Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Happy Kwanzaa

"Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday which celebrates family, community and culture.

Celebrated from 26 December thru 1 January, its origins are in the first harvest celebrations of Africa from which it takes its name.

The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits" in Swahili, a Pan-African language which is the most widely spoken African language.

The first-fruits celebrations are recorded in African history as far back as ancient Egypt and Nubia and appear in ancient and modern times in other classical African civilizations such as Ashantiland and Yorubaland. These celebrations are also found in ancient and modern times among societies as large as empires (the Zulu or kingdoms (Swaziland) or smaller societies and groups like the Matabele, Thonga and Lovedu, all of southeastern Africa. Kwanzaa builds on the five fundamental activities of Continental African "first fruit" celebrations: ingathering; reverence; commemoration; recommitment; and celebration. Kwanzaa, then, is:

a time of ingathering of the people to reaffirm the bonds between them;a time of special reverence for the creator and creation in thanks and respect for the blessings, bountifulness and beauty of creation;

a time for commemoration of the past in pursuit of its lessons and in honor of its models of human excellence, our ancestors;

a time of recommitment to our highest cultural ideals in our ongoing effort to always bring forth the best of African cultural thought and practice;

and a time for celebration of the Good, the good of life and of existence itself, the good of family, community and culture, the good of the awesome and the ordinary, in a word the good of the divine, natural and social. "

information courtesy of The Official Kwanzaa Web Site

Sunday, December 24, 2006

My Christmas Prayer For You

My Prayer for You

May you always be open to experiencing the miraculous?

May there always be someone to believe in your dream

May you always be open to sharing another’s vision.

May you never journey alone .

May you always find shelter and warmth wherever you roam.

May you always look to Heaven and hear the song of angels.

May there always be a light to guide your way.

May you always have the courage to follow it.

May your labors be easy

May you find yourself surrounded by those that love and honor you.

May you maintain the heart of a child as you obtain the wisdom of sages

And may your long awaited dreams come true.

Be Blessed This Night and Always
Pamela Lyn

The Night of Miracles

Luke 2:1-20 - New King James Version (NKJV)

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife,[
a] who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory in the Highest

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold,[
b] an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“ Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”[

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely[
d] known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Christmas Call To Action

cartoon courtesy of PoliticalCartoons.com

Regardless of our declared religions, let this holiday season remind all of us to continue our commitment to peace one earth and making the world a kingdom of Heaven on earth for all God's children.

Wishing you Love, Joy and most of all Peace this holiday season.

Pamela Lyn

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Let There Be Peace On Earth

Let there be peace on earth,
and let it begin with me.

Let there be peace on Earth,
the peace that was meant to be.

With God as our Father,
brothers all are we,
Let me walk with my brother,
in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me,
let this be the moment now.

With every step I take,
let this be my solemn vow,
To take each moment and live each moment in peace, eternally.

Let there be Peace on Earth,
and let it begin with me.

-- Words and Music by Jill Jackson and Sy Miller, Circa 1955

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
an excerpt from

A Parable For Our Times
by Bill Moyers

originally published December 22, 2006
Read the entire message at:

The Christian story begins simply: A child is given, a son. He grows up to be a teacher, sage, healer and prophet. He gains a large following. To many he is a divine savior; to the rich and powerful he is an enemy. They put him to death in brutal fashion, befitting his humble beginnings in peasant Galilee and his birth in a stall thick with the raw odor of animals.

Toward the end of his life, Jesus preached in the Temple to large crowds, reaching the height of his power. There he told the parable that likely sealed his fate. He said there was a man who created a prosperous vineyard and then rented it to some tenants while he went away on a journey. At harvest time, the owner of vineyard sent a servant to collect a portion from the tenants, but they beat the servant and sent him away empty-handed. Another servant came, and they struck him on the head. Another they killed. Finally, the owner sent his own son to collect the back payments. “They will respect my son,” he thought. But when the tenants saw the son, and knew him to be the heir, they saw their chance to take full possession of the harvest. And so they killed the son, thinking now they would owe nothing from the vineyard to anyone.

The listeners understood the symbolism: God, of course, is the owner of the vineyard, and the vineyard is Israel or the covenant, or, more broadly, the whole creation. It is all that God entrusts to the leaders of his people. And what is in question is their stewardship of this bounty.

In the parable, the “tenants” are the leaders of Israel. They hoard the fruits of the vineyard for themselves, instead of sharing the fruits as the covenant teaches, according to God’s holy purposes. And the holiest of God’s purposes, ancient tradition taught, is helping the poor, and the fatherless, and the widow, and the stranger—all who do not have the resources to live in a manner befitting their dignity as creatures made in God’s image, as children of God.

When he finished the story, Jesus asked the people what the owner of the vineyard will do when he comes back. “He will kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others,” Jesus tells them. In the Gospel of Matthew, the people themselves answered: “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”

Political dynasties fall from negligent stewardship. One thinks of the upward redistribution called “tax relief”; of the Iraq invasion sold as critical to the “War on Terror"; of rising poverty, inequality, crime, debt, and foreclosure as America spews its bounty on war and a military so muscle-bound it is like Gulliver. It would be hard to imagine a more catastrophic failure of stewardship, certainly in the biblical sense of helping the poor and allocating resources for the health of society. Once upon a time these errant stewards boasted of restoring a culture of integrity to politics. They became instead an axis of corruption, joining corporate power to political ideology to religious self-righteousness.

The scale of the disorder in our national priorities right now is truly staggering; it approaches moral anarchy. Alexander Hamilton, the conservative genius of the financial class, warned this could happen.

Speaking to the New York State legislature in 1788, he said:

As riches increase and accumulate in few hands; as luxury prevails in society; virtue will be in a greater degree considered as only a graceful appendage of wealth, and the tendency of things will be to depart from the republican standard. This is the real disposition of human nature: It is what, neither the honorable member nor myself can correct. It is common misfortune, that awaits our state constitution, as well as others.

Conservatives who revere the founding fathers tend to stress the last point—that there is nothing to be done about this "common misfortune." It is up to the rest of us, who see the founding fathers not as gods but as inspired although flawed human beings—the hand that scribbled "All men are created equal" also stroked the breasts and thighs of a slave woman, whom he considered his property—to take on "the tendency of things " to "depart from the republican standard," and hold our country to its highest, and most humane, ideals.

As stewards of democracy, we, too, have a covenant—with one another.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Christmas Beginnings
Bob Hansel

The holiday season has become for lots of people more of an obstacle than a celebration—something to be endured and survived. By now most of us have had about all we can take of crowded stores, syrupy electronic Christmas music, and interminable traffic tie-ups. We’re tired and frazzled by all of the chores that have to get done, presents that have to be purchased and wrapped, and the mind-numbing logistics of travel plans and party schedules. Lots of folks tell me, in all candor, that they’ll just be glad when it’s all over, so they can pack up the ornaments and life can get back to its normal routine.

The problem with that attitude is that it reveals exactly how mistaken we are about the nature of Christmas. Properly understood, Christmas is not just a day or even a season of the year—an event on the calendar that arrives and passes. No, Christmas is much more than that. It is a permanent change that enters into our world, “for keeps,” affecting every one of our attitudes, actions, and relationships for the rest of our lives.

Howard Thurman in a collection called The Work of Christmas puts it this way:

When the angels’ song is stilled,

When the star in the sky is gone,

When the kings and the princes are home,

When the shepherds are back with their flock,

The work of Christmas begins:

— To find the lost
— To heal the broken
— To feed the hungry
— To release the prisoner
— To rebuild the nations
— To bring peace among the brothers
— To make music in the heart.

Christmas is, you see, not an END of anything. It is the beginning of a whole new way of understanding the world, each other, and ourselves. Christmas is the arrival date for a gift that must be opened up and put to use if it is to make any difference at all.

It all STARTS right now. Christmas is God’s way of presenting himself to us, in-person, offering to enter into our hearts to STAY. The Incarnation is, literally, “the enfleshment”—God’s compassionate Spirit is born within each of us, yearning to find daily expression in actions of Thanks-living.

Where do we go from here? We go out, each one of us, to carry God’s gift into that difficult, challenging, frustrating, and wonderful world for whom the gift has been given. You and I are the delivery system. What a gloriously beautiful plan.

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! God bless us all!

Originally published December 28, 2003 in THE CHRONICLE, the newsletter of Calvary Episcopal Church, Memphis, Tennessee,

Copyright ©2003 Calvary Episcopal Church


A poem sent to Dear Abby from a couple who have too much stuff.

So many of you asked us (since Yuletide's drawing near)
"What do you want for Christmas? What can we give you this year?

If we say, "We want nothing!" you buy something anyway, So here's a list of what we'd like; believe now what we say:

Pajamas for a little child, food to feed the poor.
Blankets for a shelter, and we ask a little bit more--

Perform good deeds and let us know, or volunteer your time.
These last are worth a fortune, and they needn't cost a dime.

We have to many things now, vases, candles, tapes and clocks.
We have our fill of garments, ties, underwear and socks.

Candy is too fattening, crossword books we've more than 20.
We don't need trays or plates or cups, and knickknacks we have plenty.

We've no walls to hang more pictures; we have books we've not yet read;
So please take what you'd spend on us and help the poor instead!

Just send a Christmas card to us and tell us what you've done;
We'll open them on Christmas Eve, and read them one by one.

It won't cost as much for postage as a package sent would do,
You'll need no wrapping paper, ribbons, ink or glue.

And we'll thank God you listened to what we had to say,
So we could be the instruments to help someone this way.

-- Author Unknown

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Courtesy of E-Mail Ministry. To learn more about E-Mail Ministry and read previous messages, visit their web site at:

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas in the Quran

Despite all that we see around us, the wars and rumors of rumors, I can't help but believe that there will come a day when we realize that the beliefs that we share are more important than our differences. plk

Nativity of Jesus the Messiah in The Quran
© 2001 by Maria Hubert. All rights reserved.

19:16. And mention in the scripture of Mary. Who had been isolated from her family, into an eastern location.

19:17. While a barrier separated her from them, we sent to her our Spirit. Who appeared to her in the form of a perfect man.

3:42. The angels said, "O Mary,
The Holy has chosen you & purified you. He has chosen you from all the women.

3:43. O Mary, you shall surrender to your Lord,
And prostrate & bow down with those who bow down."

19:18.She said, "I seek refuge in the Most Gracious, that you do fear The Holy."

19:19. It was made known, "I am the messenger of your Lord, to you is granted a pure son."

19:20. She said, "How can I have a son, when no man has touched me; I have never been unchaste."

19:21. It was made known, "Thus said your Lord, `It is easy for Me.'" And that we appoint him a revelation for the people and mercy from us. This is a matter preordained.

3:45."'The angels said, "O Mary, TheHoly gives you good news of A WORD from him (JM40:2) whose name is The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary. 'He will be prominent in this life & in the Hereafter, & one of those closest to Me.

3:46.He will speak to the people from the crib and from adulthood; and he is of the righteous.'"

3:47.She said, "My Lord, how can I have a son, when no man has touched me?" It was made known, "The Holy thus creates whatever He wills. To have anything done, He simply says to it, `Be!' & it is.

3:48. He will teach him the scripture, understanding, the Torah, & Evangeliun.*" *Evan-geliun/His Revelation/God'sWord/Gospel

21:91.As for the one who maintained her virginity, we blew into her of our spirit, and thus made her & her son a portent for the nations. (Rev12:1?)


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What A Facade!

What's that saying, "build it and they will come"? But just don't build it in my neighborhood, right!

I guess since the US is barely manufacturing anything these days it's OK to put a casino in an abandoned manufacturing plant. After all, what do low income neighborhoods need more than an outlet to lose their money? What happened to creating new businesses and building housing? Sure, put a few new porches on the neighborhood houses, call it a "facade-improvement initiative" and they'll welcome a casino across the street.

It's just a facade.


Where casinos may rise, apprehension is building
By Joseph A. Gambardello Inquirer Staff Writer


Lori McCole is afraid that her daughter could get run over on the way to school by a gambler who has been up all night drinking.

Samantha Pakech worries about traffic jams and property values falling.

Christopher Tucker asks if some kid will repeat his own childhood and end up sleeping in a car outside a casino while a parent blows the rent or mortgage money inside.

Go to the sections of the city where a casino could rise and you will hear a litany of reasons that the negatives may outweigh any benefits that slots parlors can bring to the city.

Imagine, opponents ask, six million people a year descending on your neighborhood to gamble - and probably drink - 24/7.

Today, the state Gaming Control Board will vote on which two of the five companies competing for a license in the city will get the go-ahead to build and open casinos.

Gaming supporters say gambling in the city will reduce the wage tax, contribute to the expansion of the Convention Center, give $5 million annually to the school district, add about 2,000 jobs, and further spur waterfront development.

There is no accurate measure of the level of opposition in the neighborhoods that could host a casino - Port Richmond, Fishtown, Northern Liberties, Pennsport, and East Falls and Nicetown - but a poll conducted by Mayor Street's Gaming Advisory Task Force last year offers some insight. That survey found that while six out of 10 Philadelphians felt gambling would improve (14 percent) or have no effect (46 percent) on the quality of life in the city, six out of 10 also opposed having a gaming hall near their neighborhoods.

The potential problems cited by opponents are familiar and fall under the quality-of-life rubric: traffic, drugs, alcohol, prostitution and crime. They also note that slots players are not high rollers and that the lure of a jackpot could prove irresistible to some struggling neighbors in their rowhouse communities.

"This is a poor neighborhood and they'll make it poorer," said Audrey Harris, who lives in Nicetown near the proposed TrumpStreet Casino at the old Budd plant.

And on the riverfront - where the traffic impact of two casinos has not been fully studied - port industry workers are concerned they will be squeezed out and shippers will take their business elsewhere if their trucks get stuck in casino-related tie-ups.

In the neighborhoods near the casino sites, opposition when it exists tends to be more personal than a blanket dislike of gambling, although that figures in the equation, too.

While she is worried about her 13-year-old daughter's safety, McCole also is concerned about the money she has spent fixing up her rowhouse on Salmon Street in Port Richmond and the possibility her neighborhood would be torn asunder to build an exit ramp from I-95 for the Pinnacle Casino. "The ramp could go over my house," the hospital grants manager said.

On Reed Street in South Philadelphia, a short walk from the Foxwoods site, Pakech sits in the rowhouse she and her husband, Stephen, have been fixing up and voices a similar concern.

But on Roberts Avenue, across from the proposed TrumpStreet project, in which Inquirer publisher Brian Tierney is an investor, rowhouses are getting new porches already, a result of a recent facade-improvement initiative paid for by Preferred Real Estate, which sold Trump his property. "For free," said Vera Owens, who said she thinks a casino would be good thing.

Tucker, who lives in Fishtown near the Riverwalk and SugarHouse casino sites, said he had been to Las Vegas and Atlantic City, sleeping in cars, until his father overcame his gambling addiction. He is against casino gambling in all forms, but said at least those two cities are resorts built around entertaining people. "We don't need it in a place where we're trying to live our lives," said Tucker, a father of a 3-year-old and a designer for an architectural firm.

"Casinos are vice, and vice brings more vice," he said.

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer

Holiday Madness

These two words should not go together but more times than not, they do.

A Free-for-All Christmas?
by Phil Ware

Have you noticed that the Christmas season is more like "let's get ready to rumble" than it does "O holy night"?

The midnight releases of video consoles, video games, movies, books and specialty gifts have caused rowdy stampedes. We've seen grown adults trample each other and get into fistfights over places in line and who got to a toy first. Yikes!

Then from many who come from the normally dysfunctional family, there is all the family baggage that gets unwrapped with the Christmas presents. Innocent statements are misinterpreted resulting in hurt feelings. Stiletto sharp innuendos are used to carve up folks who are supposed to love one another. And then fights break out because someone corrects or disciplines someone else's child. Double yikes!

Even the pilgrimages back to Bethlehem to celebrate the birth of Christ are complicated by the ongoing war between Jews, Muslims, and Christians in the very place where Jesus was born. These tensions threaten all of world peace in the land where the Prince of Peace lived, died, and rose again. Triple yikes!

While there is much about the Bible's account of Jesus' birth that is precious and touching, I believe it is also important to remind us that the Jesus story is not all sweetness and light. One of the most horrific stories in the New Testament is centered around the birth of Jesus. This story is sometimes called "The Slaughter of the Innocents." Jesus' apostle Levi the tax collector records it this way:

Herod was furious when he learned that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, because the wise men had told him the star first appeared to them about two years earlier. Herod's brutal action fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah:

A cry of anguish is heard in Ramah -- weeping and mourning unrestrained. Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted—for they are dead. (
Matthew 2:16-18 NLT)

What are we to make of this?

The Lord himself said, "And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed ... (
Matthew 24:6 NRS). We live in a free for all planet where sin has marred every level of relationships. The whole story of Jesus' coming is tied to the real world in which we live. God didn't prepare a pristine time where his Son could be protected and coddled!

Jesus was born into a vicious world of hate, war, struggle, and jealously. These fruits of hell would be ever-present for each step he took on the little blue planet he created. God had to use an angelic vision to warn Joseph and Mary to take the baby Jesus away to prevent his slaughter. Even from the first moments of Jesus' arrival, even while listening to the angelic choir singing "gloria in excelcis deo", we hear the rumblings of Herod's jealous and paranoid bile.

So when things seem bleak or difficult or fractured in the coming days of Christmas, please remember, these are as much a reminder of why Jesus came as are the sweet sounds of angels, the excited presence of Shepherds, and the mysterious journey of the magi. Jesus came to save a broken world. He didn't do it from afar, but from up close ... in person ... beginning in a manger ... going to a cross ... before conquering death and leaving behind an empty tomb.

Originally posted: 12/18/2006
Heartlight encourages you to share this material with others in church bulletins, personal emails and other non-commercial uses.

(c) 2006 Phil Ware . All rights reserved.
c) 1996-2006,
Heartlight, Inc.

Wise Men Still Seek The Light

We Three Kings
written in 1857 by Rev. John Henry Hopkins.

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star

O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy Perfect Light

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Three Kings a Christmas poem
by Longfellow

Three Kings came riding from far away,
Melchior and Gaspar and Baltasar;
Three Wise Men out of the East were they,
And they travelled by night and they slept by day,
For their guide was a beautiful, wonderful star.

The star was so beautiful, large and clear,
That all the other stars of the sky
Became a white mist in the atmosphere,
And by this they knew that the coming was near
Of the Prince foretold in the prophecy.

Three caskets they bore on their saddle-bows,
Three caskets of gold with golden keys;
Their robes were of crimson silk with rows
Of bells and pomegranates and furbelows,
Their turbans like blossoming almond-trees.

And so the Three Kings rode into the West,
Through the dusk of the night, over hill and dell,
And sometimes they nodded with beard on breast,
And sometimes talked, as they paused to rest,
With the people they met at some wayside well.

"Of the child that is born," said Baltasar,
"Good people, I pray you, tell us the news;
For we in the East have seen his star,
And have ridden fast, and have ridden far,
To find and worship the King of the Jews."

And the people answered, "You ask in vain;
We know of no King but Herod the Great!"
They thought the Wise Men were men insane,
As they spurred their horses across the plain,
Like riders in haste, who cannot wait.

And when they came to Jerusalem,
Herod the Great, who had heard this thing,
Sent for the Wise Men and questioned them;
And said, "Go down unto Bethlehem,
And bring me tidings of this new king."

So they rode away; and the star stood still,
The only one in the grey of morn;
Yes, it stopped --it stood still of its own free will,
Right over Bethlehem on the hill,
The city of David, where Christ was born.

And the Three Kings rode through the gate and the guard,
Through the silent street, till their horses turned
And neighed as they entered the great inn-yard;
But the windows were closed, and the doors were barred,
And only a light in the stable burned.

And cradled there in the scented hay,
In the air made sweet by the breath of kine,
The little child in the manger lay,
The child, that would be king one day
Of a kingdom not human, but divine.

His mother Mary of Nazareth
Sat watching beside his place of rest,
Watching the even flow of his breath,
For the joy of life and the terror of death
Were mingled together in her breast.

They laid their offerings at his feet:
The gold was their tribute to a King,
The frankincense, with its odor sweet,
Was for the Priest, the Paraclete,
The myrrh for the body's burying.

And the mother wondered and bowed her head,
And sat as still as a statue of stone,
Her heart was troubled yet comforted,
Remembering what the Angel had said
Of an endless reign and of David's throne.

Then the Kings rode out of the city gate,
With a clatter of hoofs in proud array;
But they went not back to Herod the Great,
For they knew his malice and feared his hate,
And returned to their homes by another way.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Leaders Do Not Always Speak For Their People

Something to always keep in mind when deciding to judge the people of another nation, race or religious group. Even when a leader is not elected by a majority popular vote, his expressed views may be mistaken by the world as the views of the people he should be representing. As in the US, not all of the people of Iran share the views of their current President. Yet sadly "leaders" can lead us to war and the people suffer.

Ahmadinejad opponents leading in local Iran election
- International Herald Tribune


TEHRAN: Early returns showed conservative opponents of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad leading in elections for local councils and a powerful clerical body, widely considered a test of popular approval for the hardline leader.

Ahmadinejad's anti-Israel rhetoric and staunch stand on Iran's nuclear program are believed to have divided the conservatives who voted him into power. Some conservatives feel Ahmadinejad has spent too much time confronting the West and failed to deal with Iran's struggling economy.

Tehran newspapers and semiofficial news agencies reported unofficial results Saturday showing that no single party would be able to claim outright victory in Friday's elections, partly because of divisions among conservatives. Officials have said preliminary results were expected Sunday, with final results coming Monday or later.

The semiofficial Mehr news agency said unofficial results showed candidates who support Ahmadinejad trailing in Tehran's municipal elections behind supporters of Mayor Muhammad Bagher Qalibaf, a moderate conservative.Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former president, considered an Ahmadinejad opponent, was leading in the Assembly of Experts election in Tehran, the official press agency, IRNA, reported.

The assembly is a body of 86 senior clerics that monitors Iran's supreme leader and chooses his successor.

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer


I have signed an online petition, NO FUTURE LEADER WILL HAVE TO KNEEL FOR ME!.

You may wish to support this cause by clicking on the link below and following the instructions.


A Worthing Cause


Can Depression Be A Blessing In Disguise?

"In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day."
by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940), U.S. author. repr. In The Crack-Up, ed. Edmund Wilson (1945). Handle With Care, second part of Crack-Up series, Esquire (March 1936).

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

By Adolfo Quezada

How can the agony of depression be connected to a spiritual path?

The spirit, after all, is life-giving, while depression stifles and kills. But this is precisely how depression throws us into the depths of our spirituality. In the midst of the darkness, our eyes are opened to that which really matters, and calls us to a higher plane.

* The agony of depression. In depression we feel so worthless. We are self-accusatory and self-critical, and we assume everybody else feels the same way about us. We are left in a pit of anguish, devoid of our vitality. It is a sense of woundedness that only seems to get worse. We are left with no feeling, no faith, no love. We are in spiritual poverty.

* The roots of depression.

* It may be a result of chemical imbalance, which responds well to medication.

* Depression can be our way of avoiding the memories of traumatic events - as long as we stay depressed, we don't have to allow into our lives the thoughts and feelings that accompany certain events. Therapy must include the establishment of new and healthier lines of defense as we uncover the trauma.

* It may be that depression is signaling us that we are in an unworkable situation. This may be our marriage, our work, other relationships or circumstances. Depression allows us to withdraw for a period in order to rest.

* It may be the result of unresolved grief and we have not yet completed the grieving process. It may be from the loss of a loved one, a job, a retirement, a move, or the end of a relationship.

* The message of depression. We are forced to learn humility - to acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses, our assets and liabilities. In the midst of our depression we discover an endurance that we have not known before. When we are depressed we are allowing the dark negative parts of our life to manifest. The experience can be excruciating, but we can move through it and come out stronger, wiser, and more alive.

* The hope of depression. Gradually, we move toward hope, toward a belief against the evidence. Then we embrace a God who is bigger than the one we knew before. It is during depression that we allow ourselves to face the failures of our past and learn new ways to live in order that we don't repeat what has been harmful to us. It is a trial of the soul.

* The salve of love. You will leave me all alone, yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me (John 16:32). Love melts depression, because it was lack of love that wounded us in the first place. Sometimes all we need in our depression is a kind word, a healing touch, a gesture of concern, a moment of patience. If it lingers, it's important that the action of love be constant. The daily phone call or post card from a friend can make all the difference in the world to us when we are depressed. Love encourages us to risk life again, venture out of our protective cocoon, and begin to explore the offer of a new world. Such love is inspired by God.

Adolfo Quezada is a certified professional counselor in Tucson, Ariz. He holds master's degrees in journalism and counseling and is the author of several books on spirituality, including Loving Yourself for God's Sake. He is married and has four children and four grandchildren.

From Heart Peace by Adolfo Quezada, copyright (c) 1999.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Sweet Darkness
by David Whyte

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness to learn

anything or anyone that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

-- from the House of Belonging.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Time Magazine's Person of The Year

is YOU !!!


Person of the Year: You - CNN.com

"Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have." -- Margaret Mead

"If you think you're too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito."
-Bette Reese

Saturday, December 16, 2006

It's A Holiday But You Don't Feel Like Celebrating

As the previous message mentioned, many people face the holiday season feeling that they have little reason to celebrate. Certain holidays like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Thanksgiving and of course, Christmas can be the saddest of all because of their focus on relationships and gifts. For people who have recently lost a loved one through death or divorce, who may be struggling with physical illness, who may have recently lost a job or who may simply be a long, long way from home, the songs, decorations and commercials of the season may evoke melancholy instead of joy.

For many years Christmas seemed to have lost its joy for me because I could no longer spend it surrounded by a huge family with lots of children and in my favorite childhood place, my grandparent's farm. This year I've learned the secret of making the holidays special. In fact, it's really no secret at all.

The secret to enjoying the holidays is finding the meaning, the miracle and the sacredness in EVERY day. Approaching each day in this way has helped me find joy throughout the year and celebrate each holiday in a way that is meaningful for me. However, I will never forget the years of dreading the holidays or the Christmases of going through all the motions of shopping, cooking and decorating only to feel a terrible let down when Christmas Day arrived.

So for the next few week, I will be celebrating the season and while doing so try to share messages that will help anyone that is facing the holidays with dread, stress or emptiness.

Pamela Lyn

P.S. When you stop and really think about the good old days of holidays past you remember that they weren't really as perfect as you recalled.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Striking a Balance for the Holidays
Tools for reducing the stress and celebrating the holy

by Dr. Jerry L. Harber


Holidays are supposed to be a joyous, happy time, filled with warmth and laughter. Yet, for many, the emotions present are often tension, anger, disappointment, sadness, disillusionment, and even incompetence. What happens that turns these holy days into horrid days? And what can be done to keep that from happening?

Let's start with the first question. There are three things that combine to produce the pain: pressure to have a perfect experience, unrealistic expectations, and the expectation of intimacy. Let's look at each one.

The Perfect Experience. In our culture, holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas, are portrayed as "perfect moments." Fairy tale pictures in commercials and holiday cards show us scenes that for many rarely happen--snowy landscapes and horse-drawn sleigh rides, flickering fireplaces and perfectly arranged candles, golden brown turkeys and laughing family members toasting the season. The subtle message is: This is how holidays should be; anything less is inadequate. The reality of holidays is oftentimes holiday dinners that exhaust the cooks and kitchens that take hours to clean; dinner rolls that won't rise; misguided gifts; and people who show up late, "spoiling everything."

Unrealistic Expectations. Trying to have the perfect experience is unrealistic, but other impossible expectations exist as well. There is tremendous pressure to spend too much money on decorations, food, drinks and gifts. Others expect you to "get into the holiday spirit" by entertaining at home or by attending more parties between Thanksgiving and New Year's than you are invited to all year. Declined invitations bring raised eyebrows or sad looks. How can you want to stay home and have a quiet evening? You should be enjoying yourself!

Expectation of Intimacy. The idea of coming home for the holidays is another cultural pressure we must face. The message is simple: You're supposed to be with family during the holidays, and you're suppose to enjoy being together. The reality is often very different. Frequently the added stress of the holiday season's expectations undermines attempts at being together and enjoying one another. The number of people seeking counseling increases after the holidays because of the stress that uncovers flaws in relationships during this time.

In spite of this dismal picture of the holidays, they need not be stressful times. Here are some ideas that can make a difference:

Start by remembering what holidays are really all about:

· Thanksgiving is for giving thanks for what you have,

· Christmas is for celebrating God's gift of eternal life though Jesus Christ,

· New Year's is a time of reflection, renewal and refocusing on things that really matter.

Stop and rethink your habits and traditions associated with these days:

· Make a list, write a narrative, jot some notes to yourself in which you describe what you really want to do versus what you think you should do. Traditions can be very helpful because they provide a sense of continuity with the past. This in turn fosters a sense of belonging, security, relatedness, and intimacy. And traditions provide a structure for important moments. But traditions should be reexamined, because they may need to be changed, revised, even abandoned if they don't achieve what they are suppose to achieve.

· If new traditions make more sense, replace the old ones. It's one thing to visit everyone in your family when there are only two of you and one or two families to visit. But, as families expand and/or change through divorce and remarriage, another approach may make more sense and be just a meaningful.

Accept those things that can not be changed, but change those things that can:

· For example, your Christmas this year is not likely to bring the emotional supports you needed from your parents when you were growing up. If they couldn't do it then, they probably can't do it now.

· Decide to break the bad habits you have with siblings or other relatives, such as rehashing old hurts.

· Intimacy and warm feelings come in momentary waves, not long-lasting deluges; take what is offered and be thankful rather than comparing that to what you wished for and making yourself miserable.

By trying to follow these suggestions, you can actually celebrate the holidays as what they are meant to be: holy days.


-- from Jeshua Ben Joseph (aka The Christ)
courtesy of Email Ministry

Dear children,

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth just, GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Now, having said that, let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santa’s and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can & may remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching explaining who I am in relation to you & what each of our tasks were. If you have forgot that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list.

Choose something from it.

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing George complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that some people in your town will attempt to take their own lives this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who those people are, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile. It could make the difference. Also, you might consider supporting the local Hot-Line: they talk with people like that every day.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word even if they aren't allowed to wish you a “Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families.

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary, especially one who takes My love & Good News to those who have never heard My name. You may already know someone like that.

9. Here's a good one. There are individuals & whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them (and I suspect you don't) buy some food & a few gifts & give them to the Marines, the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me & they will make the delivery for you.

10 Finally if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

P.S ~ Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me & do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above & get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember I LOVE YOU

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass - it's about learning to dance in the rain.

-- Author Unknown

<>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< <><

To learn more about E-Mail Ministry and read previous messages, visit:

Reflections On The Light

Matthew 5:14-16 (The Message)


"Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. "

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Be A Light Unto The World

Excerpts from

"Conversations With God -- an uncommon dialogue"
by Neale Donald Walsch

"Be a light unto the world, and hurt it not. Seek to build, not to destroy. Bring my people home

Bring peace to the Earth by bringing peace to all those whose lives you touch.

Be peace

Feel and express in every moment your Divine Connection with the All, and with every person, place and thing.

Be a living, breathing example of the Highest Truth that resides within you.

Speak humbly of yourself, lest someone mistake your Highest Truth for a boast.

Speak softly, lest someone think you are merely calling for attention.

Speak gently, that all may know of Love.

Speak openly, lest anyone think you have something to hide.

Speak candidly, so you cannot be mistaken.

Speak often, so that your word may truly go forth.

Speak respectfully, that no one be dishonored.

Speak lovingly, that every syllable may heal.

Speak of Me with every utterance.

Make of your life a gift. Remember always, you are the gift!

Be a gift to everyone who enters your life, and to everyone whose life you enter. Be careful not to enter another’s life if you cannot be a gift.

(You can always be a gift, because you always are the gift – yet sometimes you don’t let yourself know that)

When someone enters your life unexpectedly, look for the gift, that person has come to receive from you.

To learn more about "Conversations With God" visit:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Luminous Mind
excerpt from “Illuminata – A Return to Prayer”
By Marianne Williamson

"Illumination is light in the mind, the Word made flesh, the integration of heaven and earth. It is abstract principle dressed in human cloth, the light-filled explosion that occurs when the mind has embraced its Source. Illumination is not of this world. It lifts us above the lies of the world by helping us to detach from them. Illumination is both our source and our destiny, the reason we came here and the reason we stay.

We are here to achieve an uplifted mode of being. We are meant to return to the living light which casts out the darkness of our mental miscreations. Light cracks open the closed arrogant mind.

Luminosity is our miracle–readiness, a mental and emotional preparedness for service. God is alert to our readiness for use. His greatest desire is to alchemize our being, that He might send us out as His lamps unto the world."

Friday, December 15, 2006

Celebrating that Miracle of Light

Wishing people of the Jewish faith and all people the miracle of light.

Happy Chanukkak

To learn about this holiday visit:
Holidays on the Net

Judaism 101

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Who's Listening to You Via Your Cellphone?

According to an article in The Seattle Times, several cell phones can be remotely reprogrammed to record conversations even when they are not on.

That's right you don't have to be on a call for someone to hear your conversation.

The article states: "The FBI converted the Nextel cellphones of two alleged New York mobsters into 'roving bugs,' microphones that relayed conversations when the phones seemed to be inactive, according to recent court documents. Authorities won't reveal how they did this. But a countersurveillance expert said Nextel, Motorola Razr and Samsung 900 series cellphones can be reprogrammed over the air, using methods meant for delivering upgrades ( like ringtones) and maintenance."

Read the entire article at: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003474824_bugs130.html

"The Decider" Seems To Have Decided

.... That He Doesn't Represent American Voters

It seems that President Bush has decided that the role of the office of the President of the United States is not to represent the interests of the American people but instead to do what "He" judges is right.

In light of this, it seems to be a propitious time for our constitutional lawyers to take a close look at
Article Two of the US Constitution which defines the role of the office of the President as well as the guidelines for impeachment.

In November the American people spoke loud and clear that we don't want to "stay the course". We want the war in Iraq to end and end as soon as reasonably possible. No American wishes to simply abandon the Iraqi people especially not when current events portend a possible full blown civil war with Saudi Arabia intervening to protect Iraqi Sunnis from genocide. But the American public must question the reasons that we went to war in the first place, whether our presence in Iraq is justified and whether the loss of the lives of American and Allied service personnel and Iraqi civilians should continue.

Of course President Bush does not have to implement the recommendations of the Iraq Study group but it certainly seems that he has been pretty quick to publicly dismiss many of the ideas. To make statements to the effect that he heard "ideas that would lead to defeat" indicates that he is still living under the illusion that this war is winnable in the same way WWII was winnable. And while I cannot imagine having a rational discussion with the President of Iran that entertains hate mongers like David Duke, the Bush administration must face the geo-political and cultural realities of the region. US troops will not be stationed in Iraq forever and in the long run Arab & Kurd, Sunni & Shia, Iraqi, Iranian & Syrian will need to find their own way to co-exist.

President Bush needs to decide now if he is President of the United States of America or desires to be President of Iraq. And the American people need to decide if we want to leave that decision up to The Decider.


Bush: I won't be rushed on Iraq on Yahoo! News
By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer


President Bush said Wednesday he would "not be rushed" into a decision on a strategy change for Iraq, saying that in a round of consultations he heard both some interesting ideas and some "ideas that would lead to defeat." "And I reject those ideas," Bush said after meeting with top generals and Defense Department officials at the Pentagon. He said those ideas included "leaving before the job is done, ideas such as not helping this (Iraqi) government take the necessary and hard steps to be able to do its job."

Bush spoke with reporters after wrapping up a round of high-level talks on revising his Iraq war policy. Earlier he spoke by telephone with two Kurdish leaders in Iraq as part of what the White House called efforts to forge a "moderate bloc" behind the shaky central government in Baghdad.

Standing with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Bush said he and the nation's top military commanders had "a very candid and fruitful discussion about how to secure this country and about how to win a war that we now find ourselves in."

Although the White House had initially suggested that Bush would deliver his speech on Iraq strategy before Christmas, he has decided to delay it until early next year.

Defending that decision, Bush said, "I will not be rushed into making a difficult decision ...

Joined by Vice President Dick Cheney, incoming Defense Secretary Robert Gates and outgoing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Bush met with the military leaders and other members of his national security team at the Pentagon, where war commanders are calling for more U.S. trainers and equipment for beleaguered Iraqi forces.

He addressed some of his remarks to members of the nation's military, including some 140,000 now stationed in Iraq. "I appreciate their sacrifices, and I want them to know I'm focused on developing a strategy that will help them achieve their mission," the president said. "I know there is a lot of debate at home, and our troops pay attention to that debate," Bush said.

Bush said part of the reason for his putting off his speech to next year was to allow Gates to familiarize himself with the top defense job "and be part of this debate."

"At the appropriate time, I'll stand up in front of the nation and say, `here's where we're headed,'" Bush said.

Bush pledged anew to work with the Democratic-controlled Congress that convenes in January "to forge greater bipartisan consensus" on Iraq policy.

George Casey, the top general in Iraq, ask the administration to pour increased funding into more armored vehicles, body armor and other critical equipment for the Iraqis, said a defense specialist familiar with the meetings. The message to Bush, the defense specialist said, is that the U.S. cannot withdraw a substantial number of combat troops by early 2008, as suggested by the independent commission on Iraq, because the Iraqis will not be ready to assume control of their country.

Iraqi leaders, meanwhile, last month presented Bush with a plan for its troops to assume primary responsibility for security in Baghdad early next year and that U.S. troops be shifted to the capital's periphery, The New York Times reported on its Web site Tuesday night.

Associated Press writers Lolita C. Baldor and Anne Plummer Flaherty contributed to this report.

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer

Jib-Jab 2006 Year in Review Video!

The Anti-War Protest Song is Alive & Well

Dear readers,

As some of you know prior to this past week I maintained three separate blogs. Unfortunately, one blog (
Pam's Coffee Conversation) was lost during the recent Blogger migration to Google.

Why three blogs you ask?

This blog, "
Get the Facts & Get Involved" was designed to be a non-partisan review of the social and political issues around the globe. My goal was, and still is, to provide the facts ( minus too many of my opinions ) on various issues as well as provide ideas and opportunities for readers to take action.

Pam's Coffee Conversation was my forum for providing my views on the issues of the day. And I make no secret of where I stand. I'm a follower of Christ that rejects the radicalism of the right-wing Christian fundamentalists. I'm a registered Democrat that believes that my party has lost its vision and direction. I'm a fiscal conservative that believes that government spending is not the answer to all of society's ills. The the American deficit is out of control and the American middle-class had been sold down the river. And, I'm a social liberal who believes that "to whom much is given, much is required.

And lastly, my blog "
Pause4Thought" is a forum for inspirational and motivational messages, poetry and photography.

I am trying to recover "Pam's Coffee Conversation" but in the meantime this blog may be a little more opinionated than it has been in the past. With that said, here is the Neil Young's
"Let's Impeach The President" video that makes the case.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Like the little old lady who returned your wallet yesterday.

Like the taxi driver who told you that your eyes light up the world, when you smile.

Like the small child who showed you the wonder in simple things.

Like the poor man who offered to share his lunch with you.

Like the rich man who showed you that it really is all possible, if only
you believe.

Like the stranger who just happened to come along, when you had lost
your way.

Like the friend who touched your heart, when you didn't think you had

Angels come in all sizes and shapes, all ages and skin types.

Some with freckles, some with dimples, some with wrinkles, some without.

They come disguised as friends, enemies teachers, students, lovers and

They don't take life too seriously, they travel light.

They leave no forwarding address, they ask nothing in return.

They are hard to find when your eyes are closed, but when you choose to
see, they are everywhere you look.

So, open you eyes and count all your Angels -- for you are truly

-- Author Unknown

Do our children deserve coal for decades?


I thought you might be interested in this alert from the Union
of Concerned Scientists.

Today, coal provides about half of our nation's electricity--at
great cost to our health, land, water, and climate. Coal power
is currently America's single biggest source of global warming

Please send a letter today to Congress and urge them to start
the new year fresh and clean by promoting renewable sources of
electricity like wind and solar.

If you go to the URL below you can check out the details and
send your own message.

Then please forward this email to ten friends. We really need
your help to spread the word.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Join the Weekend of Prayer For Darfur

SaveDarfur.org has a post called "Faith Leaders Join Forces for “Weekend of Prayer” for Darfur" that's worth checking out...

Faith Leaders Join Forces for "Weekend of Prayer" for Darfur Prominent Leaders Bridge Faiths to Speak Out on Faith Community's Joint Response to the Worsening Humanitarian Crisis Washington,…

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Bid For Santa

Will the One and Only, Genuine Santa Claus Visit Your Home this December 24th?

Find Out at CharityFolks.com

The one and only, genuine Santa Claus is being auctioned at www.charityfolks.com to benefit Santa's Bless the Children Tour.

Santa Claus is his legal name. He is an advocate for 1 million children who are abused, neglected, or exploited and another 1 million children who are homeless, abandoned, or institutionalized -- this year in the United States.

Incline Village, NV (PRWeb) December 6, 2006 -- The one and only, genuine Santa Claus will spend December 24th with the highest bidder in a special auction hosted by
http://www.charityfolks.com/. With bidding starting at just $1, everyone will have the opportunity to participate.

Santa Claus is his legal name, and he's a priest and monk as St. Nicholas was many centuries ago. He lives at Lake Tahoe and has the requisite twinkle in his eyes, spirit of giving, naturally white beard, belly, glasses, red suspenders, and loving heart.

Santa Claus has completed 2/3 of Santa's Bless the Children Tour, traveling more than 15,000 miles throughout the United States for six months visiting federal and state legislators and their staffs in 33 states, advocating for children throughout the United States and visiting as many children in dire circumstances as he can along the way.

According to the US Census Bureau, there are more than 74 million children under the age of 18 in the United States. Of that figure, 1 million are abused, neglected, or exploited; and another 1 million are abandoned, homeless, or institutionalized. The numbers increase every year. Right now, that's 1 out of every 37 children in the United States. Santa Claus is an advocate for these children, especially wards of the states.

Santa's Bless the Children Tour is a unique, national outreach ministry of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church at Lake Tahoe, designed to improve the lives of millions of children in the United States.

Bidding ends on December 15th at 6PM EST.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Links to Holiday Love & Light

There is a song that says that this is "the most wonderful time of the year". However, for many people it can also be hectic, stressful, and lonely. So if you need a little quiet time here are a few links that should get you back into the holiday spirit.

Be Blessed
Pamela Lyn

P.S. Don't forget to share them with friends.

From Mary Reynolds

The Christmas Season Movie

A Silent Night Movie

From Sing Cher Kwek

The Christmas Story

A Soldier's Story

and from my own PointOfView316.com

Christmas Memories

Celebrating Christmas
This presentation was developed using Apple's QuickTime Player. Due to recent changes in Microsoft Internet Explorer you may receive a prompt requesting permission to run an active X control. Click once to view the presentation

Winter Wonderland

The Reason

I Corinthians 13 Christmas Version


If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling
lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just
another  decorator.

If  I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies,
preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at
mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup  kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all
that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes,
attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata, but
do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china
and table linens.

Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful
they are there to be in the way.

Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return but
rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures
all things.

Love never fails.

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust.
But giving the gift of love will endure.

Merry Christmas!

-- Author Unknown

Friday, December 1, 2006

Red Ribbons & Bows

In a season when red ribbons and bows are popping up everyway, why not wear a red ribbon that can share the gift of life with someone with HIV. Isn't the gift of life the real spirit of Christmas?

Visit JoinRed.com

A Virus You WANT To Catch


Be on the alert for symptoms of inner HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE.  The
hearts of a great many have already been exposed to this virus, and it
is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic
proportions.  This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now,
been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

Some signs and symptoms of the ADVENT VIRUS:

*  A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based
on past experience.
*  An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
*  A loss of interest in judging other people
*  A loss of interest in conflict.
*  A loss of the ability to worry (this is a very serious symptom)
*  Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation
*  Contented feeling of connectedness with others and with nature.
*  Frequent attacks of smiling
*  An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as
the uncontrolled urge to extend it ourselves.

Please send this WARNING out to all your friends.  This virus can and
has affected many systems.  Some systems have been completely cleaned
out because of the ADVENT VIRUS.

-- Author Unknown

<><     <><     <><     <><     <><     <><     <><     <><     <><

courtesy of E-Mail Ministry 
Visit their web site at: http://www.emailministry.org

Join me in sponsoring a woman survivor of war

Learn more and sign up online today at: http://www.womenforwomen.org


Pamela Lyn

Rural America Suffering Higher Death Toll in Iraq, Afghanistan

by Aaron Glantz

Read the entire article at: http://us.oneworld.net/article/view/143082/1/7263

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 28 (OneWorld) - Rural communities are experiencing a disproportionate amount of U.S. military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a new study by the Carsey Institute, a think tank at the University of New Hampshire.

"The mortality rate for soldiers from rural America is about 60 percent higher than the mortality rate for soldiers from metropolitan areas," the Institute's William O'Hare told OneWorld.

According to the study, 825 of the first 3,095 Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan--or 27 percent--came from rural America, even though rural areas account for only 19 percent of the U.S. population.

Soldiers from rural Vermont have the highest death rate in the nation, followed by Delaware, South Dakota, and Arizona.

Dee Davis, president of the Kentucky-based Center for Rural Strategies, told OneWorld that U.S. military efforts overseas are increasingly hitting home in America's heartland.

"This year we did polling around the election in contested Congressional races," he said, "and what we found was that 75 percent of rural voters knew somebody who had been to Iraq or Afghanistan."
"In small towns and rural communities the war is not an abstraction," he added. "You have a visceral idea of what this war means. So many police and firefighters are also members of the National Guard."

Davis said patriotism is one factor leading to increased military service in rural America, but added that the dearth of non-military job opportunities is also important.

The Carsey Institute's O'Hare, who helped conduct the study, agrees.

"A lot of people don't know that a higher percentage of the rural workforce is in manufacturing than the urban workforce.

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer