January 03, 2017: Tuesday ONAIRprep


***DAILY DOSE OF WEIRD NEWS! (As an ONAIRprep subscriber, you can gain access to all of the work parts for the Daily Dose of Weird News, allowing you to edit for length and content – and also receive a custom tag specifically for your station or show which you can have updated at any time… ABSOLUTELY FREE! It’s part of your subscription now! Email me to get FTP access and your free customized tag!)



My New Year’s Resolution this year is to become a vegan. I’ll still continue to eat whatever the heck I want, including red meat, cheese, etc., but I’ll be calling myself a vegan because I like the idea of feeling I’m superior to everyone else.

I’m (JOCK). And any minute now you’re gonna remember who you are.


“But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” –Romans 5:8

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. — Psalms 90:12

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. — Joshua 1:9


(From VerseOfTheDay.com.)

When the priests and Levites had purified themselves ceremonially, they purified the people, the gates and the wall. — Nehemiah 12:30

Thought: God has placed each of us in a circle of influence. Before we try to “clean up” those around us, let’s first offer ourselves to God to be consecrated and to be made pure by his grace. Then, let’s live in a way that shows the impact of that holiness in our lives. Jesus told us to remove the plank from our own eye before we try to clean the speck out of someone else’s eye. For leaders at any level, “living holy” is essential before calling others to holiness! God’s greatest times of spiritual renewal begin when leaders first consecrate themselves to God and his work.

Prayer: O Father in heaven, forgive me for my sins. I want to be pure and holy, cleansed by your Spirit and forgiven by your grace. Please bless me as I seek to live a holy life before those I influence. I need your powerful help to be the example and person of character that you want me to be, and that my friends need me to be. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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

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

Psalm 1:3 NIV = That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither… whatever they do prospers.”


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

This is NATIONAL THANK YOUR CUSTOMERS WEEK.  ***Which might explain why you get lousy customer service the other 51 weeks of the year.

Today is NATIONAL CHOCOLATE COVERED CHERRIES DAY. ***And you thought the holiday sugar intake was over!

ALASKA ADMISSION DAY. ***No news yet on what they’ve admitted to doing. (Actually, Alaska became the 49th state of the United States of America on this day in 1959.)

Today is FESTIVAL OF SLEEP DAY. ***If I’d known about this yesterday I would’ve worn my footsie pajamas to work.

Drinking Straw Day
J.R.R. Tolkien Day
Memento Mori “Remember You Die” Day

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


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


1888: Marvin C. Stone of Washington, D.C. patented the straw for drinking. ***Imagine his moral dilemma…actually trying to invent something that sucked!

1922: The U.S. issued patent #1,402,263 for “Hippity-Hoppers,” metal grasshoppers with springy legs that you buckled to your shoes. As you hopped, the grasshoppers’ wings flapped up and down.

1924: Howard Carter, British egyptologist, found the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor. ***And, contrary to popular belief, he was not found “buried in his jammies”.

1938: The “March of Dimes” campaign to fight polio was organized.

1967: Jack Ruby, the man who shot accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, died of cancer in a Dallas hospital.

1970: The Beatles recorded their last song together, “I Me Mine.” Ten years later it was the title of George Harrison’s autobiography.

1973: CBS sold the New York Yankees to a syndicate headed by George Steinbrenner for $10 million.

1983: Michael Jackson’s Thriller album was released. It would top the LP chart for 37 weeks and become the best selling album of all time.

1987: Aretha Franklin became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

1992: Bernard Moeller of Pennsylvania got his 14-thousandth tattoo. Nobody else has more [Guinness].

1992: The Miss Canada Pageant was scrapped, apparently due to lack of interest and politics. The last Miss Canada, crowned in October 1991, was Nicole Dunsdon.

1996: The South African edition of Cosmopolitan magazine chose 77-year-old President Nelson Mandela as the nation’s sexiest and most eligible bachelor because of his power, kindness, modesty, dimples, and funky dress sense.

1997: Bryant Gumbel signed off for the last time as host of NBC’s Today show.

2000: The final new daily “Peanuts” comic strip by Charles Schulz ran in 2,600 newspapers.

2001: Oklahoma whipped Florida State, 13-2, to win the Orange Bowl and win college football’s Bowl Championship Series title game.

2003: A Bolivian man who was shot 11 times made such a remarkable recovery doctors decided to leave the bullets inside him. Jose Luis Cespedes, a sports commentator from Santa Cruz, was shot by a gang who tried to steal his car. Doctors released him from hospital and said they have no intention of removing the 11 bullets from his body.

2003: NASA’s rover, Spirit, touched down on Mars.

2006: A stolen car suspect made things easy for sheriff’s deputies as they followed him along Interstate 75 into Sarasota County and then back into Hillsborough county, Florida. The slow-speed pursuit ended when the 41-year-old man pulled his minivan into a Hillsborough jail parking lot, got out and surrendered. He was charged with grand theft auto and fleeing and eluding.


1521: German reformer Martin Luther is excommunicated by Pope Leo X.

1687: The Duke of Savoy gives the Waldensians a choice: cross the alps or work his malarial rice fields. 400 perish crossing the alps.

1918: Death of Annie Sherwood Hawks, Baptist hymn writer who wrote “I need thee every hour.”

1984: Death of Jacob Gartenhouse, founder of International Jewish Missions.


  • actress (Winnie on “The Wonder Years”) Danica McKellar 42 (audio clip)

  • Actor/director (Signs, Lethal Weapon, What Women Want, Mad Max) Mel Gibson, 61

  • Actress (“Dallas”) Victoria Principal, 67 (audio clip)

  • Actor (Tootsie, 9 to 5, You’ve Got Mail) Dabney Coleman, 85


(Music Artist Birthdays From SongFacts.com)

1909 : Victor Borge

1915 : Maxene Andrews (The Andrew Sisters)

1926 : Sir George Martin (Beatles producer)

1941 : Van Dyke Parks

1945 : Stephen Stills (Crosby Stills Nash & Young)

1946 : John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin)


How was cotton candy invented?

In 1897, William Morrison and John C. Wharton, Tennessee candy makers from Nashville, invented the world’s first electric machine that allowed crystallized sugar to be poured onto a heated spinning plate, and then pushed by centrifugal force through a series of tiny holes. They proudly took their “Fairy Floss” to the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition (otherwise known as the St. Louis World’s Fair) and sold the product in chipped-wood boxes. Though they sold each box for a whopping 25 cents (half of the fair admission price), they sold 68,655 boxes. (That same fair also introduced the world’s first ice-cream cone.)


This is just a tiny sample of the 5-6 pages of material you could be receiving three days a week from ChristianRadioShowPrepServices.com!

Mandisa isn’t much on planning ahead. She posted a picture just before Christmas as she clutched a hand full of gift cards and added: You know you’re a procrastinator when you literally get your Christmas shopping done in 5 minutes on the way to the airport! https://www.instagram.com/p/BOXf5IqjuMM/


A new years recommendation from Jimmy Needham: Get the most out of your Bible reading: Read the Old Testament with New Testament goggles on. Read the New Testament with Old Testament goggles. They are clearest in light of each other.


Jamie Grace is on the road to recovery after a rough time earlier in the week. Jamie posted: thanks for all your prayers, guys! Recovering, but still in bed. Ear infections are no joke.


Casting Crowns Melodee Devevo shared her holiday menu last week. She says it included: A goose, a ham, 3 casseroles, chocolate cake, banana pudding, butter beer pie, cinnamon rolls, ambrosia, and a cheese ball. What holiday favorites MUST be on your families menu?


Sidewalk Prophets front man Dave Frey had some special help as he built his first ever gingerbread house. He posted a picture of he and his fiancee along with the gingerbread house they had just completed together. Dave added: yes that is a Cubs “C” over the door.  https://www.instagram.com/p/BOYFsTKATJ-/


Newsboys drummer Duncan Phillips is inviting you behind the scenes. Last week he announced plans for a weekly vlog inviting those who follow him on YouTube to join him for a look at his life, both on and off the road. More coming in the days to come.


Another platinum record for Casting Crowns. The band announced last week that their album Peace on Earth was certified as platinum by the RIAA. That means the project has sold more than a million copies.


Question for the day from Shane and Shane: Serious question: Have you ever actually TRIED fruitcake?


Jonny Diaz posted this week: 363 days til Christmas and people already have their lights up. Ridiculous!


A good reminder from Show Hope, the orphan and adoption organization started by Steven Curtis Chapman: As decorations go back in the attic and lights are unplugged, may we be aware: seasons stop and start, but his faithfulness does not.


(No news on the weekends. Want a customized audio version, FREE? Email me for more information! )


Officers patrolling New York City’s harbor over the weekend spotted a whale in the East River. The whale was seen during the day on New Year’s Eve along the shores of Manhattan’s Upper East Side.  ***Wow – even creatures of the sea are celebrating that 2016 is over!

In President-elect Trump’s New Year’s message to his Twitter followers he wished a “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly.”  ***He was immediately flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer says President-elect Trump will continue to use his Twitter account after he takes office to make major policy announcements.  ***And to complain about stuff… so, same old, same old.

It’s dubbed finger lickin’ good but in New York, Anna Wurtzburger says she was so disappointed with her “family-sized” bucket of chicken, she’s suing the fast-food chain. For $20 Million!! Wurtzburger bought the $20 bucket of chicken over the summer as a “rare treat” but was shocked when it looked nothing like the KFC’s ads. She says it was only half full so the 64-year-old widow rang up KFC’s headquarters in Georgia to complain. They sent her two gift certificates but she gave them back and hired a lawyer. ***Why did the chicken cross the road?  To get away from this nutball lady.


Are you a very ticklish person? It may mean you have a high IQ. If the slightest tickle makes you limp with laughter, it’s actually a good thing. A Harvard study shows that ticklish people have IQ’s that are on average 48-points higher than their non ticklish friends. Apparently men like Socrates, Leonardo Da Vinci and Albert Einstein were all so ticklish that sometimes just being touched was pure agony for them.  ***So how do you explain Elmo?

A study has found that the attention span of the average American is two seconds.  ***I would never have guessed it was that long.

A new study seems to show that drinking alcohol may enhance a person’s problem solving skills.  ***Oh yeah?  Well, tell that to the crew of the Battlestar Galactica.

Well this will likely change the way you eat at the state fair – and at gas stations – and barbecues.  Clear Foods uses special technology to analyze foods at a molecular level, ingredient by ingredient. When it looked at 345 hot dog and sausage products from 75 brands and 10 retailers, the company says it found “human DNA in 2% of the samples, and in two-thirds of the vegetarian samples.”  *** Soylent Hot Dogs are People!!!!



OPEN: And now, FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns! Last time, Racquet the Skunk’s niece, Rita, was depressed because she didn’t know how to do her accelerated math homework. Fortunately, Uncle Racquet was there to help… well, sort of. Actually Racquet ended up doing all of Rita’s homework FOR her. The next afternoon, Gruffy Bear again dropped off Rita after school…

CLOSE: Oh yeah, like you didn’t see THAT one coming… right? That’s twice now that Racquet has done Rita’s homework for her. Hopefully he’ll realize that what’s happening soon… at least before they get to long division! Tune in next time as our story continues, on 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.


Today’s Moment of Duh comes from my own family’s observations on the job!

My aunt works in the library of a school and sometimes has to oversee the computers that students use. One afternoon she noticed a young man sitting in front of one of the workstations with his arms crossed across his chest, staring at the screen. After about 15 minutes she noticed that he was still in the same position, only now he was impatiently tapping his foot. Finally, my aunt approached him and asked if he needed help. He replied, “It’s about time! I pressed the F1 button for help over twenty minutes ago!”



10. FROM YOUR PREACHER–“This year I resolve to preach verse by verse through Leviticus!”

9. FROM YOUR DENTIST–“This year I resolve to finally overcome my aversion to washing my hands!”

8. FROM YOUR MAILMAN–“This year I resolve to stop collecting restricted weapons!”

7. FROM YOUR DOCTOR–“This year I resolve to remove the video camera from my examination room.”

6. FROM YOUR MECHANIC–“This year I resolve to stop installing defective parts just to make a buck!”

5. FROM YOUR FOUR-YEAR OLD–“This year I resolve to memorize every Barney episode so I can tell you about them over and over and over again!”

4. FROM YOUR TEEN–“This year I resolve to push the envelope on the often misunderstood art of body piercing!”

3. FROM THE CHURCH TREASURER–“This year I resolve to finally finish paying for that condo on the French Riviera no matter what it takes!”

2. FROM YOUR NEXT-DOOR NEIGHBOR–“This year I resolve to pursue my life long dream of beekeeping!”

1. FROM JESUS–‘This year I resolve, like all the years before, to patiently wait for you to place me first in your life!”


If you are a police officer, you should obey the law… even if you’re off duty.

FILE #1: In San Antonio, Texas, police chief William McManus announced that he was upgrading the department training program to teach his officers how to obey the law while they are off-duty! It seems he’s had to fire no less than 10 officers so far this year for law-breaking! Included in the new program is a personal talk from McManus to each incoming cadet to stress that police officers must not commit crimes anytime, anywhere!

FILE #2: A robber who broke into a Pensacola Florida home taking small valuables, came back hours later to finish what he’d started; this time taking the plasma-screen television. The police were investigating the break-in when the robber returned. The robber attempted to take the television, but left it in the backyard and fled with the owner’s wallet, watch and video game system. The police left the television in the backyard to dust for fingerprints, when the robber returned and took it without being caught.  Police have offered to pay for the television as it was partially their fault it is now missing.

FILE #3: Police in Little Rock, Arkansas have arrested a 23-year-old man after he dropped his own wallet while trying to rob a man at gunpoint at the victim’s home. The would-be robber apparently got nervous and fled before taking anything, but then later phoned the victim and told him to return the lost wallet to a nearby service station. Of course the victim called police who found the suspect at the service station and arrested him after a brief foot chase.

STRANGE LAW: In Hereford, England you may not shoot a Welsh person on Sunday with a longbow in the Cathedral Close.


Can a bank robber use his gun as a tax deduction for his business?  Yep.

A bank robber who was jailed in Chaam, Holland, had his fine reduced by $2600 (US) after a judge agreed to deduct the cost of his expensive pistol as a business expense. A prosecutors service spokesman backed the judge, saying that if you compare crime to normal business activities so the government can seize the profits, then investment costs must be deducted to tally the profits. He did scoff when asked if a drug dealer could deduct the cost of his Ferrari, saying he hardly thinks the dealer could prove he needed a Ferrari to transport the drugs.


Tis the season for re-gifting, fa la la la la, la la la la! What gift did you receive this year that you plan to re-gift?


QUESTION: Who was sleeping between two soldiers when an angel came to release him?

ANSWER: Peter (Acts 12:6-7)


QUESTION: In the “Peanuts” cartoon strip, what occupation does Charlie Brown’s father hold?

ANSWER: He is a barber (ironic, seeing as his son has no hair!)


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. Until the age of 20, author John Grisham had hoped to make a living playing baseball. (True)

2. As referenced in the Gettysburg Address, “four score and seven” means 100 years. (False, it means 87 years)

3. A letter addressed using the two-letter abbreviation “MS” would arrive from Minnesota. (False, it would arrive from Mississippi)

4. Tom Hamilton, Joe Perry, and Brad Whitford are all members of Def Leppard. (False, they’re in Aerosmith)

5. Comedian Bill Cosby hosted a segment known as “Picture Pages” on the kids TV show Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. (False, it was Captain Kangaroo)

6. The line that is repeated fourteen times in the movie “Jerry Maguire” is “You Complete Me.” (False, it’s “Show me the money!”)

7. England’s King George I was actually a German prince. (True… he ascended to the English throne in 1714 and he could neither write nor speak his subjects’ language since he only spoke German.)

8. The Miss Canada pageant no longer takes place due to women’s groups complaining about it. (True… the last Miss Canada was Nicole Dunsdon, who completed her reign in October 1992. Since then, there has been no Miss Canada competition. Women’s groups called it degrading and got it banned.)

9. Your armpits contain more sweat glands than any other part of your body. (False… the palms of you hands and soles of your feet have more sweat glands. Why do you think your feet stink so much?)

10. The banana is actually a vegetable, not a fruit. (False… it’s neither! It’s actually a herb. In fact it’s the world’s largest herb!)


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


WASHINGTON — Emergency doors locked and sirens wailing, the White

House was put on lockdown today as Vice President Joe Biden said he must find his missing car keys. At first, Biden laughed and said he knew “exactly” where he had put them, but a quick trip into a restroom stall was fruitless, according to accounts.

“They were, like, just in my hand,” Biden said, motioning a team toward another wing of the building. “No one can leave this place until I find them. And someone turn that siren off; I can’t hear myself think. “

White House communications official Britt Hammond was quick to dispel any rumors that this was a life-threatening situation. Hammond has maintained constant media contact since first discovering the motives behind the alert.

“Despite the vice president’s enthusiasm for finding the keys,” Hammond said, “I want to remind everyone that this not an emergency for anyone but Mr. Biden and his motorcade. However, the vice president has every right to put federal buildings on lockdown, so we are at his mercy until further notice.”

Around 9 a.m. this morning, Biden was sure he was close to victory as he reached down into a couch, but only found a few golden dollars left behind by tour groups that had taken the Metro.

“Waste not, want not,” Biden said, pocketing the coins. “Alright, gentlemen, lets roll up our sleeves and get back to it.”

Officials said they were hopeful to have the White House fully operational by late afternoon. One Secret Service member reportedly said that “last time this happened, it was on a Monday and no one got out until Tuesday evening.” Another was quick to add, “The vice president ordered pizza, though.”



A Kansas cyclone hit a farmhouse just before dawn one morning. It lifted the roof off, picked up the beds, on which the farmer and his wife slept, and set them down gently in the next county. The wife began to cry.

“Don’t be scared, Mary,” her husband said. “We’re not hurt.”

Mary continued to cry. “I’m not scared,” she responded between sobs. “I’m happy ’cause this is the first time in 14 years we’ve been out together.”


One morning, Rhonda was called to pick up her son at the school nurse’s office. When she walked through the main entrance, Rhonda noticed a woman, curlers in her hair, wearing pajamas.

“Why are you dressed like that?” Rhonda asked her.

“I told my son,” she explained, “that if he ever did anything to embarrass me, I would embarrass him back. He was caught cutting school. So now I’ve come to spend the day with him!”


Because their former small-town parish was not a wealthy one, the pastor

was dependent on parishioners for upkeep and maintenance of the church.

Once he asked Christine’s husband, Sam, to rewire the confessionals. The only way to reach the wiring was to enter the attic above the altar and crawl over the ceiling by balancing on the rafters.

Concerned for her husband’s safety, Christine waited in a pew. Unbeknownst to her, some parishioners were congregating in the vestibule. They paid little attention to Christine, probably assuming she was praying.

Worried about her husband, she looked up toward the ceiling and yelled, “Sam, Sam — are you up there? Did you make it okay?”

There was quite an outburst from the vestibule when Sam’s hearty voice echoed down, “Yes, I made it up here just fine!”


The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is offering free low-quality images of U.S. currency bills over the Internet. This is for artists, students and others who find out their computers won’t allow them to copy the bills because of hidden counterfeiting protections. ***MARLAR: Anyone wishing to download a fifty should log on to The-FBI-Knows-Where-You-Live.com.

Angelia Clark made front-page headlines: “Rich Barker will you marry me?”  Clark’s proposal was published in the newspaper in Coshocton, Ohio.  Barker’s answer, delivered to Tribune readers the next day: “Yes.”  The proposal accompanied a photograph of Clark holding a box with a wedding band.  ***MARLAR: What better way to find out if the man you want to marry knows how to read?



After Christmas vacation, a teacher asked her small pupils to write an account of how they spent their holidays. One youngster wrote about a visit to his grandparents in a life-care community for retired folks: “We always spend Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa,” he said. “They used to live here in a big red house, but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Florida. They live in a place with a lot of retarded people. They live in tin huts. They ride big three wheel tricycles. They go to a big building they call a wrecked hall but it is fixed now. They play games there and do exercises, but they don’t do them very good. There is a swimming pool and they go to it and just stand there in the water with their hats on. I guess they don’t know how to swim.

“My grandma used to bake cookies and stuff. But I guess she forgot how. Nobody cooks – they all go out to fast food restaurants. As you come into the park, there is a doll house with a man sitting in it. He watches all day, so they can’t get out without him seeing them. They wear badges with their names on them. I guess they don’t know who they are.

“My Grandpa and Grandma worked hard all their lives and earned their retardment. I wish they would move back home but I guess the man in the doll house won’t let them out.”



What do you do when your car catches fire, and your money gets burned up and soggy from the fire extinguishers?

An armored car company had a pretty big problem when one of its cars went up in flames in San Francisco. Armed Courier Services was left with thousands of dollars worth of burned and soggy bills after the armored vehicle hit an abandoned car and caught fire. When paper towels and propane heaters couldn’t dry out the cash, they turned to an industrial-sized dryer at a local coin-operated laundry. Santa Clara Police stood guard as workers piled the bills into the dryers. Company president Dan Connolly says it would have taken too long to get the bills dry any other way. ***MARLAR: The armored car drivers were immediately arrested for money-laundering.



On the night of March 29, 1848, Niagara Falls stopped completely— unheralded, unassisted and unbelievably. As the rapids dwindled and the falls disappeared, silence flooded the surrounding countryside so overwhelmingly that it wakened sleeping people and brought them to their doors, frightened by a phenomenon they couldn’t identify. As the realization came that the falls had stopped, they snatched up clothing and ran to the river. There, the flare of torches showed stretches of mud and boulders gleaming nakedly between scattered pools of black water. By the next afternoon spectators lined the river- banks, exploring the exposed riverbed and turning up ancient tomahawks and other implements of Indian warfare. For the first time in history, a detachment cavalry rode the riverbed, and people walked dry-shod from shore to shore.

While the matter-of-fact looked for a scientific explanation for the phenomenon, the superstitious regarded it as an ominous portent. Nightfall found most of the churches jammed with people praying or talking in frightened voices about the end of the world. Fear began to assume the proportions of panic. And then, from up the riverbed came a low growling, spreading out and reaching forward until the earth and air seemed to tremble and vibrate. In an unbroken wall of water, the torrent of Niagara surged forward to crash over the brink of the falls. Again the familiar roar filled the air, and faces that had been white and strained softened, and fingers clenched in fear relaxed.

The explanation for the awful silence came later. During the day of March 29 a heavy wind had started the Lake Erie ice field in motion and tons of ice jammed at the river’s entrance near Buffalo, damming up the river for almost 30 hours till the ice shifted and the dam broke up. —Edgar D. Smith

How much greater shall be the fear of those who are unprepared to meet the Lord when the portents really do point to His return and the end of this world.

Duane V. Maxey 



Read: Luke 15:11-32

Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. —Luke 15:31

A sociologist was writing a book about the difficulties of growing up in a large family, so he interviewed the mother of 13 children. After several questions, he asked, “Do you think all children deserve the full, impartial love and attention of a mother?”

“Of course,” said the mother.

“Well, which of your children do you love the most?” he asked, hoping to catch her in a contradiction.

She answered, “The one who is sick until he gets well, and the one who is away until he gets home.”

That mother’s response reminds me of the shepherd who left 99 sheep to seek the one that was lost (Luke 15:4), the woman who searched for the one coin (v.8), and the father who threw a party when his wayward son returned (vv.22-24).

The religious leaders of Jesus’ day resented the way He gave so much attention to sinners (vv.1-2). So He told those stories to emphasize God’s love for people who are lost in sin. God has more than enough love to go around. Besides, those who are “well” and are not “lost” experience the Father’s love as fully as those to whom He gives special attention (v.31).

Father, forgive us for feeling slighted when You shower Your love on needy sinners. Help us to see how needy we are and to abide in Your boundless love. —Mart De Haan

The One who made the heavens,
Who died on Calvary,
Rejoices with His angels
When sinners are set free. —Fasick

God loves every one of us as if there were but one of us to love. —Augustine



After hearing for years that diversity is a strength, Harvard researcher Robert Putnam decided to test it and was so stunned by his findings, he was afraid to release them.

…He found that the more diverse a community, the less likely anyone was to trust anyone else. He said in the most diverse communities, such as Los Angeles, people “hunker down” and “act like turtles.” They not only don’t trust people who don’t look like them, “they don’t trust people who do look like them.” They don’t trust their mayor, neighbors, or the local paper or institutions. He said, “The only thing there’s more of is protest marches and TV watching.”



Is your New Year’s resolution to lose weight this year? Can’t afford to go to the gym? Don’t have any workout equipment? I have a few ideas for you…

  • Weighty decisions: pumping iron or adding resistance with a homemade weight is a surefire way of alleviating stress and burning a few calories.  Fill an old plastic milk jug or laundry detergent bottle with sand or water is one popular way to go about making your own weights, penny-filled tennis balls, tube socks stuffed with dry beans, and basketballs filled with rice are other possibilities that involve creative reuse.

  • Gimme 20: There are numerous equipment-free repetitive exercise activities like jumping jacks, running in place, squats, planks and push-ups often performed in a gym that can just as easily be done at home. Some tasks can be performed in the kitchen as you wait for the roast to finish. Just make sure you have adequate space and some decent upbeat music to keep you moving.

  • Got stairs? Use ‘em: Here’s an idea – every morning that you go downstairs to fix yourself breakfast before work, walk back up those stairs. And down again. Repeat if necessary. Bonus points for carrying something heavy (i.e. a load of laundry) while doing so.

  • Walk around the block: Although the weather may be frightful, a 20-minute breather that consists of a couple laps around the neighborhood will help keep you in shape!



A law professor specializing in personal injury cases, is now being sued for personal injuries that he gave a student!

A law professor who elected to demonstrate his lecture on personal injury by pulling a chair out from under a student as she sat down is being sued by the woman to the tune of $5 million. Denise DiFede accused the Prof. Gary Munneke of Pace University and the Pace University School of Law of ”battery” and “negligence,” claiming the fall caused her “to suffer severe pain and mental anguish and severe emotional distress.” The unusual class illustration allegedly took place while Munneke and his students were discussing a tort case. A tort is a civil wrong in which one party seeks damages from another for injuries sustained at that party’s hands. DiFede claimed her professor’s conduct was “outrageous, shocking and intolerable, exceeding all reasonable bounds of decency,” according to the suit. ***MARLAR: He’s a very good teacher though – the student immediately saw it as a tort case right off.



  • Your boss has scheduled a “going away” party for you on January 4th – and you weren’t aware you were going anywhere.

  • You get a letter in the mail from Publisher’s Clearinghouse informing you that you definitely have not won the $1 million prize.

  • Your new year’s resolution is to lose half your body weight so you’ll be down to a slim 300 lbs.

  • Your goal is to not miss a single episode of “The View.”


New research says people who are tone-deaf — that is can’t sing a note in tune — suffer from a disconnect in the brain. (***MARLAR: Which might explain why so many people like THE VOICE…)

…Researchers found that tone-deaf people have fewer connections between two areas of the brain that perceive and produce sounds. Tone-deafness also appears to be largely hereditary and is present in an estimated 4 to 17 percent of the population. The study’s lead author, Psyche Loui (SY’-kee LOO’-ee) of Harvard University, likened the connection to a highway between two islands in the brain and said, “In tone-deaf people, there’s less traffic on the highway.”  ***MARLAR: And if you’re really bad, your singing sounds like road rage.  


If you’re an animal lover, you’ll love this one.  About a month ago Sacramento real estate agent Kim Pacini-Hauch made the generous offer. She promised to cover all the Front Street Animal Shelter’s adoption fees through the end of the year. Usually, it costs $80 to $100 to adopt a dog, and $65 for a cat. Officials say about 800 pets have already been adopted since the “Home for the Pawlidays” promotion launched in mid-November. In fact, there have been so many adoptions that Front Street has taken in animals from other California shelters in order to meet demand.


A teenager from Marietta, Georgia, decided to go all out when her boyfriend asked her to get him a Bible for Christmas. Not only did Reagan Lee write endearing notes in the custom-made Bible gift, but she decided to get fancy with some artwork as well. Lee said she spent three months writing in every single page of a Bible for her boyfriend. She’s getting some positive comments… but also some negative ones as well.  Read more about it at http://fw.to/GBlfoTC

All Pro Dad is encouraging you to Take their 30 Day Marriage Challenge in 2017. The ministry posted: we think your marriage relationship will see a big difference if you simply do the assigned task on each particular day. Your wife will love it and by the end of the 30 days, your marriage could very well be revitalized.


Evangelist Franklin Graham has shared his New Year’s resolution. The president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the head of Samaritan’s Purse,, took to his Facebook page to reveal his plans for the coming year. He posted “I’m 64 years old and it doesn’t come easy. I would love to get down to the weight I was as a freshman in high school. Well, that might be impossible–so how about my weight as a freshman in college” “Therefore, beginning January 1, I’m going to try something drastic-I’m going on a vegan diet,” he said. “Vegetables and fruit anyway you can fix them. Do you think I’ll survive?” While Graham revealed that “everyone is betting” his new vegan diet won’t last two days, he figures that if biblical figures like Daniel can do it in the face of overwhelming temptation, so can he.


Thank goodness for all the after-Christmas sales. It’s hard to stop shopping cold turkey.


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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