PRINT VERSION OF TODAY’S PREP: 20161230
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WELCOME TO THE SHOW!
The year is almost over and I still haven’t broken my New Year’s resolution, which is to never to go to another New Year’s Eve party. Honest, I haven’t been to one all year.
BIBLE VERSE OF THE DAY
“Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” –Matthew 22:21
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. — Luke 2:4-5
[Jesus said,] “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” — John 14:1-3
HEARTLIGHT DAILY VERSE, PRAYER & THOUGHT
“Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house.” — Matthew 12:29
Thought: Jesus is quoting a general truism that was popular in his day, but was using the “strong man” saying to refer to Satan. Satan is the strong man that had us bound by sin and death and Jesus broke into house and stole us back because he could bind the strong man. He did this by becoming human and facing death with complete obedience to God and then rose from the dead to defeat death and give us life! Praise God! Jesus broke into the Strong Man’s house. He overpowered him and bound him. And, what did he bring out of the Strong Man’s house? Buried treasure, of course! And that treasure is us!!
Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for rescuing me from the dominion of darkness and ushering me into your victorious Kingdom of Light! 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!)
Mark 12:30 NIV = Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
TODAY IS FRIDAY – DECEMBER 30, 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 361 SHOPPING DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS.
Today is LET’S MAKE A DEAL DAY (audio clip). The original version of this game show premiered on NBC-TV on this date in 1963. Contestants dressed in kooky costumes competed for prizes by making deals with host Monty Hall. Some prizes were best left unwon.
The FESTIVAL OF ENORMOUS CHANGES AT THE LAST MINUTE begins today. After all, you promised to get a few things accomplished this year –and this year is just about over!
Today is FALLING NEEDLES FAMILY FEST DAY, a time to gather around the Christmas tree and watch the needles fall. ***Live it up! Dance around the tree… barefoot!
Today is NATIONAL ANTACID DAY. ***If you’re not already well stocked with it due to all of the holiday feasting, you’ll want it on hand for post New Year’s celebrations.
TODAY IS ALSO…
Bacon Day Link
No Interruptions Day
COMING UP NEXT (Just a list, we are not endorsing the holidays posted below.)
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31
Global Champagne Day Link
Leap Second Time Adjustment Day
Look On The Bright Side Day Link
Make Up Your Mind Day
New Years Eve
New Year’s Eve Banished Words List
New Year’s Dishonor List
Universal Hour of Peace Day
World Peace Meditation Day
SUNDAY, JANUARY 01
Copyright Law Day
Commitment Day Link
Ellis Island Day
First Foot Day Link Link
Global Family Day Link
New Years Day
New Year’s Dishonor List Day
Polar Bear Plunge or Swim Day Link
World Day of Peace Link
MONDAY, JANUARY 02
55-MPH Speed Limit Day
Blue Monday Link
Divorce Monday Link
Happy Mew Year for Cats Day
National Buffet Day Link
National Motivation and Inspiration Day Link
National Personal Trainer Awareness Day Link
National Science Fiction Day Link
National Weigh-In Day
Pet Travel and Safety Day Link
Rose Bowl Game
Thank God It’s Monday” Day
Tournament of Roses Parade Day
TUESDAY, JANUARY 03
Drinking Straw Day
J.R.R. Tolkien Day
Memento Mori “Remember You Die” Day
National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day Link
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 04
Dimpled Chad Day
Earth at Perihelion
Pop Music Chart Day
Tom Thumb Day
THURSDAY, JANUARY 05
Bird Day Link
FRIDAY, JANUARY 06
Epiphany or Twelfth Night
National Technology Day Link
Three Kings Day
ON THIS DAY
1809: Boston made it illegal to wear a mask at a party that included dancing.
1851: Asa Candler was born in Georgia. An Atlanta pharmacist, in 1887 he converted a medicinal tonic called Coca-Cola into a soda fountain soft drink.
1940: California’s first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena, was officially opened.
1944: Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys debuted on the Grand Ole Opry, performing their hit “New San Antonio Rose,” a revamped vocal version of their 1938 classic instrumental hit. The “new rose” was the first of 19 consecutive top five country hits for “The King of Western Swing.”
1951: “The Roy Rogers Show” debuted on NBC-TV, starring Roy, Dale Evans, Pat Brady, Trigger, Buttermilk, Bullet, and Nellybelle. Nellybelle was a jeep. Dale wrote the theme “Happy Trails to You.” The show lasted six years.
1962: Singer Brenda Lee’s poodle burned to death in a Nashville fire. Brenda was injured trying to rescue Cee Cee.
1978: Coach Woody Hayes was fired as head football coach at Ohio State. He had punched Clemson player Charlie Bauman during the Gator Bowl after Bauman intercepted a pass.
1980: The Selective Service System sent a warning to Mickey Mouse at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, stating he was in violation of registration laws. Mickey, age 52 at the time, sent a copy of his registration card proving he was a World War II veteran.
1984: The world’s oldest western lowland gorilla died at the Philadelphia zoo. Massa was 53 years 5 months old.
1995: Procter & Gamble announced it would resume Mr. Whipple’s lifetime supply of free Charmin bathroom tissue immediately. Actor Dick Wilson, who had urged shoppers for 25 years not to squeeze the Charmin, had suddenly stopped receiving monthly shipments to his home in Nevada. A company spokesman said it was a goof-up, not intentional. ***You can’t squeeze the Charmin – but apparently squeezing Mr. Whipple is perfectly fine.
1997: A Kuwait court fined pro wrestler Vader $164 for assaulting the TV host of “Good Morning, Kuwait” after the interviewer asked Vader if wrestling was fake. He never did answer the question. ***I probably wouldn’t ask him again either.
1998: In Troy, New York, a concrete company’s safety meeting was interrupted when one of it’s unattended trucks rolled 50 yards across a street, over an embankment, and into the Hudson River. It sank immediately. No one was hurt. ***Sounds like someone should set up another safety meeting.
1999: Singer George Harrison and his wife were attacked in their home during a robbery. Though Harrison was stabbed four times, he and his wife were able to hold the attacker until police arrived.
2003: The federal government banned the sale of ephedra and urged consumers to immediately stop using the herbal stimulant linked to 155 deaths.
2004: Artie Shaw, the clarinet virtuoso and leader of one of the biggest of the Swing Era big bands, died at age 94.
TODAY IN CHRISTIAN HISTORY
1823: Charles G. Finney is licensed to preach. He becomes one of the US’s most successful evangelists.
1838: Hanover College is chartered as a Presbyterian College in “the wilderness” of Indiana.
1843: Cumberland University is chartered in Tennessee as a Presbyterian school.
1852: Future U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes marries “Lemonade “Lucy,” so called because, as first lady, she forbade alcohol in the Executive Mansion. The Hayeses were both devout Methodists who began each day with prayer and organized Sunday evening worship services at the White House.
HOLLYWOOD, SPORTS AND CELEBRITY FIGURE BIRTHDAYS
- actress (“Dollhouse”, “Tru Calling”, daughter Dana in True Lies) Eliza Dushku 36
- golfer Tiger Woods is 41
- actress (“7th Heaven”, “Out of This World”) Maureen Flannigan 44 (audio clip)
- actress (“State of the Union”, “Tracey Takes On…”, “The Tracey Ullman Show”) Tracey Ullman 57
- TV reporter Matt Lauer 59
- actor (“Twin Peaks”, Riff in West Side Story) Russ Tamblyn 82 (audio clip)
(Music Artist Birthdays From SongFacts.com)
1928 : Bo Diddley
1931 : Skeeter Davis
1934 : Del Shannon
1937 : Paul Stookey
1937 : John Hartford
1939 : Felix Pappalardi (Mountain)
1939 : Kim Weston
1940 : Perry Ford (Ivy League)
1940 : Kenny Pentifallo (Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes)
1942 : Michael Nesmith (The Monkees)
1945 : Davy Jones (The Monkees)
1946 : Patti Smith
1949 : William King (The Commodores)
1951 : Chris Jasper (The Isley Brothers)
1956 : Suzy Bogguss
1969 : Jay Kay (Jamiroquai)
1978 : Tyrese
SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE
How did we get Liquid Paper? Believe it or not it has something to do with the band, The Monkees.
The invention of typing correction fluid is credited to Bette Nesmith, the mother of former Monkee Mike Nesmith. In the 1950s, Mrs. Nesmith was a typist. One day, she brought with her to work a small brush and a bottle of white paint which she used to correct her typos. She shared her “Mistake Out” with other secretaries, and was soon approached by an office supply company to market her invention. She later renamed the product Liquid Paper, and in 1979, sold the rights to the Gillette Company for $47.5 million. ***MARLAR: One of the few things the product couldn’t completely cover up was the gosh awful band her son was a part of.
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!
(No news on the weekends. Want a customized audio version, FREE? Email me for more information! )
NEW NEWS KICKERS…
The French don’t necessarily hate their DMVs any more than we do, it’s just that a Paris Court just upheld the country’s government ban on people smiling for their passport and identity photos. One official had challenged the required straightforward pose, lamenting that the French should be encouraged to smile to overcome the perpetual “national depression” that supposedly permeates the country’s psyche. But the court said no, so next time you pose for an ID picture in France, look straight ahead, keep your mouth closed and don’t smile! ***Because that’s exactly the way you’re going to look when you get pulled over.
Nobody wants to eat a cold McDonald’s burger, but few of us are prepared to go 129 miles per hour to make sure it doesn’t happen. Lee Rutherford was caught doing just that in Blyth, England, after stopping at a Micky-D’s drive-thru. Police followed the 32-year-old in his modified Renault Clio, clocking up some incredible speeds. When asked what the rush was he said he wanted to get home and eat his burger and fries while they were still warm. He was given a 20-week prison sentence suspended for a year, banned from driving and ordered to take an extended driving test. ***Dude… this is why on the eighth day of creation, God made microwave ovens!
No matter where you work or what you do, chances are you will feel the most stressed on Tuesdays. And if you want to be even more specific, the stress will peak at 11:45am. That’s the word from researchers at Clasado Ltd., the UK company that makes the health supplement Bimuno. Conventional wisdom maintains that Monday is the most stress-filled day. But most workers coast through Monday, spending the day getting their brain in gear and catching up with gossip from the weekend through social networking sites. 53% of those polled admitted they don’t do much work on Monday, and 10% said they spend a lot of this work day on Facebook and Twitter. ***Which is exactly why if you want to be satisfied in your job, you spend more time on Facebook and Twitter EVERY day! (Do you think my boss will go for that?)
In Suffolk, Virginia, Jasmine Turner was purchasing supplies at a shopping center when police called her cellphone and told her there was a child locked in her car. Only problem was Jasmine had not locked her child in her car, because she has no child! Nevertheless, there was a child locked in her car and police couldn’t wait the five minutes Jasmine said it would take to get back to her car. So officers busted out a window and rescued the child – which turned out to be nothing more than a wig on top of a pile of blankets. When Jasmine returned from the store, the police had left, but the several hundred dollars in damages was left behind which the police have refused to pay for. ***Oh yeah, this will go a long way towards police/community relations.
NEWS KICKER EVERGREENS…
The central Chinese city of Wuhan has a law that fines women who have children out of wedlock. ***Which only makes sense, because, as we all know, men have absolutely nothing to do with the reproductive process.
Britons trying to cheer up their hospitalized friends and relatives often have to do so standing up; sitting on the bed usually isn’t allowed. In a commentary published recently in the British medical journal BMJ, Dr. Iona Heath argues the recommendation is unjustified and denies patients the chance to be close to their loved ones. British authorities claim the ban on sitting is needed to prevent patients from getting infected by visitors and health care staff. ***You can stick your fingers inside a patient during a checkup or surgery, but don’t sit next to them on their bed because that could be dangerous!
Is there a doctor on board? Surprisingly often, there is – in half of in-flight medical emergencies – and sick airline passengers almost always survive, a new study finds. The research is the largest look yet at what happens to people who develop a medical problem on a commercial flight – about 44,000 of the 2.75 billion passengers worldwide each year according to researchers. ***Although that’d likely be cut in half if they just stopped serving in-flight meals.
Could exercise actually be bad for some healthy people? A well-known group of researchers, including one who helped write the scientific paper justifying national guidelines that promote exercise for all, say the answer may be a qualified yes. By analyzing data from six rigorous exercise studies involving 1,687 people, the group found that about 10 percent actually got worse on at least one of the measures related to heart disease: blood pressure and levels of insulin, HDL cholesterol or triglycerides. About 7 percent got worse on at least two measures. And the researchers say they do not know why. ***Sounds like I should probably avoid working out entirely. You know, just to be safe.
WONDER WOMAN (This feature will be disappearing in 2017)
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TODAY’S EPISODE… “Jelly Fish Gas”
DAILY COMEDY CLIP (This feature will be disappearing in 2017)
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TODAY’S EPISODE… Kenn Kington, “Fast Food”
AS THE JUNGLE TURNS – WEEKDAY VERSION
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD FRIDAY’S EPISODE
OPEN: And now, FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you another inspiringly inspiring inspirational inspiration in the never-ending deep jungle soap-opera saga that is As the Jungle Turns!
CLOSE: Boy can I relate to that one! But hey, maybe Uncle Racquet will know a thing or two about… uh… well, whatever skunks learn in school. We’ll find out next time As the Jungle Turns!
***You may simulcast “As the Jungle Turns” on the Internet stream of your live broadcast only. Any other Internet use of “As the Jungle Turns” in whole or part including podcasting of your live broadcast is a violation of copyright law. Thank you for your cooperation on this vitally important issue. If you have any questions, please e-mail us and ask about “Jungle Jam & Friends the Radio Show” usage.
MOMENT OF DUH
An obituary in an Iowa newspaper turns out to be a Moment of Duh!
A woman walked into the newsroom at the Waterloo Courier and told workers they’d been duped. She said an obituary printed last week was a hoax, because the 17-year-old in the article was alive and walking the streets of Waterloo, Iowa. Reading the obituary could bring tears to your eyes. It states that 17-year-old Daniel “D.J.” Reddout died of complications from surgery at the Mayo Clinic. The Courier’s Managing Editor, Nancy Newhoff, says it would be sad, if it was true. “To put a fake obituary in a paper is the most tragic, absurd, and sad thing I have ever encountered, that someone would do this about their own child.” Waterloo Police Captain Bruce Arends, says the plan may backfire, big time, because the obituary requested that donations be sent to the family. That, my friends, is called “fraud”.
TOP TEN INDICATORS THAT YOU ARE A FAN OF “MR. ED” (audio clip)
10) You can say “Wilbur” with just the right inflection
9) You know which Mister Ed scenes were used in more than one episode
8) Actually somewhat surprised to hear the word “dumb” in a sitcom
7) You know all the words to “Pretty Little Filly”
6) Heated debates over which were the best neighbors: The Addisons or the Kirkwoods.
5) Feel compelled to say ‘of course’ twice (of course)
4) You know the answer to the question, “What can Carol do that Ed can’t?”….Sew, of course (of course)
3) Was a time in your life when you couldn’t decide between being an architect or being a horse
2) You know the Post’s address and phone number
1) You’re not surprised when your horse talks to you
THE FILES OF LAW & DISORDER
Sleeping on the job is never a good idea… especially if you’re running from the law.
FILE #1: According to authorities, armed robbery suspect Robert Bell was nabbed catching some “Z’s” on a couch, after he had broken into a woman’s home. Before that, police in Athens, Tennessee, charge that Bell used the arrest of his partner as a diversion to steal a new patrol car. They had allegedly robbed a market. Officers say when they found the sleeping suspect, he reeked of alcohol. But he got to sleep it off — in jail.
FILE #2: A Danish man’s attempt to greet his friends blew up in his face — literally. The 34-year-old man wanted to do something fun for his friends that were at the police station. He decided the best way to do this was with fireworks. He climbed up on to the roof and threw a firecracker into an air shaft leading into the station’s bathroom, which subsequently blew up the toilet and started a fire. The man was arrested on the roof of the building and – after the fire was extinguished – spent the rest of the night in the cells with his friends. So it looks like he was able to greet them in person.
FILE #3: None of us like to get caught speeding, but most of us don’t incriminate ourselves by videotaping the event. 37 year old Daniel Hicks is a tad bit different. The motorcyclist recently got his bike up to 175 miles an hour — about the speed of a jumbo jet at take-off. Wanting to prove to his friends that he was “the man’, he strapped a camcorder to the handlebars of his Honda Fireblade 900 to record the event. All didn’t go as planned when he crashed his $12,000 machine on the highway. Police rushed to the scene to find a surviving Hicks, and a surviving camcorder. They popped the tape in and he earned a 6-week stay in jail.
STRANGE LAW: In England it is illegal to stand within one hundred yards of the reigning monarch when not wearing socks.
THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON DRUGS
A heavily intoxicated, 42-year-old Jackson, Wyoming, man ordered a burrito from a convenience store, but passed out on the floor before he could pay for it. Police arrived, used money from the man’s pockets to pay for the burrito and then hauled him off to jail for public intoxication.
What good thing happened to you this past year that was a total surprise to you? Surprise marriage proposal? Surprise job-change to a warmer climate? Unexpected financial blessings?
BIBLE BRAIN BUSTER!
QUESTION: In what book of the Bible is bad breath mentioned?
ANSWER: Job (Job 19)
QUESTION: Doctors say people with pet fish do this easier than people who don’t – what is it?
ANSWER: Fall asleep
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. Every calendar year has at least one Friday the 13th. (True)
2. The only country in the Middle East that does not have a desert is Iran. (False, it’s Lebanon)
3. Afghanistan has no rivers. (False… but Saudi Arabia doesn’t have any!)
4. As beautiful as the Carribean is, only 1% of it’s islands are inhabited. (True)
5. It takes 2.4 minutes for light from the sun to reach the earth. (False… it takes 8.5 minutes.)
6. The largest mountain range is in China. (False… it’s actually underwater in the Atlantic Ocean)
7. The inhabitants of Papa New Guinea speak over 600 languages. (True – in fact, it’s closer to 700!)
8. Yellowstone National Park was the world’s first National Park. (True)
9. 92% of all U.S. potato products originate in Idaho. (False… it’s only 60%)
10. The D.C. in Washington D.C. stands for District of Columbia. (True)
TABLOID MATCH GAME
You have to match the blank in the tabloid headline with the word or phrase that has been removed!
_______ CELEBRATE FESTIVUS (OBAMAS)
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have celebrated Festivus for the last ten years, and it has now become and Obama family tradition. Sources say The President is pushing to make Festivus a national holiday – perhaps even replacing Christmas.
Michelle Obama is raising money again this year of the Festivus. She is asking Americans to donate to The Human Fund. Checks can be made out to her.
THE WAY TOO EARLY IN THE MORNING TO UNDERSTAND THE PUNCHLINE EVEN AFTER TWO CUPS OF COFFEE JOKE OF THE DAY
A History professor was explaining how society’s ideal of beauty changes with time. “Take Miss America in 1921,” he noted. “She stood 5’1″ tall, weighed 108 pounds, and had measurements of 30-25-32. How do you think she’d do in today’s beauty contest?”
One student piped up, “Not very well! She’d be about a hundred years old!”
JOKE #2 – A POST-CHRISTMAS POEM FOR WOMEN
‘Twas the month after Christmas and all through the house
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.
The cookies I’d nibbled, the eggnog I’d taste.
All the holiday parties had gone straight to my waist.
When I got on the scale there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).
I’d remember the marvelous meals I’d prepared;
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,
The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese
And the way I’d never said, “No thank you, please.”
As I dressed myself in my husband’s old shirt,
And prepared once again to do battle with dirt—
I said to myself, as I only can
“You can’t spend a winter disguised as a man!”
So– away with the last of the sour cream dip,
Get rid of the fruitcake, every cracker and chip
Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
‘Til all the additional ounces have vanished.
I won’t have a cookie– not even a lick.
I’ll want only to chew on a long celery stick.
I won’t have hot biscuits or corn bread or pie,
I’ll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.
I’m hungry, I’m lonesome, and life is a bore—
But isn’t that what January is for?
Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.
Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!
A little girl asked her father, “Daddy? Do all Fairy Tales begin with Once Upon A Time?”
He replied, “No, there is a whole series of Fairy Tales that begin with ‘If elected I promise…”
The fear of fear itself may make people more vulnerable to developing certain psychiatric disorders, according to a new study. Researchers found that people who are especially sensitive to the physical signs of anxiety have a higher risk of developing anxiety disorders, including panic attacks. ***Dang… now I’m afraid about being afraid of being afraid! I really AM sick!
Two UK pet insurance companies found in a recent survey that almost half of dog owners are worried that their dogs will be kidnapped or stolen. Many have used sick days to stay home with a new cat, dog or other pet. And workers increasingly want employers to provide “pet-ernity” leave so they can take time off work when they get a new pet. ***And that’s in dog time, so a week off is actually close to two months!
The new pastor decided to visit the children’s Sunday school. The teacher introduced him and said, “Pastor, this morning we’re studying Joshua.”
“That’s wonderful,” said the new pastor, “let’s see what you’re learning. Who tore down the walls of Jericho?”
Little Billy shyly raised hand and offered, “Pastor, I didn’t do it.”
Taken aback, the pastor asked, “Come on, now, who tore down the walls of Jericho?”
The teacher, interrupting, said, “Pastor, Billy’s a good boy. If he says he didn’t do it, I believe he didn’t do it.”
Flustered, the pastor went to the Sunday school director and related the story to him.
The director, looking worried, explained, “Well, sir, we’ve had some problems with Billy before. Let me talk to him and see what we can do.”
Really bothered now by the answers of the teacher and the director, the new pastor approached the deacons and related the whole story, including the responses of the teacher and the director.
A white-haired gentleman thoughtfully stroked his chin and said, “Well, Pastor, I move we just take the money from the general fund to pay for the walls and leave it at that.”
IT MUST BE TRUE BECAUSE I HEARD IT ON THE RADIO!
From the “no good deed goes unpunished” files…
Springfield, Michigan’s Rodger Lake was plowing the snow from a driveway for a family friend who has a bad back. Lake was pushing the snow, including what had been deposited at the end of the driveway by city trucks, into the grass across the pavement. That was when a Springfield officer pulled up and wrote him a ticket for violating a law against pushing snow across streets. For his good deed, Lake is now facing up to 90 days in jail and a $100 fine. ***MARLAR: The moral of the story? Don’t ever do anything nice for anyone – ever!
TO A BUSY FRIEND
One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.
Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.
It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left room, each one handed in the papers.
That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.
On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. ‘Really?’ she heard whispered. ‘I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!’ and, ‘I didn’t know others liked me so much,’ were most of the comments.
No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.
Several years later, one of the students was killed in Vietnam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature.
The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin.
As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. ‘Were you Mark’s math teacher?’ he asked. She nodded: ‘yes.’ Then he said: ‘Mark talked about you a lot.’
After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark’s mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher.
‘We want to show you something,’ his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket ‘They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.’
Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him.
‘Thank you so much for doing that,’ Mark’s mother said. ‘As you can see, Mark treasured it.’
All of Mark’s former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, ‘I still have my list. It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.’ Chuck’s wife said, ‘Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.’
‘I have mine too,’ Marilyn said. ‘It’s in my diary’
Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. ‘I carry this with me at all times,’ Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: ‘I think we all saved our lists’
That’s when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.
DRIVE TIME DEVOTIONAL
If you’re so busy you don’t have time to spread peanut butter, help has arrived. Food researchers have developed peanut butter slices that are packaged like individual slices of cheese. Peel off the plastic wrapper, slap the “PB Slice” onto a piece of bread, and it looks and tastes just like creamy peanut butter. Not convenient enough? You can also buy ready-made frozen PB&J sandwiches at the supermarket – complete with the crusts cut off. Convenience is apparently more important than quality.
Professor Geoffrey Godbey at Penn State University did some research and found that 1/3 of Americans always feel rushed. But instead of helping us to slow down, every new convenience we create only increases what we expect of ourselves. The faster life goes, the faster we expect it to be.
No wonder we have a hard time getting to know God – we hurry through our five-minute devotional and think it’s going to be enough quality time with the Creator of the entire universe. But think about it – how many lasting friendships have you created five minutes at a time?
Jesus was never too busy to pray and seek God’s will. Even among the crowds, after teaching and healing, Jesus still sent his disciples to a mountainside to pray. Prayer was the foundation of Jesus’ life and the source of His spiritual power.
How intensely do you seek God in prayer? Do you schedule time to be with Him just like you make time for meals every day? Do you get to know God by reading his Word, or are you content with what others have written about Him?
Our lives are filled with study, work, and scores of worthy activities. But if we have no consistent, unhurried time with the Lord, what kind of a friendship are we building?
You might think a woman eight months pregnant might choose not to go parachuting.
Not Marija Usova of Moscow. She ignored her doctor’s warnings and went right ahead with her daredevil adventure. As you probably guessed, halfway through the jump she felt an enormous pain and realized she was in labor! Although close to passing out at times, she managed to control her descent and landed safely where she immediately began to give birth. Doctors on hand rushed to her aid and helped deliver the baby. Usova said the last words she remembers hearing were, “It’s a girl” before waking up in a hospital. So what do you name a baby like this? She chose Larisa which means Seagull in ancient Greek.
LIFE… LIVE IT
HOW TO KEEP YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION
New Year’s resolutions are easier to make than to keep — but you can increase your chances of success by following these tips from experts.
Limit the number of resolutions. One is best. Never choose more than three.
Be specific. Vague goals are impossible to achieve.
Choose an obtainable goal. Resolving to look like a fashion model isn’t realistic for most people, but a goal of exercising daily is quite possible to achieve.
Don’t choose a resolution that you’ve been unsuccessful at year after year. You’re likely to fail.
Ask friends and family members to help you with your resolution so you have someone to be accountable to.
If you fail to keep your resolution, dust yourself off and start all over again.
JUST FOR FUN
RING AROUND THE INTESTINE
A woman attempts to propose marriage to her boyfriend by buying him a ring… but he eats it!
A Norwegian man unwittingly swallowed a gold ring hidden in his porridge by his girlfriend as a surprise proposal of marriage. “Now I am 24 carats heavier,” he said. Janne Grim, who hid the ring in her boyfriend’s porridge at a Christmas party, said she thought her proposal had been ignored before realizing that it had been gulped down unnoticed. ***MARLAR: Although it is true – the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
EASIEST NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS TO KEEP
To not make more than one resolution (and… you’re done!)
To break all my resolutions
Get into more arguments
Put on 15 pounds
MORE SHOW PREP STUFF…
Francisco Guerra whose company, Snowmasters Inc, makes machines that churn out fake snow for Hollywood films, is also the man behind the latest advertising sensation — something he calls “Flogos”. Basically these are foam clouds shaped like corporate logos that will float up to 20,000-feet into the air. The 4-foot shapes are made from tiny soapy bubbles filled with helium and can travel for 30 miles before evaporating into thin air. Guerra has invented a machine which can manipulate the bubbles into any shape and pump them into the sky at a rate of one every 15 seconds. He’s already got Disney’s attention and has been hired to send clouds shaped like Mickey Mouse above Disney World. And best of all, Flogos are environmentally safe because they are made from just water, air, helium and a little soap. (Daily Telegraph)
OTHER STUFF I WANT TO CRAM INTO TODAY’S PREP
When you are desperate to lose weight, it’s tempting to believe there is an easy way to do it. There isn’t. So don’t fall for one diet trick that has gone viral — and could be dangerous. It’s called the vinegar diet. In 2009, a medical study from Japan — that has since been debunked — concluded that drinking one or two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar before meals would help adults lose two to four pounds over a 12-week period with no other dietary or exercise changes. It just isn’t true. Dr. Domenica Rubino, who is head of the Washington Center for Weight Management and Research in Arlington, Virginia, told WTOP News in Washington, DC, that there is no scientific evidence to back up the claim. There is one reason it might work (and it’s not good): drinking vinegar can upset your stomach so you lose your desire for food. This fad diet can be taken to extremes, and that’s dangerous. Some may think if a little vinegar helps with a little weight loss, a lot of vinegar may help with a lot of weight loss. Wrong. Vinegar is extremely acidic and it can erode the enamel on your teeth.
Ladies – have you thought about not wearing makeup? Don’t decide to drop the rouge just yet. It appears women who wear makeup are not only seen by others as more likeable, but also perceived as more attractive, competent and trustworthy. Led by Nancy Etcoff, a team of Harvard University researchers determined that makeup significantly alters how women and their character traits are perceived by others, both at first glance and over time. The team conducted two studies in which 100 photos of 25 women’s faces were judged without makeup and with three different applied makeup looks that included varying levels of luminous contrast, which is different levels of makeup shades from light to dark. The looks were informally classified as “natural,” “professional” and “glamorous.” When viewed for 250 milliseconds, all three makeup looks increased ratings of attractiveness, competence, likability and trust compared to the ratings of the same faces without makeup. ***No word on whether the same is true for men – I’m kinda hoping “no”.
The University of Illinois found people who live surrounded by trees are healthier both physically and mentally than those trapped in a treeless urban jungle. “Nature calms people, and it also helps them to psychologically rejuvenate,” says Dr. Frances Kuo, who cites a study from Japan that shows those who regularly stroll in parks and other natural settings live longer than those who don’t. Kuo advises everyone to make a point of spending time in an environment that has plenty of trees and green grass at least one visit per week for those who don’t already live on tree lined streets. *** Suburbs of Chicago… great. Chicago proper – not so great.
Does your family struggle to remember the blessings from 2016? Focus on the Family has a suggestion to keep that from happening in 2017. They suggest a Memory Jar containing slips of paper to write down events (both happy and hard) throughout the year. The following New Year’s Eve, open the jar and take turns pulling out a slip and reading the memory on it. It was a good reminder of the ways God has been with us through it all.
AND I LEAVE YOU WITH THIS THOUGHT
Most people celebrate Christmas with relatives. That’s why New Year’s Eve was invented. It’s a chance to celebrate with people you actually enjoy celebrating with.
For many people the highlight of New Year’s Eve is watching the ball drop in Times Square. Big deal. I’ve seen lots of balls drop this year — I had season tickets to the (COWBOYS) games.
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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