end of the 19th century. (True. Before that, Europe maintained the old Roman tradition of gift-giving on New Year’s Day.)
9. Santa Claus is an American creation. (True. He serves as the model for England’s Father Christmas.)
10. Green and red, the popular colors for Christmas, symbolize new growth and Christ’s blood. (True and False depending on the source. The colors are also representative of holly, one of the earliest decorative plants used at Christmastime.)
TABLOID MATCH GAME
You have to match the blank in the tabloid headline with the word or phrase that has been removed!
______ SKULL FOUND (BIGFOOT)
A scientist in Idaho found a fossilized Bigfoot skull.
A week after a fossilized Bigfoot head was found in Utah, another one was found in Idaho!
Soon after, Ralph Barnkopf of Boise came by the West Coast offices of WWN and showed us a Bigfoot skull HE found in the woods outside Boise.
“It’s definitely a Bigfoot head, for sure. I’d bet my dog’s life on it,” Ralph told WWN.
We contacted a number of Bigfoot experts. Dr. Lee Blanton of Alberta, Canada confirmed that the Barnkopf skull was, indeed, a Bigfoot skull. “If it looks like a Bigfoot skull, it’s a Bigfoot skull,” said Blanton.
“I went for a walk in the woods so that I would avoid having to talk to son-in-law, who’s always a pain-in-the-butt when he comes over for Sunday supper ,” the ex-proctologist told WWN, “and then I tripped and fell over something that was sticking up out of the ground.”
“After I got up, I looked at it and it looked like there was these two big eye holes looking at me. So I kicked it a few times to see if it was alive and then I realized it wasn’t alive… it was a skull!”
The skull tips the scales at 90 pounds and is the biggest Bigfoot skull found in modern times. That is, after the skull that Mark Saal reported about in Utah.
“I’ve been watching Finding Bigfoot on the TV,” Barnkopf said. “But I never in a million years, thought that I’d be the one to find him. I guess I’m a hero.”
THE WAY TOO EARLY IN THE MORNING TO UNDERSTAND THE PUNCHLINE EVEN AFTER TWO CUPS OF COFFEE JOKE OF THE DAY
Morris ran into Jacob while shopping at the mall the other day in front of one of the jewelry stores. Noticing a conspicuously small gift wrapped box in his hand, Morris asked if was a gift for Jacob’s wife Becky.
Jacob told Morris, “With Christmas coming up, I asked Becky what she wanted and she said, “Oh, I don’t know just give me something with lots of diamonds in it.”
“So what did you get her?” Morris asked.
Jacob smiled and replied, “I bought her a deck of cards.”
Anne and her boyfriend met online and they’d been dating for over a year. She introduced Hans to her uncle, who was fascinated by the fact that they met over the Internet. He asked Hans what kind of line he had used as a pick-up line. Ever the geek, Hans naively replied, “I just used a regular 56K modem.”
An Irishman, a Mexican and a blond guy were doing construction work on scaffolding on the 20th floor of a building.
They were eating lunch and the Irishman said, “Corned beef and cabbage! If I get corned beef and cabbage one more time for lunch I’m going to jump off this building.”
The Mexican opened his lunch box and exclaimed, “Burritos again! If I get burritos one more time I’m going to jump off, too.”
The blond guy opened his lunch and said, “Bologna again. If I get bologna sandwiches one more time I’m jumping too.”
The next day the Irishman opens his lunch box, sees corned beef and cabbage and jumps to his death.
The Mexican opens his lunch, sees burritos and jumps, too.
The blond opens his lunch, sees the bologna sandwich and jumps to his death as well.
At the funeral the Irishman’s wife is weeping. She says, “If I’d known how really tired he was of corned beef and cabbage I never would have given it to him again!
The Mexican’s wife also weeps and says, “I could have given him tacos or enchiladas! I didn’t realize he hated burritos so much.”
Everyone turned and stared at the blonde’s wife. “Hey, don’t look at me,” she said. “He makes his own lunch!”
In the U.S. in 1882 an inventor patented a propeller-driven rocking chair. The propeller supplied movement to the chair from its mount at the top of the chair’s back. Legend has it that the inventor, in his first demonstration of the chair, leaned back too far, got his hair caught in the propeller, and, well, you really don’t want to know. ***Now the product goes under the name of “Epilady.”
A study reveals that 86 percent of Americans love their jobs. ***The other 14 percent completed the survey when they knew their boss wasn’t looking over their shoulder.
A POLITICALLY CORRECT CHRISTMAS
“Twas the night before Christmas and Santa’s a wreck
How to live in a world that’s politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to “Elves”
“Vertically challenged” they were calling themselves.
And labor conditions at the north pole
Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.
Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,
Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.
And equal employment had made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid
Were replaced by 4 pigs, and that sure looked stupid.
The runners had been removed from his sleigh,
The ruts were termed dangerous by the EPA.
And people had started to call for the cops
When they heard sled noises on their roof tops.
Second hand smoke from his pipe had the workers quite frightened
His fur trimmed red suit was called “unenlightened.”
To show you the strangeness of life’s ebbs and flows
Rudolph was suing for unauthorized use of his nose.
And had gone on Geraldo, in front of the nation
Demanding millions in over-due compensation.
So, half the reindeer were gone, and his wife,
Who suddenly said, she’d enough of this life.
Joined a self-help group, packed and left in a whiz
Demanding from now on her title was Ms.
And as for the gifts, why, he’d ne’er had a notion
That making a choice would cause so much commotion.
Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,
Which meant nothing for him, and nothing for her.
Nothing that might be construed to pollute,
Nothing to aim, nothing to shoot.
Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise
Nothing for just girls, or just for the boys.
Nothing that claimed to be gender specific,
Nothing that’s warlike or nonspecific.
No candy or sweet… they’re bad for the tooth
Nothing that seemed to embellish the truth.
And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden
Like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.
For they raised the hackles of t hose psychological
Who claimed the only gift was one ecological.
No baseball, no football… someone could get hurt
Besides playing sports exposed kids to the dirt.
Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passé
And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.
So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed,
He just couldn’t figure out what to do next.
He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,
But you’ve got to be careful with that word today.
His sack was quite empty, limp on the ground
Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.
Something special was needed, a gift that he might
Give to all without angering the left or the right.
A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,
Each group of people, every religion,
Every ethnicity, every hue,
Everyone everywhere… even you.
So here is that gift, it’s priced beyond worth.
“May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth.”
IT MUST BE TRUE BECAUSE I HEARD IT ON THE RADIO!
CHRISTMAS – MEN ARE BAD GIFT-BUYERS
When it comes to giving awful gifts, nobody does it better than a man.
33 percent of women say their man is guilty of giving them a gift that is far off the mark, and 32 percent say their guy has presented them with a present that was more appropriate for him. It gets worse: 51 percent of the ladies say their man’s gifts are wrong at least 25 percent of the time and 11 percent give bad presents always or almost always. Here are some of the worst gifts that men have given to their wives:
- A gift certificate to a weight loss clinic. (Hey, I love you… but I’d like to see less of you.)
- A set of tickets to a Detroit Tigers game — only her seat wasn’t with his. (I hear you scream enough at home, don’t make me listen to you scream at the game too!)
- A dress in size 16 for a woman who is only a size 8. (Saying you love her twice as much this year ain’t gonna fly.)
- A divorce. Yep… some guy actually gift-wrapped divorce papers for his soon-to-be Ex!
- Vacuum cleaner bags. (That gift just sucks.)
It’s Christmas time and once again
The world repeats the story
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
And children sing the glory
Of angels and a shining star
And of a baby’s natal day
So many years ago.
–Mirla Greenwood Thayne
DRIVE TIME DEVOTIONAL
(modified from Campus Journal)
A man who plays Santa Claus in order to tell others about Jesus Christ!
I was eating breakfast in a New York City hotel coffee shop a couple of years ago when I saw him at a table not 15 feet away. Swept-back silver hair, twirled mustache and long bushy beard, rosy cheeks, and a belly that bulged under a red T-shirt with the image of a reindeer on the chest. Couldn’t be! But it was mid-December.
On my way out, I stopped at his table and said, “I guess this is the time of year when some people just hand you a list to save time.” He laughed and invited me to sit down.
Yes, Virginia, it was indeed Santa Claus (a.k.a. Jerry Powers), and he was working the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas-Eve season at a Macy’s Department Store in a nearby mall.
Within a few minutes, we discovered that we shared a mutual faith in Christ. And then he said, “Some people don’t think there’s such a thing as a Christian Santa, but that’s what I am. I don’t promise kids toys for Christmas. I’m here to listen to them, look into their eyes, and ask the Lord to help me say a word of encouragement to them.”
He told me about children who asked him if he could bring divorcing parents back together or help a grandmother get well. Some people asked him to pray for them. More than one person paused with Jerry as he talked to God on his or her behalf.
Some might call him a tool of commercialism while others would hail him as an innovative man of faith. But encountering “Santa” caused me to consider the many ways people serve Christ and make Him known. The apostle Paul prayed for the Christians in Thessalonica “that our God may count you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith” (2 Thessalonians 1:11).
Within the boundaries of faith in God and obedience to His Word, there are countless ways to serve the Lord and help others. Meeting Santa Claus helped me appreciate one I hadn’t thought of before.
Good Housekeeping ran an article on holiday tipping, here’s what they suggest:
Postal Service — Employees may receive gifts valued at $20 or less, per occasion. There’s a $50 annual cap per giver. The USPS frowns on cash gratuities.
Teachers — Giving money isn’t customary and many schools prohibit teachers from accepting tips. She recommends a gift to a teacher should be a personal expression of appreciation, something moderately priced that you and your child have selected.
Frequent baby-sitter — One or two evenings’ pay plus a small gift from your child.
Barber — Cost of one cut and maybe a small gift.
Beauty salon staff — $10 to $60 each, a larger amount and maybe a small gift to those who do the most for you.
Day-care providers — $25 to $70 each (on the higher end if only one or two providers) plus a small gift from your child.
Daily dog walker — One day’s pay.
Frequent housecleaner — One day’s pay.
Massage therapist — One session’s fee.
Newspaper deliverer — $10 to $30.
Private nurse — Gift, not cash.
Nursing-home workers — Gift, not cash.
Trash collectors — $10 to $20 each.
Frequent yard worker — $20 to $50.
LIFE… LIVE IT
According to The American Dietetic Association (ADA), if Santa drinks a glass of whole milk and eats two butter cookies at every American household he visits, he will consume a shocking 14 billion calories and 6.1 billion grams of fat in one night alone!
Try skim milk instead of whole, saving 64 calories and eight grams of fat for each glass he drinks.
Offer Santa “skinny nog” — a mixture of skim milk and low fat egg nog or use dry egg nog mix with skim milk to save 145 calories and 18 grams of fat per serving.
Leave Santa gingersnaps or graham crackers in place of higher fat cookies conserving 169 calories and eight grams of fat per serving.
Opt to give non-food gifts, like food and nutrition books, subscriptions to health newsletters, exercise tapes or equipment and gift certificates.
And carrots, celery, apples and pears are great treats for Santa as well as his reindeer. With a little planning, it will be easy to expand Santa’s food choices without expanding his waistline.
***Actually, come to think of it, this is all probably totally unnecessary, as Santa is burning off all of these calories by climbing up and down chimneys all night long while carrying hundreds of pounds of gifts on his back. Hmm. Never mind. My apologies to Santa, who I am sure listens to this show at the North Pole via the Internet. Sorry, Mr. Kringle!
JUST FOR FUN
THE OFFICIAL CHRISTMAS GIFT-GIVING CONTRACT
Agreement entered into this _____ day of _____, in the year of our Lord, _____, by Husband and Wife, hereafter called “Couple.” Whereas, Couple often argue over ill-chosen gifts; and whereas, a gift-giving agreement may save Couple’s marriage and/or reduce return trips to the mall.
SECTION A: Gifts for Wife
Husband shall not give Wife practical gifts such as an iron, a toaster, a dishwasher or a vacuum cleaner… unless husband plans to use them.
Husband shall avoid the following: a) Chocolate when Wife is on a diet. b) Tight clothing meant to encourage wife to diet.
Husband shall keep track of Wife’s clothing sizes, except those Wife refuses to divulge.
Husband shall not give Wife anything that can be bought at an airport.
Husband shall not buy Wife earrings that weigh more than her head.
Husband shall remember that gifts should be personal. Gift certificates and cash are not personal… unless large enough to buy a diamond watch.
Husband shall avoid the following: a) Any former girlfriend’s favorite fragrance. b) His mother’s favorite fragrance.
Husband is encouraged to buy Wife gifts in the following categories: a) Anything specifically requested. b) Catalog items discreetly circled. c) Any object containing silver, platinum or gold.
SECTION B: Gifts for Husband
Wife shall not give Husband anything that smells like perfume… no matter how macho its name or its spokesman.
Wife shall not buy Husband home repair manuals.
Wife shall not give Husband anything “cute” or containing the word organizer.
Wife shall not get Husband anything used in a gym.
Wife shall not buy Husband silk boxers, unless she agrees to wear a matching pair.
Wife shall not give Husband anything that’s for Husband’s own good.
Wife is encouraged to buy Husband items in the following categories: a) Anything Couple’s 12-year-old son would like. b) Sporting equipment, provided Husband can exchange it for something with a better “feel.” c) Stereo and electronic equipment provided Husband can exchange it for something with more “oomph.”
SECTION C: Miscellaneous
Husband concedes that writing thank-you notes for the entire household and buying gifts for Husband’s business associates are not Wife’s job.
Husband concedes that there is no logical connection between gender and gift wrapping.
If despite all precautions, one spouse buys the other something he or she hates (a gift you wouldn’t give your worst enemy, well maybe, but only if it were on sale), couple shall behave in a diplomatic fashion. The following shall not be deemed diplomatic: a) “Are you totally insane?” b) “Give me the receipt, cheapskate!” c) “But you said you wanted this!”
Couple shall cherish the loving thought that is behind ever single gift… even the ones they exchange.
SIGNS THAT GUY IN THE RED SUIT IS NOT THE REAL SANTA
That rainbow-colored beard
Just as I thought: that’s a belly implant
Allergic to elves
Is that a reindeer burger?
Pulls up in a Harley sleigh
MORE SHOW PREP STUFF…
12 WAYS TO CELEBRATE YOUR RELATIONSHIP THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
(By Susan Dutton Freund, thinkmarriage.org)
What if a couple took the time to celebrate their love on each one of the 12 days of Christmas?
When most people think about the holiday season they think of spending time with friends and family and enjoying the spirit of the season. While all of that is fun, the reality is that the holidays can also add stress and activity to your everyday life. Often times, this means that a couple puts their relationship on the back burner and uses “divide and conquer” on daily tasks just to get everything done. Here’s 12 ideas to help you deliberately invest in the health of your relationship this holiday season.
- Write a love letter. Love letters often become treasured heirlooms that are saved for a lifetime. Put your love into words and give a very special gift.
- Hold hands for five minutes or more. Sometimes something as simple as physical touch can reconnect a couple.
- Get home from work early and make your spouse’s favorite dinner. He or she will appreciate your efforts and will love to find a home-cooked meal waiting after a hectic day at work.
- Tackle the pile of gifts that need to be wrapped, together!
- Finish this sentence: “I appreciate…” For example: “I appreciate you bringing me a cup of coffee this morning. You do that a lot, and it really helps me to start the day feeling loved.” Do this five times today.
- Have a date night. With all of the holiday parties to attend, it’s easy to let this one slip. But having a date night (where it is just the two of you, not the two of you in a crowd of all your friends) will give you the time to focus just on each other. Spend the date talking about your dreams for your future together.
- Watch a classic holiday movie together. Then talk about what you liked after the movie is over.
- Share your favorite holiday traditions you had while growing up with your spouse. Talk about what traditions you two have built together and how it has enriched your family.
- Go for a walk right after a light snowfall. Even a walk around the block is an opportunity to connect after a long day.
- Meet for lunch during a work day. Commitments increase during the holidays. Meeting for lunch guarantees some time together when you just can’t fit one more thing into the day.
- Bake holiday cookies together. It’s a great activity that can become a holiday tradition for the two of you.
- Volunteer. Helping a worthy cause is a great way to remember what the holidays are about.
OTHER STUFF I WANT TO CRAM INTO TODAY’S PREP
Warning – your car’s glass cleaner could kill you! Arizona State researchers who sampled washer fluid reservoirs found high levels of Legionella, bacteria that can cause a serious form of pneumonia. The vapor from tainted fluid could enter your car’s air vents and then your lungs. They suggest you use a solution with methanol which has antibacterial properties. (Men’s Health)
Parents, you have a secret weapon to keep your teenagers from having sex. It’s called being a good parent. Teens are far more likely to delay having sex until they are older if their parents keep an eye on what they are doing and with whom they are doing it, reports HealthDay News of research from New York University. Simply put, it means parents need to set (and enforce) clear rules and keep tabs on their teenagers’ activities and friends. “Parents really matter, and they’re influential,” said report co-author Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, co-director of the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health at NYU’s Silver School of Social Work. The study’s results found that the kids whose parents set rules and monitored them, including knowing what they were doing and with whom they were doing it, were less likely to have sex as teenagers.
Dallas Cowboys fans have been putting their faith in rookie quarterback Dak Prescott but Prescott is putting his faith in Christ. A recent photo on twitter showed Prescott surrounded by six people holding hands and deep in prayer. Meanwhile, they say Prescott has also been open about his faith in the past. In a 2014 interview with the Shreveport Times, Prescott said that he wrote inspiring messages on his wristbands before games. Dak said “I simply write ‘Faith’ on there for the faith that my mom showed me; the relationship we built from the faith we had and my faith in God.”
Harvard researchers have discovered regular church attendance strengthens our physical and mental health and especially our marriages. According to CBN, The researchers studied nearly 75-thousand women for a twenty year period. Compared to women who never attended religious services, women who attended more than once per week had 33% lower mortality risk and lived an average of five months longer. Regular church attenders enjoyed a 28% decreased risk of depression. And people who attended religious services were 47% less likely to divorce.
Using the same technology as Pokemon Go, the White House created an app that transforms a $1 bill into virtual tour of the mansion grounds. According to NBC News, the new White House app dubbed “1600,” is used by aiming a cell phone at the picture of George Washington on a $1 bill. It whisks virtual visitors into a 3D replica image of the White House, allowing visitors to trek around back to the South Lawn to see an official State visit underway, watch Marine One land, and get a bird’s-eye view of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue from every angle just by tilting the camera. You can watch a video to see how it works at http://nbcnews.to/2gdDBMs
AND I LEAVE YOU WITH THIS THOUGHT
I bought my friend some gift-wrap for Christmas. I took it to the gift-wrap counter and told them to wrap it, but in different paper, so he’d know when to stop unwrapping.
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 16, 2016 thru JANUARY 01, 2017…
Why Him?—James Franco takes on the role of the son-in-law from Hades. Who would want him? The daughter of Bryan Cranston, that’s who. The daughter is played by Zoey Deutch. Franco has lots of money, but acts and dresses like a scarecrow. “Why Him?” is rated R. No rating.
A Monster Calls—(now opening from an earlier date) A young boy (Lewis MacDougall) finds that his mother is quite ill. He doesn’t know how to cope and it doesn’t help that his grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) is not a sympathetic person. What to do? Here comes a “monster” in the shape of a large tree (voice of Liam Neeson) to help the boy. “A Monster Calls” is rated PG. Rating of 3 and bring hanky.
Manchester By The Sea—A story of grief, several times over, loss and trying to cope are all in this film that suits actor Casey Affleck fine. He plays Lee, who suddenly finds himself guardian to a teenage nephew when Lee’s brother (Kyle Chandler) and the boy’s father dies. What to do? Face up to life or keep trudging along. “Manchester By The Sea” is rated R. Rating of 3. Bring hanky.
Neruda—Luis Gnecco stars as the famed Spanish poet who finds his past membership in the early Communist party comes back to haunt him. Also in the cast are Gael Garcia Bernal, Alfredo Castro and Mercedes Morau. “Neruda” is rated R. Subtitles. No rating.
Passengers—A science fiction film of trying to help humanity…in a big way. Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt star as two people, among many, who are traveling in deep sleep to another planet. When something awakens the two, they realize something is very wrong and they have to help…and fight. “Passengers” is rated R. Rating of 2 for fans.
Sing—This animated film concerns a singing contest…with animals. Yes, there is a mother pig (voice of Reese Witherspoon), the theater owner, a koala bear (voice of Matthew McConaughey) and a rockin’ porcupine (Scarlett Johansson). You can imagine what happens during the contest. Also lending their voices are Seth MacFarlane, Tori Kelly, Taron Egerton and Nick Kroll. “Sing” is rated PG. Rating of 3 for fans.
(Opening moved ahead from an earlier date) The Space Between Us—On a colonization voyage to Mars, it is discovered that one of the female astronauts is pregnant. This results in the first child, a boy, being born on Mars, but in that atmosphere, gravity, etc. Fast forward to teen years, and the kid (Asa Butterfield) knows about Earth and even has a girl friend, Britt Robertson (Skype) he communes with. However, something happens and Asa ends up on Earth. “The Space Between Us” is rated PG 13. Rating of 2 for fans.
Gold—Try, just try to recognize Matthew McConaughey in the role of Kenny Wells who goes to Borneo to find gold. You read that right. His girlfriend, Bryce Dallas Howard, faithfully follows him. People will do just about anything to get rich in a hurry. Also in the cast are Edgar Ramirez and Corey Stoll. “Gold” is rated R. Rating of 2 for fans.
Hidden Figures—This is an unusual title for a film and another might have better explained the film’s content. It is about three black women who are top mathematicians and work to put the first space flights and astronauts into earth orbit and beyond. Prejudice is prevalent here. Stars include Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae. “Hidden Figures” is rated PG 13. Rating of 3.
Paterson—Adam Driver (“Star Wars”) is a bus driver whose name is Paterson and he lives in Paterson, N. J. The film concerns a week in his life and how he and his wife (Golshiften Farahani) handle problems. “Paterson” is rated R. No rating.
Jackie—Now opening from an earlier date, Natalie Portman stars as Jackie Kennedy in the few days before the funeral of President Kennedy. Portman takes the role and goes with it to bring you into that era of assassination of a president and the aftermath in the country and his family. Also in the cast are Peter Sarsgaard and Billy Crudup. “Jackie” is rated R. Rating of 3 for fans. Bring hanky.
Live By Night—Ben Affleck stars and directs this movie about gangsters and their rise to the top in Boston. Based on a Dennis Lehane novel and set in the 1920’s. There is back-stabbing, love and the rest of crimes included. Also starring in the film are Sienna Miller, Elle Fanning and Zoe Saldana. “Live By Night” is rated R. Rating of 2 for fans.
20th Century Women—Annette Bening shines in this film of three generations of women in the mid-1970’s and how they cope with changing times. The cast includes Elle Fanning (great work), and Greta Gerwig. Wonderful soundtrack, too. “20th Century Women” is rated R for sexual content. Rating of 2.
A Kind Of Murder—Here is another adaptation of a Patricia Highsmith novel. The film stars Patrick Wilson and Jessica Biel who are not happy in their marriage. Along comes Eddie Marsan, whose wife has passed away and they become friends. However, suspicion lurks here. “A Kind Of Murder” is rated R. No rating.
Julieta—This is a Spanish language film directed by Pedro Almodovar. It concerns a mother’s (Emma Svarez) search for a missing daughter. Also in the cast are Daniel Grao and Adriana Ugarte. “Julieta” is rated R. No rating.
Collateral Beauty—Will Smith plays a man who has suffered a tragedy in his life. His friends worry about him and decide to help, though in unconventional ways. Also in the cast are Helen Mirren and Edward Norton. “Collateral Beauty” is rated PG 13. Rating of 2 for fans.
Fences—The stars of this film, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, already have Tony’s for their roles in the Broadway version. Now, Washington stars and directs this film that is set in the middle 1960’s and tells how working class African-Americans cope with problems. August Wilson wrote the play. “Fences” is rated R. Rating of 3 for fans.
The Founder—Ray Kroc made McDonalds a global name with unique marketing. However, the real founders were the McDonald brothers (played by Nick Offerman and John Carroll). Kroc is played by Michael Keaton. This is a study in how to build a business, ruthless though it may be. “The Founder” is rated R. Rating of 2 for fans.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story—Felicity Jones is the female lead in this “stand alone” story in the “Star Wars” saga. The story is about when the Death Star was being built and the Rebels were trying to get the plans. Also in the cast are Ben Mendelssohn and Riz Ahmed. Get your light sabers ready. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is rated PG 13. Rating of 3 for fans.
Assassins Creed—This film is yet another adaptation of a game board. Here, Michael Fassbinder takes on the role of a man in the 15th century Aguilar) and at the same time, in this century (Callum). Those fighting outfits are reminiscent of “The Arrow.” Also in the cast are Marion Cotilliard and Jeremy Irons. “Assassins Creed” is rated R. Rating of 2 for fans.
Note: ”Patriots’s Day” and “Silence” are now set to open the middle of January, 2017.
Happy New Year 2017. – Marie Asner
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