January 01, 2016: Friday ONAIRprep (New Year’s Day)

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We had leftover pumpkin pie last night. The pumpkin was left over from Halloween, but it was still pretty good… except for the candle.




Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. –Isaiah 40:28


Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God… — John 1:12




(From VerseOfTheDay.com)

This is what the Lord says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” — Isaiah 43:16,18-19


Thought: The year is gone, finished, past. We cannot reclaim it or undo it. We cannot rest on the great distance it has brought us. If tomorrow dawns, it will be another day, a new opportunity, and the time to show our faith in Jesus as Lord. Let’s journey forward, knowing that God already inhabits the future and promises to provide us refreshment on our journey there.


Prayer: Lord of all eternity, please help me to learn from my mistakes this past year, but not to dwell on them. Please help me not rest on my accomplishments in this past year, but use them to further your work in me and through me. Please help me not quarrel with those who injured me yesterday, last month, or this past year. Instead, O Father, lead me in your paths and help me see your mighty works this next year. In Jesus’ name and by his power I ask it. Amen.


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




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

John 1:1 NIV = In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.




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


Z DAY – Honors those who end up last when placed in alphabetical order. ***MARLAR: Which is why we’ve placed it at the beginning of today’s list. You’re welcome.


Today is NEW YEAR’S DAY, 2016 A.D. (at least, according to the Gregorian calendar). ***MARLAR: By the way, A.D. does NOT stand for “after death” as many people think. The “A.D.” stands for anno Domini, meaning “in the year of our Lord.” Although, looking at the events of the past year you have to wonder if people are paying any attention to Him anymore.


Today is the first day of GET OVER IT MONTH, a time to let go of the past and get over whatever is bugging you. ***MARLAR: That sounds great… but what if what’s bugging me is telemarketers?


Today is NATIONAL SILENT RECORD DAY, marking the invention of the silent record, played on Detroit jukeboxes in 1960. ***MARLAR: If you hear any dead air on the show this week, don’t worry… we’re just celebrating.




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





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



Bird Day



Epiphany (Twelvth Night, or Twelfth Day of Christmas)

Three Kings Day



Harlem Globetrotters Day

I’m Not Going To Take It Anymore Day

International Programmers’ Day

Orthodox Christmas

National Bobblehead Day

National Tempura Day



Argyle Day

Bubble Bath Day

Earth’s Rotation Day

National English Toffee Day

Midwife’s Day

Women’s Day

National Bubble Bath Day

National Joy Germ Day

Show And Tell Day at Work

War on Poverty Day



Balloon Ascension Day

National Cassoulet Day

National Static Electricity Day

Panama’s Martyr Day



League of Nations Day

National Cut Your Energy Costs Day

No Pants Subway Ride Day

Stephen Foster Day



Cigarettes Are Hazardous To Your Health Day

Learn Your Name In Morse Code Day

National Clean Off Your Desk Day

National Human Traffic Awareness Day




1902: With Michigan leading 49-0 in history’s first Rose Bowl Game, the Stanford Cardinals gave up and left the field with eight minutes still on the clock. Rose Bowl officials were so embarrassed they refused to stage another football game until 1916. For 14 years New Year’s Day in the Rose Bowl featured chariot races.


1907: President Teddy Roosevelt shook hands with 8,513 people at a White House reception, the record for one-day handshaking.


1908: For the first time, a ball dropped in New York City’s Time Square to signify the beginning of a new year. ***MARLAR: Of course, it began dropping the previous year.


1946: Kathleen Casey Wilson was born at one minute past midnight in Philadelphia, the first of almost 78 million “baby boomers” born between 1946 and 1964.


1948: In history’s most infamous day of bowl games: in Fresno, Pacific beat Wichita 26-14 in the Raisin Bowl, and in Phoenix, Nevada-Reno edged North Texas 13-9 in the Salad Bowl.


1953: Singer Hank Williams Sr. died of a heart attack (apparently caused by a drug and alcohol overdose) while on his way to a concert date in Canton, Ohio. He was 29.


1960: Singer Johnny Cash did his first prison concert at San Quentin, California. One of the inmates in the audience was Merle Haggard.


1962: Both the Beatles and Brian Poole and the Tremeloes auditioned for Decca records in London. Decca chose the Tremeloes.


1984: The telecommunications giant AT&T was divested of its 22 Bell System companies under terms of an antitrust agreement.


1987: While walking home from a New Year’s Eve party, Colin Duff of Weston-super-Mare, England, was robbed by two muggers dressed as rabbits. Police apparently never found either the rabbits or a gorilla who witnessed the assault.


1989: Anthony Thornton set a world record in Minneapolis by walking 95.4-miles in 24-hours… backwards. ***MARLAR: So, if you’re walking backwards, are you actually adding weight instead of losing it?


1994: Singer Faith Hill’s first single, “Wild One,” hit #1 on the country charts.


1994: Microsoft executives Bill Gates and Melinda French were married on Lanai Island, Hawaii. Billionaire bachelor Bill was 38.


1999: The euro, the new single currency of 11 European countries, officially came into existence.


1999: A Netherlands family in the town of Monster had an exciting New Year’s morning when someone threw a fireworks bomb into a drain leading to the sewer under their house. Nobody was injured when the explosion blew up their toilet.


2002: Two would-be Canadian thieves learned the hard way on New Year’s Day that knowing how to drive a car is a prerequisite for stealing one. The pair, ages 17 and 18 tried to steal a pizza delivery man’s car in Edmonton, Alberta, but neither knew how to operate a manual transmission and clutch. Police arrived before the pair could escape.


2003: The University of Southern California defeated the University of Michigan, 28-14, in the Rose Bowl.


2005: Interrogators at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were accused of routinely using inhumane methods that could be viewed as torture.




379: Early church father Basil the Great dies. Founder and financial supporter of a monastery in Annessi, which became a complex of hospitals, hostels, and schools, he also succeeded Eusebius as bishop of Caesarea. He is also known for his theological work explaining the Trinity and for healing the Antioch schism in the Eastern Church. His monastic rule remains the basis of the Rule followed by the Eastern Orthodox religious today.


1484: Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli is born at Wildhaus, Switzerland.


1519: Reformation begins in Switzerland when Zwingli takes his post at Zurich and begins preaching the Bible.


1545: King Francis I signs a decree saying Waldenses found guilty of “heresy” in France must die.


1622: The Roman Catholic Church adopts January 1 as the beginning of the year, rather than March 25.


1643: English mathematician and physicist Sir Isaac Newton is baptized at St. John’s Church in Colsterworth, England. Deeply interested in religion throughout his life, Newton (known especially for formulating the laws of gravitation) acknowledged Jesus as Savior of the world, but not God incarnate.


1725: Baptism of Greenland’s first Christian convert, the Eskimo Frederick Christian.


1795: President George Washington issues a Thanksgiving Proclamation for the United States.


1802: In a letter to the Danbury (Connecticut) Baptist Association, Thomas Jefferson coins the famous metaphor, “a wall of separation between Church and State.” A recent exhibit at the Library of Congress has sparked argument over whether Jefferson used the term merely for political reasons or whether he meant it to explain the First Amendment.


1826: David Nasmith opens the world’s first city mission in Glasgow, Scotland. It becomes widely imitated.


1863: American President Abraham Lincoln frees all slaves in Confederate states by issuing the Emancipation Proclamation. Churches throughout the North held candlelight vigils commemorating the event.




  • actor (The Perfect Holiday, Ladder 49, he plays Ryan Nichols on “V”) Morris Chestnut 45
  • writer-comic Don Novello (Father Guido Sarducci) is 72




(Music Artist Birthdays From SongFacts.com)

1900 : Xavier Cugat

1923 : Milt Jackson

1942 : Joe McDonald (Country Joe & The Fish)

1950 : Morgan Fisher (Mott The Hoople)

1958 : Grandmaster Flash




How did the tradition of using a baby to signify the New Year begin?

The tradition of using a baby to signify the new year was begun in Greece around 600 BC. It was their tradition at that time to celebrate their god of wine, Dionysus, by parading a baby in a basket, representing the annual rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility. Early Egyptians also used a baby as a symbol of rebirth. The use of an image of a baby with a New Years banner as a symbolic representation of the new year was brought to early America by the Germans. They had used the effigy since the fourteenth century.


How did the practice of making New Year’s resolutions begin?

The tradition of making New Year’s resolutions dates back to the early Babylonians. While popular modern resolutions might include the promise to lose weight or quit smoking, the early Babylonians’ most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment.




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Newsboys drummer Duncan Phillips posted: There are certain things in life that will always be free and greatly appreciated. It costs $0 to be a decent person.


Can you relate to Ben McDonald’s thoughts on cats? The Sidewalk Prophets guitarist tweeted: I have mixed feelings about cats… they are fluffy, and cuddly, and also dumb.


A bit of insight into the mind of Kutless member James Mead: I often think about things literally, and just chuckled to myself. Milkshake for instance.


A Random fact from Jamie Grace; she shared this week: I do not like sugar. I think it tastes like robitussin. So I went to a candy shop and I got a bottle of water.


Jordan Feliz may be a new name on the Christian music scene but music has been a part of his life for a long time. Jordan launched his career as a hard-touring heavy metal singer, then switched gears to become a church worship leader, before finally signing a Nashville record deal. Jordan Feliz’s debut project is titled Beloved.


A bit of trivia about the band Third Day; Did you know the bus album was released twice? The first time was in 1995 on an independent label. They then re-released it after signing with their first label.


An endorsement from Blanca. She tweeted: If you’ve never gone to Wendy’s and dipped your french fries into your frosty, then you are missing out on life!


What do you do when you need a break. According to Audio Adrenaline front man Adam Agee, writing songs is his therapy.


Lauren Daigle this week shared her thoughts on rest. Lauren said: A lot of times we have to fight for rest. In today’s society, rest is frowned upon. However, Lauren says that’s a convoluted view. Instead, she says just the opposite is true. With rest comes rejuvenation. With rest comes clarity. With rest comes insight. With rest comes refreshment. With rest comes replenishing. With rest comes joy. With rest comes contentment. Rest doesn’t always mean we are physically still, but it does mean we position our hearts to be still before the Father.


Casting Crowns Mark Hall has a new rap name. His self proclaimed name is Papa Crown. When fellow Crown member Melodee Devevo started to give him a hard time via twitter Mark replied: haters are my motivators. Swerve!




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



















OPEN: And now, FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns! Last time, the jungle animals were terrified and began to panic after coming across something they’d never seen before in the jungle – they found five giant footprints to a terrible, awful, disgusting, ugly, smelly, terrifying creature! Maybe. Unfortunately, nobody’s really seen the creature itself.


CLOSE: Maybe Nozzles is right… we really don’t know what made the footprints – or even if they’re real! Right now we’re just scared of stuff we’re imagining! Just imagine what will happen next… As the Jungle Turns!






OPEN: And now, FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns!

When last we left the jungle, Louis the lion, a very young lion, was thrust into the position of royalty. And now that the animals have Louis as king of the jungle, they’ve stopped making decisions for themselves about what to do. Even normal day-to-day activities like fort building, swimming, playing badminton…


CLOSE: Will the little lion king ever learn to make decisions? Tune in again next to, for 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.




A man tries to warm up his car with burning paper towels!

A German man’s car wouldn’t start because, he thought, it was too cold. So he decided that all it needed was a little warmth and attention to “thaw it out.” But the metal box of paper towels that he lit on fire and placed under the engine and fuel tank was not a good idea. The car burst into flames and although the car did warm up, it will never start again.






  1. I want to gain weight. Put on at least 30 pounds.
  2. Stop exercising. Waste of time.
  3. Read less.
  4. Watch more TV. I’ve been missing some good stuff.
  5. Procrastinate more… starting tomorrow.
  6. Spend at least $1000 a month on hobbies.


  1. Spend more time at work.
  2. Personal goal – bring back disco.
  3. Stop bringing lunch from home: I should eat out more.
  4. Quit giving money & time to my church and charity.



The story of the perfect crime, with the imperfect getaway!


FILE #1: Billy Franklin had his bank holdup all planned out. He walked into the bank with a knit cap pulled down to obscure his face from security cameras. He made sure the teller’s window had no alarm and no exploding dye booby trap. The holdup note had no fingerprints or other identification. The bills he received were small and not in sequence. He had planned the perfect robbery. Except for one thing. He had no getaway vehicle. He simply walked away from the robbery, carrying his money in two large bags with the bank’s name clearly printed on the side. A cop spotted him walking down the road and arrested him.


FILE #2: Pierre Gomez drove up to the Valley National Bank and handed the teller a hold-up note. While the teller was pretending to get the money another teller pressed the silent alarm. Before this dumb criminal even knew what was happening, his car was absolutely surrounded by cops. The reason? The Lodi police department is less than 50 yards from the bank.


FILE #3: A 19-year old in Austria robbed a store managed to elude police even though security cameras got his picture. Even when the local paper published that picture, the young man still wasn’t caught. It wasn’t until he showed his mom the picture in the paper to complain about how unflattering the picture was, that he got in trouble. His mom seeing the picture and what he did, turned her own son in to the police. Perhaps he’ll be more pleased with his mug shots.


STRANGE LAW: Unless you have a doctor’s note, it’s illegal to buy ice cream after 6pm in Newark, New Jersey.




When should the law not apply?  When it is used against the police chief, of course! 

While investigating a fellow female officer suspected of using drugs, police in Portland, OR, searched through her garbage. They retrieved drug paraphernalia and items to send to a lab for blood analysis. In response to public outcry about the trash search, the police chief in Portland, Oregon stated that once garbage is on the curb, it’s “abandoned in terms of privacy.”  Seeing an opportunity, a local newspaper decided to take the police chief at his word, and dug through the garbage and recycling left outside the homes of the police chief, mayor and district attorney. The newspaper’s haul included printed personal e-mail and financial statements. The mayor called the paper’s actions “potentially illegal and absolutely unscrupulous and reprehensible.”  Someone needs to give the mayor the phone number for the chief of police.




What are your New Years’ resolutions? What do you plan to do in order to keep them?




QUESTION: When David became king of Israel, for how many years did he reign in Jerusalem?

ANSWER: 33 (2 Samuel 5:5)




QUESTION: According to a recent survey, 44% of Americans have up to 6 of these in their house.

ANSWER: Remote controls




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 River Nile has never frozen over. (False… but it’s rare. In living memory, it has only done so twice.)


  1. If you have siderodromophobia you are afraid of objects with six sides. (False… you’re afraid of trains)


  1. A zeedonk is the offspring of a zebra and a donkey. (True)


  1. Abraham Lincoln had no middle name. (True)


  1. A squab is a rookie sailor. (False… it’s a young pigeon that has not yet flown)


  1. In the newspaper business, the night staff is known as the lobster shift. (True)


  1. In the mining business, the night staff is known as the graveyard shift. (False… it’s known as the hoot owl)


  1. Arnold’s pet goldfish on the TV show “Diff’rent Strokes was named Lincoln. (False… it was Abraham)


  1. 61% of Americans have written love letters. (False… 61% say they have NOT written a love letter)


  1. Earth is the only planet NOT named after a god. (True)




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


Scientists studying Bigfoot discovered that he has three fully human wives.  Bigfoot is not only real and living among us, but he is married to three lovely women.  Bigfoot reportedly “married” the women in the last fifteen years and the women are reportedly very happy  according to Wendy Goodman, Bigfoot’s first wife.






A police chief, a fire chief, and a city attorney were traveling together by car to a municipal management conference in a distant city. Their car broke down in a rural area, and they were forced to seek shelter for the night at a nearby farmhouse. The farmer welcomed them in, but cautioned them that there were only two spare beds, and that one of them would have to sleep in the barn with the farm animals. After a short conference, the police chief agreed to take the barn. Shortly after retiring, a knock was heard on the door of the farmhouse. The party inside answered to find the police chief standing there, complaining that he could not sleep. There were pigs in the barn, he said, and he was reminded of the days when everyone called him a pig. The fire chief then volunteered to exchange with the police chief. A short time later, another knock was heard at the door. The fire chief complained that the cows in the barn reminded him of Mrs. OLearys cow that started the Chicago fire, and that every time he started to go to sleep, he started to have a firemans worst nightmare, that of burning to death. The city attorney, in desperation for sleep, then agreed to sleep in the barn. This seemed like a good idea until a few minutes later, when another knock was heard at the door. When the occupants answered the door, there stood the very indignant cows and pigs.




Catherine, a RN, was unhappy with her job, so she submitted her resignation. She was sure she’d have no trouble finding a new position, because of the nursing shortage in her area. She e-mailed cover letters to dozens of potential employers and attached her resume to each one.

Two weeks later, Catherine was dismayed and bewildered that she had not received even one request for an interview.

Finally she received a message from a prospective employer that explained the reason she hadn’t heard from anyone else. It read: “Your resume was not attached as stated. I do, however, want to thank you for the vegetable lasagna recipe.”




A retiree was given a set of golf clubs by his coworkers. Thinking he’d try the game, he asked the local pro for lessons, explaining that he knew nothing whatever about golf.

The pro showed him the stance and the swing, then said, “Just hit the ball toward the flag on the first green.”  The novice teed up and smacked the ball straight down the fairway and onto the green, where it stopped inches from the hole.

“Now what?” the fellow asked the speechless pro.

”Uh… you’re supposed to hit the ball into the cup,” the pro finally said, after he was able to speak again.

“Oh, great! Now you tell me,” said the beginner in a disgusted tone.




A study from researchers at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles has concluded that people whose diets are rich in fiber and fruit are more likely to be of normal weight and not get fat.  ***MARLAR: So, do they give a suggested serving size of Fruit Roll Ups?


Students at a secondary school in New Delhi, India, are living in terror of a monkey that has been disrupting classes for the past fifteen days. Since monkeys are sacred in India, it’s tough to get anyone to come and get rid of him.  ***MARLAR: I think I have a solution for this one.  Whenever the monkey comes into the classroom, have the teacher immediately begin teaching the theory of evolution.  The monkey will be so offended to be compared to humans that he’ll leave on his own.




The birth of our second child, a daughter, came after a long and difficult labor. But it was definitely worth it when our beautiful little girl emerged, perfect in every way.

Later, in my room, my husband looked at her tenderly, with tears in his eyes. Then as he glanced up at me, I expected him to utter something truly poetic.

Instead he asked, “What’d we decide to call her again?”





A man stows away on an airplane in the most dangerous way possible… on the outside of the plane!

A 27-year-old Romanian refugee became a stowaway on a German flight in the most unusual way. He didn’t hide in the bathroom or luggage area — he latched onto the landing gear of the plane. Authorities said the man, whom they did not name, had scrambled undetected onto the forward tire of the aircraft shortly before the Berlin-bound plane took off and hauled himself into the gear shaft. The pilot was unable to retract the gear and decided to abort the flight and return to Munich. Meanwhile, the stowaway managed to survive the 23-minute flight by holding onto the landing gear of a Boeing 737. He was taken to hospital suffering from hypothermia.  ***MARLAR: On the plus side, he didn’t have to sit next to any screaming babies.





A true story about how God works in mysterious ways… sometimes using the phone!

On a Saturday night several weeks ago, this preacher from The Almighty God Church was working late, and decided to call his wife before he left for home. It was about 10:00PM, but his wife didn’t answer the phone. The preacher let it ring many times. He thought it was odd that she didn’t answer, but decided to wrap up a few things and try again in a few minutes. When he tried again she answered right away. He asked her why she hadn’t answered before, and she said that it hadn’t rung at their house. They brushed it off as a fluke. The following Monday, the preacher received a call at the church office. The man that he spoke with wanted to know why he’d called on Saturday night. The preacher couldn’t figure out what the guy was talking about. Then the guy said, “It rang and rang, but I didn’t answer.” The pastor remembered the mishap and apologized for disturbing him, explaining that he’d intended to call his wife. The man said,” That’s OK. Let me tell you my story. You see, I was planning to commit suicide on Saturday night, but before I did, I prayed, ‘God if you’re there, and you don’t want me to do this, give me a sign now.’ At that point my phone started to ring. I looked at the caller ID, and it said, ‘Almighty God’. I was afraid to answer!”




Remember back in 1999 when everyone was freakin’ out that the end of the world was about to happen via the Millennium Bug? 

All of our computers would suddenly stop working and the world itself would come to a halt – making all of us fly off into space.  (Okay, so that last part I just made up.)  I remember one joke coming out of all of the pre-Y2K fears saying the solution to the problem was to replace every personal computer with an Etch-A-Sketch.  With that accomplished, there wouldn’t be any technical glitches to deal with in January, 2000 – and people could stop wasting their time playing computer Solitaire.  Got a question? Just ask the Help Desk:

Q: What is the proper procedure for rebooting my Etch-A-Sketch?  A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: What’s the shortcut for Undo?  A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I delete a document?  A: Pick it up and shake it.

Q: How do I save my document?  A: Don’t shake it!

It worked for a laugh, but of course would likely not have solved the problem if the Millennium Bug had been as bad as they were expecting it to be.  It was a complex problem of locating and rewriting deeply embedded, date-sensitive computer codes that could’ve caused major glitches when 1999 became 2000.

In our own hearts, we have our own kind of faulty code which has already caused chaos in our relationship with God. It’s called sin, and we often kid ourselves about how to deal with it. “I can quit whenever I want to,” we say. “Next week I’ll change for sure,” we tell ourselves. “As soon as I get back to school, things will be different.” But without an adequate solution for an inner change, we’re in the same league with the “pick it up and shake our Etch-a-Sketch” folks.

The gospel of Christ is good news because it says that Jesus can rewrite the computer code of our hearts and change us from the inside out.  Hebrews 10:16 says, “I will put My laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”

That’s a new beginning only God can program.




Why is January 1st the day we begin a new year?

“Happy New Year!” That greeting will be said and heard for at least the first couple of weeks as a new year gets under way. But the day celebrated as New Year’s Day in modern America was not always January 1.
The celebration of the new year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. In the years around 2000 BC, the Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon (actually the first visible crescent) after the Vernal Equinox (first day of spring).

The beginning of spring is a logical time to start a new year. After all, it is the season of rebirth, of planting new crops, and of blossoming. January 1, on the other hand, has no astronomical nor agricultural significance. It is purely arbitrary.

The Babylonian new year celebration lasted for eleven days. Each day had its own particular mode of celebration, but it is safe to say that modern New Year’s Eve festivities pale in comparison.

The Romans continued to observe the new year in late March, but their calendar was continually tampered with by various emperors so that the calendar soon became out of synchronization with the sun.

In order to set the calendar right, the Roman senate, in 153 BC, declared January 1 to be the beginning of the new year. But tampering continued until Julius Caesar, in 46 BC, established what has come to be known as the Julian Calendar. It again established January 1 as the new year. But in order to synchronize the calendar with the sun, Caesar had to let the previous year drag on for 445 days.





There are numerous traditional ethnic and regional New Year food traditions that exist in the world today. Overall, traditional New Year foods are thought to bring luck. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes “coming full circle,” completing a year’s cycle. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating Olie Bollen, a donut-like fritter, will bring good fortune.

  1. Many parts of the U.S., especially Southern regions, celebrate the New Year by consuming black-eyed peas. These legumes are typically accompanied by either hog jowls or ham. Black-eyed peas and other legumes have been considered good luck in many cultures. The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity.
  2. Cabbage is another “good luck” vegetable that is consumed on New Year’s Day by many. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency.
  3. Also from Southerner’s–eating cornbread will bring wealth.
  4. Eating noodles at midnight is customary at Buddhist temples in Japan. It is a Cuban tradition to eat 12 grapes at midnight to signify the last 12 months of the year. German folklore says that eating herring at midnight will bring luck for the next year, and for those of Polish descent, eating pickled herring will bring good luck, also.
  5. Black-eyed peas, fish, apples, and beets are eaten for luck at the Jewish new year’s celebration (not celebrated on the first of January).
  6. Boiled cod is a must in Denmark. And in the Philippines, it is important to have food on the table at midnight in order to ensure an abundance of food in the upcoming year.





A court has been closed due to a flea infestation. But using bug spray has made the situation worse!

I guess you could call it the bubonic briefs. A court had to be closed after officials were bitten by fleas. The infestation was made worse when someone sprayed the courtyard with anti-flea disinfectant – because that drove the insects to the inside of the building. The fleas are believed to have been taken into the court by stray cats that are attracted by rats in the building. The court will remain closed until the fleas – and rats – have been driven out and killed. ***MARLAR: They aren’t trying to kill all of the pests though, as courts do need lawyers.





We always hear “the rules” from the female side. You know… that list of rules that tells us men how we’re supposed to behave and act all the time – not allowing us to be the males that God created us to be? Well… I’m tired of seeing those lists and being told to get in touch with my “feminine side”. So here are the rules from the male side. These are our rules!

  • Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down. You can handle it. We need it up, you need it down. You don’t hear us complaining about you leaving it down, do you?
  • Crying is nothing more than a lesser form of blackmail – it’s immoral to use that against us.
  • Ask for what you want. Let me be clear on this one. Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!
  • YES and NO are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.
  • Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.
  • Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. God forgives and forgets – you should aspire to be more like Him in this area. In fact, all comments should become null and void after 7 days.
  • If you think you’re fat, don’t ask us. We love you regardless and asking that question will do nothing but hurt everyone’s feelings and ruin everyone’s day.
  • If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.
  • You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.
  • Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.
  • ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is, nor do we care to learn.
  • If we ask what is wrong and you say “nothing,” we will act like nothing’s wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.
  • If you ask a question you really don’t want an answer to, don’t ask the question. If you do, expect an answer you don’t want to hear.
  • I am in shape. ROUND is a shape.
  • Thank you for listening. Yes, I know, my wife is likely listening and I’ll have to sleep on the couch tonight, but did you know men really don’t mind that? To us, it’s like camping.





It was real popular a few years ago… and may still be… it’s the Clapper! You know, that device that you hook up to the lights in your house so all you have to do is clap your hands for them to turn on? (I still think it’d be hilarious to hook up the clapper to my church’s sound system. Every time someone clapped during a song everything would go dead). Anyway, a New York appeals court rejected a woman’s lawsuit against the company that makes the Clapper. She claimed that she hurt her hands because she had to clap too hard in order to turn her appliances on. The judge determined that it’s her fault because she failed to adjust the sensitivity controls on her “Clapper”.





The members of a hockey team with disabilities got the surprise of a lifetime recently while practicing. Sledge hockey team members play on seats on runners due to their disabilities rather than playing on skates. As they practiced recently Gatorade, which is known for sponsoring many famous players and athletes, brought in several members of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers. The members of the sledge team, known as The Cruisers, then got a chance to face off with their favorite NHL players with home-ice advantage.



God is using an atheist to spread his word to Spanish readers. Trevor McKendrick did a little research and realize that, in all of the iTunes store’s vast app selection, one thing it lacked was a Spanish translation of the Bible. For only $500, he put one together. The one catch, Trevor McKendrick is an atheist. But as the report pointed out, regardless of whether or not McKendrick believes in it, his app is doing a lot of people a lot of good.



Have a shelf full of books but want to read them on your electronic device?  A new app called Shelfie is presenting readers with the option of getting electronic equivalents of the books on their shelves. Here’s how the app works: Readers take a picture of their bookshelves, and Shelfie scans the titles for eligible eBook downloads. Free or discounted eBooks are then sent to the reader via email.





As you sit there today pondering all that happened over Christmas and perhaps thinking of the bills, look at it this way — think of all the garage sales you helped provide merchandise for.




(Updated as it comes available. The Way WE Work is written by Mark Elfstrand from 1160Hope.com in Chicago.)


The Moskovitz Method


Dustin Moskovitz is listed as one of “America’s Richest Entrepreneurs under 40” by Forbes. In fact, he’s number 2 at $9.4 billion as of 12/26/15. He’s 31 years old.

Like Mark Zuckerberg, he dropped out of Harvard after two years. Then he joined Zuckerberg in Palo Alto to develop Facebook. In 2008, Moskovitz left Facebook to start Asana, a software firm where he now serves as co-founder and CEO. A wise young man, he held on to most of his Facebook stock.

Dustin and wife Cari have created a philanthropic foundation called Good Ventures, which has given away millions. Dustin is also a member of Bill Gates’s and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge. Sharing and caring are apparently two of his core values.

As for personal notes, Moskovitz bikes to work. He flies commercial. You’ll find him regularly attending the rewnowned Burning Man desert festival events.

He also blogs. One blog posted in 2015 should be required reading for any serious employer or captain of industry. It’s titled, “Work Hard, Live Well.” I’m including a good portion of his comments below. https://medium.com/building-asana/work-hard-live-well-ead679cb506d#.7ycv3adci

Those who follow business stories know that in the last twelve months, several stories surfaced about the work culture at Amazon. At fortune.com, the headline back in August read, “Dear Amazon: Your work culture really is terrible.” http://fortune.com/2015/08/19/amazon-work-culture/

That article followed the New York Times piece “Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace.” From that we learned, “At Amazon, workers are encouraged to tear apart one another’s ideas in meetings, toil long and late (emails arrive past midnight, followed by text messages asking why they were not answered), and held to standards that the company boasts are ‘unreasonably high.’ The internal phone directory instructs colleagues on how to send secret feedback to one another’s bosses. Employees say it is frequently used to sabotage others.” Lovely. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/technology/inside-amazon-wrestling-big-ideas-in-a-bruising-workplace.html?_r=2

Dustin Moskovitz offers a refreshingly different perspective. It begins with a startling admission of his early missteps. Dustin writes…

“Last week, I spoke to an ambitious group of high school students…Several of them asked me about things I wish I had done or learned earlier in life, or regrets I had from earlier in my career. Again and again, I came back to the idea that I wish I had lived my life differently.

2006 was one of the best years for Facebook, and one of the worst years for me as a human.

I wish I had slept more hours, and exercised regularly. I wish I had made better decisions about what to eat or drink — at times I consumed more soda and energy drinks than water. I wish I had made more time for other experiences that helped me grow incredibly quickly once I gave them a chance.”

Early regrets. Hmmm. And he’s 31! After a few students questioned whether those changes would have reduced his success, he added…

“Actually, I believe I would have been more effective: a better leader and a more focused employee. I would have had fewer panic attacks, and acute health problems — like throwing out my back regularly in my early 20s. I would have picked fewer petty fights with my peers in the organization, because I would have been generally more centered and self-reflective. I would have been less frustrated and resentful when things went wrong, and required me to put in even more hours to deal with a local crisis. In short, I would have had more energy and spent it in smarter ways… AND I would have been happier. That’s why this is a true regret for me: I don’t feel like I chose between two worthy outcomes. No, I made a foolish sacrifice on both sides.” Wow.

It is then that Moskovitz addresses the concerns that are raised by the Amazon working conditions — freely noting that the tech industry has plenty of like minded drivers. He was told by one job candidate that the team at the other company started their dinners at 8:30 p.m. to encourage people to stay late!

Dustin also briefly outlines the proven productivity that comes with fewer hours and less demanding lifestyles. And then he asks…
“Why are companies doing this? It must be some combination of 1) not knowing the research 2) believing the research is somehow flawed or doesn’t apply to them (they’re wrong) or 3) understanding that many people see these cultural artifacts as a signal about the intensity and passion of the team.”

Part of his solution is based on simply two words: rest matters. We should all be so wisely reminded. Rest…matters. (Read Psalm 127:2)

Of course, this is not new. In His earliest commands, God instructed His people to work six days. Then…rest. He offered up several other instructions for rest periods as well. Obviously, our Creator knows our limitations.

While the world goes full bore into 2016 with new resolutions on how to strive for new accomplishments, tell a few friends you’re committed to the Moskovitz Model: rest more! Stress less.

And for more work success tips, try reading the Bible in 2016. It will make for a happier New Year.

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 www.Tollbooth.org. Ratings from 1 (Low) to 5 (High).


DECEMBER 23-31, 2015…


Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip—Here come the singing animated Chipmunks and their fan club awaits (you know who you are).  This story concerns their manager (Jason Lee) and the guy wants to get married…but will he leave the group? Hmm. “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip” is rated PG. No rating.


Concussion—Will Smith stars as Dr. Bennet Omalu, who was one of the first medical people to study the effects of concussions on football players.  He is a pathologist. David Morse steals the film as a football player whose mind is going and he doesn’t know why. The NFL tries to suppress the doctor’s findings. “Concussion” is rated R. Rating of 3.


Daddy’s House—Will Ferrell has married and now has step-children he is quite fond of. However, here comes their vagrant father, Mark Wahlberg, and the contest between the men begins with the kids in the middle. “Daddy’s House” is rated PG 13. Rating of 2.


Joy—Jennifer Lawrence leaves “The Hunger Games” behind to take on the role of the woman, Joy Mancuso, who invited the Miracle Mop. This is done here as a comedy in which on one believes in her. Robert DeNiro as her father, steals his scenes. “Joy” is rated PG 13. Rating of 3 for fans of the stars.


Point Break—The first film of this title starred Patrick Swayze as the villain who leads a group of thieves in a daring robbery.  Now, in this remake Luke Bracey is the hero and Edgar Ramirez, the villain, with plenty of airborne stunts as the team plans the big heist. “Point Break” is rated R. Rating of 2.


Snowden (opening in select cities)—Based on the life of Edward Snowden who leaked U.S. government secrets to “The Guardian” newspaper, it is directed by Oliver Stone. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Snowden.  Others in the cast include Zachary Quinto and Shailene Woodley. “Snowden” is rated PG 13. No rating.


Macbeth (opening in select cities)—Michael Fassbinder takes on the role of this king, who, with his wife Lady Macbeth (Marion Cottaild) uses murder to gain the throne of Scotland. This Shakespeare play is always a popular one and it uses the theme, of  “is it worth it?” Well photographed. “Macbeth” is rated R. Rating of 2.


The Big Short—A look at the banking situation in 2008 with a humorous take on greed. Brad Pitt, Steve Carell (steals the film) and Ryan Gosling are part of a group that decides to go with the man who figured out how to bet on failing mortgages. Christian Bale plays Dr. Michael Burry, the Pied Piper who leads everyone down the path. “The Big Short” is rated R. Rating of 3 for fans.


Youth—A beautifully photographed film with quite a catch at the end.  Michael Caine and Harvey Kietel are in their 80’s in this film, and looking back at their lives with it’s good things and bad things. Rachel Weicz is Caine’s daughter. Lovely soundtrack. “Youth” is rated R. Rating of 3 for fans.


Legend—Supposedly this film is finally being released and stars Tom Hardy as twin brothers, Ron and Reggie Kray, who ruled London gangland in the 1980’s. Quite a performance for Hardy who also shines in “The Revenant” as the villain there. In “Legend,” the East Side of London stays with its own. “Legend” is rated R. Rating of 3 for fans.


Revenant—A brutally photographed film of one man’s survival in winter, in the northland about 1830. Leonardo DiCaprio is this man, who was mauled by a bear and left for dead by his traveling companions. One of which, knew he was still alive. A study in the brutality of man. “Revenant” means someone who comes back.  The film “Revenant” is rated a strong R. Rating of 3 for fans.


The Hateful Eight—Quentin Tarentino’s film of eight people, in the 19th century, who wait out a blizzard.  One is a sheriff, another the prisoner, and so on. The eight personalities begin to get on each others nerves.  Stars include Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson and Tom Roth. “The Hateful Eight” is rated R. No rating.


Where To Invade Next (opening in select cities)—This is a tongue-in-cheek documentary by Michael Moore in which he visits countries around the world and tries to learn something that he could bring back to America.  These include a different view of the prison system and free college education, also more paid vacation time. “Where To Invade Next” is rated PG 13. Rating of 2.


DECMEBER 30, 2015…


Anomalisa (opening in select cities)—From the director who did “Being John Malkovich” (Charlie Kaufman) is a new film starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and David Thewlis.  The premise is about a guy who is somewhat sad and meets the girl of his dreams. Story told with animation, also. “Anomalisa” is rated R. No rating. And this ends the year.


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