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WITandWISDOM(tm) - January 14, 2005
"People seem to get nostalgic about a lot of things they weren't so crazy about the first time around."
Source: Quotes of the Day, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=Subscribe_Quotes_of_the_Day
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
The Christmas Menorah
By Joan Wester Anderson
During the wee hours of Sunday morning, December 8, 1996, after the third night of Hanukkah, someone took a baseball bat and broke the front window of a house on the street with a lighted menorah in the window, and the criminals reached through the shattered glass and smashed the menorah.
The menorah is used to celebrate the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights, also known as Hanukkah, which occurs around the same time as Christmas. As a nativity scene reminds Christians of their heritage and faith, so does a menorah for Jews.
The woman who lived in the vandalized house was no stranger to prejudice. As a child, she had come with her mother, a Holocaust survivor, and her father, to the United States to escape persecution in the Soviet Union. Now, as she viewed the smashed menorah, the familiar fear returned.
Lisa Keeling, a young mother who lived down the street, heard about the incident on returning from mass with her family. She was appalled. Newtown has about fifteen hundred families, representing many cultures and religions. Lisa had never heard of anyone being singled out because of faith or ethnicity. How would she feel if someone desecrated a crčche on her lawn she wondered. Unless everyone were free to practice religious beliefs, no one could be free.
Lisa had an idea. She said to her husband, “I’d like to put a menorah in our front window so that family will know they are not going through this alone. If the vandals come back, they’ll have to target us, too. What do you think?
Lisa’s husband didn’t hesitate. “Go for it,” he said.
Lisa soon ran into another neighbor, Margie Alexander, who had been as horrified as Lisa when she heard the news and was also eager to act.
Margie started driving from store to store, looking for menorahs, with Lisa calling all the likely sources and relaying the information to Margie on her car phone. Word got around, and several Christian neighbors dropped by, asking where to purchase a menorah. Margie and Lisa bought up all they could and distributed them just before sundown— time to light the next candle.
Then Lisa took down the Christmas lights in one of her windows and put the menorah there, all by itself. “I didn’t want there to be any doubt about the statement we were making,” she recalls.
That night, when the Jewish woman turned onto her street, she stopped in amazement. Greeting her was a sea of orange menorah lights, shining in silent solidarity from the windows of all eighteen Christian households on her block. Blinking back tears, she went home, replaced the broken bulbs in her own menorah and put it back in the window.
Margie and Lisa are hanging menorahs again this Christmas. “it’s become the most cherished part of my Christmas,” Margie says, “and it’s taught me a wonderful lesson: Just one little step in the right direction can make life better for everyone.”
Copyright 1997 by Joan Wester Anderson, From Angels We Have Heard on High. For more stories of God's love, visit Joan's website at: http://www.joanwanderson.com
Submitted by Jackie Skeels
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
The Edge Index
Percentage change since 2002 in the annual number of attacks by pirates on ships worldwide: 20
Base yearly salary for a NASA astronaut: $50,000
Number of restaurants in China that were closed by police after it was found they were ensuring customer loyalty by mixing opium into their soups: 215
Percentage of men who say they drive more carefully when they have a woman passenger: 65
Price of a bleepinator, a device for TV broadcasters that "surgically removes indecent words and phrases": $9,995
Average number of "smoking incidents" per hour in major U.S. films in 1950: 10.7
Average number in 2002: 10.9
Rank of Florida on the list of the sunniest states in America: 5
Number of days it takes the average American to feel relaxed on vacation: 2.6
Estimated amount of tea in China: 508,000 metric tons
Cost of a new high-tech toilet that can massage, dry and spritz your buttocks with deodorizer: $5,000
Source: The Oregonian, Copyright (c) July 1, 2004, http://www.oregonian.com/
Submitted by Barbara Henry
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
A Preacher visits an elderly woman from his congregation. As he sits on the couch, he notices a large bowl of peanuts on the coffee table. " Mind if I have a few?" he asks. " No not at all," the woman replied.
They chat for an hour and as the preacher stands to leave, he realizes that instead of eating just a few peanuts, he emptied most of the bowl.
"I'm totally sorry for eating all your peanuts, I really meant to just have a few." "Oh that's all right," the woman says.
"Ever since I lost my teeth, all I can do is suck the chocolate off them!"
The Church Host program prevents any visitors from being unrecognized. It was successful in Houston, Texas, leading to baptisms and membership transfers.
Here's how it works;
1. Greeter provides guest with bulletin and introduces guest to church host.
2. Prior to Sabbath school, church host will give guest a brief tour. After the opening services are over, the church host will approach the guest to offer assistance in accompanying him/her to a Sabbath school class.
3. After Sabbath school is over, the church host acknowledges the guest with a smile or says, "I hope you enjoyed your Sabbath school class," and invites him/her to stay for the church service,
4. Church host acknowledges guest, from pulpit, with accompanying comment. (where appropriate). For example, if guest is from Colorado, a comment might be, "I visited Colorado about 12 years ago, and it was one of my fondest trips."
5. After church services are over, church host will speak to guest again, telling him/her how wonderful it was to have him/her and invite him/her back.
6. On high days (baptism, ordinances, fellowship luncheon), advise the guest of the plans and accompany him/her, as appropriate.
7. If guest does not return the following Sabbath, church host will contact with a "We missed you."
By J. .A. Ditto, Cleveland, Oklahoma
Source: Adventist Review, ISSN 0161-1119, (c) July 2004, http://www.adventistreview.org/
Submitted by Mary Thayne