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Saturday, December 31, 2005
Thursday, December 29, 2005
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Sunday, December 25, 2005
that we choose to celebrate,
Jesus is the reason
for this very festive season.
The Birth of JesusMerry Christmas to you and yours. May the blessings of God be with you during this time of celebration.
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Luke 2:1-20 (NIV)
Saturday, December 24, 2005
In his weekly radio address President Bush said, "The times we live in have brought many challenges to our country. And at such times, the story of Christmas brings special comfort and confidence. Christmas reminds us that we can trust in God's promise of peace on Earth and goodwill toward men. On a night more than 2,000 years ago, an angel of the Lord brought good tidings of great joy: the God of Heaven had come to Earth, and He would be with us always."
I totally agree with you about Kroger. I have sent them so many comment cards, and nothing has been done. The lines are horrendous, the service is lousy and I had the same issue with the carts. I told the Manager there were no carts so he sent someone out in the parking lot. Instead of bringing all of them in, they brought ONE!!!! I hate Kroger!!
Thank you for contacting The Kroger Co. We appreciate you taking the time to let us know of your concern regarding the lack of available shopping carts, employees smoking outside theIf you read my comments from the twelfth, you can see that they clearly misinterpreted what my complaint was about. I didn't complain about no carts, smoking employees, and long lines. I complained that on a cold day there were no carts because the employees (including the Store Manager) were outside smoking instead of gathering carts and that I decided not to wait in line at the store to complain when I saw that one of the smoking employees was the Store Manager that I was hoping to complain to.
entrance, and the long wait at the customer service desk at our store located at 2650 Wabash Ave.
We are committed to providing you with the most enjoyable shopping experience possible and your comments provide us the opportunity to evaluate, address, and correct any inconvenience we may have caused. Your comments have been forwarded to our regional office for review and follow-up.
Thank you again for bringing this to our attention. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.
I've heard no other word from Kroger, which is a bit disappointing, because I feel that they did not do this customer the justice of even addressing my concern.
I just wanted to share that with you.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Tonight, for example, we'll start the evening at about 7:00 pm driving through the park and some of the more spirited neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights. We'll then make some coffee and hot cocoa and watch A Muppet Christmas Carol (yes, I listened to the original on eBook this week, but it's just another one of those traditions).
Tomorrow, Christmas Eve, my wife and son will make cookies for Santa. We will then play some Christmas music and each one of us will open one gift.
Christmas Day is spent with my wife's family, opening gifts and having what is best described as a cold lunch. I personally prefer a more traditional turkey dinner, but I guess you can't have everything you want.
Most importantly, we will remember what this time of year and this season is all about. Christmas means only one thing. You might celebrate hannakuh, or kwanzaa, or ramadan, or some other such holiday, but if you celebrate Christmas, I encourage you to remember what the season means. It wouldn't all be possible if not for the birth of one special child some 2000 years ago.
Merry Christmas to you all. Wherever you are and whatever you believe: Merry Christmas!
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
This time of year -- and especially this year -- it is very easy to get mixed up in the glitz and glamour that Christmas has become and forgot what the holiday actually means.
The following email from best-selling author Ted Dekker states in very clear language what I hope you will remember as you celebrate this weekend.
From: "Ted Dekker"
Sent: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 11:41:00 -0500
Subject: Merry Christmas!
Once again we find ourselves confronted by Christmas, and if you're anything like me, you have mixed emotions about a season that brings hope to so many while at the same time being mocked by so many others.
In some parts of our nation the manger scene depicting our savior's birth is now ridiculed in favor of a Santa Clause statue. In other parts the mere mention of Christ in a Christmas parade causes sweeping offense. There are those who would undoubtedly seek to replace this very special holiday with paraphernalia unrelated to the birth of our Lord. Indeed, it seems that Christmas is being methodically stripped of Christ.
But for those of us who's lives have been transformed by the indescribable power wrapped up in those swaddling clothes some two thousand years ago, celebrating anything other than the birth of Jesus makes about as much sense as exchanging all that we have gained in Christ for a mouthful of cotton candy.
For us, Christmas means new birth. This season speaks of a living hope for a time when all of our pains and sorrows will be swept away by unrelenting waves of joy and bliss. During the coming weeks I urge you to fix your minds on the greatest gift ever conceived by man or God, the gift of life and power and laughter and pleasure and peace offered freely by a Savior born in Bethlehem.
Isn't that why we give others gifts? Don't we mean to say, "Accept this token of God's goodness to you from me, and remember that it’s only a dim reflection of the gift that Christ has given you in rebirth and just a foretaste of the incomparable gift that awaits you in heaven."
So be thoughtful as you navigate the many distractions and affronts to your faith this Christmas season. When you sing your songs, think of God's gift to you. When you decorate your home, think of the dazzling world that he's preparing for you. When you sit at your table surrounded by friends and family and enough food to feed the whole world, think of Jesus' passion for the lost and his inexhaustible favor for you.
And whatever else you do during this time of celebration, remember that when you give a gift it has rich, uncompromising meaning, because in it's own small way it represents a gift that, however misunderstood by the world, is life itself to those of us who believe.
May God bless you richly,
This email was transmitted by echomusic on behalf of Ted Dekker:
1101 17th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Indy Council Map.pdf
|Address postal inquiries to:|
Indiana Family Institute
55 Monument Circle
Indianapolis, IN 46204
From Reuters.com: "In the first election for a full four-year parliament since the fall of Saddam Hussein, 15 million Iraqis are eligible to vote and at least 10 million are expected to do so. Iraqis vote for a new government on Thursday in the hope it will end decades of suffering, boost living standards and pave the way for U.S.-led troops to leave, nearly three years after they invaded."
From MSNBC.com: "Election of the new parliament, which will serve a four-year term, marks the final step in the U.S. blueprint for democracy. The vote will cap a process that included the transfer of sovereignty last year, selection of an interim parliament Jan. 30 and ratification of the constitution in October. The new parliament will name a government, including a new prime minister."
As the people of Iraq visit the polls today to select the first government under the country's new Constitution, take a moment to say a prayer for peaceful, fair elections.
Sent from my Palm Zire 72.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Last night I sat up with my son until 9:50, because it came back and hit him again, and hard! My mistake, probably, as I should have known better than to give him milk with his dinner.
At one point, he came running into the living room carrying his beloved Winnie the Pooh, lurched, and threw up a small amount onto poor Pooh. Dreading the clean up again, I picked my son up in my arms, and the levee burst! Projectile vomit spewed from him, spraying all over the living room carpet, himself, and my pants. I don't know where it all came from, because his stomach can't possibly be large enough to hold what must have been the three gallons of -- well, you get the picture.
I'm back at work today, and Wife and Son are both spending the day with he mother. I did not want them to be alone today, in case hey were both still sick.
Luckily, I'm off tomorrow, and mommy-to-be has a Doctor appointment. If we get to hear the heartbeat again, I'll try to share it with you here.
Sorry about the crazy rants over the past couple of days. It was my one outlet to help me keep my sanity. If you actually read the blather, thanks for listening. If not, I don't blame you.
By the way, Episode 3 of my online writing experiment Stop The Car! will be available tomorrow at my Story blog. If you haven't read it yet, check it out!
Monday, December 12, 2005
As I was cleaning up the dinner dishes, my son had a relapse and threw up again. Pardon the vulgar description, but it looked like his milk had curdled in his stomach.
I now have the fifth (?) load of laundry going to clean up from this mess. I have to return to work tomorrow, so I called my wife's mother and asked her to sit with them during the day. Hopefully they'll both be feeling better by then!
THIRTY-THREE: The current temperature at the time I went to the store.
ZERO: The number of shopping carts available inside the store when I walked in.
TWO: The number of employees who had time to take a smoke break in front of the store while no one had time to gather carts from the parking lot.
FIVE: The number of minutes it took to find a cart in the cold parking lot and get back inside.
TEN: The number of minutes I waited in line to complain about having to take my sick son back out in the cold in search of a shopping cart (I finally gave up and decided to complain after I finished my shopping).
EIGHT: The number of customers in line at the Service Desk when I finished shopping.
ZERO: The percentage of likelihood that Kroger will be my first choice the next time I need groceries on a cold winter day.
In the end, I didn't complain at the store, because as I was heading for the Service Desk after I finished shopping, I noticed a picture on the wall of the Store Manager. The same Store Manager that had time to take a smoke break in front of the store while my son and I searched the parking lot for a shopping cart.
I sent this same complaint via Kroger.com. I'll let you know if I receive a response.
You didn't really think I can tell you why, did you? Because we're men, that's why. That part is obvious. What I'm going to tell you is why I know that fathers are ill-equipped to be nursemaids.
Last night was a very long night. I sat up with my sick son until 4:00 this morning, while my pregnant wife lie in bed sick. Every time my two-year-old little boy would throw up, it would break my heart. After the first couple of times he learned how to tell that it was coming on. He would then tell me he was going to throw up by opening his mouth and pointing in at his throat.
This is when a Daddy goes into action. I swiftly picked my son up off my lap and dropped to the floor with him, holding him over an old baby blanket to keep the mess off the carpet. If you think being sick yourself and throwing up is a bad thing, I think I would take that any day over seeing my wife and unsuspecting son throwing up all night long.
My son didn't like being held over the blanket. He squirmed and thrashed trying to get away, all the while throwing up. With so much kicking and squirming, I couldn't keep him from landing on the blanket in his own vomit.
He would then try to stand up, but he was so weak after throwing up that his poor little legs wouldn't hold him. He would finish in tears with his Daddy mopping up the mess around him. I'm not too proud to say that I was nearly in tears, too.
My son's plumbing finally stopped erupting around 4:00 am, and he fell asleep on my lap on the living room floor. So far today, he seems fine.
My wife, on the other hand, still lies in bed with stomach cramps and nausea, with our loyal Dalmatian laying at her side. My biggest concern now is that my wife and unborn child pull out of this soon, as well.
Fathers aren't generally equipped to handle the nurturing duties of a sick family.
Sent from my Palm Zire 72.
We came home from a family Christmas party at 11:30. My wife had complained of cramps the entire trip home, and rushed ahead of me into the house. When I walked into the kitchen, she was vomiting into the sink. I quickly put my son to sleep, then offered to help. While my wife went to lie down in bed, I cleaned up the mess, just barely avoiding vomiting myself, as you can probably imagine.
As I prepared to turn in myself, my son started crying. Much to my surprise and displeasure when I went into his room to check on him, his bed and everything it -- including him -- was covered in his vomit.
At this point, I nearly lost control. I rushed into the bathroom and started water running into my son's tub. I yelled to my wife what was happening as I retrieved my son -- again barely holding down my own vomit. I stripped my son of his filthy clothes and asked my wife to sit by the tub with him while I remade his bed and started a load of laundry.
Since then, my son has thrown up three more times, plus a few dry heaves, and my wife has gone to bed complaining that she's feeling worse. My son is so sleepy he can barely hold his head up, but he won't go to sleep after waking up vomiting -- which is fine with me, because I wouldn't get a moment of sleep worrying about two sickies in the house.
Under normal conditions, I'd be waking up in 2-1/2 hours to get ready for work. Luckily, my Assistant Manager answered when I called at 12:30 and is able to go in for me.
I guess I'll be spending the next day caring for these two and cleaning up after them. Hopefully I'll get a little rest myself when it's all over.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Saturday, December 10, 2005
What are your thoughts? Should repeat sex offenders be locked up for good? Should they be listed on a national registry? Or should they be allowed to roam free and continue to prey on the innocent?
If you've been around here long, you know my thoughts. If not, you can find out here:
On Sex Offenders
More On Sex Offenders
Tell me what you think.
Friday, December 9, 2005
I used to do a decent amount of air travel for business, and still do on occassion. I've luckily never been in a situation where a Federal Air Marshal was needed. I've weighed both sides of the story, and I have to say this: kudos to those Marshals for acting swiftly and decisively.
Let's look at this a couple of ways. First, what if the man did have a bomb, as he claimed. With the action taken by these brave individuals, the man would have been quickly subdued and rendered harmless to the other innocent passengers. Mission accomplished. On the other hand, what if they had reacted as the critics suggest, and not taken such swift action? If the man had a bomb, as he claimed, we would not have been mourning the loss of one man who claimed to have a bomb on an airplane, but rather hundreds of innocent passengers who died at the hands of another terrorist. And what would the critics be screaming then? Most certainly, when it came out that there were Federal Air Marshals on the flight, they would have been criticizing them for their inaction. They would have been calling for changes in their training, but not the same changes they're calling for now. Instead, they would have demanded that Federal Air Marshals be better trained to detect danger and react appropriately.
All I have to say is this: when given the choice between the certain death of a self-proclaimed bomber and the potential death of hundreds of innocent people, I don't think there is a choice to be made at all. It's a no-brainer, and I thank God that we have men and women such as those Federal Air Marshals to protect our airlines from crazy would-be bombers (and crazies who only say they have a bomb).
Sunday, December 4, 2005
National Strategy for Victory in Iraq
The following document articulates the broad strategy the President set forth in 2003 and provides an update on our progress as well as the challenges remaining.
'The United States has no intention of determining the precise form of Iraq's new government. That choice belongs to the Iraqi people. Yet, we will ensure that one brutal dictator is not replaced by another. All Iraqis must have a voice in the new government, and all citizens must have their rights protected.
Rebuilding Iraq will require a sustained commitment from many nations, including our own: we will remain in Iraq as long as necessary, and not a day more.'
-- President George W. Bush
February 26, 2003"
Saturday, December 3, 2005
An anonymous reader has posted some very interesting comments to my recent update on Walgreens Christmas advertising. Excerpt: "So, who cares exactly how Walgreen's takes your money. It has nothing to do with your religion. And your religion has nothing to do with me and millions, even billions of other people. How bout that?!
Bet you don't publish this. But the Lady smiles on you anyway."
What I find most interesting about this reader's comments is that he felt so strongly about his (or her) position that he chose to post his comments anonymously. I find that to be a very courageous thing to do. NOT!!!
I invite you, anonymous reader, to email me directly, so that I might identify you to the rest of my readers.
I hope to hear from you soon.
Thursday, December 1, 2005
Great News! Walgreens Says "Next Year Will Be Different"
Dear Joe, Because of your efforts, Walgreens has released the following response: "Next year, you can be assured our advertising will better incorporate 'Christmas,' and our holiday trees will be called Christmas trees. Unfortunately, all of this years December ads are already printed, so it's too late to make changes for this season." In addition, Lowe's has released a statement saying they now refer to all trees as "Christmas Trees" and have removed all signs that previously calling them "Holiday Trees." Your actions are bringing good results! We are hearing that many retailers are re-thinking their banning Christmas. Keep up the good work! Would you please send the enclosed polite letter to Kmart/Sears asking them to make Christmas an integral part of their promotions and advertising next year? We feel there is good reason to believe Kmart/Sears might honor your request. We will keep you informed as to their response. Additionally, and this is very important, please forward this to your family and friends. We need as much support as we can get in this effort. Thanks for caring enough to get involved.
Because of your efforts, Walgreens has released the following response: "Next year, you can be assured our advertising will better incorporate 'Christmas,' and our holiday trees will be called Christmas trees. Unfortunately, all of this years December ads are already printed, so it's too late to make changes for this season."
In addition, Lowe's has released a statement saying they now refer to all trees as "Christmas Trees" and have removed all signs that previously calling them "Holiday Trees."
Your actions are bringing good results! We are hearing that many retailers are re-thinking their banning Christmas. Keep up the good work!
Would you please send the enclosed polite letter to Kmart/Sears asking them to make Christmas an integral part of their promotions and advertising next year? We feel there is good reason to believe Kmart/Sears might honor your request. We will keep you informed as to their response.
Additionally, and this is very important, please forward this to your family and friends. We need as much support as we can get in this effort.
Thanks for caring enough to get involved.
Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman
P.S. Please forward this e-mail message to your family and friends!
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"Lowe's informed AFA yesterday that it is removing banners referring to 'holiday trees' from its stores. All 49 varieties of live and artificial trees at Lowe's and on Lowes.com are labeled as Christmas trees.
Lowe's assures AFA that the language on the banner was a mistake, and was not in any way an attempt to remove Christmas from the season.
We applaud Lowe's for listening to its customers and responding to their concerns. Just as we alerted Lowe's to our concerns, now let's show them our support by sending thank you emails.
Lowe's has proudly sold Christmas trees in our stores for decades, and we continue to do so this year in all of our stores nationwide. All 49 varieties of live and artificial trees at Lowe's and on our web site, Lowes.com, are labeled as Christmas trees.
The product signs inside Lowe's stores have always said "Christmas trees," though an outside banner did not. To ensure consistency of our message and to avoid confusion among our customers, we are now referring to the trees only as "Christmas Trees." We have also removed the banner that read "holiday trees" from the front of our stores.
Lowe's apologizes for any confusion the banner created. We appreciate our customers bringing the matter to our attention and giving us the opportunity to correct the error.
For many retailers, including Lowe's, the holiday season encompasses all the holidays between October and early January. Thus we adopted an overall "Home for the Holidays" theme five years ago. In addition to spanning the season, we believe this theme is respectful of all our customers, regardless of which holidays they may celebrate.