|Prior Date||Archive Index||Next Date|
WITandWISDOM(tm) - December 24, 2002
Success is that old ABC - ability, breaks, and courage. - Charles Luckman
Source: Inspire, http://www.inspirelist.com/
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
A CHRISTMAS PARABLE
Once upon a time, there was a man who looked upon Christmas as a lot of humbug. He wasn't a scrooge. He was a kind and decent person, generous to his family, upright in all his dealings with other men. But he didn't believe all that stuff about incarnation which churches proclaim at Christmas. And he was too honest to declare that he did.
"I am truly sorry to distress you," he told his wife, who was a faithful churchgoer. "But I simply cannot understand this claim that God became man. It doesn't make any sense to me." On Christmas Eve, his wife and children went to church for the midnight service. He declined to accompany them. "Id feel like a hypocrite," he explained. "Id much rather stay at home. But I'll wait up for you."
Shortly after his family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window and watched the flurries getting heavier and heavier. "If we must have Christmas," he thought, "It's nice to have a white one." He went back to his chair by the fireside and began to read his newspaper. A few minutes later, he was startled by a thudding sound, It was quickly followed by another, then another. He thought that someone must be throwing snowballs at his livingroom window.
When he went to the front door to investigate, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They'd had been caught in the storm, and in a desperate search for shelter had tried to fly through his window.
"I can't let these poor creatures lie there and freeze," he thought. "But how can I help them?" Then he remembered the barn where the children's pony was stabled. It would provide a warm shelter. He put on his coat and galoshes and tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light. But the birds didn't come in. "Food will bring them in," he thought. So he hurried back to the house for bread crumbs, which he sprinkled on the snow to make a trail into the barn.
To his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs and continued to flop around helplessly in the snow. He tried shoeing them in the barn by walking around and waving his arms. They scattered in every direction--except into the warm, lighted barn. "They find me a strange and terrifying creature," he said to himself. "And I can't seem to think of any way to let them know they can trust me. If only I could be a bird myself for a few minutes, perhaps I could lead them to safety..."
Just at that moment, the church bells began to ring. He stood silently for a while, listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. Then he sank to his knees in the snow. "Now I do understand," he whispered. "Now I see why you had to do it.
Attributed to Louis Cassells
Submitted by John L. Hoh, Jr., Jackie Cottrell
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
'Twas The Night Before Christmas, NASA-style
By Gail Koske Phillips and Patrick Koske-McBride
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the stars
Not a creature was stirring, not even on Mars.
The space boots were hung by the airlock with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The robots were nestled all snug on their tires,
As visions of upgrades danced through their wires;
Mom put on her headset while I counted prime numbers,
We had settled our brains for a long winter's slumber,
When out on the dome there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my sack to see what was the matter.
Away to the porthole I flew like a flash,
And tore open the air filter with a great clash.
The moons on the crest of a new volcano,
Gave an alien luster to objects below.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a small UFO, and eight rocket reindeer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than light, his rockets they came,
And he whistled, and shouted and called them by name:
"Now Saturn! now, Sputnik! now, Titan and Atlas!
On, Redstone! on, Delta! Apollo, Polaris!
To the top of the dome! to the top of the wall!
Now blast away! blast away! blast away all!"
As meteors blaze through the heavens up high,
When they meet with the atmosphere and burn in the sky,
So up to the dome-top the rockets they flew,
With a ship full of toys, and St. Nicholas, too.
And then in a twinkling, I felt on the ceiling
The heat of the thrusters and landing tiles peeling.
As I covered my head, and was turning around,
Through the airlock old Santa Claus came with a bound.
He was dressed all in plastics, from his feet to his head,
And his clothes were all covered in dust that was red;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a scientist opening his pack.
His visor- how it twinkled! his filter how scary!
His gloves were from Earth, the logos quite merry!
His space boots, how costly! they played songs and glowed!
The frost on his suit was as cold as Pluto;
The stump of his air tube held tight in his teeth,
And oxygen swirled round his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook, when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a nod of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the space boots; then turned with a jerk,
And spreading his fingers just like Dr. Spock,
He quietly exited out the airlock.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like a high flying missile.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night."
Source: Science@NASA and Thursday's Classroom http://www.thursdaysclassroom.com/18dec01/thenight.html
< BR>Submitted by Debbie Yauch
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
"Remember, kids: When you stop believing in Santa Claus is when you start getting clothes for Christmas!"
Source: Heart Touchers, http://www.hearttouchers.com
In the summer of 1971, I worked in Hawaii. My mother had given me a silver ring with a cross design that I wore on my right pinky. That summer I lost the ring while playing football on Waikiki Beach. But my mom bought a replacement for me. A few years later, I landed a job back in Hawaii. The secretary asked me about my ring. I told her I wore it because I was a Christian. She told me she had a similar ring given to her by some friends who'd found it on the beach.
"Which beach?" I asked.
"Summer of 1971." She showed me the ring. It was the ring I'd lost three and a half years earlier.
By Charlie Norman, Glen Rose, Texas
Source: Focus on the Family - November 2002, http://www.family.org