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July 15 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every day, millions of people fight about religion. Whether with friends, family, or on social media, we expend lots of energy, lots of sharp words, and lots of strong feelings. But very few know how to have a good religious argument—a rational, respectful, and productive exchange of differing views.

 

 

 

Bishop Robert Barron joins me to discuss the best response to sex scandals in the Catholic Church, his possible concerns with the rise of Protestantism, and we seek to answer the age-old question: Who gets to go to heaven? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mastering Dreaded Holiday Conversations
by Darren Hardy
Click below and enjoy...


https://dd.darrenhardy.com/mastering-holiday-conversations#.XA7wHb32_hQ.email

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know that “Jingle Bells” wasn’t originally a Christmas carol, that “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was written by a Montgomery Ward advertising copywriter, or that you can find printed versions of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” dating back to 1780?

Many of the Christmas songs we grew up with have fascinating back stories, though they’re not always historically accurate. In celebration of the holiday, we offer an assortment of the Christmas-carol origin stories and legends we’ve had occasion to research. Enjoy!

Dan Evon

Dan Evon is a Chicago-based writer who has been sifting through the sludge of social media since 2009. Prior to joining the editorial staff at Snopes.com, he was the editor-in-chief of Social News Daily, a senior writer for The Inquisitr, and covered motorcycle racing for All About Bikes Magazine.

 

Regardless of precisely where and when “Jingle Bells.” was written, it is clear it was not intended as a Christmas song (and indeed, it contains no reference to Christmas or December, its only association with either of these being a mention of snow). While there are several origin stories about the song “Jingle Bells,” the most popular has it that Pierpont wrote the song for a Thanksgiving program at his father’s Sunday school; the song proved to be so popular the children were asked to the sing the song again at Christmas, and it has been tied to the latter holiday ever since.

“Jingle Bells” didn’t start out as a Christmas song, but now, more than 150 years after its publication, it has become staple of the winter holiday season. Historian Roger Lee Hall noted the song was first recorded by the Edison Male Quartette in 1898. “Jingle Bells” was later recorded by Benny Goodman in 1935 and Glenn Miller in 1941, but the song didn’t truly become a Christmas staple until after Bing Crosby waxed a jazzy version of it with the Andrews Sister in 1943:

 

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was created by a man whose wife was dying of cancer.

         

To most of us, the character of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, immortalized in song and a popular holiday television special, has always been an essential part of our Christmas folklore, but Rudolph is in fact a mid-twentieth century invention whose creation can be traced to a specific time and person:

However, the glurgified account of that event reproduced above, while essentially correct in its broad strokes, erroneously inverts a key aspect of the process: The story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was not developed by a man who was seeking to bring comfort to his daughter as her mother lay dying of cancer and who subsequently sold his creation to a department store chain. Instead, the Rudolph character and story was developed for commercial purposes by a Montgomery Ward copywriter at the specific request of his employer, and that copywriter then tested the story out on his own daughter during the development process to ensure it would appeal to children.

Rudolph came to life in 1939 when the Chicago-based Montgomery Ward company asked one of their copywriters, 34-year-old Robert L. May, to come up with a Christmas story they could give away in booklet form to shoppers as a promotional gimmick — the Montgomery Ward stores had been buying and distributing coloring books to customers at Christmastime every year, and May’s department head saw creating a giveaway booklet of their own as a way to save money. Robert May, who had a penchant for writing children’s stories and limericks, was tapped to create the booklet.

The post-war demand for licensing the Rudolph character was tremendous, but since May had created the story on a “work made for hire” basis as an employee of Montgomery Ward, that company held the copyright to Rudolph, and May received no royalties for his creation. Deeply in debt from the medical bills resulting from his wife’s terminal illness (she died about the time May created Rudolph), May persuaded Montgomery Ward’s corporate president, Sewell Avery, to turn the copyright over to him in January 1947, and with the rights to his creation in hand, May’s financial security was assured. (Unlike Santa Claus and other familiar Christmas figures of the time, the Rudolph character was a protected trademark that required licensing and the payment of royalties for commercial use.)

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was reprinted commercially beginning in 1947 and shown in theaters as a nine-minute cartoon the following year, but the Rudolph phenomenon really took off when May’s brother-in-law, songwriter Johnny Marks, developed the lyrics and melody for a Rudolph song. Marks’ musical version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (turned down by many in the music industry who didn’t want to meddle with the established Santa legend) was recorded by cowboy crooner Gene Autry in 1949, sold two million copies that year, and went on to become one of the best-selling songs of all time (second only to “White Christmas”). A stop-action television special about Rudolph produced by Rankin/Bass and narrated by Burl Ives was first aired in 1964 and remains a popular perennial holiday favorite in the U.S.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
BY MADISYN TAYLOR  

 

 

 

The Kaleidoscope of Life

 
BY MADISYN TAYLOR

When we only associate with like-minded people, there often isn't room to grow, as new ideas aren't being introduced.

We tend to gravitate toward people who are the most like us, at least in the ways that make us feel comfortable. But life has its way of bringing us into contact with people who challenge us with their differences. It may be an obvious difference reflected in their outward appearance or an invisible but powerful philosophical stance, but even in our closest circle of friends and family, there are those that confront us with their different ways of experiencing and expressing life. We can choose to resist, but we can also choose to learn from them and appreciate that they too have a place in the kaleidoscope of life. 

As much as we may say that we want peace and quiet and a life without struggle, the truth is that human beings are, at this time, thriving in a world of dualities and challenges. It is how we choose to approach these hurdles that determine if we sail over them, confirming our agility, or trip and end up face down in the dust. And each of us absolutely will and must stumble, and then get up, brush the dust off and carry on. This is how we learn and grow, developing depth of character and shades of understanding. In a world of dualities, we have trouble defining ourselves without something opposite, and can't discover who we are. Without challenge, there is nothing to do and nothing to discover. That leaves us either in a state of non-being or the state of pure spirit, but as humans, we are spiritual beings experiencing the physical world in all of its startling contrast and beauty. 

No matter how spiritual we are, our lives will have challenges. We will always run into people that are different that we are, but the true challenge may be in finding ways to be at peace with this process. Rather than give in to the fight or flight response that comes from our animal nature, we can find new ways to evolve together into higher more beautiful expressions of ourselves, realizing, embracing and celebrating the beauty of diversity and the strength it offers for the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Thelma, 

I just read an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled The Loneliest Generation: Americans, More Than Ever, Are Aging Alone

First of all, the title of the article caught my attention because I was imagining how sad it would be not to have any connection with people as you grew older. 

Then, as I read the article, I remembered something I’ve read in many Hay House books and heard from Dr. Wayne W. Dyer in his talks over the years—it’s so important to have connection with others. 

The authors of the article, Janet Adamy and Paul Overberg, point out that “Researchers have found that loneliness takes a physical toll and is as closely linked to mortality as smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day or consuming more than 6 alcoholic drinks a day. Loneliness is even worse for longevity than being obese or physically inactive. 

Another part of the article calls attention to the importance of connection again by stating “In a review of 148 independent studies on loneliness, covering more than 300,000 participants, [researchers] found that greater social connection is associated with a 50% lower risk of early death. 

Connection is more important than I realized, that’s for sure, especially as you age. 

I usually end these newsletters with actions you can take to make an improvement, but in this case, I think it’s enough to know it’s important to remain connected to others—particularly as you age. 

Some love the idea of living in a retirement community (and now I see the health benefits of that as well). 

Others live close to family and friends and keep those connections going as they age. 

But we all need to think about connection—as it seems to be as important to your health as both eating healthy and exercising. 

Have a great week! 

Wishing you the best, 
Reid Tracy   
CEO, Hay House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non stop Cebuano Bisaya Christmas Songs

 

 

 

 

 

Feliz Navidad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emmett O'Hanlon & Emmet Cahill "Adeste Fideles"

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best Christian movie ever made didn't come from the Christian entertainment industry

David Roark, Contributor

Connect with David Roark

What if I told you the greatest Christian movie ever made wasn't The Passion of the Christ? What if I told you that it wasn't produced by the Christian entertainment industry? What if I told you those involved wanted nothing to do with being labeled "Christian"?

The film I'm talking about is Terrence Malick's 2011 The Tree of Life, which was recently re-released by the Criterion Collection with a new extended cut and tons of bonus features. This masterpiece not only tells a story of Christian redemption, but unlike so many "Christian" movies, its beauty and craft actually invoke Christian worship.

Malick, a Texan who lives near Austin and is a practicing Episcopalian, has made a career of writing and directing unorthodox movies haunted by orthodoxy. From his first feature film, Badlands, to his most recent film, Knight of Cups, Malick's body of work features theodicies, allusions and allegories tied to the Christian story.

Of everything Malick has made, The Tree of Life stands as the most distinctively and explicitly Christian. Starring Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain, the film juxtaposes the personal story of a 1950s Texas family with the cosmic story of the world. Establishing and building from a uniquely Christian framework, Malick intertwines notions of creation, fall, redemption and restoration on both a micro and macro scale. He also takes on big ideas about the meaning of existence, the reality of death and suffering, eternity, grace, nature, sin, shame and so many other things.

While there's no come-to-Jesus moment in The Tree of Life, Malick's film essentially says there is something broken in our world, and there is only one way to address and fix it, through "the way of grace." Whether it's a scene in church that lingers on a stained-glass image of Christ or parallels with the character of the mother played by Chastain, this way obviously points to Jesus Christ.

There's something to be said about the way Malick expresses his Christian attitudes and convictions on the screen. He doesn't suppress them, but he also doesn't communicate them as if he is in the pulpit. Whereas many Christian movies, made by Christians from the Christian industry, boast didactic dialogue and scenes that include things like the "sinner's prayer," The Tree of Life gets across similar ideas without the heavy-handedness. 

Ironically, Malick's delving into darker themes of suffering and death, especially in The Tree of Life, makes his films feel more Christian than the average Christian movie that hits theaters. As theologian and author Frederick Buechner once said, "the Gospel is bad news before it is good news." Yet most Christian movies jump too quickly to the good news, becoming unrelatable and disconnected from reality.

Dealing with the difficulties of life, though, including abuse, shame and loss, The Tree of Life doesn't shy away from the bad news. The film sits and soaks in it and makes you do the same, and then the hope that emerges seems more believable and is all the sweeter.

Malick's film also gets what is beautiful right in the way he tells that story. With a distinct lyrical style of constant voiceovers and montages, each shot and scene gives us a window into heaven. It's as if Malick treats his movies like religious sacraments that are intended to stir up worship, specifically through visuals that capture the wonder, the grace and the beauty of the human experience, bridging the gap between creation and creator.

For those who prefer their movies simple, light and easy to digest, like the typical Christian movie, the work of Malick will prove challenging. As we see in The Tree of Life, he is slow and meticulous. After all, despite its critical success, The Tree of Life became notorious for theater walkouts, as some viewers assumed they were getting a standard Brad Pitt flick.

Yet, the payoff with Malick's fifth feature film is worth the time and effort. Even though he doesn't categorize himself as a Christian filmmaker, The Tree of Life may be the greatest Christian movie ever made.

David Roark is a writer and communications director for an evangelical church in Dallas. He wrote this column for The Dallas Morning News.

What's your view?

Got an opinion about this issue? Send a letter to the editor, and you just might get published.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The nation returns thanks to the Bush family

Kenneth Hersh, Contributor

HONORING THE 41st PRESIDENT | Bush Center Tributes to President George H. W. Bush

This week, Bush Center President and CEO Ken Hersh and Editorial Director William McKenzie joined the world in reflecting on the servant leadership of the Bush family and the values our 41st president represented. Presidential Leadership Scholar John Coleman shared what he learned during the program from President George H. W. Bush's administration, covering his approach to leadership through meaningful relationships
Read about the servant leadership of the Bush family  arrow

Watching a family mourn a patriarch's passing is usually reserved for those who knew him or the family well. Passers-by who appear too interested may border on the voyeuristic. But watching the Bush family made it apparent that this week was something altogether different.

The Bush family is a great American family that long ago traded anonymity for the opportunity to serve the public. That trade was on full display this week when the family invited us all into their world for a time so that we could mourn the passing and celebrate the life of George H.W. Bush, an exemplary American. I was fortunate enough to be at Wednesday's state funeral to feel both the solemnity of the moment and the gratitude for a life well-lived.

Most in attendance actually knew the man personally. I watched the parade of present and former policy leaders, Bush-Quayle alumni and close friends as they exchanged stories about their fondest memories or their last encounter with 41. I was struck by the sight of so many people who have had such a major impact upon our world filing in, filing out, jostling for seats, managing their coats, and straining to see, just like normal people. They were all no different than you and me; they were fallible people who simply worked on big topics.

However, those watching from all over the world felt as if they knew him, too. For a spell, time seemed to stand still so we could all be together — to laugh, to cry, to remember. Partisanship took a break. He was bringing people together, even in his final act.

The Bushes have their family for sure; but they are also part of our family. For the past 100 years, there has been a Bush serving this country. President George H.W. Bush's father, Prescott Bush, served in the U.S. Army from 1917-1919 before later serving in the U.S. Senate from 1952-62. 

Most adults today would not know of a time when there wasn't someone named Bush in the public eye. They have been there for us. The latest generation of that family still is, and they are not assuming roles out of a sense of entitlement, but rather duty, motivated by service. 

This week, as a nation, we were there for them. Whether in one of the grand cathedrals where services were held, paying respects in the Capitol rotunda, lining the streets to salute a passing motorcade, waving at a passing train, or watching the almost nonstop TV coverage from afar, our presence was embracing their kin. As we did so, we were collectively thanking them for their commitment to this wonderful country.

However, those watching from all over the world felt as if they knew him, too. For a spell, time seemed to stand still so we could all be together — to laugh, to cry, to remember. Partisanship took a break. He was bringing people together, even in his final act.

The Bushes have their family for sure; but they are also part of our family. For the past 100 years, there has been a Bush serving this country. President George H.W. Bush's father, Prescott Bush, served in the U.S. Army from 1917-1919 before later serving in the U.S. Senate from 1952-62. 

Most adults today would not know of a time when there wasn't someone named Bush in the public eye. They have been there for us. The latest generation of that family still is, and they are not assuming roles out of a sense of entitlement, but rather duty, motivated by service. 

This week, as a nation, we were there for them. Whether in one of the grand cathedrals where services were held, paying respects in the Capitol rotunda, lining the streets to salute a passing motorcade, waving at a passing train, or watching the almost nonstop TV coverage from afar, our presence was embracing their kin. As we did so, we were collectively thanking them for their commitment to this wonderful country.

    

A man stands on a pickup as the train carrying former President George H.W. Bush to his final resting place passes by on Dec. 6, 2018 in Texas. A World War II combat veteran, Bush served as a member of Congress from Texas, ambassador to the United Nations, director of the CIA, vice president and 41st president of the United States. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

 

 



 

 

 

 

Michael Buble Home for the Holidays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 



    

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

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