Monday, November 23, 2009

My Confession

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it.. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to..

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Hurricane Katrina).. Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

In light of recent events.... Terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said okay..

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Giving Joy

Giving is a joy if we do
it in the right spirit.
It all depends on whether
we think of it as
"What can I spare?"
or as
"What can I share?"
Esther York Burkholder

The Government Can

Be First

" Strive to be first:, first to nod, first to smile, first to compliment, and first to forgive."


Happy People

The truly happy people
are those who have a
source of happiness too
deep to be seriously
disturbed by
ordinary troubles.
Marion K Rich

Reach Out

Reach out and care for
someone who needs the
touch of hospitality. The
time you spend caring
today will be a love gift
that will blossom into
the fresh joy of God's
Spirit in the future.

Sweet and Simple

I am beginning to learn
that it is the sweet, simple
things in life which are
the real ones after all.
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Nothing Small

Live your life while you
have it. Life is a splendid
gift - there is nothing
small about it.
Florence Nightingale


If you have knowledge,
let others light
their candles
at it.
Margaret Fuller

The Soul Speaks

If your lips can speak a
word of encouragement
to a weary soul, you
have a talent.
Eva J. Cummings

Well Being

The greatest degree of inner
tranquility comes from the
development of love
and compassion.
The more we care
for the happiness
of others, the greater is
our own sense
of well-being.


Enjoy the gifts
that come with age and
may you have the grace
to endure the struggle
in any area of life where
you have been placed.

Involve Yourself

Involve yourself in the
things you believe in,
and your actions
will give you strength.

Get Rich

Think about getting rich:
Friendships are priceless,
time is invaluable,
health is wealth,
and love is a treasure.
~*~ Unknown



I feared being alone...until I learned to like


I feared people's opinions...until I learned

that people would have opinions about me anyway.

I feared failure.....until I realized that

they are only the stepping stones to success.

I feared rejection ....until I learned

to have faith in myself.

I feared pain...until I learned

that it is necessary for growth.

I feared the truth....until I saw the ugliness

in lies.

I feared life...until I experienced

that it depends solely on my attitude.

I feared death....until I realized

that it is only a beginning.

I feared hate...until I saw

that it was nothing more than ignorance.

I feared love....until I realized that

I do need the other person to love me back

I feared ridicule....until I learned

how to laugh at myself.

I feared success ... until I learned

that it is okay to be the best I can.

I feared growing old....until I realized

that I gained the beauty of wisdom every day.

I feared the dark...until I saw

the beauty of the stars and moonlight.

I feared the past....until I realized

that it can only hurt me if I allow it to do so.

I feared the future....until I realized

that it is only this moment that matters.

I feared change.....until I saw

that even the most beautiful butterfly had to undergo a metamorphosis before it could fly.


Gratitude takes three forms:
a feeling in the heart,
an expression in words,
and a giving in return.

An Inspiring Message

People are often unreasonable,
illogical, and self-centered --- forgive them anyway!

If you are kind, people may accuse you
of selfish ulterior motives --- be kind anyway!

If you are successful, you will win some false friends
and some true enemies --- succeed anyway!

If you are honest and frank,
people may cheat you --- be honest and frank

What you spend years building,
someone could destroy overnight --- build anyway!

If you find serenity and happiness,
many people may be jealous --- be happy anyway!

The good you do today,
people will often forget tomorrow --- do good

Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough ---
Give it the best you've got anyway!
by Mother Teresa

Be a Christmas Angel

How to be a Christmas Angel

Polish your halo with a secret good deed.

Find a bright star in the sky and name it
after someone you've loved and lost.

Deliver Christmas food baskets in person to needy families.

Do something for someone else every day in December.

Bake gingerbread snowmen for a nearby kindergarten class.

Spend a day at a nursing home, visiting those who are alone.

Offer your arm to elderly neighbors caught in the holiday rush.

Offer to help decorate your church for the holidays.

Hold doors open for everyone.

Give a pair of gloves to someone in this season of warmth.

Be as generous with time and money as you can this Christmas.
Reflect on how God has blessed you and those you love.

Give the gift of hope to all you meet.

Adopt a needy family and make it a Christmas to remember.

Apologize to anyone you wronged during the year.

Feed the birds and enjoy their song of thanks.

Read one book during the holidays that affirms your faith.

Ask a nursing home if you can be a 'buddy' to a lonely senior.

Teach your children pride in their ancestors' holiday customs.

Watch fewer games on TV during the holidays
And play more with your kids.

Try to do better between now and next Christmas.

Count your blessings.

Sing your heart out.

Make a joyful noise.

Go home for the holidays if you can.

Give the gift of "I Love You" this Christmas
To someone who hasn't heard it enough.

Practice kindness to all.

Don't be a Scrooge.

Send cards signed "Love, Santa"
To nursing home resident who don't get much mail.

Run errands for an elderly person who has trouble getting around.

Give thanks.

Believe in what you cannot see.

Bring tidings of comfort and joy to all you meet.

Share stories with your kids of favorite
Christmas mornings when you were a child.

Share your Christmas meal.

Let good cheer begin with you.

Do your best to give others a very merry Christmas.

Look for miracles in every child's eyes.

Give the gift of giving.
Give more than you take.

Write a Christmas letter to the one person
Who made you believe in yourself.

Toss all your regrets and "Bah Humbugs" away.

Put visions of sugarplums in a child.

Strengthen family ties.

Wear red a lot.

Take a homebound neighbor to see the holiday lights.

Wear one red and one green sock,
just to bring a smile to someone's face.

Point out to others the beauty of Christmas.

Lift someone's spirits.

Give a Scrooge a reason to believe in Christmas.

Keep spirits bright around you.

Take an elderly neighbor Christmas shopping and out to lunch.

Let nothing you dismay.

Hang an ornament on your tree to honor a loved one who passed away.

Give a gift to those who make your life run smoothly.

Don't forget to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

Keep a list of ways to make the holidays brighter and check off one a day.

Buy a cup of coffee for someone working out in the cold.

Listen closely when people share their Christmas memories.

Give from your heart.

Spread Christmas joy everywhere you go.

Learn to say "Merry Christmas" in different languages.

Prove to a child that Santa is real.

Forgive someone's debt this Christmas.

Help a child mail a letter to Santa.

Listen to Christmas bells, and remember how angels get their wings.

Ask Santa what he wants when you sit on his lap.

Bring a basket of Christmas cheer to your local fire and police station.

Surprise your kids by waking up before they do on Christmas.

Be the first to wish "Merry Christmas" to all you meet.

Practice forgiveness this holiday season until you get it right.

Help rekindle someone's faith in Christmas.

Hug someone who has the Christmas blues.

Discover the true pleasure of giving anonymously.

If friends are alone for the holidays, invite them to join you.

Be good for goodness sake.

Listen to the prayers of children.

Be someone's secret Santa.

Count your blessings and don't stop until you reach one hundred.

Thank those who make you realize you have a wonderful life.

Be a friend who listens in this season of fragile emotions.

Keep the fantasy alive for a child.

Bring joy to someone's world.

Let the memories of those you loved and lost live on.

Be merry and bright.

Make someone's Christmas the best ever.

You are Christmas Angel

Remember Christ

Twas the month before Christmas*
*When all through our land,*
*Not a Christian was praying*
*Nor taking a stand.*
*See the PC Police had taken away,*
*The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*
*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*
*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*
*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*
* December 25th is just a ' Holiday '.*
*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*
*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*
*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*
*Something was changing, something quite odd! *
*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*
*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*
*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*
* At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.*
*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears*
*You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.*
*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*
*Are words that were used to intimidate me.*
*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*
*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton !*
*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*
*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*
*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*
* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*
*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*
*The reason for the season, stopped before it started.*
*So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'*
*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*
*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*
not Happy Holiday !*
Please, all Christians join together and
wish everyone you meet during the
holidays a
Christ is The Reason for the Christ-mas Season!

Afraid to Risk

Afraid To Risk?
An old poem by Richard Armour makes a good point:

The bride, white of hair, is stooped over her cane
Her faltering footsteps need guiding.
While down the church aisle, with wan toothless smile,
The groom in a wheelchair comes riding.
And who is this elderly couple you ask?
You'll find, when you've closely explored it,
That here is that rare, most conservative pair,
Who waited 'til they could afford it.

Are you ever afraid to take a risk? Afraid to commit because of an uncertain future? Afraid of failing? Not that anyone would wait an entire life before taking a chance on marriage, but do you tend to wait until all possible risks are minimized before setting out in a new direction?

Though caution and common sense are certainly important, sometimes a risk is called for. As the late William Arthur Ward wisely said:
To laugh is to risk appearing a fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk revealing your true self.
To place you ideas, your dreams, before a crowd
is to risk rejection.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk disappointment.
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard
in life is to risk nothing.
Those who risk nothing, do nothing, have nothing,
and become nothing.
They may avoid present suffering and sorrow, but they
will not learn, feel, change, grow, love, or live.
Chained by their fear, they are slaves who have forfeited
their freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.
The pessimist complains about the wind;
The optimist expects it to change;
And the realist adjusts the sails.

Is fear preventing you from taking a necessary risk today?
Steve Goodier


Take note today of all the
opportunities you have to offer a
helping hand to another
person. You can notice too
many times a friend, or
even a stranger reaches
out to us in a helpful way.
The opportunities to contribute
to life's flow are unending.
Think of the wonderful
collection of invitations
that await you today.
~ Unknown