Today is Christmas. That is quite obvious. Whereas we ought to sing and shout, “Joy to the World,” someone wants to sing Etta James’ “At Last.” If this is how you feel on today then it may be due to the fact that your celebration of Christmas is rooted more in the lure and seduction of our culture and not the belief and teaching of the church. Our culture is one in which, each and every year, at Christmas, we spend money we don’t have to buy things we don’t even need for people we don’t even
Archive for December 25th, 2011
Something for those who think Christianity and Islam are deeply divided, a holiday card greeting I received from Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United States:I’m a devout secularist, but it’s good in this season to be reminded of the deep ties between cultures which some use to divide.Happy holidays.
– Steve Clemons is Washington Editor at Large at The Atlantic, where this post first appeared.
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One of the most fascinating characters in the Bible’s Christmas saga is King Herod. The Bible depicts how the birth of Jesus affected King Herod in Matthew 2:3, which says: “When King Herod had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.” The single greatest gift to have ever hit the earth had just been born, but when the news was brought to Herod, he was too disturbed to acknowledge or appreciate it. Many people today are mentally and spiritually bound by insecurity. Insecurity leads to fear, jealousy, worry, and ultimately conditions like depression and
This week the jingle of bells, the tacky twinkle of electricity-wasting flashing lights dangling off storefronts, the blow up snow men and stupid faux reindeer on neighbors’ front porches has been enough to launch me into crying jags that could overflow the levees of the Mississippi. If one more person in a silly hat offers to spray me with perfume or sell me some piece of crap made in China I’m likely to go postal.
When I decided to end my seven-year-marriage (one year ago) I did not envision sitting by the fire alone on Christmas Eve or negotiating to get my twin boys for half-a-holiday. I imagined that my life would become a cross between The Tudors and the L-Word: illicit sexual encounters with strikingly gorgeous Hollywood actors in Elizabethan garb. Surely, I’d have to fend off admirers the way King Henry the 8th had to fend off mistresses.
To my amazement, one year after my release from marital life, my in-box at OkayStupid remains profoundly empty except for the occasional message from guys like: MansGottaHaveWife and
HONOLULU — Austin Davis made the plays when it counted to send Southern Mississippi coach Larry Fedora out a winner.Davis threw two touchdowns, including a 4-yarder late in the game, and Southern Miss (No. 21 BCS, No. 22 AP) earned a school-record 12th victory by holding off Nevada 24-17 in the Hawaii Bowl on Saturday night.”It wasn’t his best game, but he did enough to help us win this football game,” said Fedora, who is leaving after four seasons to take over at North Carolina.
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Davis overcame a shaky game for the Conference USA-champion Golden Eagles (12-2), and the defense in the second half managed to shut down Nevada’s potent pistol attack led by Lampford Mark.”I thought we struggled the entire game offensively. We made a few big plays at the end, but really the defense, these guys were special and they’ve done that all year,” Davis said. “We made a play or two on offense when we needed to.”Davis was off most of the night but made it count on the game-winning drive. On third-and-goal, he scrambled right and found Kelvin Bolden for the 4-yard score, capping a seven-play, 68-yard drive. He had just 59 yard passing at halftime and finished 18 of 41 for 165 yards.On the winning drive, Davis was 3 of 4 for 66 yards, including a 43-yard completion to Dominique Sullivan down the right sideline and a 19-yarder to a crossing William Spight. Sullivan had five catches for 75 yards.With Davis held in check, the Golden Eagles relied on their defense, stopping Mark on fourth-and-1 at midfield with 3:56 left. Mark had 183 yards rushing for the Wolf Pack (7-6) but was held to just 21 yards in the second half.”Our offense in the second half — our offensive front just didn’t get it done at all and I was really disappointed in that aspect of it. We got stopped on two fourth-and-1s,” Wolf Pack coach Chris Ault said.Nevada was without its top receiver, Rishard Matthews, who has 91 receptions for 1,364 yards and eight TDs.
Hawaii Under 5-0
Southern Miss and Nevada combined to score 41 points, good for the lowest combined score Hawaii Bowl history.
* First time neither team scored 30 points
— ESPN Stats & Information
The game featured a Hawaii Bowl-record 17 punts, and the 41 combined points was the fewest in bowl history.Cody Fajardo was 8 of 19 for 60 yards for Nevada. He also was held to just 14 yards rushing on nine carries before being replaced by Tyler Lantrip.The Golden Eagles got another big win after capturing their fifth C-USA title by upsetting previously unbeaten Houston 49-28 in the conference championship game. This was the first 10-win season for Southern Miss since 1988.”I couldn’t be more proud of this football team and what this team has accomplished. To be conference champs and Hawaii Bowl champs is tremendous,” Fedora said.Nevada tied the game 17-all late in the third quarter on a 37-yard field goal by Allen Hardison, taking advantage of a miscue by Southern Miss. Tracey Lampley waved for a fair catch on a punt and was run into by teammate Alex Smith. The ball bounced off Lampley’s left leg and Nevada’s Brandon Marshall recovered on the Southern Miss 14, leading to the field goal.Just as Nevada seemed to take control of the game, Southern Miss scored 10 points in the final 1½ minutes of the first half to take a 17-14 lead into the break.”That was big. I felt like we played so bad, but we were winning at halftime and that’s a credit to how well our defense was playing and our special teams,” Davis said. “Our special teams has made an unbelievable difference in our season this year. It seems like every time we needed it, they managed to come up with a game-changing play.”Mark’s 45-yard run gave the Wolf Pack a 14-7 lead with about 5 minutes left in the half, and Nevada took the ball right back on the ensuing kickoff.Lorenzo Devers returned the kickoff 61 yards and appeared to be heading for a touchdown. After shedding the kicker, Devers was stripped from behind by Khalid Wooten and Thaddeus Brown returned it 16 yards to the Nevada 36.But the team from Reno gambled and ended up turning it over on downs on its own 45 when Mark was stopped short on fourth-and-1. That led to a 48-yard field goal by Danny Hrappman with 1:21 left in the half.”We worked so hard, all the weeks and weeks of preparation. It doesn’t feel right not winning,” Mark said.On the kickoff, Wooten fumbled and Southern Mississippi’s Emmanuel Johnson recovered at the Nevada 24. Seven plays later, Davis threw a 2-yard pass to Lampley in the back of the end zone for the go-ahead score. A brief scuffle broke out between some of the players after the catch, but no one was ejected.With both teams struggling to get going, special teams got the Golden Eagles on the scoreboard from a blocked punt by Tim Green early in the second quarter.Green burst through the middle and leaped in the air, getting his hand on the ball as he flipped over a blocker. Tray Becton-Martin then dropped on the ball in the end zone, giving the Golden Eagles a 7-0 lead. Becton-Martin is the 25th different player to score for the Golden Eagles this year, which leads the nation.Nevada answered with a 5-yard touchdown run by Mark, who had a 25-yard scamper to begin the 81-yard drive. Mark had 41 yards rushing on the drive, giving him 112 yards and his sixth-straight game with 100 or more.Both teams blew good scoring opportunities in the first quarter.Mark burst up the middle for 43 yards and was chased down from behind by Presley, getting Nevada inside the red zone. But Fajardo’s pass on third down was tipped and intercepted in the end zone by Jacorius Cotton.
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By Susan Blumenthal, M.D. and Beth Hoffman
The holidays are a time for celebrating with family and friends. As we reflect on the things that we are most thankful for this holiday season, don’t forget the importance of good health! While the holidays are brimming with joy and happiness for many, it can also be a stressful time with traveling, visiting relatives and trying to maintain diet and exercise goals. This holiday season, when faced with choices about behaviors that will influence your health today and tomorrow, a wonderful gift you can give yourself is to make choices to ensure a healthier future today and in the years to
I landed in Toronto on October 27, 1987. Everything was new: the snow, the high-rises, the streetcar, the subway, almost everything was a novelty and so distant from Bethlehem, the city in which I was born and grew up. Until one day I discovered the sumac shrub along the Pottery Road Crossing and my connection to Toronto as also-home was established. I discovered it by mistake while biking along the Don River Valley Trail with my Canadian girlfriend at the
Ex-Disney star Demi Lovato is not impressed with the jokes that the children’s network has made towards eating disorders and has taken to Twitter to express her disapproval.
Last November, at the age of 18, Lovato checked into Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center. She was there in an attempt to fix years of struggling with eating disorders and cutting herself. Lovato dropped her Disney sitcom Sonny with a Chance to focus on her recovery.
After returning from the treatment center, Lovato has become an advocate in a world where bullying is rampant. This September, the star released her raw, touching third album Unbroken, performing the album’s first single “Skyscraper” live at the 2011 DoSomething Awards in
House Republicans, just days after standing their ground, decided instead to head home for Christmas dinner.
So much for the principles that brought them to power in 2010. So much for ending business as usual in the nation’s capital.
But their language changed by the end. Gone was the moral outrage, the appeals to end the mindless spending that was bankrupting the nation. This week, the House Republican talking points led with the insistence that America’s working men and women deserved more than a two-month payroll tax
A number of holiday seasons ago we were sitting at a fancy resort attending a well-known holiday weekend event that I had proudly accepted an invitation to along with almost a thousand other individuals and their families. We were talking about the state of our world when my guest leaned over and asked: “Do you think next year we might actually go do something instead of just talking about it?”
The comment launched our annual tradition of traveling to a third world country to serve in orphanages for the holidays. We wanted to “do something good” and the choice has ended up being one of the most unexpected and powerful gifts we have given ourselves.
This year, a number of friends and their families are joining us to serve others, rejuvenate themselves, explore a new region of the world, and to connect much more deeply as a family through our service to and engagement with orphans living just outside of Antigua, Guatemala.
I did this particular trip a few years ago and was struck by the amazing beauty of it all. It was a spiritually grounding experience and an empowering way to start the New
Hear those jingle bells in the distance? It’s a sleigh coming up the drive, led by that chubby, jolly, old… conservative brother-in-law.
What with Christmas upon us and the family coming around, it’s time for the next edition of what to do when that pesky brother-in-law, or aunt, or whomever, hits you with so many Fox canards that you can’t even enjoy your new iPod.
[Earlier editions: here, here, and here.]
I like those flat tax plans from Perry, Gingrich, and the rest of them… those guys really get what wrong with our crazy tax system!
Response: Yeah, those plans do sound simpler than the current mess, that’s for sure — but I’m afraid they’re not as simple as you might think. Or as
It can be challenging to host a festive holiday party without throwing everything you know about health and nutrition out the window. The more decadent the food, the boozier the booze, the more everyone will enjoy themselves — right? While we’re big believers in indulging from time to time, the truth is that a menu filled with rich, fried and sugary treats can lead to indigestion and other discomforts. What if we told you it was possible to plan a delicious menu filled with nutrient-rich, locally produced, organic ingredients that will leave you and your guests feeling like a million bucks? You’re in luck. Read on for tips from holistic chef and nutritional consultant Lisa Roberts-Lehan.
Tip Number 1: Boost Your Antioxidants
As much fun as the holiday season can be, the reality is that it leaves most of us feeling stressed
Did Black Friday leave you black and blue from fighting for the last gadget du jour at your local Big Box? Are you tempted to punch out the bell-ringer outside your supermarket? Maybe you need a heaping dose of Christmas spirit delivered in book form.
For a writer, capturing that elusive Christmas morning magic can be deeply problematic. When I set out to write a Christmas novella a few years ago, I read a batch of holiday novels, seeking inspiration. The big dilemma with a book like this is tone. Do you succumb to the temptation to write sweet and deliver a candy-cane confection? Do you plumb the depths of your own deeply dysfunctional family drama and write the awful truth? Play it for laughs, or milk the tear-ducts? The only thing I knew for sure was that I did not want to write a story so depressing that my readers would contemplate hanging themselves from a length of
The Republican presidential race was a reality TV show. But now that the primaries and caucuses are coming right up, it’s a road picture. Here’s how each candidate, a distinct type, is doing right now.
The Legend in His Own Mind
There aren’t many historical figures that the ostentatiously intellectual Dr. Newton Leroy Gingrich hasn’t compared himself with lately, and always quite
Sad, isn’t it, that just one day before Christmas, we have to stand out in the cold and worry about getting another big lump of coal from our politicians?! But unfortunately it’s expected that Obama will sign the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law right after the holiday. Since that’s the same day the big sales start, few Americans will probably be paying attention to the police state being officially ushered in.
On December 23, however, we were still able to protest the despicable NDAA in front of Obama’s Minnesota Campaign Headquarters. At the end of the rally led by members of “Occupy Minnesota” and the “Minnesota Committee to Stop FBI Repression”, everyone taped their signs to the front window of Obama’s campaign office, hoping he’d somehow get the message. Then we also made telephone calls to tell Obama’s volunteer receptionists to act as his better angels and plead for him to veto the