January 02, 2017: Monday ONAIRprep


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All our Christmas decorations came down last night. The cat knocked the tree over.


“For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious ideal.” –Romans 3:23

One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. — Romans 14:5


(From VerseOfTheDay.com)

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. — Psalm 34:18

Thought: While many of us are richly blessed spiritually and physically, many of God’s people face hardship and difficulty. You may be one of those in difficult circumstances. Please remember that God has not abandoned you. Jesus is the great reminder that God cares and involves himself with the broken, forgotten, and downtrodden. Please know as well, that tens of thousands are praying for you today in the prayer that follows.

Prayer: O God, please be with those whose lives are difficult and filled with pain and sadness. Please minister in personal and mighty ways to every believer with a crushed spirit. Dear Father, please rekindle the hope of every discouraged Christian. Empower them as they hold on to their faith. Pour out your Spirit with power, strengthening each weary and burdened heart. Help each one of your children hold onto his or her faith, finding a renewed sense of hope in your presence. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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

BIRTHDAY VERSE” OF THE DAY (The chapter and verse corresponds to the mo

Psalms 1:2 NIV = but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.


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

Today is NATIONAL CREAM PUFF DAY. *** Also known as National Talk About Our Program Director Behind His Back Day.

SOMEDAY WE’LL LAUGH ABOUT THIS WEEK begins today. ***Something I giggle silently to myself at the end of each day.

Today is HAPPY MEW YEAR FOR CATS DAY. ***Because, as you know cats insist on their own holidays. At least they act that way.

This is NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS WEEK (January 1-7). ***The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that people set their standards way to high when it comes to selecting them. It always happens, in early January we all are promising we’re going to do 100 sit-ups a day, quit smoking and all the health stuff. That’s too hard. So here are a few resolutions I’ve made for myself…

  • If I win the lottery, I will gladly accept the money.

  • I will take all the vacation time that’s coming to me.

  • I will not give money to politicians.

  • If someone offers me a cold Pepsi, I’ll smile and say, “Thanks, don’t mind if I do.”

  • I resolve to leave work every day at the end of my shift.

  • When I get my paychecks this year, I’ll cash them promptly.

  • If the IRS sends me any back this year, I promise not to argue with them about it.

  • I will finally get around to changing the coffee grounds in the coffee maker.

  • When I hear a funny joke I will not reply, “LOL… LOL.”

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

COMING UP NEXT (Just a list, we are not endorsing the holidays posted below.)


Drinking Straw Day
J.R.R. Tolkien Day
Memento Mori “Remember You Die” Day
National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day Link


Dimpled Chad Day
Earth at Perihelion
Pop Music Chart Day
Tom Thumb Day

Trivia Day
World Braille Day Link
World Hypnotism Day Link


Bird Day Link


Epiphany or Twelfth Night
National Technology Day Link
Three Kings Day


Fruitcake Toss Day Link (First Saturday)
Harlem Globetrotter’s Day
I’m Not Going To Take It Anymore Day
International Programmers’ Day Link
Orthodox Christmas
National Bobblehead Day Link
National Tempura Day Link


Argyle Day
Asarah B’Tevet
Bubble Bath Day Link
Earth’s Rotation Day
National English Toffee Day  Link
Midwife’s Day or Women’s Day
National Joy Germ Day
National Sunday Supper Day Link (2nd Sunday)
No Pants Subway Ride Day Link
Show and Tell Day at Work
War on Poverty Day


Balloon Ascension Day Link
Law Enforcement Appreciation Day Link  Link
National Cassoulet Day
National Clean Off Your Desk Day (2nd Monday)
National Static Electricity Day Link
Panama’s Martyr Day Link


League of Nations Day
National Cut Your Energy Costs Day
National Poetry at Work Day (2nd Tuesday)
Stephen Foster Day


1910: The first junior high school in America opened in Berkeley, California.

1921: Religious services were broadcast on radio for the first time as KDKA in Pittsburgh aired the regular Sunday service of the city’s Calvary Episcopal Church.

1936: Burma Shave erected roadside signs throughout the U.S. promising, “Free! Free! A Trip to Mars For 900 Empty Jars.” Arliss French collected 900 jars and demanded the free trip. He finally settled when Burma Shave supplied a space suit and flew him to Mars (Moers), Germany, a small town near Dusseldorf.

1965: The New York Jets signed University of Alabama quarterback Joe Namath for a reported $400,000.

1974: Singing cowboy Tex Ritter died of a heart attack at age 68. He made 60 movies. Hit songs included: “You Two-Timed Me One Time Too Often,” “Jealous Heart,” “High Noon,” and “I Dreamed of A Hill-Billy Heaven.”

1974: U.S. President Richard Nixon signed a bill requiring states to limit highway speeds to 55 mph or lose federal highway funds.

1975: The Allman Brothers Band was named Outstanding Community Organization by the Georgia Department of Corrections.

1980: After 25 years as host of the Miss America Pageant, Bert Parks was fired. ***They finally realized that Bert only knew the words to that one song, and he couldn’t sing it very well.

1980: Alan Abel’s obituary appeared in the New York Times and many other papers. Abel crusaded in the 1960s to force pet owners and zoo keepers to put clothes on all naked animals. The day after his reported death, he called a press conference to thank all the papers for the nice obituaries.

1983: The musical “Annie,” based on the “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip, closed on Broadway after a run of 2,377 performances.

1989: Some 200,000 baseball trading card packs were recalled after an obscenity was discovered painted on infielder Billy Ripken’s bat handle.

1993: New York police revealed that a “thriving” gun rental business had been operating in a Brooklyn housing project. Rental price for a 9mm pistol was $20.00 a night, or $100 if the gun was used to shoot someone.

2002: A robbery attempt ended abruptly in Brooklyn, New York, when one of the suspects pulled a gun and accidentally shot his partner in the butt. Police said the pair were attempting to rob an insurance office, when one pulled a gun and it accidentally discharged. The shooter ran, and police took the wounded suspect to the hospital.

2003: The NASA spacecraft Stardust flew through the halo of the distant comet Wild 2.

2004: A third U.S. cowherd was quarantined near Yakima, Washington, for fears of spreading mad cow disease.

2005: NFL teams joined Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and other sports figures around the world to help the relief mission for the tsunami-earthquake catastrophe in southern Asia.

2006: Twelve men were killed in a methane gas explosion in a West Virginia coal mine. One man was found alive after being trapped underground 41 hours.


1673: Robert Barclay is released from prison. A theologian for the Society of Friends, he did much to raise esteem for their views. It was for his Quaker positions that he went to prison.

1792: Death of Edward Perronet who wrote “All hail the power of Jesus’ name, let angels prostrate fall; bring forth the royal diadem and crown him Lord of all.”

1921: The first religious radio broadcast was heard when Dr. E.J. Van Etten, of Calvary Episcopal Church, preached on KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


  • actress (Bella Banks on “Young Americans”, The Rules of Attraction, Beyond the Sea, Lois Lane in Superman Returns) Kate Bosworth 33

  • actor (30 Days, Rent, Pike in Basic, Det. Bret Hopper on TV’s “Daybreak”, Jackson Duper on “Ally McBeal”) Taye Diggs 45 (audio clip)

  • actor (Radio, Jerry Maguire, The Fighting Temptations, Snow Dogs, Men of Honor, Outbreak) Cuba Gooding Jr. 48

  • actress (Rising Sun, Wayne’s World, True Lies) Tia Carrere 49

    actress (Shelley Green on “Studio 60”, Claire Greene on “Touched By An Angel”, Anne Metcalf on “Homefront”, Lauren Sharpe Daniels Channing on “Falcon Crest”) Wendy Phillips 64


(Music Artist Birthdays From SongFacts.com)

1905 : Michael Tippett

1930 : Julius LaRosa

1936 : Roger Miller

1949 : Chick Churchill (Ten Years After)

1954 : Glenn Goins (Parliament, Funkadelic)

1975 : Doug Robb (Hoobastank)

1981 : Little Drummer Boy (Immature)


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.


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! )







OPEN: And now, FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns! When last we left the jungle, we were at Racquet the Skunk’s house – and it turns out that his niece, Rita the Skunk, is staying with him this week while her parents are out of town. Gruffy just dropped Rita off at Racquet’s house after picking her up from school, and Rita is a bit depressed. Something to do with homework, it seems…

CLOSE: Waaaaait a minute. I think I can see where this one’s going. Do you? 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.


A man gets into a fight with Santa Claus… and Santa wins!

We all know Santa Claus is supposed to be kind, and gentle, and giving… but don’t get into a fight with him! A man who took a swing at a mystery man in a Santa suit discovered that Father Christmas was up to the challenge. Jonathan Danzey is facing misdemeanor intoxication and criminal mischief charges after authorities say he got into a fight with Santa at a fast-food restaurant. Santa knocked the drunk to the ground so he couldn’t do any more damage to himself or others. (A good citizen, that Santa is!) According to Lee County sheriff’s deputies, Danzey saw Santa in a convertible and became belligerent when Santa told him he had no gifts for him. What happened to Santa? Well, just like he always does, he disappeared and no one knows how to find him. ***MARLAR: Santa won because, let’s face it, you have to learn how to defend yourself if you’re going to go around wearing an outfit like that.



10. If you wake up each morning with more health than illness, you are blessed to rise and shine, to live and to serve in a new day.

9. If you can freely attend a church meeting without fear, then you are more blessed than over 1/3 of the world.

8. If you pray today or any day, you are blessed because you believe in God’s willingness to hear your prayer.

7. If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head, and a place to sleep; all at the same time; you are rich in this world;

6. If you can hold someone’s hand, hug another person, touch someone on the shoulder, you are blessed because you can offer God’s healing touch.

5. If you have the conviction to stand fast upon His Word and His promises, no matter what, you are blessed because you are learning patience, endurance, and tenacity.

4. If you have a brother or sister in Christ that will pray with you and for you, you benefit from a spiritual unity, bond, and agreement, which the gates of hell cannot stand against.

3. If you own a Bible, you are abundantly blessed – about 1/3 of the world does not have access to one.

2. If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because most people can, but many will not.

1. If you can go to bed each night, knowing that God loves you, you are blessed beyond measure


Christmas spirit left one man out in the cold!

FILE #1: A minister in Kewanee, Illinois, got himself in trouble with the law when he tried to re-enact “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” at his 7-year-old’s birthday party. The Rev. Burnell Eckhardt — dressed in a red cape and Santa hat — looped a rope around eight 6- and 7-year-old children and drove his car behind them for several blocks to a local drugstore to drop off some donations for charity. The kids held the rope with one hand, while holding small flashlights with the other. One child, who had won a game at the party, led the other “reindeer” while holding a red flashlight (like Rudolph) to help guide through the foggy night. Police didn’t think it was so cute, citing Eckhardt with reckless conduct and endangering the life or health of a child — both misdemeanors.

FILE #2: Police in Montana say they got a call from a dog and a cat on Christmas Day. Police think the animals were fighting and knocked over a telephone which speed-dialed 911. When officers arrived, no one was at home but they found the dog and cat still fighting. They didn’t arrest the animals.

FILE #3: A customer at a Chicago bank is being called a hero after he chased and caught a suspected bank robber. Witnesses said a man robbed the bank. A dye pack included with the loot exploded when the suspect ran off. Ninos Abraham was in the bank at the time, so he took off after the suspected robber. Ninos spotted the robber leaning against a fence trying to catch his breath and told him to put his hands down. As soon as he did, Ninos put him in his “manliest bear hug and just squeezed the crap out of him.” Ninos dragged the man back to the bank and held him until police arrived.

STRANGE LAW: In Florida, women may be fined for falling asleep under a hair dryer, as can the salon owner.


Some people won’t be getting the Christmas presents they were expecting.

Missouri troopers seized about 20 pounds of marijuana from a car on Christmas week – some of it in luggage, and some in boxes wrapped as Christmas gifts. The Highway Patrol says troopers found the marijuana in the car they stopped for speeding on Interstate 44 near Joplin, Missouri. Two California women in the car gave troopers permission to search the vehicle. Both were charged with one marijuana-related count and released on $1,000 bond.


This is GET OVER IT MONTH, a time to let go of the past and get over whatever is bugging you. So here’s your day to get it all off your chest so you can truly let go of it. What is it that bugs you that you wish wouldn’t?


QUESTION: Who was the first author to be mentioned in the Bible?
ANSWER: Moses (Exodus 17:14)


QUESTION: How many fingers does Mickey Mouse have on each hand?



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 smallest county in he U.S. has a huge population. The county is Orange County, California. (False, New York County, which is Manhattan Island, with twenty-one square miles)

2. The men-only contest started by Carnival cruise line that is now a feature of every cruise ship is the Mr. Hairy Chest contest. (True)

3. A 1989 film that told the tale of Capt. Robert Gould Shaw, a leader of a black regiment in the Civil War was called “Glory”. (True)

4. Mark Twain, the author, was born in 1835 when Halley’s Comet appeared. (True)

5. Mark Twain predicted he would die 76 years later when it reappeared, and he did. (True)

6. The Woodstock music festival took place between August 15-17, 1969. (True)

7. Ribbon Falls, the U.S.’s highest waterfall, is in Colorado. (False, it’s in California, in Yosemite National Park)

8. Beginning in the year 2003, the Super Bowl will only be available through Pay-Per-View. (True)

9. Human birth control pills also work on gorillas. (True)

10. Jimmy Carter was the first U.S. president born in a hospital. (False)


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


Egyptian leaders are reportedly planning to cover up the pyramids at Giza.

Members of the Nour (The Light) Salafist party, want to put an end to the ‘idolatry’ represented by the pyramids.  They method they want to use is “concealment” by covering the pyramids with wax.   The pyramids will appear as great big blobs rather than the perfectly carved steps.  Tourists will be banned from even looking at the pyramids.



There were 11 people hanging onto a rope that came down from a helicopter.

Ten were men and one woman. They all decided that one person should get off because if they didn’t the rope would break and everyone would die.

No one could decide who should go so finally the woman gave a real touching speech saying how she would give up her life to save the others, because women were used to giving up things for their husbands and children, giving in to men, and not receiving anything in return.

When she finished speaking, all the men clapped.

Never underestimate the power of a woman.


A loaded mini van pulled into the only remaining campsite. Four children leaped from the vehicle and began feverishly unloading gear and setting up the tent. The boys rushed to gather firewood, while the girls and their mother set up the camp stove and cooking utensils.

A nearby camper marveled to the youngster’s father, ‘That sir, is some display of teamwork.’

The father replied, ‘I have a system: no one goes to the bathroom until the camp is set up.’


A man and his wife were making their first doctor visit prior to the birth of their first child.

After everything checked out, the doctor took a small stamp and stamped the wife’s stomach with indelible ink.

The couple was curious about what the stamp was for, so when they got home, he dug out his magnifying glass to try to see what it was.

In very tiny letters, the stamp said, “When you can read this, come back and see me.”


According to the Treasury Department’s Inspector General, a sampling of Internal Revenue Service employees found they used about half their online time at work to visit gambling sites, to trade stocks, participate in chat rooms or social media, and do other non-work-related activity. *** “I.R.S.” = “I’m Really Slothful!”

Here’s a novel way for thrifty brides and grooms to cut wedding costs — rent a fake wedding cake. The idea is to have an elegant, multi-tiered pretend cake for show while serving guests slices from a real but inexpensive sheet cake.  ***We had the best of both worlds at our wedding.  A real cake that only tasted fake.  (That’s what happens when my mother-in-law cooks anything.)

Kermit was originally a lizard, not a frog. ***And it’s too bad they didn’t stick with that – Kermit could’ve made a fortune doing Geico commercials.



The following was overheard at a recent high society party…
“My ancestry goes all the way back to Alexander the Great,” said one lady. She then turned to a second woman and asked, “How far does your family go back?”
“I don’t know,” was the reply. “All of our records were lost in the flood.”


Still think we don’t need some kind of healthcare reform in this country? Talk to Jim Bujalski of Littleton, Colorado.

…Jim had to say just one day at St. Anthony’s Central Hospital and he complained to administrators about the insane cost of his prescription Plavix and Crestor tablets which he was forced to “buy” from the hospital because it administers only drugs under its control. While he normally pays $8 bucks a tablet for the Plavix, the hospital charged him $248 a pill. And his Crestor, normally $3 at home, was $65 bucks per pill. Total cost of his one day stay with his medications– $58,000!


The Lord is my real boss, and I shall not want. He gives me peace, when chaos is all around me. He gently reminds me to pray and do all things without murmuring and complaining. He reminds me that he is my source and not my job. He restores my sanity everyday and guides my decisions that I might honor him in all that I do
Even though I face absurd amounts of e-mails, system  crashes, unrealistic deadlines, budget cutbacks, gossiping   co-workers, discriminating supervisors and an aging body that doesn’t cooperate every morning, I still will not stop— for He is with me!  His presence, His peace, and His power will see me through.
He raises me up, even when they fail to promote me. He claims me as His own, even when the company threatens to let me go.  His Faithfulness and love is better than any bonus check. His retirement plan beats every 401k there is! When it’s all said and done, I’ll be working for Him a whole lot longer  and for that, I BLESS HIS NAME!



The more I study the Bible, and the more I learn about Jesus, the more I’m convinced that he would’ve made an excellent radio personality! I’ll explain…

I’m sure no one would disagree with me that it takes someone with a very different personality to be a radio DJ. It’s just too bad that Jesus didn’t have broadcasting during his ministry… he would’ve been the perfect candidate for radio.

  • He liked to tell stories.

  • He was widely misunderstood and misquoted (and still is). ***MARLAR: I get emails all the time with complaints about things I’ve said, taken out of context.

  • Some people, misunderstanding Him, simply tuned him out. ***MARLAR: That happens to me all of the time.

  • People who didn’t hear what they wanted to hear tuned him out. ***MARLAR: That’s a big problem in Christian radio – people NOT wanting to hear the truth.

  • He lived on very little, such as bread and fish. ***MARLAR: Welcome to the salary of a DJ.

  • He wore modest clothes. ***MARLAR: Again, welcome to the salary of a DJ.

  • He was used to not making any money, and He didn’t care about it. ***MARLAR: DJs have to get used to not making any money too. But the analogy stops there. I don’t know any DJs that don’t care about it.

  • He could find immense value in something as tiny as a mustard seed. ***MARLAR: This is a direct reflection of the contents of a radio personality’s refrigerator.  We have practically nothing in there but still have to make the best of it.



A man finds almost $23,000 in his mailbox… how’s that for a belated Christmas present?

A Japanese man may have received a late Christmas present Saturday morning when he opened his mailbox to find 3 million yen ($22,780) in cash inside. The man told police he went to get the morning newspaper and found a paper bag stuffed full of yen in the mailbox. And he has no idea where it came from. The notes were not new and there were no clues as to whose they might be, but the spokesman said police were planning to take fingerprints and contact nearby financial institutions. Should nobody step forward to claim the money over the next six months, the man will be able to keep it.



How would you like to lose weight just by sleeping? No, it’s not some new pill you take… you don’t have to spend a dime!

Want to lose weight? Forget the crash diet… just crash! Get some sleep! A study from the University of Chicago has found lots of sleep speeds up you metabolism and can lead you to experience weight loss. Deep sleep increases production of growth hormones, those hormones speed up your metabolism – which burns off even more calories. The scientists suggest tablets can be taken to speed up metabolism if busy people have no time for extra sleep. ***MARLAR: By the way, this is completely bogus. I sleep ten hours every night and I’m STILL overweight!


A man has been arrested for assaulting Cookie Monster from Sesame Street!

There are some very disturbed individuals in this world, but who in their right mind would ever want to harm cuddly little Cookie Monster from Sesame Street? That’s what happened the other day. A man punched and kicked Cookie Monster at the Sesame Street theme park outside Philadelphia… all because Cookie Monster didn’t want to take a picture with the man’s 3-year-old daughter. Dad got mad about it and stuck his head into Cookie Monster’s mouth (which I’m sure was a funny site to the other tourists), and then Cookie Monster, not liking having a head stuck in his mouth (imagine that), pushed the man away. That’s when the fists started flying, and Cookie Monster got pushed to the ground and eventually was taken to the hospital for cuts and bruises. All of this because Cookie Monster didn’t want to have his picture taken with a three-year-old girl.



I often try to find stories aimed at our married listeners, stories of love and marital success that warms the heart. Today it hit me; I really need to speak to try to help our single listeners as well! Well here is my New Years gift to you, some answers single people can use to the never ending question, “Why aren’t you married yet?”

  • You haven’t asked yet.
  • Because I just love hearing this question.
  • Just lucky, I guess.
  • It gives my mother something to live for.
  • My fiancée is awaiting his/her parole.
  • I’m still hoping for a shot at Miss/Mr. America.
  • Do you know how hard it is to get two tickets to Miss Saigon?
  • I’m waiting until I get to be your age.
  • It didn’t seem worth a blood test.
  • I already have enough laundry to do, thank you.
  • I’d have to forfeit my billion-dollar trust fund.
  • I wouldn’t want my parents to drop dead from sheer happiness.
  • I don’t want to have to support another person on my paycheck.
  • I’m married to my career, although recently we have been considering a trial separation.


Stay trim – by hanging out at the water cooler!

Standing by the water cooler may help you stay trim. When researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia strapped an accelerometer, a device that measures not just steps but movements, onto 168 healthy and active men and women for one week they found that those who incorporated more breaks, like standing or walking, into their workdays were about 2.3 inches slimmer around the waist than those who parked it in their swivel chairs for hours on end. They also had healthier blood fats, lower triglycerides. Breaks were as short as one minute, very doable, and defined as anything but sitting. So touch your toes at your desk, stand while on the phone, or, at the very least, stretch. (Good Housekeeping) 


Are you hoping to retire early – well you might want to rethink that, as it could endanger your life!  The ideal retirement age is 66 or older. Working past age 65 could lead to a longer life, while retiring early may be a risk factor for dying earlier, according to researchers from Oregon State University in Corvalis. Specifically, healthy adults who retired one year past age 65 had an 11 percent lower risk of death from all causes, even when taking into account demographic, lifestyle and health issues. Adults who described themselves as unhealthy were also likely to live longer if they kept working, the findings showed, which indicates that factors beyond health may affect post-retirement mortality.

A Home Depot employee in California played the role of Santa Claus to replace a beloved doll the young girl lost in the store. According to ABC News, six year old Adrianna lost the doll when the shopping cart it was in was misplaced. After searching, her family left the store that day without Katy, a doll Adrianna carried with her everywhere. When it was clear the doll was nowhere to be found, Tyson Manuele, the manager of the Home Depot, purchased the new doll — a near replica of Katy — with his own money. http://abcn.ws/2i0Uj2q

What if we saw everything as a gift? That’s the premise of a new video produced by the Forest Hill Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. They say: It’s time we change our perspective and give thanks for the big and little things in everyday life, from breakfast to running water to shoes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZKg6N10OBo

A six-year-old boy asked for a very unusual birthday gift–to have an evangelist tell his party guests about the love of Christ. The young boy, Jacoby Enge, from Orlando, Florida, surprised his parents with the request but the granted it. In fact, because of Jacoby’s request and the preaching the gospel message, 15 people gave their lives to Christ. Jacoby’s parents even helped him make tags for Bibles to hand out as party favors.  http://dlvr.it/MtX4zz


For a free transcript of today’s show just send a stamped envelope with your address. Or, if there’s somebody you’d like to annoy, send a stamped envelope with their address.


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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