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WIT & WISDOM - December 14, 1998
The most wonderful of all things in life, I believe, is the discovery of another human being with whom one's relationship has a glowing depth, beauty, and joy as the years increase. - Sir Hugh Walpoe 
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
Jesus was born in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes. Swaddling cloths were strips of cloth in which the baby was wrapped tightly. It was thought to cause the limbs of the infant to grow straight. (Eerdmans Bible Dictionary) Although swaddling cloths would not be rags to us earthlings, to someone from the heavenly realms they must have seemed like rags.
In addition to the "rags," the truth of the matter is that except for a few shepherds and later on some wise men, the Creator and Savior of the world arrived on our planet and was basically ignored.
What did Jesus actually look like? No one knows. I find it interesting that the Bible describes the appearance of some people, characters - Saul, David, Absalom, John the Baptist, but for the central figure in the Bible, there is not even a word of what he looked like. The best description we read of his appearance was written several hundred years before he was born. Is. 53: 1-3 "Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering."
Not everyone rejected Jesus. Many people were attracted to him. However, it was not because of his appearance. It was primarily due to his love, compassion and strength of character. He was particularly moved by the "losers" and despised people in society - tax collectors, sick, demon possessed, prostitutes, and lepers, to name a few. Had Jesus lived in our day, the people to whom Jesus might have given most of his attention would have been to refugees, orphans, street sleepers, folks with AIDS, homosexuals, those with chemical dependancies.
The way I view and feel about such people may be an indicator of the way I would react if Jesus came into church dressed in rags. May God give me more compassion as I remember that he loves these individuals as much as he does "healthy" and "normal" people. He entered our sinful, messed-up world to save them also.
For what they are worth, these are just some of my thoughts this Christmas. Written by Dave Aufrance from Hong Kong, 1997 
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
THINGS I'M GLAD I DIDN'T SAY
From the by-line of sports writer, Eric Bishop.
Credited to his friend, Andy Matovich.
Calgary Sun, December 6, 1998
Senior basketball player at the University of Pittsburgh:
"I'M GOING TO GRADUATE ON TIME, NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES."
Football commentator and one-time Toronto Argo quarterback Joe Theismann:
"NOBODY IN FOOTBALL SHOULD BE CALLED A GENIUS. A GENIUS IS A GUY LIKE NORMAN EINSTEIN."
Bill Peterson, a Florida coach:
"YOU GUYS LINE UP ALPHABETICALLY BY HEIGHT."
"YOU GUYS PAIR UP IN GROUPS OF THREE, THEN LINE UP IN A CIRCLE."
Anaheim Mighty Ducks enforcer Stu Grimson, explaining why he keeps a colour photo of himself above his locker:
"THAT'S SO WHEN I FORGET HOW TO SPELL MY NAME, I CAN STILL FIND MY CLOTHES."
Shaquille O'Neal on whether he had visited the Parthenon during his visit to Greece:
"I CAN'T REALLY REMEMBER THE NAMES OF THE CLUBS THAT WE WENT TO."
"I'VE WON AT EVERY LEVEL, EXCEPT COLLEGE AND PRO."
Frank Layden, Utah Jazz president, on a former player:
"I TOLD HIM, "SON, WHAT IS IT WITH YOU? IS IT IGNORANCE OR APATHY?" HE SAID, "COACH, I DON'T KNOW AND I DON'T CARE."
Torrin Polk, University of Houston receiver on his coach, John Jenkins:
"HE TREATS US LIKE MEN. HE LETS US WEAR EARRINGS." 
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
One evening a man was very impressed with the meat entree his wife had served. "What did you marinate this in?" he asked. His wife immediately went into a long explanation about how much she loves him and how life wouldn't be the same without him, etc.
Eventually, his puzzled expression made her interrupt her answer with a questions of her own: "What did you ask me?" She chuckled at his answer and explained, "I thought you asked me if I would marry you again!"
As she left the room, he called out, "Well, would you marry me again?"
Without hesitation, she replied, "Vinegar and barbecue sauce." 
East African and Central American acacia trees are patrolled by swarms of aggressive biting ants that viciously attack any intruders! The acacia trees provide them with shelter inside modified thorns called pseudogalls. The trees also offer good food, grown on special glands. The acacia trees benefit, because the ants keep away anything that might want to eat the leaves.
But there's a catch: the tree's flowers need to be pollinated by flying insects. So the flowers release a chemical that causes the ants to stay away during the time they are open! When the flowers have been pollinated, the ants return to protect the ripening seeds.
More about the acacias and the ants:
 (DAILY QUOTATION'S LIST
 (Dave Aufrance)
 (Mavis Weatherhead)
 (Nick Brown via Bill's Punch Line
 (The Learning Kingdom