Thursday, January 15, 2009

God created human beings in his own image. Genesis 1:27

It is always fun to talk to married people and hear stories about how they met. Some met on blind dates, in college classes, or at work, some were high school sweethearts, and nowadays you may even run into couple who met on-line through a dating service! What is really interesting to me, is that usually coupls discover some funny coincidence after they meet, like growing up in the same church or town, on in my husband and my case, in the same neighborhood, without knowing each other! As a couple gorws together in marriage, couples gain matching hearts.

The same principle applies to us with God. Before we were born, God formed each of us to reflect his image. As we begin to know him, we realize that our hearts are made from the same mold as his. Like him, we were born to love, to delight, to create, and to live fully day by day. We look at many worldly things, trying to find a satisfying match for our hearts, but without God in our lives, we are incomplete, dissatified and still searching.

As humans, we are meant to be in relationship with God. Our souls are made for his. Our lives are only complete and fulfilled as we get to know Jesus. As we grow in spirit our hearts become more like his!

Q: The average American man, over the age of 24, shaves how many times per week?
A: Six

Today is Civil Service Day. On this date in 1883, the Pendleton Act created the federal civil service system and the U.S. Civil Service Commission.

Today is Religious Freedom Day and, for the non-religious, it’s National Fig Newton Day.

Today is National Nothing Day, a day to not celebrate anything. You're not supposed to send cards or flowers or have a sale or call a 900 number or anything. Sounds very un-American to me.

A patent for the refrigerator was granted on this date in 1868 to William Davis. Davis invented the refrigerator because he had seven children and no place to hang their fingerpaintings.
1939: The comic strip Superman made its debut.

1978: Mrs. Grace Patterson died in Joplin, Missouri, leaving her $250,000 estate, including a 3-bedroom home and a 7-acre pet cemetery, to her cat, Charlie Chan.

1973: "Bonanza," a top western TV show, aired its final episode after 14 seasons on NBC. It starred Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Dan Blocker, Pernell Roberts, and Victor Sen Yung.
1976: The TV variety series "Donny & Marie" premiered on ABC.

1987: Red M&Ms returned for the first time in 11 years after being banned because the original red dye used in the candy had caused cancer in laboratory rats.

1991: Boxer George Foreman’s wife Joan gave birth to yet another George, George the 5th. The couple already had three sons: George the 2nd, George the 3nd, and George the 4th. Dad is George the 1st.

2007: In Tallahassee, Florida, the duck a hunter's wife said, when she opened her refrigerator, the duck her husband killed two days earlier raised its head and looked at her. The woman said she freaked out and told her daughter to "get that duck to the hospital right now!" At last report the duck, shot in the wing and leg, was doing well at the Goose Creek Wildlife Sanctuary.


Banks in Peril AgainU.S. banks are asking for billions more dollars as they continue to fail. Citigroup admits that if it doesn't get another $100 billion, it won't have enough money to print out all the 100,000 pink slips it needs by next week.

Chase ProfitJPMorgan Chase has posted a surprise profit for 2008. Wall Street was shocked by the bank's radical business plan that included not paying $100 million bonuses to failed executives and only lending money to people who could pay it back.

Obama says that one of the first things he’ll do as president is close down Guantanamo Bay. A spokesman for Obama says that the prisoners at Guantanamo will either be returned to their own countries or entered into the New York City cab drivers program.

Obama says that he wants to bring a “sense of accountability” to Washington. I have a better idea — why not bring some accountants with sense to Washington?

President Bush has been giving Barack Obama a lot of advice. He told Obama that his biggest challenge will be “an enemy attack.” Specifically, Bush told Obama, “Keep your eye on Hillary.”
There’s a new study out that says too much caffeine can cause hallucinations. I think it’s true because I was at Starbucks, and I hallucinated that a cup of coffee cost $4.

Then I hallucinated that the counter guy was trying to sell me a jazz CD at 6 o’clock in the damn morning.


Some 150 people aboard a US Airways plane en route to Charlotte, N.C., from New York City were rescued today in a lightning-fast effort following the jet's crash into the frigid waters of the Hudson River off the West Side of Manhattan.

All passengers and crew aboard were reported safe after New York City firefighters and ferries rushed to the aid of the US Airways jet, which floated in the river near the historic aircraft carrier The Intrepid.

US Airways flight 1549, an A-320 manufactured by Airbus, was carrying as many as 148 passengers and five or six crew members, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Only 30 seconds after takeoff at 3:26 p.m. ET, the pilot reported two bird strikes and said he wanted to return to LaGuardia Airport.

Controllers began giving him directions for return, but the pilot requested to land at the nearby Teterboro airport over New Jersey. The tower reportedly lost contact soon after that last transmission.

Commuter boats in the area were seen fishing people from the river, and rescuing passengers standing on the plane's wings after the crash.
President George W. Bush's farewell speech is more than a goodbye to the nation that elected him twice. It is his last chance in office to define his tumultuous presidency in his own, unfiltered terms - a mission that will keep his fire burning even after he fades off to a quieter life.
Bush will said goodbye to the country Thursday night. He will follow the script of Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter and many before them: Express thanks to the country and pride in the honor of serving, wish the next president well and outline what he considers to be the biggest challenges ahead.

And there will be looking back.

For presidents, parting thoughts are not about parting shots. This was no different. But Bush is proud of his record and will go out defending it.

In that sense, the goodbye address will underscore the competing accounts of his presidency one last time.

Bush and his loyal backers see his record this way: He kept the country safe from attack after terrorism redefined his presidency, cut taxes, freed the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, reformed education, oversaw 52 straight months of job growth, acted decisively when the economy tanked, stuck to principle no matter what his poll numbers, retooled the military and improved federal crisis management after the worst U.S. natural disaster happened on his watch.

To his critics, Bush wasted the world's good will after the Sept. 11 attacks, got the nation into a catastrophic and avoidable Iraq war, presided over a staggering 2.6 million jobs lost in 2008, ran up debt, reacted slowly to Hurricane Katrina, did more dividing than uniting and refused to listen to the will of the people.

Historians say the fairest assessment will come over time. Bush says accurate short-term history does not even exist.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted overwhelmingly on Thursday for Hillary Rodham Clinton to become the next secretary of state, with lawmakers saying they were hopeful her leadership would mark a turn from warfare toward diplomacy.

The 16-1 approval by the committee paves the way for a full Senate vote after President-elect Barack Obama takes office on Jan. 20. Clinton is not expected to hit any major roadblocks, with Republicans and Democrats alike praising her acumen on the issues.

But concerns about her husband's charitable fundraising overseas remain. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, who was among several Republicans who raised the issue at her confirmation hearing earlier this week, cast the lone opposing vote.

In a statement, Vitter called former President Bill Clinton's foundation a "multimillion dollar minefield of conflicts of interest."


Dr. Warren has decided that he will not be available for any interviews leading up to or on the day of inauguration. This includes interviews focused on his historic address as the first white preacher (that we know) to speak at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Martin Luther King Day, January 19 (on what would have been Dr. King's 80th birthday).

A few things worth noting here: There's been some speculation about whether Warren will invoke Jesus's name during the invocation prayer. A sentence from this memo, "Recognizing the stewardship of his role as a Christian leader ministering ... his desire is that his prayer and preaching can be pastoral," suggests that Warren will deliver a Christian prayer.

Secondly, Warren is undeterred by yesterday's announcement that Gene Robinson—fundamentally at odds with Warren over gay rights—will kick off inauguration week. Despite all the controversy his scheduled appearance has sparked among gay groups—and Robinson's appearance has sparked in the Christian right—Warren will go forward with the invocation, a testament to his determination to rise above the culture wars swirling around him.

Finally, Warren's decision to decline interview requests till after Inauguration Day is basically a vow to stay off the news for the next week to let Obama have his moment. Warren knows that anything he says about the invocation could be fodder for headlines, so he's keeping his head down. Pretty classy.


Survey findings released today from Ellison Research (Phoenix, Arizona) show that seven out of ten regular churchgoers would be at least somewhat open to switching denominations, with dramatic differences between Protestants and Roman Catholics.

The findings are from a study independently designed and conducted by Ellison Research among a representative sample of 1,007 American adults. The sample is balanced by gender, age, income, race, and geography. The sample included 471 respondents who regularly attend worship services at a church broadly considered to be within the Christian tradition: Protestant, Roman Catholic, Mormon, and Orthodox.

Respondents who attend worship services once a month or more were first asked the specific denomination of the church they attend most often (for example, not just “Baptist,” but “Southern Baptist,” “Free Will Baptist,” etc.). Then they were asked what role that denomination would play if they could no longer attend their current church (if the church closed or if they moved to another area, for instance).

Three out of ten churchgoers say they would only consider attending one denomination – they would be open to nothing else. Another 44% report having one preferred denomination, but they would also consider others.

Eleven percent have a small number of denominations they would consider, with no particular favorite among them. Six percent don’t have any particular denomination they prefer, but they do have certain ones they would not consider. Finally, 9% say denomination does not factor into their decision of what church to attend.


Want a quick tax refund? File your federal tax returns electronically.

With tax season approaching, the Internal Revenue Service said on Wednesday it is expanding a program that enables taxpayers to file returns online at no charge, promising refunds much faster than for those who mail in paper forms.

Taxpayers who file electronically can receive refunds in as few as 10 days, compared to six to eight weeks for those filing paper returns, according to the IRS. The IRS e-file system becomes available Friday

Taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes of $56,000 or less, or about 70 percent of all taxpayers, can use a Free File computer program that walks them through the filing process step by step, much like a tax preparer would, Williams said.

Taxpayers with higher incomes can fill out and file their tax forms online, just like they would on paper, he said.

Nearly 90 million taxpayers filed online last year, about 58 percent of all returns. The IRS Oversight Board, which oversees the IRS, has set a goal of having 80 percent of taxpayers file online by 2012.

The IRS e-file system can be found at


If you love Mexican food but think it's bad for you, think again. A new study shows that the right Mexican food might actually prevent cancer, Dr. Bruce Hensel reported.

"Lots of fried beans and cheese and a lot of meat are still bad for most of us, but this new research says not all Mexican food is bad. What you shop for and how you cook it can make it good for you," Dr. Hensel said.

As a two-year breast cancer survivor, Margie Carrillo closely watches what she eats.

"I go a lot toward the fruits and the vegetables, of course salads and protein. I'm big on protein," Carrillo said.

That good choice that may already be paying dividends among some Hispanic women.

New research shows that the rate of breast cancer among Hispanic women is less than that of non-Hispanic white women.

The rate of breast cancer is lowest among women who eat a native Mexican diet.
But don't mistake native for the high-fat, low-fiber Americanized version of Mexican food.

Dietician Sue Cunningham says the native diets is different: "The native Mexican diet would have an abundance of fruits and vegetables, beans. They would have tomato-based sauces and lower fat Mexican cheese."

Native Mexican food has ingredients you can find at the grocery store, such as cabbage, squash, corn, beans and different spices.

"The American Cancer Society has for years said fruits and vegetables are where the immune-boosting components of food are found. And this is just a study that confirms that," Cunningham said.

Margie's breast cancer is in remission. She's cooking and eating to keep it that way.

"Researchers compared our western diet to a low-fat diet and a Mediterranean diet. The western diet, high in sugar and fat, was associated with the greatest risk of breast cancer. Mediterranean and low fat had lower risks. Mexican can be cooked low fat. The native diet includes fresh fish as well as vegetables," Dr. Hensel said.

FAST FACT:Roughly 182,000 new cases of female breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2008.




Romano's Macaroni Grill

And Baskin Robins all made the list!

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