December 26, 2015: Saturday ONAIRprep (Boxing Day)


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The boss gave me my Christmas bonus—but for some reason I’m a little leery about a canned ham that comes with cooking instructions in Chinese.




When the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. –Galatians 4:4-5


Proverbs 29:20 = Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them.





[An angel of the Lord said,] “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” — Luke 2:11-14


Thought: The sign to the shepherds was a baby in a feed trough. Pretty potent sign isn’t it! The Almighty Creator of the universe sleeping where the sheep and goats have eaten their grain and hay. That God would love us so much as to reduce himself to such an inauspicious beginning reminds us why the angels praise him so. He is glorious and yet he chose not to hide or protect that glory, but instead he shared it so we could find it, too!


Prayer: God of the manger and Ruler of the constellations, I join my heart and my voice with the angels in praise to your glorious and holy name. Your sacrifice is so profound I am awe-struck. You could have chosen any sign to show Jesus to the shepherds, but you chose the manger. Thank you for revealing yourself in such a common place so I could find your sign and come home to you. I pray in Jesus’ name with all my love. Amen.


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




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

John 12:26 NIV = Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.




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


Hope you’re not sick of them yet because today is NATIONAL CANDY CANE DAY.


Today is NATIONAL WHINER’S DAY – a day dedicated to people who return Christmas gifts.


Today is SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS, observed as a holiday in many countries. ***MARLAR: The appropriate gift, of course, would be turtle doves. Either that, or a box… because…


Today is BOXING DAY, a legal holiday in Canada and Great Britain – a day to give Christmas boxes to sanitation workers, mail carriers, and others who serve the public during the year. ***MARLAR: Because really, one thing mail carriers and trash men don’t see enough of throughout the rest of the year, especially Christmastime, is boxes.




National Thank-You Note Day





Howdy Doody Day

Visit The Zoo Day



Holy Innocents Day

Endangered Species Act Day

National Chocolate Day

Pledge Of Allegiance Day



Tick Tock Day




Bacon Day

Falling Needles Day



First Nights

Leap Second Time Adjustment Day

Look On The Bride Side Day

Make Up Your Mind Day

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Dishonor List

No Interruptions Day

Universal Hour of Peace Day

World Peace Meditation Day



Copyright Law Day

Commitment Day

Ellis Island Day

Euro Day

First Foot Day

Global Family Day

Mummer’s Parade

New Year’s Day

New Year’s Dishonor List Day

Polar Bear Plunge

Rose Bowl Game

Tournament of Roses Parade Day

World Peace Day

Z Day



55-MPH Speed Limit Day

Fruitcake Toss Day

Happy Mew Year For Cats Day

National Buffet Day

National Motivation and Inspiration Day

National Personal Trainer Awareness Day

National Science Fiction Day

Pet Travel and Safety Day



Drinking Straw Day

J.R.R. Tolkien Day

“Remember You Die” Day

National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day



Blue Monday (the most depression day of the year)

Dimpled Chad Day

Divorce Monday

National Weigh-In Day

Pop Music Chart Day

“Thank God It’s Monday” Day

Tom Thumb Day

Trivia Day

World Braille Day

World Hypnotism Day




1799: Former President George Washington was eulogized by Colonel Henry Lee as “first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”


1944: Tennessee Williams’ play “The Glass Menagerie” was first performed publicly, at the Civic Theatre in Chicago.


1954: The final episode of The Shadow was broadcast on national radio. The weekly series had lasted 17 years. “The weed of crime bears bitter fruit; the Shadow knows…”


1955: Bill Haley & the Comets released “See You Later, Alligator.”


1963: Capitol Records, the EMI-affiliated company which had rejected U.S. rights to every Beatles record until then, finally released “I Want to Hold Your Hand” backed with “I Saw Her Standing There.” Within five weeks, it was #1.


1963: Professional wrestler “Gorgeous George” Wagner died of a heart attack at age 48.


1968: Led Zeppelin made its U.S. debut with a performance in Boston.


1982: For the first time, Time magazine’s Man of the Year was a non-human. Time chose a computer as the year’s “greatest influence for good or evil.”


1986: After 35 years the TV soap opera Search for Tomorrow stopped searching. ***MARLAR: Leaving the world to search elsewhere for really bad acting.


1991: The pistol Jack Ruby used to shoot Lee Harvey Oswald sold for $220,000.


1994: An 18-year-old, on a 72-hour Christmas furlough from the Maloney Youth Center in Cheshire, Connecticut, did not want to risk losing his parole by getting back late — so he stole a car. He was spotted abandoning the car near the prison.


1996: The Recording Industry Association of America reported that Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” was the top-selling album of 1996.


1999: A 40-year-old Florida man was arrested after letting his 13-year-old son drive a stolen van into two parked cars and through the back deck of a house. The father said he just wanted to give his son a Christmas present.


2002: It was announced that a West Virginia man had won the $314.9 million Powerball lottery jackpot, the richest single-ticket prize in history. The man’s wife said in 2004 she wished it had never happened and that she had torn up the ticket. Her husband, ordered into rehab after two drunken driving arrests, has been sued twice for behavior at a nightclub and a racetrack.


2002: The first cloned human baby supposedly was born, according to a group called Clonaid.


2004: A tsunami triggered by a powerful earthquake beneath the Indian Ocean left thousands dead or missing in south Asia.


2004: Indiana Colts quarterback Peyton Manning broke Dan Marino’s season touchdown pass record when he threw his 48th and 49th of the season in a win over San Diego.




800: Charlemagne crowned emporer of Rome


1065: The first building of Westminster Abbey is dedicated, though legend holds that the abbey was founded as early as 616.


1838: Wake Forest College is chartered by Baptists in North Carolina.


1968: Death of the American church historian Kenneth Scott Latourette, whose History of the Expansion of Christianity remains a notable achievement.




actor (“My So-Called Life,” American Psycho, Lord of War, Suicide Squad) Jared Leto 44 (





(Music Artist Birthdays From

1935 : Duke Fakir (The Four Tops)

1940 : Phil Spector

1946 : Bob Carpenter (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band)

1951 : Paul Quinn (Saxon)

1953 : Steve Witherington (Ace)

1963 : Lars Ulrich (Metallica)

1967 : J. Yuenger (White Zombie)

1969 : Peter Klett (Candlebox)

1979 : Chris Daughtry (Daughtry)




Where did the person who fritters away his time get the name “lotus eater”?

In Homer’s Odyssey, where those who ate the fruit of the lotus tree forgot their friends and homes and lost all desire to return.




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Need a little help with the Christmas atmosphere at your holiday gatherings. Don’t forget Paul Baloche’s fireplace video. The video features a flickering fire with Paul’s new Christmas CD Christmas Worship, Volume 2 playing in the background. The video gives nearly one hour of Christmas praise and worship music.


Just in time for the holiday, Tenth Avenue North has re-released 4 minutes and 37 seconds of Christmas joy. Check out their version of Deck the Halls recorded several years ago.


Matt Maher was recently having some fun. He released his best Elvis Presley Impression of Blue Christmas and even gives you a taste of how it compares to Elvis himself.


Matt Maher was recently having some fun. He released his best Elvis Presley Impression of Blue Christmas and even gives you a taste of how it compares to Elvis himself.


A little de ju vu for Aaron Shust over the weekend. He spent Sunday afternoon chilling in the house where he and his wife Sarah brought home their two oldest boys and spent six years of their life. Aaron says he still owns the house and it works out great when you happen to love your tenants.


Flu going around your house? Then you might be able to relate to the Christmas wish of Mercyme guitarist Mike Scheuchzer. He tweeted his picture looking totally worn out along with the words: It’d be awesome if no one else would throw up tonight. Mike said two of their four kids had been up, keeping he and his wife up half of the night.


Tenth Avenue North’s Ruben Juarez shared this week on twitter: What I’ve learned in 2015: the key to success is to eat breakfast, water your plants, and ride jet skis all day.




X-ray vision? New technology making it a reality for $300    photo
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — X-ray vision, a comic book fantasy for decades, is becoming a reality in a lab at MIT. A group of researchers led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Dina Katabi has developed software that uses variations in radio signals to recognize human silhouettes…


Venomous sea snake washes onto Southern California shore    photo
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A dead yellow-bellied sea snake from southern Mexico has been discovered on Bolsa Chica beach, only the third one ever reported in California. Natural History Museum snake curator Greg Pauly says it’s only the seventh or eighth one ever seen north of Baja…
School makes teacher remove pink Hello Kitty Christmas tree
BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A Maine high school teacher is complaining that she was forced to remove a small pink Christmas tree festooned with the character Hello Kitty from her classroom. Catherine Gordon is a math teacher at Bangor High School. She wrote on her Facebook page that “everything…
‘Star Wars’ fan in NY legally changes name to Darth Vader
CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (AP) — Darth Vader is a tattooed 43-year-old former Marine who owns a gym and is raising funds online for a bone marrow transplant. HASH(0x13e0be0) The former Eric Welch, of Canandaigua (kan-un-DAY’-gwuh), says he grew up in foster homes and didn’t have strong family ties to…
No dog-eat-dog politics: Siberian city backs cat for mayor    photo
BARNAUL, Russia (AP) — Tired of the dog-eat-dog politics in their Russian city, the residents of Barnaul say they want a cat to be their next mayor. The Siberian city of 650,000 people, which lies 2,900 kilometers (1,800 miles) east of Moscow, is to get a new mayor next week when a commission…
New 911 dispatcher helps couple deliver baby on Utah highway
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah couple welcomed their fourth child into the world on the side of Interstate 15, coached through delivery problems by a 911 operator. HASH(0x141df70) “I mean, we joke, ‘Oh you’re going to get a pregnancy call,'” Kalaher said, “and then it actually happens. You…
Fans of honest Colorado busboy raise over $3,800 for him
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — A struggling Colorado busboy who returned $3,000 in cash that he found on the floor is getting rewarded with a big tip. As of Monday, people impressed with Johnny Duckworth’s honesty have raised more than $3,800 through He found the cash Tuesday at…
Error coin, a dime struck onto a nail, is headed to auction    photo
NEW YORK (AP) — Is it a dime? Or is it a nail? In probably one of the oddest items to come to the world of coin collecting, Dallas-based Heritage Auctions has announced the sale of a Roosevelt dime that was accidentally (or some say deliberately) struck onto a zinc nail. Yes, that piece of…
China names and shames 5 tourists over bad behavior
BEIJING (AP) — China’s tourism authority named and shamed another five tourists for bad behavior and says it is working with airlines on a possible flying ban. Those added to the list of “uncivilized behavior” by tourists include two women and a man who brawled after one woman’s seat was…
Lip balm containing pot ingredient thrown out at air base
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Officials say they had to discard hundreds of tubes of lip balm that were distributed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richards after they were found to contain trace amounts of THC, an active ingredient in marijuana. The base’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office…
California server finds $32,000 at eatery, returns to owner
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Police in California say a waiter returned $32,000 in cash after some diners accidentally left it behind. HASH(0x13eb500) When the waiter found the money he told his boss, who called police. The money was ultimately returned to the family. The server was not identified….




Study: Some cardiac arrest victims ignore warning symptoms    photo
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sudden cardiac arrest may not always be so sudden: New research suggests a lot of people may ignore potentially life-saving warning signs hours, days, even a few weeks before they collapse. Cardiac arrest claims about 350,000 U.S. lives a year. It’s not a heart attack, but…


New advice on who qualifies for cholesterol-lowering statins
WASHINGTON (AP) — Considering a cholesterol-lowering statin to prevent a heart attack? Deciding who’s a good candidate requires calculating more than a simple cholesterol level. A government task force says the popular medications will be of most benefit to some people ages 40 to 75 whose…
In budget deal, health law foes took a different path    photo
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican foes of President Barack Obama’s health care law may be able to get more by chipping away at it than trying to take the whole thing down at once. That’s one lesson of the budget deal passed by Congress and signed by the president last week. It delayed a widely…
FDA eases restrictions on blood donations from gay men    photo
WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s three-decade-old ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men was formally lifted Monday, but major restrictions will continue to limit who can give blood. The Food and Drug Administration said it is replacing the lifetime ban with a new policy barring…
New rules bringing kidneys to hardest-to-transplant patients    photo
WASHINGTON (AP) — A shake-up of the nation’s kidney transplant system means more organs are getting to patients once thought nearly impossible to match, according to early tracking of the new rules. It’s been a year since the United Network for Organ Sharing changed rules for the transplant…
Beijing’s 2nd smog red alert of the month goes into effect    photo
BEIJING (AP) — Beijing was enveloped in eye-watering, throat-irritating smog on Saturday as the second red alert of the month went into effect in the Chinese capital, forcing many cars off the roads and restricting factory production. A wave of smog settled over the notoriously polluted city…
San Francisco hospital suspends kidney donations after death
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — One of the nation’s most prominent medical centers has voluntarily suspended its living donor program for kidney transplants after a living donor died last month. The donor had provided a kidney to a recipient at University of California San Francisco Medical center in…
Flu season off to slower start this year; might be milder    photo
NEW YORK (AP) — This year’s flu season seems like old times. There’s not much flu going around so far — unlike the last three seasons when doctors’ offices were filled with patients before Christmas and illnesses peaked by late December. “It really is off to sort of a slow start”…
Report: Drug overdose deaths surged in 14 states last year
NEW YORK (AP) — Drug overdose deaths surged in 14 states last year, pushing the nation to a record count, according to a government report released Friday. Rates went up in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota,…
FDA proposes ban on indoor tanning for minors    photo
WASHINGTON (AP) — Anyone under the age of 18 would be barred from using indoor tanning equipment, under a federal proposal to help reduce skin cancer linked to the devices. The Food and Drug Administration also wants to require tanning bed users to sign consent forms acknowledging the risks…
Painkiller politics: Effort to curb prescribing under fire    photo
WASHINGTON (AP) — A bold federal effort to curb prescribing of painkillers may be faltering amid stiff resistance from drugmakers, industry-funded groups and, now, even other public health officials. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was on track to finalize new prescribing…




(No news on the weekends. Audio clips are only valid for a few days before being removed from our servers.)







Fifty-four percent of those surveyed admit they rewrap gifts they don’t like and send them to someone else.  ***MARLAR: Which explains all the fruitcakes I get every year.














OPEN: And now,, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns! When last we left the jungle island of Razzleflabbin, Marvy Snuffleson was confused about some Christmas gift-giving. Olaf sold his race track to buy Karl some bicycle tires. But Karl sold his bicycle in order to purchase racing cars for Olaf! Yet, they’re both happy…


CLOSE: From all of us at (Station Call Letters), (Show Name), and from everyone at – have a very Merry Christmas!






OPEN: And now,, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns! Last time, the jungle animals’ new king, Louis the little lion, decided he didn’t want to play badminton, build forts, or go swimming. And since he’s now the king, he can decide anything he likes… so he’s decided to pounce on dandelions. And since they’re following him, all the other animals are also pouncing…


CLOSE: Now what is Louis going to do? He’s the king – he has to decide something! 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.




You may know people with a reputation of being, “as tough as nails” – but you wouldn’t think that would mean finger nails!

There’s an old Chinese saying that goes “beauty comes before life”. The phrase rang true at Hong Kong nail salon that caught fire. Rebecca Lee, owner of the Fingertrix nail salon, and two staff members were putting acrylic finger nails on to two customers when fire broke out on the rooftop of their building. But the five women opted not to exit immediately despite being warned by security guards that they should leave. The women said they didn’t want to leave until their nails were finished and the workers said they wanted to make sure they finished their jobs! Happy with their polished nails, the women left more than an hour later, after the fire had been put out.






  1. I will remember the garbage collector is NOT stealing our stuff.


  1. I will not suddenly stand straight up when I’m lying under the coffee table.


  1. I will not roll my toys behind the fridge.


  1. I will shake the rainwater out of my fur BEFORE entering the house.


  1. I will not eat the cats’ food, before or after they eat it.


  1. I will not carry on a conversation at midnight with my friend across town.


  1. I will not wake Mommy up by sticking my cold, wet nose on her face.


  1. I will not chew my human’s toothbrush and not tell them.


  1. When in the car, I will not insist on having the window rolled down when it’s raining outside.


  1. I will not bite the officer’s hand when he reaches in for Mom’s driver’s license and car registration.




Can you imagine a two-year-old smoking?


FILE #1: In Virginia Beach, Virginia, 33-year-old Sandra Venery was arrested and charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor after being found responsible for posting on the popular internet site MySpace, a video of a two-year-old child smoking! The video featured a child attempting to smoke, while a female adult prompts him to speak profane language. Sandra reportedly created the video and a search of her home resulted in the discovery of computers and camera equipment, which police believe were used by Sandra and her husband to create the video.


FILE #2: After gambling – and losing – at a Wisconsin casino, a Minnesota man purposely beat himself up in the parking lot and called police to report that he was robbed. A good story, considering John Robert Broos Jr. had the bumps and bruises to prove the alleged attack. Broos roughed himself up by beating his head against a light pole, smudging dirt on his cheeks, and – after checking the damage in his car mirror – repeating the process until he achieved just the right “I got robbed” look. Unbeknownst to Broos, though, was that a Casino parking log surveillance camera caught the whole incident on video tape!


FILE #3: A man in Weirton, WV, decided to make some easy money and printed up $10,000 in counterfeit bills. Most expert counterfeiters try to pass fake bills at several different locations to avoid suspicion — but this was definitely not an expert counterfeiter. He bagged the freshly-printed bills into a paper sack, went to his local bank, and tried to deposit the funny money into his personal account. The teller was a bit suspicious — and became especially suspicious when she noticed that all the bills had the exact same serial number. The cops were called, and the counterfeiter was arrested.


STRANGE LAW: In Minnesota women may face up to 30 days in jail if they impersonate Santa Claus.




The side of the freeway is not a good place to stop your car to take a nap.

It’s especially not a good idea when you’re driving a stolen car and transporting drugs. But, that’s what Donnie Lee Amis and Cassandra Albritton did on a main Maryland highway. After an hour long standoff that shut down the highway during rush hour, the couple was finally busted on drug and auto theft charges. They may never have been caught had they not run out of gas.




Today is National Whiner’s Day – a day dedicated to people who return Christmas gifts, which begs the question: what gift are you returning this year? Does the giver know you’re returning it? Is it something you won’t be returning, but re-gifting? In other words, what did you receive for Christmas this year that you won’t be keeping?




QUESTION: Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam fled to what country?

ANSWER: Egypt (1 Kings 11:40)




QUESTION: What did the Ancient Egyptians make pillows out of?





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


  1. The British candy company Cadbury was the first to offer a Valentine’s Day chocolate box. (True)


  1. Propane gas is known by the symbol “03”. (False – that’s Ozone gas)


  1. The favorite drink of the Hank Ketcham comic strip character Dennis the Menace is Cherry Coke. (False – it’s Root Beer)


  1. The Vegetable Okra is added to a soup or stew to make it gumbo. (True)


  1. The Giraffe is the U.S. land mammal that has the most teeth of any mammal. (False – it’s the opossum)


  1. Scientists have actually managed to inject a spider gene into a goat’s egg, resulting in a goat that gives milk containing a silk protein that can be spun into super-strong thread. (True… it’s SPIDER GOAT!)


  1. Paul Newman first played Stanley Kowalski in both the Broadway and Hollywood versions of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” (False, that was Marlon Brando)


  1. The gopher snake found in the state of Arizona is not poisonous, but when frightened, it may hiss loudly and vibrate its tail like a rattlesnake. (True)


  1. “Batman’s” Michael Keaton tried out for centerfield with the Cincinnati Reds. (False – but another Batman, George Clooney, once did.)


  1. Any month that starts on a Sunday will have a “Friday the 13th.” (True)




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


SOUTH AFRICA – At a worldwide Alien Summit taking place in Johannesburg, experts are speculating that the Gootans are here to plunder earth of its gold.

Several prominent extraterrestrial experts and strategic alien defense experts say that the alien attack under way by the Gootan Army has a specific mission:  to plunder earth of its gold.  ”This has happened repeatedly over the last one thousand years,” said UFO expert Professor Robert Rinderman of Oxford University.  ”The Gootans come to earth, steal our gold and leave.”





A duke is hunting in a forest with his men-at-arms and servants when he comes upon a tree. Archery targets are painted all over it, and smack in the middle of each is an arrow.

“Who is this incredibly fine archer?” cries the duke. “I must find him.”

After continuing through the forest for a few miles, he comes across a small boy carrying a bow and arrow. Eventually the boy admits that it was he who shot the arrows plumb in the center of all the targets.

“You didn’t just walk up to the targets and hammer the arrows into the middle, did you?” asks the duke worriedly.

“No my lord. I shot them from 100 paces. I swear.”

“That is truly astonishing,” says the duke. “I hereby admit you into my service. But I must ask one favor in return. You must tell me how you came to be such an outstanding shot.”

“Well,” said the boy, “first I fire the arrow at the tree, and then I paint the target around it.”




A Stanford Medical research group advertised for participants in a study of obsessive-compulsive disorder.  They were looking for therapy clients who had been diagnosed with this disorder.   The response was gratifying; they got 3,000 responses about three days after the ad came out – all from the same person.




“Oh, I sure am happy to see you,” the little boy said to his grandmother on his mother’s side. “Now maybe Daddy will do the trick he has been promising us.”

The grandmother was curious. “What trick is that?” she asked.

“I heard him tell Mommy,” the little boy answered, “that he would climb the walls if you came to visit.”




In Rohrbach, Austria, seven people attending a self-help seminar had to be hospitalized with severe burns to the feet after they tried the confidence-boosting exercise of walking barefoot over hot coals. They apparently did it when they were glowing red rather than waiting for an ash layer to form on top. The seminar organizers have dropped their slogan, “If you can walk over hot coals, you can do anything.”  ***MARLAR: Well, anything that doesn’t involve walking again for the next couple of months.


A gang of robbers raided a house in Argentina and then threw a party in front of their victims. The three men ate a meal and danced to the radio before driving off in their car. ***MARLAR: The police haven’t captured the dancing crooks yet, but their story is already being shopped around Hollywood as the pilot for a new series called “Law and Order: So You Think You Can Dance Unit.”





Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house,
Every creature was hurtin’ even the mouse.
The toys were all broken, their batteries dead;
Santa passed out, with some ice on his head.

Wrapping and ribbons just covered the floor, while
Upstairs the family continued to snore.
And I in my T-shirt, new Reeboks and jeans,
I went into the kitchen and started to clean.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the sink to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains, and threw up the sash.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a little white truck, with an oversized mirror.
The driver was smiling, so lively and grand;
The patch on his jacket said “U.S. POSTMAN.”

With a handful of bills, he grinned like a fox
Then quickly he stuffed them into our mailbox.
Bill after bill, after bill, they still came.
Whistling and shouting he called them by name:
“Now Dillard’s, now Foley’s, now Penny’s and Sears
Here’s Kohl’s,Oshman’s and Target’s and Mervyn’s.
To the tip or your limit, every store, every mall,
Now chargeaway–chargeaway–chargeaway all!”

He whooped and he whistled as he finished his work.
He filled up the box, and then turned with a jerk.
He sprang to his truck and he drove down the road,
Driving much faster with just half a load.

Then I heard him exclaim with great holiday cheer,




If you’re enjoying this Christmas season and don’t want it to end, go to Japan.

One day of Christmas? Twelve days of Christmas? How about 365 days of Christmas! Japan has a hotel that offers guests the Christmas spirit 365 days a year. It’s decorated with huge plastic Santas on the hotel’s facade, Christmas trees are lit continuously, and Jingle Bells and White Christmas play throughout the whole year and artificial snow is always glittering in the lobby. The Blanc Chapel Christmas Hotel is painted, what else, red and green and decorated with holly and tinsel. If desired, they’ll even blast the air conditioning during the hot summers, too, in order to make it feel more like Christmas. ***MARLAR: We should all do 365 days of Christmas. Not just the spirit of the season – but all of it. That way I won’t have to worry about taking down the lights on our house – again.




In December 1997 Elizabeth Clay was driving home from Boston University to spend the holiday break with her parents in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. An hour south of Boston, her old Toyota got a flat. The 22-year-old senior pulled off I-95 in the winter twilight and opened the trunk. No spare.

Meantime, a car had stopped. Paul and Diane Woodcock told Clay to follow them to a service station near their house. They arrived to see that it had closed. “Follow us home,” said Paul.
The couple called around to find a tire. No luck. They decided to make their own luck. “Here,” Paul said, handing Clay a set of keys, “take our Ford Escort. We won’t be using it over the holidays.”
Clay was dumbfounded. “But I’m going all the way to South Carolina, and I’ll be gone for two weeks,” she reminded them.  “We know,” Paul said. “We’ll be here when you get back. Here’s our number if you need to contact us.”
Incredulous, Clay watched as the couple put her bags into the car and then sent her off. Two weeks later she returned to find the old Toyota cleaned inside and out, with three new tires and the radio fixed.
“Thank you so much,” she said. “How much do I owe you?”
“Oh, no,” Paul said, “we don’t want any money. It’s our pleasure.” Clay realizes that while it may have been their pleasure, it is now her responsibility to pass on their “do unto others” spirit.




Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. –Romans 12:15

I remember high school quite well. But what I remember most is my high school heartaches. It’s fresh in my mind how little Becky broke my heart when I caught her holding hands with another guy. The nerve!

Sometimes we grow insecure when we realize that we are no longer important to a person we care about. It’s even more painful when we realize that we have been replaced by someone else in that person’s affections.

Or perhaps you sense that a teammate has more ability or is more athletic. You realize you can’t compete. You’re angry . . . and jealous.

Saul, the King of Israel, was jealous of David, the famous giant killer (1 Samuel 17). At one time Saul had liked him, because “whatever Saul sent him to do, David did it so successfully.”

In fact, “Saul gave him a high rank in the army” (18:5). But as David started to build a reputation as a brave soldier in battle, Saul began to feel insecure. David’s continued successes on the battlefield made Saul feel more like a failure. He grew tired of hearing people sing praises about David when he returned from battle. The women danced and sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands” (v.7).

Saul was angry. From that time on, he was out to get David. Not only did he not rejoice over David’s success–he wanted to kill him.

When we let our feelings of insecurity grow into jealousy and anger, we are sinning. Satan uses those anxieties to trip us up. We begin to wonder whether God loves us and we become unsure what His intentions are for us.

But even if we sometimes struggle with feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, or doubt, we can always trust God to accomplish His purpose in our lives. In Jeremiah 29:11, He declared, “I know the plans I have for you, . . . plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

As followers of Christ, we should always keep our focus on God, not on looking at ourselves and others. Galatians 5:15 reminds us that if we “keep on biting and devouring each other,” we will be “destroyed by each other.”

Confess your sin and ask God to “meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Don’t worry, He’ll do it! –CK





A teenage girl from Detroit, Michigan has checked herself into a drug rehabilitation center because she’s addicted to water!

…19-year-old Donna Cassaria has been known to guzzle down as much as six gallons of water a day. An addiction to water may sound funny, but doctors say her problem is very serious. Drinking in that much water puts a big strain on the heart and kidneys and could lead to death. Her water addiction caused her to have problems in school, lose friends and even lose jobs. Finally, her parents laid down the law: either get into rehab or get out! She’s doing well now in the program and says she truly believes she’ll be able to beat her habit.  ***MARLAR: I could get her to stop her addiction right now – force her to drink (LOCAL TOWN) water!




Wanna lose weight from eating all that fruitcake and drinking all that eggnog, but don’t have time to exercise? Don’t worry — just going about your daily activities can burn more calories than you think!

Here’s a list, from the book “The Fidget Factor” — figures are based on someone weighing 150 pounds. Lighter people will burn fewer calories:

  • Changing position in your chair — calories burned per minute: 1.9
  • Crossing and uncrossing legs — calories burned per minute: 2.3
  • Twirling pencil — calories burned per minute: 1.5
  • Humming loudly — calories burned per minute: 1.4
  • Folding laundry — calories burned per minute: 1.9
  • Clearing table — calories burned per minute: 2.7
  • Walking to the TV to change channel — calories burned per minute: 2.4
  • Playing with your kids — calories burned per minute: 3.0
  • Surfing the ‘net — calories burned per minute: 1.4
  • Pillow fight — calories burned per minute: 4.8





There are a lot of kinds of television… comedy TV, reality TV, news TV, educational TV, and now it looks like we’ll have to deal with GAS TV! 

Have you found yourself at a gas station lately watching TV?  Well, not yet, anyway.  But it may not be very long!  All over the country gas stations are installing mini-TV’s in their pumps so you can watch while you fuel up! The TV’s often show news, weather or local shows. Plus, most include ads for items on sale inside the station’s convenience store. A spokesperson for “Outside Networks”, one of the companies that make the devices, says, “You’ve got 4 minutes, on average, of a customer staring into space while he pumps gas into his car, so why not use it?”  ***MARLAR: Maybe it’ll take your mind off the painful gas prices if they air a rerun of Seinfeld.





  • The parachute company says you’ll get a full refund.
  • They say the house didn’t float very far at all.
  • We’re all amazed that you go on living each day.
  • Well, at least the operation was a partial success.
  • The insects hardly touched your other eyebrow.
  • With the lights dimmed, it looks almost normal.
  • The District Attorney says he only has a few more questions.
  • At least the passenger side air bag inflated.
  • The reward for your capture has reached fifty thousand dollars.
  • At least we never thought you were guilty like that Jury did.
  • The insurance pays the full book value ($312) for your 1956 T Bird.
  • The thieves left the push lawnmower and hedge trimmers.
  • Those Grand Juries always over-react. Don’t worry about it.
  • The boss said while you’re sick, he’d do all your work personally.





A couple of ladies from Australia had a craving for some good curry, so they decided to have some delivered — all the way from India! Rachel Kerr placed an order via the Internet for a curry from her favorite Indian restaurant, the Rupali in the northeast English city of Newcastle. Four days later, Kerr received the meal atop the Sydney Harbor Bridge, some 10,850 miles away. Rick McCordall, who manages the restaurant’s website, said that when he saw the order come in from the “other side of the world” that they just had to fulfill it. He hopes the delivery will make the Guinness Book of Records for the longest fast-food delivery. The existing record was set in 1998 when a pizza base was sent from New York City to Tokyo — a distance of 6,752 miles. ***MARLAR: Actually, that would be “farthest” delivery.  The “longest” delivery may very well be whenever I finally get my pizza delivered that I ordered from Pizza Hut five days ago… and counting.





Church on the Move’s The Grinch Stole Thriller; keep watching, it gets fun at the 4:30 mark!


This version of “A Christmas Carol” has more warm feelings for me than any other, because I was involved in creating it.


After a quarter of a century on the job, the Hubble Space Telescope has returned some of the most extraordinary cosmic images ever captured. Now Time is out with the 50 Best Images Taken by Hubble. Some of Hubble’s images have become cultural icons. Some have thrilled only scientists. Hubble still has close to a decade of life left before the metal eyelid closes forever.


Does it feel like America is losing God more and more each day?  This might give you some hope then.  America is launching new Protestant churches faster than it loses old ones, attracting many people who previously didn’t attend anywhere. According to a new LifeWay Research studies show, more than 4,000 new churches opened their doors in 2014, outpacing the 3,700 that closed. The study also found that, on average, 42 percent of those worshipping at churches launched since 2008 previously never attended church or hadn’t attended in many years.


Even as the digital revolution sweeps over our lives, many families are rediscovering the simple joys of traditional board games. According to Focus on the Families Thriving Family Magazine, tabletop games encourage family interaction and can teach kids valuable life skills, such as how to follow rules, take turns and get along with others. While classics like Monopoly and Uno are still popular today, families have plenty of new choices to liven up their game nights. To help you find some of these games, Thriving Family has put together several new game reviews.


One man’s discovery while cleaning out his garage gives a whole new meaning to the “something old” portion of the well-known bridal adage. According to Yahoo news, When Ronald Warninger, of Yakima, Washington, was cleaning out his garage in late November, he came across his grandparents’ 100-year-old wedding cake, safely preserved in an old hatbox, and tucked inside a big kettle-like canning pot. Even though it had been in and out of freezers and had lived through a couple world wars, Warninger says the cake was in perfect shape.




It’s always darkest before the dawn. So if you’re going to steal the neighbor’s newspaper, that’s the time to do it.




(Updated as it comes available. The Way WE Work is written by Mark Elfstrand from in Chicago.)


Better Check Your List Twice


What is the true meaning of Christmas? It must have a lot to do with Santa Claus. Let’s check the lyrics of some of our Christmas favorites! That will help us tell the story.

We begin with, “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.” This one gets us back to the basics. No need for all those toys and goodies from Santa. Just… two teeth. And why? So this sweet child can wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Oh…and he’ll be able to say, “Sister Susie sitting on a thistle!” Let’s all try that. Thank goodness for modest requests.

“Santa Baby,” the Santa song for adults, has been around since 1953! Eartha Kitt made it a hit. This girl really has her list working. A sable under the tree, a ’54 convertible, a yacht, and the deed to a platinum mine! Touching. And one can easily tell she’s been missing out on a lot of fun dates just trying to be good enough to get stuff. Wonder if St. Nicholas likes the term, Santa Baby? Well, maybe from Mrs. Claus.

In the classic, “Jolly Old St. Nicholas,” again we’re back to basics. “Johnny wants a pair of skates, Susie wants a sled. Nellie wants a picture book, yellow, blue and red.” The song’s conclusion leaves a mature thought: “Choose for me, dear Santa Claus, what you think is best.” This chap might be surprised by what St. Nick considered important.

My final Santa selection is the famous, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” This one deserves a close theological review. As we would learn here, Santa is BIG on performance.

We are told not to pout or cry with Santa coming to town. He’s got some kind of list that he apparently checks twice to determine if we’ve been naughty or nice. And since he’s aware of our sleeping habits and our secret lives, we’d better watch out! Kids who do behave will have a jubilee building some kind of toyland “all around the Christmas tree.” Pretty exciting stuff.

Apart from Santa songs, there is a plethora of other meaningless rhymes set to music that distracts us from the idea that a Savior for the world was once born. Of course, the Jesus of whom we are told never asked us to celebrate His birthday. We decided to do that.

And then along comes old St. Nick. Or more properly said, Saint Nicholas. William Bennett gave us a beautiful history of this legendary figure in his 2009 book, The True Saint Nicholas: Why He Matters to Christmas. The real figure was a Greek bishop. History says he lived from 270 to 346 AD. This is recommended reading for all.

A shorter course on the jolly soul can be found at a St. Nicholas center website. Here we learn what many hold to be true about why we consider him so “saintly.” Check this: “His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’s words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.”

Checking closely on these details of St.Nick’s life, we find no evidence of keeping lists. Or checking them twice. And I hope I don’t disappoint anyone by saying there also appears to be a lack of evidence that he owned reindeer. Or moved north from Greece or Turkey. I mean, why would you?

We are a performance driven people. We prefer to check off lists of things we believe we’ve done right. In Jesus’s time, a very rich young man approached Jesus and said, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” (And that’s only a partial list of do-goods.)

So the rich guy says, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.” (Mark 10:17-22)

Here’s the thing. St. Nicholas got it. The reason Santa can belly laugh in joy with “Ho, Ho, Ho!” is because the weight of materialism and sinless performance is gone. And that’s because of Jesus.

One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is teaching Godly contentment. (1 Timothy 6:6-10). Another is the gift of sharing. And most importantly, is to pass along the gift of good news that leads to eternal life.

What’s on your list to become right with God? There should only be one thing. It begins with “J.”

Merry Christmas.

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.




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 Ratings from 1 (Low) to 5 (High).


DECEMBER 18, 2015…


Star Wars: The Force Awakens—Fans have waited so long and it is here.  Your favorites are in the film including Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, and new actors such as Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie and Daisy Ridley.  The storm troopers don’t always do what they are told (rebellion in the ranks?) and the bad guys are the First Order. It is war in the galaxy far, far away, so buckle on your light saber and away we go.  “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is rated PG 13. Rating of 4 for fans and that includes just about everyone.  Enjoy.


Sisters—Amy Poehler and Tina Fey star as just that…two sisters…who don’t always get along. They decide they want to have the rowdiest party ever.  I mean ever.  Of course, this means the audience envies what they do because if you tried it, the police would be there.  “Sisters” is rated R. No rating.


Son Of Saul (opening in select cities)—This is a film about the Holocaust and a man who works in a crematorium and still tries to honor the dead. Subtitles. Stars Gaza Rohrig and Levente Molnar. “Son Of Saul” is rated R. No rating.


DECEMBER 23-25, 2015…


Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip has the guys on the road again. Fans know who they are.


Concussion stars Will Smith as the pathologist who begins to study the effect of concussions in football.


Daddy’s Home comedy has Will Ferrell trying to be a good step-father while Mark Wahlberg is the trouble-making Dad.


Joy has Jennifer Lawrence taking on the role of the woman who invited the Miracle Mop.


Point Break is a remake of the classic crime film that starred Patrick Swayze. This time, Luke Bracey stars.


Snowden (opening in select cities) stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the person who passed secrets.


Macbeth (opening in select cities) has Michael Fassbender in the title role with Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth.


The Big Short has Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt as guys who enjoy the betting game.


Youth (opening in select cities) is a beautifully photographed film about aging and stars Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel.


Legend (opening in select cities) is finally opening widely and stars Tom Hardy in two roles, as the Kray Brothers who ran organized crime in London in the 1960’s.


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