January 06, 2016: Wednesday ONAIRprep

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Warning. Parts of today’s (JOCK SHOW) have been recalled by the manufacturer–due to a tendency to veer off course, lose control, and leak vital fluids.


The first battle of the day is this… mind over mattress.




“Anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” –Romans 10:13


No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known. — John 1:18


But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. — Psalm 3:3




(From VerseOfTheDay.com)

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves… — Colossians 1:13


Thought: God doesn’t just hear our cries for deliverance; he sends a powerful Deliverer! God sent Moses in response to the Israelites’ cries from Egypt (see Exodus 3). God also sent Jesus in response to the world’s cries for deliverance from its bondage to the evil prince of darkness. Our new world, our Kingdom, is built on love — the sacrificial love of a Savior who not only conquered death for us, but gave himself up to do so. Jesus is not only our rescuer (saves us FROM something), he is also our Savior (also saves us FOR something as well)!


Prayer: Loving and eternal God, in Jesus you reached down to my limited and mortal world and rescued me from its mortal limits. Thank you for breaking the strangle hold of death. Thank you for using love to break down the barriers that kept me from you. Thank you for rescuing me and bringing me into your family and your Kingdom. I offer you my thanks, service, and praise in Jesus’ name. 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!

Philippians 1:6 NIV = being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.




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


Today is NATIONAL SHORTBREAD DAY.  ***MARLAR: Which is all well and fine, but why do the vertically challenged breads get their own holiday?


Today is NATIONAL CUDDLE UP DAY.  ***MARLAR: And with the weather as it is, you might want to consider Cuddle Up Day just to stay warm!


Tonight is TWELFTH NIGHT, the evening before Epiphany, marking the end of medieval Christmas festivities.  ***MARLAR: Yep, this is the night you give to your true love those twelve drummers drumming.


Today is SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK DAY. In 1973, the animated lesson series “Schoolhouse Rock” premiered on ABC-TV.  ***MARLAR: I almost failed my 9th grade Social Studies class – but Schoolhouse Rock saved me.  We were required to recite aloud, in front of the entire class, the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution.  I am TERRIBLE with memorization (not to mention a terrible procrastinator as well), so when I walked in on the last day of the oral presentations I almost freaked… until I remembered the Schoolhouse Rock ditty with the words to the Preamble!  (Whew!)  Downside… I couldn’t recite it.  The only way I could remember it was to sing it out loud in front of the entire class.  I got an “A” on the test… but only a “C-” for my vocal ability. (audio clip)





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



Bean Day

Kiss a Ginger Day (You can begin my kissing my profile pic!)

National Poetry at Work Day



Make Your Dream Come True Day

National Sticker Day

Public Radio Broadcasting Day

Rubber Ducky Day




548: The Church in Jerusalem observed the birth of Jesus for the last time on this date. Celebrating Christmas on December 25th began in the late 300s in the Western Church.


1412: According to tradition, Joan of Arc was born in Domremy, France.


1759: George Washington married widow Martha Dandridge Custis.


1936: Barbara Hanley became major of Webbwood, Ontario–Canada’s first woman mayor.


1945: Future president George H.W. Bush married Barbara Pierce in Rye, New York.


1975: The TV game show “Wheel of Fortune” debuted on NBC. The host was Chuck Woolery; the letter-turner was Susan Stafford.


1976: Ted Turner purchased the Atlanta Braves for a reported $12-million.


1988: Father Alvaro Fernandez died in Spain at age 108. He had retired at Santiago Abres less than a year earlier after serving 68 years as parish priest.


1989: Singer Madonna and actor Sean Penn announced they were getting a divorce.


1991: Bakers at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Guadalajara, Mexico, set a world record by baking a Rosca 3,491 feet 9 inches long. A Rosca de Reyes is a twisted bread loaf.


1992: Farmer Derek Allen of Rampisham, England, reported the tin roof of his pigsty was picking up BBC Radio, and that his pigs seemed to pay special attention to the news bulletins.


1993: A Grapevine, Texas, man was arrested for stealing a TV set from a home. He would have made a clean getaway, but he went back to get the remote control.


1994: Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the right leg by an assailant at Cobo Arena in Detroit. Four men, including the ex-husband of Kerrigan’s rival, Tonya Harding, were sentenced to prison for the attack.


1996: San Francisco police recaptured an escaped prisoner when he dialed 911 by mistake instead of 411 for directory assistance. Officers responding to the 911 call said they were suspicious when they noticed the man’s shirt said “Property of the San Mateo County Jail.”


1999: Bob Newhart received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


2001: Vice President Al Gore presided as Congress formally certified George W. Bush the winner of the closely contested 2000 presidential election.


2003: A 20-ounce hamburger debuted New York City’s Old Homestead restaurant, the first burger ever on the menu at the 135-year-old steakhouse. At $41, it was the most expensive hamburger in the city. It came with fries.


2004: A London newspaper said Princess Diana claimed in a letter written 10 months before her 1997 death that Prince Charles was plotting to kill her.




548: This was the last year the Church in Jerusalem observed the birth of Jesus on this date. (Celebrating Christmas on December 25th began in the late 300s in the Western Church.)


1494: The first mass in America was celebrated in the Roman Catholic church on Isabella Island in Haiti. This was the first church established in the New World, founded by Christopher Columbus.


1850: Future renowned English Baptist preacher, Charles H. Spurgeon was converted to a living faith at age 16, in a Methodist chapel.


1924: In England, the first worship service heard over over radio was aired by the BBC. The service was conducted by H. R. L. Sheppard at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church, in London.




  • actress (The Program, “Mallrats”, Bio-Dome, Big Daddy) Joey Lauren Adams 45




(Music Artist Birthdays From SongFacts.com)

1838 : Max Bruch

1924 : Earl Scruggs (The Bluegrass Boys, The Foggy Mountain Boys)

1929 : Wilbert Harrison (Canned Heat)

1934 : Bobby Lord

1935 : Nino Tempo

1937 : Doris Troy

1944 : Van McCoy

1946 : Syd Barrett (Pink Floyd)

1947 : Sandy Denny (Fairport Convention)

1951 : Kim Wilson (Fabulous Thunderbirds)

1953 : Malcolm Mitchell Young (AC/DC) in Glasgow, Scotland. Guitarist

1959 : Kathie Sledge (Sister Sledge)

1959 : Neil Simpson (The Climax Blues Band)

1963 : Jazzie B (Soul II Soul)

1964 : Mark O’Toole (Frankie Goes To Hollywood)




Why do so many military uniforms have a stripe down the side of each pant leg?

At one time, military trousers were made to fit so tightly that buttons down the sides of legs were needed to enable the wearer to get his feet through. To hide these buttons, tailors began putting strips of cloth, usually of a different color, over them. This led to the idea of stripes on military trousers.




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Comedian Bob Smiley tweeted this week: Welcome to 2016; our pastor just told us to turn in our phones to 1st Peter.


Kutless member James Mead is a little behind the times. He tweeted this week: So excited for 2015.


Advice from Audio Adrenaline’s Adam Agee: I want to encourage you guys to try and read the Bible as much as possible this year! Even if it’s one Proverb a day, try it out.


The Sidewalk Prophets have already had to drop their first New Years resolution. Members of the band shared: Our first resolution of the New Year get a kitten for our bus. Just kidding. Front man Dave Frey is allergic.


Mercyme’s Mike Scheuchzer had a short first night of 2016. He made it all the way to 11:30pm on New Years and then was back up bright and early New Years morning to go duck hunting.



Joel Smallbone of For King and Country received a very special gift for Christmas this year from his wife Moriah Peters. Joel is color blind and he says Moriah gave him the rainbow. Her gift was a pair of Enchroma glasses. The glasses are designed to help those who are color blind to be able to see vivid colors. And it clearly made a difference for Joel. They recorded a video as he tried on the glasses for the first time and his response was WOW!



A update from Mercyme’s Robby Shaffer on his knee surgery. He posted: Got my brace unlocked. Now just trying to gain mobility and strength back. Still very stiff and swollen. But not bad two weeks out of surgery.



Group 1 Crew front man Manny had some surgery done over the holidays. Following the procedure Manny commented on being alive. He said he didn’t release how serious it was until he read the risk waiver for the anesthesia. Then, upon waking up, Manny says: I literally couldn’t breathe through my mouth. It was the scariest thing ever. Manny is fine but he said it served as a reminder: the greatest beauty is that we are not yet who we will be. All things pass whether in this life or in the next. There’s a greater purpose for our lives if we can just see the bigger picture. This place is not our home.


The countdown is underway. The wedding of Revive our Hearts’ Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Robert Wolgemuth is less than two weeks away.




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



A Canadian restaurant chain has introduced a burger featuring a patty stuffed with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Also in the mix: crispy onions.  *** If that’s not evidence that Canada wants to be more like America, I don’t know what is. (AUDIO: Wochit reports on the RPBC burgers.)


A “Trump Filter” is a new Google Chrome extension that claims to be an “antidote” for Donald Trump’s “toxic candidacy.” It has three filter settings – mild, aggressive and vindictive – that go from wiping a page clean of Trump text and photos to blocking entire news sites.  *** One step closer to a perfect world. Now if we could only get the same thing for Hillary, the Kardashians, Justin Bieber… (AUDIO: Is this censorship? Richard Spencer Of Radix Journal Comments On Trump Blocking Chrome Extension.)


Someone in Hamilton, Ontario, is sitting on $50,000 worth of illegal melons after a truck full of fruit was stolen on New Year’s Eve.  ***Some people traffic in drugs, guns, and moonshine… but hardcore Canadians hit the black market with cantaloupe.


Thanks to people who would like to be able to nap anytime, anywhere, a crowdsourcing campaign for a sweatshirt with an inflatable hood has raised $70,000 since it launched on Kickstarter in November. *** Perfect for those people who like to get in a quick cat nap while on the elliptical machine.




If you’re one of the 44% of people who made a New Year’s resolution, don’t feel bad if you’re already stumbling. Experts that by January 14 over a third of resolution-makers will have quit. By February 1st about 6 in 10 will still be at it.  ***MARLAR: January 14th?  I’ve already given up.  On January 1st I resolved to lose weight… by January 4th I was the couch with a big bag of Baby Ruth candy bars.


Are kids safer in cars driven by mom and dad, or by grandma and grandpa?  Kids may be safest in cars when grandma or grandpa are driving instead of mom or dad, according to study results that even made the researchers do a double-take. “We were surprised to discover that the injury rate was considerably lower in crashes where grandparents were the drivers,” said Dr. Fred Henretig, an emergency medicine specialist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the study’s lead author.  Previous evidence indicates that car crashes are more common in older drivers, mostly those beyond age 65. The study looked at injuries rather than who had more crashes, and found that children’s risk for injury was 50 percent lower when riding with grandparents than with parents.  ***MARLAR: My guess would be this is because grandpa and grandma are only driving 13 miles per hour.


A Treasury Department survey finds some 40 percent of Americans believe that payments to bank accounts using paper checks are more secure than direct deposit.  But a top department official says that assumption is wrong.  The department is mounting what it calls its “Go Direct” campaign aimed at getting greater use of direct deposit by recipients of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income payments, among others.  The Commissioner of the Department’s Financial Management Service says 80 percent of benefit payments are now done by direct deposit. Officials are hoping to get the remaining 20 percent to come aboard, to cut costs and reduce the risk of theft and fraud.  ***MARLAR: I’m a bit confused about something.  What exactly is a “deposit?”


Listening to the radio makes people happier and gives them higher energy levels than watching TV or browsing the internet.   Over 1,000 Britons were asked to record what media they were consuming and to rate their mood and energy levels while doing so. Radio came out top, beating both TV and online, in the study called ‘Media and the Mood of the Nation’, with respondents recording a 100 per cent lift in happiness and 300 per cent boost to their energy levels when listening to a radio show versus not consuming any type of media at all. ***MARLAR: The only exception were people who suddenly began feeling sluggish when listening to Delilah and John Tesh.








CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TODAY’S EPISODE… Gordon Douglas, “White House Brother”




OPEN:  When last we left the jungle, all of the animals were frantically trying to sell all of their possessions so they could run away from the jungle to escape a giant-footed creature that nobody has really even seen yet – just footprints.  And the sales were so great, that everyone bought everyone else’s stuff, so now all of the animals have just as much stuff as they started with!  Except one animal… who’s still working on his sign!


CLOSE: I’m sure Millard is just kidding about that.  That is one smart skunk!  Tune in again next time for more of our story, as FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns!






OPEN: And now, FancyMonkey.com, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns!  Last time, Louis the lion, a very young lion, was having a hard time dealing with his new responsibilities of being king of the jungle.  In fact, he couldn’t make any decisions at all for the animals – but they were counting on him to make decisions on just about everything!


CLOSE: If Louis sneaks off to find someone else to be king, who will he find?  And what will the animals do in the meantime?  Tune in again to find out, 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.




Acting out today’s Moment of DUH could get you labeled a Grinch – and possibly kicked out of your church!

Four teens in Sayerville, NJ stole 27 baby Jesus statues from nativity scenes outside churches and homes and planned to burn them.  Like most of our Moment of Duh subjects, the reasons are usually multi-layered.  Stealing one baby Jesus isn’t enough, apparently – but an obscure number like 27 puts you at the top of the list of inDUHviduals.  Then you get to the subject of “layers” of DUH.  Usually that can be found in the “why” of an event.  In this one, for example, “why” they did it would place them in DUH territory by itself:  “We just wanted to see their heads burning,” one of them said.  And you can see what I mean – that statement is just plain brilliant.  Genius doesn’t fall very far from the tree either.  Robert Olsen, father of Christopher, one of the thief-geniuses, said of his unemployed/high school dropout/already-on-probation-for-a-disorderly-persons-offense-for-a-“disagreement-with-a-neighbor”-son, “Chris is sometimes misguided”.






  1. Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.


  1. Stay fit. When you’re 600 years old, someone might ask you to do something REALLY big.


  1. Don’t listen to critics — do what has to be done.


  1. Build on high ground.


  1. For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.


  1. Two heads are better than one.


  1. Speed isn’t always an advantage. The cheetahs were on board, but so were the snails.


  1. If you can’t fight or flee — float!


  1. Take care of your animals as if they were the last ones on earth.


  1. Don’t forget that we’re all in the same boat.




Guns bad… tight jeans, even worse! 


FILE #1: Blame it on the tight jeans.  That’s Sean Eldon Duvall’s response to charges he pointed a loaded pistol at a Southwest Pennsylvania Regional police detective. According to court documents, the officer asked Duvall if he needed help. Duvall says he was just stopping at friend’s house to play chess. Duvall told the officer he had a concealed carry permit for his gun, which was lying on the seat of his car. Duvall says he couldn’t carry the gun as required, because his jeans were too tight. The detective charges the gun was hidden under papers and aimed at him. Duvall says he didn’t purposely point the gun at the officer. Duvall will tell his story to a judge in a couple of weeks.


FILE #2: Police found what they thought was Neil Beaton’s body in an Anchorage, Alaska alley. His wallet was found on the dead man so police told Mr. Beaton’s family he had died. The problem was Beaton wasn’t dead. Apparently the dead man had stolen Beaton’s wallet. Unfortunately this information was not found out until after his grieving relatives planned Beaton’s funeral. The family only found out he was alive when they phoned Beaton’s girlfriend. She informed them that not only he was alive, but he was out playing bingo.


FILE #3: Reading is a good way to pass the time while traveling — like on a plane or train, but probably not while you are driving. 37-year-old Bettina Smallman was seen driving erratically down a street in Brockville, Ontario. Police, believing she might be intoxicated, attempted to pull her over. When she finally did, police found that she wasn’t drunk, just extremely engrossed in a book she was reading — while driving!!  Not only was she distracted from driving but it took her awhile before she noticed the officer signaling to her to pull over.


STRANGE LAW: In France, pet owners may not name their pigs Napoleon.




How drunk must you be to ask a 12-year-old to drive you home?

A New Zealand man persuaded a 12-year-old boy to drive him home because he was too drunk. Wilfred Waihape told the youngster to get behind the wheel because he was too inebriated to drive himself. Wilfred was arrested, fined $1,300 and disqualified from driving for six months. Police had spotted the car, and its young driver, and began to follow it. Wilfred was stopped, breathalyzed and was over the limit. He said he was just letting the boy drive his car. Judge Noel Walsh said the defendant had forced the boy to drive because he himself was too drunk. The judge added he was seriously concerned about the boy’s future if Wilfred was his role model.




The worst date you’ve ever been on – what was it for you?  Mine was when I was about 23 years old.  A co-worker at the bank I was working for finally convinced me to go out with his 20-year-old daughter, and halfway through the date the girl starts complaining loudly about our black waiter saying she doesn’t trust “those people” and insists the manager find us a new waiter.  My co-worker had neglected to inform me that his daughter was a hot -headed, verbally-abusive racist.  The date ended ten minutes later.




QUESTION: In what two books of the Bible do we find the phrase, “Be not weary in well doing”?

ANSWER: 2 Thessalonians and Galatians

  • 2 Thessalonians 3:13 = But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
  • Galatians 6:9 = And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.




QUESTION: Early prototypes for this machine used an automobile air conditioning unit. What?

ANSWER: The Slurpee machine! (Source: Slurpee.com)




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. Approximately 5-million pounds of De Beer diamonds went down with the Titanic in 1912. (True)


  1. Michaelangelo’s painting of spaghetti, wine, fruit, and bread was a shopping list for his cook, who was unable to read. (True!)


  1. If a frog keeps its mouth open too long, it will suffocate. (True)


  1. Former President Andrew Jackson married his wife while she was still legally married to a different man. (True)


  1. The human liver can regenerate itself even if portions of it are removed. (True)


  1. There are 190 squares on a Scrabble board. (False, there are 225)


  1. If you smell fresh-cut cucumbers in the forest, you should run away. (True… the poisonous copperhead snake smells like fresh-cut cucumbers! Weird!)


  1. Lipstick is made with fish scales. (True… wanna go to the powder room now?)


  1. Chickens can fly for up to one-minute but rarely do. (False – the record is only 13 seconds)


  1. Texas is the only state that flies its state flag at the same height as the U.S. flag. (Truth)




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


RUSSIA – Alien spaceships, disguised as clouds, are moving across Russia and England – and parts of Asia.

Several Russian has captured an unexplained phenomenon streaking rapidly across the sky.  Several videos were posted on YouTube on Christmas Eve.

There have been over a hundred sightings of the cloudy orbs moving quickly across the Russian skies.  In one film the UFO is seen against a blue sky as it hovers above a metal structure.

Later it is spotted during the evening as it moves over a block of flats.  The spaceships seem to change shape and often appear to be much larger than the buildings they are hovering above.





Some tourists in the Chicago Museum of Natural History are marveling at the dinosaur bones. One of them asks the guard, “Can you tell me how old the dinosaur bones are?”
The guard replies, “They are 3 million, four years, and six months old.”
“That’s an awfully exact number,” says the tourist. “How do you know their age so precisely?”
The guard answers, “Well, the dinosaur bones were three million years old when I started working here, and that was four and a half years ago.”



Before going to Europe on business, a man drove his Rolls Royce to a downtown NY City bank and went in to ask for an immediate loan of $5,000. The loan officer, taken aback, requested collateral.

“Well, then, here are the keys to my Rolls Royce,” the man said.

The loan officer promptly had the car driven into the bank’s underground parking for safekeeping, and gave him $5,000. 

Two weeks later, the man walked through the bank’s doors, and asked to settle up his loan and get his car back.

“That will be $5,000 in principal, and $15.40 in interest,” the loan officer said.

The man wrote out a check and started to walk away.

“Wait sir,” the loan officer said, “while you were gone I learned that you are a millionaire. Why in the world would you need to borrow $5,000?”

The man smiled. “Where else could I park my Rolls Royce in Manhattan for two weeks and pay only $15.40?”



“What am I supposed to do with this?” grumbled a motorist as the policeman handed him a speeding ticket.

“Keep it,” the cop said, “when you collect four of them you get a bicycle.”




Police in Boynton Beach, Florida, are converting a Krispy Kreme donut store into the new police headquarters.  ***MARLAR: For some reason I am totally unable to come up with a funny comment for this one.


A Danish clinic that offers treatment for people suffering from pathological gambling and Internet addiction has now also begun helping people addicted to text messaging.  ***MARLAR: I wonder if I can take my first session over the cell phone.


Falling in love can act as a potent painkiller.  ***MARLAR: So I’m hoping that falling in love with this candy bar will take the pain away from my toothache.





An American magazine held a competition, inviting its readers to submit new scientific theories on ANY subject. Below are the winners:
5th place (Subject: Probability Theory) If an infinite number of rednecks riding in an infinite number of pickup trucks fire an infinite number of shotgun rounds at an infinite number of highway signs, they will eventually write the complete works of Shakespeare in Braille.
4th place (Subject: Bio-Mechanics) Why Yawning Is Contagious: You yawn to equalize the pressure on your eardrums. This pressure change outside your head unbalances other people’s ear pressures, so they then yawn to even it out.
3rd place (Subject: Symbolic Logic) The Chinese are technologically underdeveloped because each of their alphabetical characters represents a whole word or phrase, rather than a single letter. Thus they cannot use acronyms to communicate technical ideas at a faster rate.
2nd place (Subject: Newtonian Mechanics) Deforestation may cause earthquakes, tidal waves, or even the total destruction of our planet. Just as a figure-skater’s rate of spin increases when the arms are brought in close to the body, the cutting down of tall trees may cause the Earth to spin dangerously fast on its axis with disastrous results.
Winner (Subject: Perpetual Motion) When a cat is dropped, it always lands on its feet, and when toast is dropped, it always lands buttered side down. Therefore, if a slice of toast is strapped to a cat’s back, buttered side up, and the animal is then dropped, the two opposing forces will cause it to hover, spinning inches above the ground. If enough toast-laden felines were used, they could form the basis of a high-speed monorail system.





Can you find that special someone behind bars – when you are also behind bars?

You know it’s true love when a pair of convicted murderers, who exchanged wedding vows at the Guam Department of Corrections, will spend the rest of their lives in separate living quarters – and they got married anyway! Although it is not uncommon for inmates to marry people from outside the prison, this was the first time inmates had married each other, according to the prison chaplain. Vincent Palomo and Marianne Dulana were married in the prison chapel, after they met during an inmate education course. Before exchanging vows, both had to undergo eight months of psychological testing.





I read of a man who was involved in a tragic accident. He lost both legs and his left arm and only a finger and thumb remained on the right hand. There was only enough left of the man that had been to suffer and remember.

But he still possessed a brilliant mind, enriched with a good education and broadened with world travel. At first he thought there was nothing he could do but remain a helpless sufferer.

A thought came to him. It was always nice to receive letters, but why not write them he could still use his right hand with some difficulty. But whom could he write to? Was there anyone shut in and incapacitated like he was who could be encouraged by his letters. He thought of men in prison they did have some hope of release whereas he had none but it was worth a try.

He wrote to a Christian organization concerned with prison ministry. He was told that his letters could not be answered it was against prison rules, but he commenced this one sided correspondence.

He wrote twice a week and it taxed his strength to the limit. But into those letters he put his whole soul, all his experience, all his faith, all his wit, and all his Christian optimism. It must have been hard writing those letters, often in pain, and particularly when there was no reply.

Frequently he felt discouraged and was tempted to give it up. But it was his one remaining activity and he resolved to continue as long as he could.

At last he got a letter. It was very short, written on prison stationery by the officer whose duty it was to censor the mail. All it said was: “Please write on the best paper you can afford. Your letters are passed from cell to cell till they literally fall to pieces.”

No matter what our personal situation is, we still have God-given gifts and talents, experience, and encouragement that we can share with others.





A scientific researcher gathered 10 volunteers for a special psychological study called the Scar Experiment. Separating the volunteers into 10 different cubicles without mirrors, she explained that the purpose of the study was to examine how other people would respond to a stranger with a physical deformity, such as a facial scar. Using makeup tricks straight out of Hollywood, the scientist put bloody and gruesome scars on each volunteer’s left cheek. She showed each volunteer the new “scar” with a small hand-held mirror and then put the mirror away. The researcher’s final step in each cubicle was to tell each volunteer that she needed to put some finishing powder on his or her scar to prevent it from smearing. In reality, she used a tissue to wipe off the scar. The volunteers, however, believed they still had scars on their faces. Each volunteer was then sent out into the waiting rooms of different medical offices with instructions to notice how strangers in the office responded to the scar. After the appointed time, all 10 volunteers returned with the same report. They noticed that strangers were more rude to them, less kind to them, and stared at their “scar.”
Preoccupied with our personal flaws (physical or otherwise), we often assume that other people consider our flaws as repulsive as we do. In reality, most people hardly notice the things we think are wrong with us. Because our flaws consume us, we may act toward others as if they disapproved of us. That makes it hard to form friendships.
On the other hand, having a healthy self-image or taking a positive view of ourselves frees us to enjoy healthier relationships.

Ultimately, of course, a healthy self-image comes from knowing that God thinks highly of you. He created you and loves you as his child. When you take time to listen to God’s voice telling you who you really are, you will be less likely to worry about what others think of you.

Edited from Still More Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice.





Think only babies like rubber duckies? Think again – the Queen of England bathes with one!

Sales of rubber ducks have shot up after it was revealed the Queen of England has one in her bathtub during bathtime.  Asda (the manufacturers of the rubber ducks), rushed an extra 80,000 yellow ducks out to their stores after a flood of inquiries. It had been reported a decorator had seen a rubber duck sporting an inflatable crown in the Queen’s bathroom. Shoppers are apparently following Her Majesty’s lead. Asda’s customer services department has had scores of people asking if they sell rubber ducks, and the store is putting in extra orders for ducks to meet the demand. The toys are being displayed on shelves bearing a crown and the words: “As seen in all the best baths.”  (





Want an easy way to lose weight, ladies?  Just avoid the impulse items!

According to a recent study from IHL, the average American woman could lose up to 4.1 pounds in a year by not purchasing impulse items, such as chocolate candies, chips and soda, once they are in the checkout line. Men could lose an average of 3.1 pounds doing the same thing. While women have an overall higher average, men under 25 are the heaviest consumers of caloric impulse items, consuming enough each year for an additional eight pounds.





Ever receive a speeding ticket and your parents found out about it?  What did they do?  I guarantee you they didn’t do what one father did to his son!
What did your dad do when you went home and told him that you got a speeding ticket? Make you pay it? Ground you? Hang your car up on a tree? When 16 year old Stephen Cost of Alabaster, Alabama received his third ticket in a month, his dad suspended his pickup truck in the air! Alan Cost used a backhoe to lift the truck’s back end several feet into the air and chained it to a tree to keep it there. He also put a sign in the window that read, “May be for sale!”  ***MARLAR: So your son breaks the law and it’s the truck that gets the gallows.





Whether it’s personal errands, catching up on sleep or simply relaxing, Americans are using sick time for more than just the common cold.  More than one-third of U.S. workers say they played hooky from work over the last twelve months in the recent CareerBuilder.com survey.  35 percent of workers admit to calling in sick when they felt well at least once during the last year. One-in-ten said they did so three or more times.  And, employees are becoming more crafty with their excuses. Employers told CareerBuilder some of the most unusual excuses they have heard. They include:

  • “I was sprayed by a skunk.”
  • “I tripped over my dog and was knocked unconscious.”
  • “I was arrested as a result of mistaken identity.”
  • “I forgot to come back to work after lunch.”
  • “I couldn’t find my shoes.”
  • “I hurt myself bowling.”
  • “I was spit on by a venomous snake.”
  • “I totaled my wife’s jeep in a collision with a cow.”
  • “My curlers burned my hair and I had to go to the hairdresser.”
  • “I eloped.”
  • “My cat unplugged my alarm clock.”
  • “I had to be there for my husband’s grand jury trial.”


***MARLAR: And a few more I’d like to personally add to the list…

  • I won’t be in today. My fish is sick and I need to take it to the vet.
  • Can’t make it in. I have a chance of filling in for someone on jury duty.
  • I can’t come into work today because of eye trouble…. I can’t see myself working today.
  • I can’t come in to work today because I’ll be stalking my previous boss who fired me for not showing up for work. Okay?
  • I am stuck in the blood pressure machine down at Wal-Mart.
  • I’m not coming to work today because my computer has got a virus. And my computer means more to me then this job.
  • When I got up this morning, I took two Ex-Lax in addition to my Prozac. I can’t leave the bathroom, but I feel good about it.





A New Zealand farmer has been banned from a drive-in movie theater for watching movies on the back of a donkey. Cinema bosses say Geoff Roder blocks the view for other viewers while on the back of the animal. The 35-year-old bachelor argues that he doesn’t have a car and has no other means of transportation. He’s threatening to sue the theater chain. ***MARLAR: The man’s only transportation is a donkey — is it any wonder he can’t get a date to the movies!?




Losing a dog is heart-wrenchingly sad. But what if you could clone them? A couple from England did just that and celebrated the birth of their first cloned puppy at the end of 2015. The couple lost their beloved dog, Dylan, earlier this year. The 8-year-old boxer died of a heart attack after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. They then found a South Korean company, Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, which for a cool $100,000 offers the controversial commercial dog-cloning service. The firm produced not one but two puppy embryos using cells from the dead dog.



Archaeological discoveries made public in 2015 have given us new information about biblical events and people. Now Christianity today is out with a list of the Top 10 important excavations in the lands of the Bible during 2015. Included are the clay impression of the seal of Hezekiah, the place that Christians of the Byzantine era believed was the home of Jesus, and the deciphering 1,500-year old Ein Gedi scroll containing the first eight verses of the book of Leviticus, making it the oldest known book of the Bible outside of the Dead Sea Scrolls.



An adventurous elephant seal got tired of her life in the San Francisco Bay made a high-stakes trek across a major highway to start a new life on dry land. Wildlife experts in Northern California dealt with the seal journey in real life on Monday, when a 500-pound elephant seal caused a traffic jam while repeatedly trying to cross a divider wall on Highway 37 in Sonoma. California Highway Patrol spokesman told the San Francisco Chronicle “Every time we got her in the water, she circled back and tried to climb out again.”





I’m in no hurry to retire. I mean, gee, who wants to sit around all day long doing nothing but listening to music?  Wait….




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




My wife and I watched the Star Wars movie over the holidays. Along with a gazillion other people. Movie prices can kill you. We survived by doing the later afternoon show for roughly $6 each, getting a free popcorn (buttered, of course), and sharing a large drink. A mere $5.75 at the concession stand.


As shocking as some food item prices can be, we had a somewhat similar wake up call in seeing the original Star Wars heroes Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher in the film. Imagine this…they’ve all AGED!!! How can it be?


The bigger surprises were Hamill and Fisher, or Luke and Leia if you prefer. That stands to reason since we’ve seen Harrison Ford in a number of films since his hang-around-with-Wookie days. Actually, Chewbacca looked pretty good after 38 years. Must be his stylist.


For those who weren’t around to see the original three Star Wars productions, no need to dwell on this age thing. Except to say…spoiler alert…you too will get wrinkled and gray! And probably wider.


Of course, I’m not the only one who noticed these physical changes. Apparently, LOTS of moviegoers have commented, and some quite rudely. You see, unlike life for most of us, Hollywood stars are not allowed to show this aging process. And if they have the audacity to show up on film in a way that makeup cannot overcome, well….OOFTA, as the Scandinavians would say.


Princess Leia has taken the brunt of fans’ criticism. Here’s the way it showed up in the Washington Post recently:  “…Yet some longtime fans were stuck on a detail that shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone: The actors have aged.  Or, to zone in on the preoccupation, Fisher has aged — and allegedly “not well.” Ouch. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/12/30/carrie-fisher-strikes-back-at-haters-youthbeautyrnot-accomplishments/


Her original role as a princess had her on screen in a gold bikini. Producers decided not to do that outfit again. Since she is now a General, she must dress more appropriately. And she does.


But it’s her weight that drew criticism, even though she lost 35 pounds for her film role. Responding to some critics, Carrie tweeted, “My body is my brain bag, it hauls me around to those places and in front of faces where there’s something to say or see.” She’s made mention of weight in other tweets as well.


But the larger issue to Carrie Fisher (if you’ll excuse the pun) is that Hollywood isn’t made for the unattractive woman. In early December, she complained that an actress over 40 finds it difficult to get work. According to the Post, Fisher told Good Housekeeping magazine, “They don’t want to hire all of me – only about three-quarters…Nothing changes, it’s an appearance-driven thing. I’m in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. That is so messed up. They might as well say ‘get younger,’ because that’s how easy it is.”


Female actresses are not alone. Quite coincidentally, as I was preparing this blog, a New York Times piece appeared this week on females over 50 and jobless. As it’s stated, “… many of these older women now earn far less and use many fewer skills than they did before. Others have been left stranded without any job for months or even years. Some have given up the search altogether.”  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/02/business/economy/over-50-female-and-jobless-even-as-others-return-to-work.html?emc=edit_th_20160102&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=68618012


If the statistics are correct, here’s how it looks. A Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis study found job prospects shifted significantly for women after the so-called Great Recession, which began in 2007. Up to that point, women over 50 comprised about one quarter of the unemployed. Just seven years later, that same category has grown to around half the unemployed.


If our culture has become insensitive to the experience, wisdom, and insight of women in the workplace, value is lost. My heart especially goes out to women who are compelled to work outside the home due to life’s circumstances. My own mother was in that situation. Fortunately, employers considered her valuable even into her later years.


The Bible speaks about the value of the hard working woman in Proverbs 31, albeit a married one. It says, “When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: ‘There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!’  Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.  Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.” (Proverbs 31:26-31, NLT)


That one line is worth its weight in gold: Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.


Yes, that woman is to be celebrated. Even to a galaxy far, far away.


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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