Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)

All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first]:
I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Montgomery/Williams Project: Post Directly To The Montgomery/Williams Group/Page.

Did you know that YOU can post directly to this group/page.

  • Messages to the family in general, pictures, or questions and shares from your "Timeline" & "Wall".
  • Just use the "Write Post", "Add Photo/Video" or "Ask Question" links near the top of the page.
  • You can even share post and pictures from other Facebook pages directly using the share option.

Click share and when the dialogue box opens, on the drop downlist change it from "on your own timeline" (or whatever) to "In a group" and enter the group name Montgomery/Williams Project" (you should see the group name come up after you start typing, then just click it)

JUST REMEMBER:

  • The general rule is to keep it family oriented (Williams, Montgomery and your family), this is not a hard and fast rule, but keep it in mind.
  • Anything you post here is only seen by members of this group (136 cousins, aunts and uncles).

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Montgomery/Williams Project: Who’s Who?

This last week I have posted maps and information about the migration of 4 Kentucky families to Indianapolis, Indiana. These four families are the ancestors of James Francis 'Todd' Williams and his wife Myrtle Ethel Geneive Montgomery.

In the case of James we refer to the Williams family (his father's) and the Pope family (his mother's (grandparents)). In the case of Myrtle we refer to the Montgomery family (her father's) and the Brown family (her mother's)

On this group page to keep from losing track of who is who try to use the following guidelines (if you can):

  • Myrtle and James: we will always refer to them as Myrtle, James, Mom, Dad, Mr. Williams, Mrs. Williams, the Williams family.

Their (Myrtle and James) ancestors and contemporaries:

  • Their siblings will be referred to as: grand-uncles, grand-aunts.
  • Their parents, aunts and uncles will always be referred to as: grandpa, grandma, grand-uncle _______ or grand-aunt ______, the term 'great' will precede any parents of these kinfolk.

Their descendants:

  • Their children will be referred to as: the siblings, aunt ______, uncle ______.
  • Their grandchildren: grand-kid/child, First Cousins, the term 'great' will precede any children of the grand-kids (and so forth) of the grand-kids, as will 2nd cousin, 3 cousin, etc. Except in some circumstances the reference to generation, as in 'once removed' will not be used.

In this group page when these titles are used think of them as in relationship to James and Myrtle, not to you. Therefore if James is your grandfather then you can refer to him as Dad, Mr. Williams, or James, and his father as grandfather. Always think of James as dad, then you won't have to learn the pattern. You will just know.

This helps keep things from being confusing when you are talking about James to a niece or aunt. Your aunt might say brother, her daughter might say uncle, and your saying dad. It can get confusing.

Who are the siblings:

The children of James and Myrtle; Jimmy, Roy, Sherri, etc.

Who are the ‘First Cousins’?

The grandchildren of James and Myrtle; Tonya, Mark, Kelly, Johhny, Devon, etc.

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Montgomery/Williams Project: Joining the Group Page

As your touching base with family members this Christmas week:

This group page can be a great tool for sharing and spreading information about our heritage, past and present, but we all have to be sure to share that information with our family members to foster that heritage.

Non-members of this group page can see who's in the group, but they can't see what's posted on the group pages. They can see some photo's, but not all. They can't see the conversations. And most importantly, they can only receive invitations to join the group from someone on their 'Friends' List.

I have sent 'joined' every Williams I know (from my 'Friends List') into this group. To help make this group page work you should do the same. They can always 'unjoin' from the group.

The whole idea behind the family group page is to have a place for sharing with family, as we prepare to create a Family History/Picture album (print version), without sharing EVERYTHING we post on Facebook.

Any questions? Ask them in a comment.

Dead Penguins:

Did you ever wonder why there are no dead penguinsopusXMas on the ice in  Antarctica ?  - Where do they go ?  Wonder no more ! ! ! 
It is a known fact that the penguin is a very ritualistic Bird which lives an extremely ordered and complex life.  The penguin is very committed to its family. It mates For life, and maintains a form of compassionate contact with its Offspring throughout its life. 
If a penguin is found dead on the ice surface, other Members of the family and social circle have been Known to dig holes in  the ice, using their vestigial Wings and beaks, until the hole is deep enough for The dead bird to be rolled into and buried. 
The male penguins then gather in a circle around the fresh grave and sing: 
                         "Freeze a jolly good fellow"
                         "Freeze a jolly good fellow." 
"Then they kick him in the ice hole."
anim (6)
You really didn't believe that I know anything about penguins, did you?
11-28-2010 08;02;01PM

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Happy Holidays: Christmas Day

December 25th, Christmas Day:

A Christmas Message Of Hope


Intro         December 1

The Holidays: An 8 part Series

10 Things Christians Shouldn’t Do At Christmas

14

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Montgomery/Williams Project: Joining the Group

I have joined you to this group to make you aware of a family project I am undertaking. The publication of a Montgomery-Williams family history/photo book. Depicting 150 years of history. Please read the description for this group page for more information on the project.
This is a closed group which means whatever is shared in this group can only be seen by members of this group. You are as of now a member of this group. You can un-join (leave) this group at anytime, but please consider remaining in the group for more information on the project.
As I work on the project i will share information with the group.
As I proceed I will request information from members of the group. You are not required to provide that information, but your section of the book will depend on what you provide.be bare.
Think ahead. How much do you know of your families history? Do you want your descendants to be unaware of that history? Do you want your great-great-grand children to be unaware of you?

Happy Birthday Babe, Luv Ya.

Kelly's Wedding (mashup)

Born on the same date, 25 years later that her grandparents were married on.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Montgomery/Williams Project: Introduction

A few months ago Jodi and others received correspondence from Frank "Bob" Montgomery, a first cousin of the children of James and Myrtle (Montgomery) Williams. Bob provided them with some loose papers depicting some research and history of the ancestors of James and Myrtle.

Having done research on the genealogical history of my Littrell family, I offered to look at the papers and see if I could organize them into a historical presentation. Having worked with the papers for the last few weeks I have used my software to organize the material and believe that I should be able to put together a nice family history and picture book for the descendants of James & Myrtle (that's you).

I am too tied up in my websites and Facebook group page and boxes of unprocessed records for my Littrell family to undertake any new research, so I will be reliant on the information provided by Bob and his contributors for the historical parts of the book and upon you for information on your families.

I hope to have the book completed and available by next years Independence Weekend Picnic. If I don't have the book completed in time it will be because of a lack of cooperation and information from the descendants of James & Myrtle. If you, your siblings and cousins provide the information in time I will complete the book in time.

If the book is completed in time and you have not provided the information then it will be to late. The book will finished before, and will be available at the picnic. Copies will be available for those who contributed information. I have published several books over the last few years and they are very nice publications: bound, in color, with quality photographs when they are made available. I believe I can provide these book for free, definitely at no more than cost.

Glenn D. Littrell

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Happy Holidays: When was Jesus born?

part 7 of 8 by Glenn Littrell

When was Jesus born?
Astronomers, focusing on the explanation for the Star of Bethlehem, have concluded that there would have been no 'naturally' occurring explanation for the star outside of an unknown comet, but there is no historical record of such a comet in the years of Christ birth. Astronomy/astrology was a big part of the Roman, Jewish (Biblical), Arabic and Greek cultures as well as Pagan, farmers and nobility activities and superstitions during this time. The biblical account says nothing about the calendar date of the Nativity, but does refer to historical personages and events, such as the reign of King Herod.

Using these references and known astrological histories astronomers find different dates for the birth of Jesus:

Since 1939 the Hayden Planetarium has placed the date on Feb. 25 in the year 6 BC with the planets Jupiter, Saturn and Mars forming a triangle low in the western sky which formed the Star of Bethlehem.
This article also discusses other possible explanations for the Start of Bethlehem, but finds no basis for a December birth. (see following comment for link)

image

In 2008 Astronomers dated the birth of Jesus as being on June 17th, 2bc, using the St Matthew's Gospel as a reference point.

"...The researchers claim the 'Christmas star' was most likely a magnificent conjunction of the planets Venus and Jupiter, which were so close together they would have shone unusually brightly as a single "beacon of light" which appeared suddenly..." (see second following comment for link)

It should be noted that while the above used 'science' they also based that science on biblical references.

On the other-hand what was the Catholic church's basis for establishing the Dec., 25th date for Christmas?

The Catholic church (in 336 AD) declared December 25th (on the Julian calendar) to be the birthday of Jesus in order to replace a pagan Roman holiday, Saturnalia. Ironically, December 25th was a celebration of the birthday of the sun god. The early church, in an attempt to get rid of the pagan holiday, declared December 25th to be the birthday of the Son of God.

...but what was this based on? I don't know but if the above paragraph is accurate their method seems inaccurate at the least.

Are there biblical references to pinpoint the date without using modern science? The Hebrew For Christians website puts forth Biblical (The Gospels and Torah) arguments for both a Fall and December dates for the birth of Christ. You should find them interesting: (see third following comment for link)

Was the Star of Bethlehem a Star, Comet ... or Miracle?

'Jesus was born in June', astronomers claim – Telegraph

Christmas - Was Jesus born on December 25th?


INTRO          December 1

The Holidays: An 8 part Series

This list will be updated with a link to each Part the day it is uploaded.

10 Things Christians Shouldn’t Do At Christmas

14

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Happy Holidays: The New Year

part 6 of 8 by Glenn Littrell 

Dec 31, New Years Eve:
In the Gregorian calendar, New Year's Eve, the last day of the year, is on December 31. In many countries, New Year's Eve is celebrated at evening social gatherings, where many people dance, eat, drink alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks to mark the new year. Some people attend a watch night service. The celebrations generally go on past midnight into January 1 (New Year's Day).

Island nations of Kiribati and Samoa are the first to welcome the New Year while Honolulu, Hawaii is among the last places to welcome the New Year.

The celebration of this holiday begins when Americans gather to wish each other a happy and prosperous coming year. At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, people cheer and sing "Auld Lang Syne." The song, which means "old long since" or roughly "the good old days," was written by Robert Burns in 1788.
01-02-2010 06;22;47PM

Making New Year's resolutions – pledges to change for the better in the coming year – is a common activity associated with this holiday. It is traditional to make toasts on New Year's Eve as well. Typically, the old year is represented by "Father Time," an elderly man with a flowing gray beard, and the new year is represented by an infant.

One of the largest celebrations in the world is at Times Square in New York City where the New Year's Eve Ball descends at the stroke of midnight. The "dropping of the ball" is a custom derived from harbor time signals, a common visual synchronization procedure once used primarily for navigation and astronomy. Times Square has been the center of worldwide attention since 1904 when the owners of One Times Square began conducting rooftop celebrations to usher in the new year.

New Year's Day is the oldest and most universal holiday. The Romans were the first to observe January 1 as New Year's Day in 153 B.C.

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII instituted the Gregorian calendar still in use today, setting January 1 as New Year's Day. Prior to this, many countries celebrated the new year on April 1st in celebration with the new spring season. It was celebrated much the same way as it is today with parties and dancing into the late hours of the night. The origin of April Fools' Day can be traced to this change.

Religious observances:

  • Holy Day of Obligation: In the Roman Catholic Church, January 1 is a Holy Day of Obligation honoring Mary, Mother of Jesus. All faithful Catholics must attend Mass on January 1. However a vigil Mass may be held on the evening before a Holy Day; thus it has become customary to celebrate Mass on the evening of New Year's Eve. (New Year's Eve is a feast day honoring Pope Sylvester I in the Roman Catholic calendar, but it is not widely recognized in the United States.)
  • Watch Night: Many Christian congregations have New Year's Eve watch night services. Some, especially Lutherans and Methodists and those in the African American community, have a tradition known as "Watch Night", in which the faithful congregate in services continuing past midnight, giving thanks for the blessings of the outgoing year and praying for divine favor during the upcoming year. In the English-speaking world, Watch Night can be traced back to John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, who learned the custom from the Moravian Brethren who came to England in the 1730s. Moravian congregations still observe the Watch Night service on New Year's Eve. Watch Night took on special significance to African Americans on New Year's Eve 1862, as slaves anticipated the arrival of January 1, 1863, when Lincoln had announced he would sign the Emancipation Proclamation.

image

  • Dec 31, Feast of St. Sylvester(Pope): Saint Sylvester I (also spelled Silvester) born Rome [Italy]—died 335, Rome. Western feast day December 31, Eastern feast day January 2), pope from 314 to 335, whose long pontificate saw the beginnings of the Christian Roman Empire.
    A presbyter when elected to succeed Pope St. Miltiades (Melchiades), Sylvester was consecrated on Jan. 31, 314. The most important event of his reign was the Council of Nicaea (May 325), which condemned the Alexandrian Christian priest Arius, founder of Arianism, a heretical doctrine teaching that the Son was neither equal with God the Father nor eternal. While the Roman emperor Constantine I the Great favored Christianity and was a major controller of its ecclesiastical affairs, neither he nor his immediate successors gave any official recognition to papal primacy over the church. Thus, it was a rare and significant exception when Sylvester was accorded a preeminent role in the Arian crisis. Although invited, he did not attend the Council of Nicaea personally but was represented by two legates, who were treated with great honor and respect yet did not preside at the debates.
  • Jan 1, New Years Day: New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome. With most countries using the Gregorian calendar as their main calendar, New Year's Day is the closest thing to being the world's only truly global public holiday, often celebrated with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts. New Year's Day is a postal holiday in the United States.

image

Ancient New Years:

The celebration of the new year is the oldest of all holidays. It was first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. In the years around 2000 BC, the Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon (actually the first visible crescent) after the Vernal Equinox (first day of spring).

The beginning of spring is a logical time to start a new year. After all, it is the season of rebirth, of planting new crops, and of blossoming. January 1, on the other hand, has no astronomical nor agricultural significance. It is purely arbitrary.

The Babylonian new year celebration lasted for eleven days. Each day had its own particular mode of celebration, but it is safe to say that modern New Year's Eve festivities pale in comparison.

The Romans continued to observe the new year in late March, but their calendar was continually tampered with by various emperors so that the calendar soon became out of synchronization with the sun.

In order to set the calendar right, the Roman senate, in 153 BC, declared January 1 to be the beginning of the new year. But tampering continued until Julius Caesar, in 46 BC, established what has come to be known as the Julian Calendar. It again established January 1 as the new year. But in order to synchronize the calendar with the sun, Caesar had to let the previous year drag on for 445 days.

The Romans dedicated New Year's Day to Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings for whom the first month of the year (January) is also named. After Julius Caesar reformed the calendar in 46 BC and was subsequently murdered, the Roman Senate voted to deify him on the 1st January 42 BC[2] in honor of his life and his institution of the new rationalized calendar.[3] The month originally owes its name to the deity Janus, who had two faces, one looking forward and the other looking backward.

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII instituted the Gregorian calendar still in use today, setting January 1 as New Year's Day. Prior to this, many countries celebrated the new year on April 1st in celebration with the new spring season. It was celebrated much the same way as it is today with parties and dancing into the late hours of the night. The origin of April Fools' Day can be traced to this change.

Most countries in Western Europe officially adopted January 1 as New Year's Day somewhat before they adopted the Gregorian calendar. In England, the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25, was the first day of the new year until the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1752. The March 25 date was known as Annunciation Style; the January 1 date was known as Circumcision Style,[5] because this was the date of the Feast of the Circumcision, considered to be the eighth day of Christ's life, counting from December 25 when his birth is celebrated. This day was christened as the beginning of the New Year by Pope Gregory as he designed the Liturgical Calendar.

by Glenn Littrell


INTRO            December 1

The Holidays: An 8 part Series

This list will be updated with a link to each Part the day it is uploaded.

10 Things Christians Shouldn’t Do At Christmas

18

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Happy Holidays: The Days After Christmas

part 5 of 8 by Glenn Littrell 

Dec.26, Boxing Day:
The exact etymology of the term "boxing" is unclear. There are several competing theories, none of which is definitive. The European tradition, which has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions, has been dated to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown. It may come from a custom in the late Roman/early Christian era, wherein metal boxes placed outside churches were used to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen, which in the Western Church falls on the same day as Boxing Day.

In Britain, it was a custom for tradesmen to collect "Christmas boxes" of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year. This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys' diary entry for 19 December 1663. This custom is linked to an older English tradition: Since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts and bonuses, and sometimes leftover food.

Boxing Day is also a time when the British show their true eccentricity taking part in all kinds of silly activities like swimming the English Channel - not the warmest place on December 26th - fun runs and charity events.

In modern times, it is an important day for sporting events and the start of the post-Christmas sales.

In Britain Alternative name 2nd day of Christmas.

Dec. 24, Boxing Day in Canada:
Boxing Day is a holiday in the United Kingdom and many countries (including Canada) that were once part of the British Empire. The origin of this holiday's name is not clear. In feudal times in the United Kingdom, the lord of the manor would 'pay' people who worked on his land in the past year with boxes practical goods, such as agricultural tools, food and cloth. These were often distributed on the day after Christmas Day. More recently, employers traditionally gave their servants a gift of money or food in a small box on the day after Christmas Day. Some people in Canada still give gifts to people who provide them with services.

Other stories relate to servants being allowed to take a portion of the food left over from the Christmas celebrations in a box to their families and the distribution of alms from the church collection boxes to poor parishioners. These traditions evolved into the Christmas baskets that some employers distribute to their employees during the holiday season at the end of the year.

Many people in Canada have a day off work and many of them visit stores that start their annual sales on Boxing Day. Some shoppers even start waiting outside stores in the small hours of the morning and many stores open earlier than usual. Now, the sales often last for a whole week between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve and are known as the "Boxing Week Sales" instead of the "Boxing Day Sales". In some areas, particularly in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario, stores are not open on Boxing Day and the post-Christmas sales start on December 27.

A number of important sporting events are held on Boxing Day and watching them on television is a popular activity. The International Ice Hockey Federation world junior hockey championships often start on December 26. The Canadian National team often does well in this event. The Spengler Cup ice hockey tournament, which is played in Davos, Switzerland, is also shown on major sports television channels. The Canada national men's team has performed well in this event in recent years.

Dec 26 (&27), St. Stephen's Day:
St. Stephen's Day, or the Feast of St. Stephen, is a Christian saint's day celebrated on 26 December in the Western Church and 27 December in the Eastern Church. Many Eastern Orthodox churches adhere to the Julian calendar and mark St. Stephen's Day on 27 December according to that calendar, which places it on 9 January of the Julian calendar used in secular contexts. It commemorates St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr or protomartyr. It is an official public holiday in Austria, Balearic Islands, Catalonia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Sweden, Finland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Poland. The date is also a Public Holiday in those countries that celebrate Boxing Day on the day instead/as well.

In Ireland, the day is one of nine official public holidays.

In Irish, it is called Lá Fhéile Stiofán or Lá an Dreoilín, meaning the Day of the Wren or Wren's Day. When used in this context, "wren" is often pronounced "ran". This name alludes to several legends, including those found in Ireland, linking episodes in the life of Jesus to the wren. Although not as commonly practiced as previously, in certain parts of Ireland people carrying either an effigy of a wren or an actual caged wren (live or dead), travel from house to house playing music, singing and dancing. Depending on which region of the country, they are called wrenboys and mummers. A Mummer's Festival is held at this time every year in the village of New Inn, County Galway and Dingle in County Kerry. St. Stephen's Day is also a popular day for visiting family members.

Dec. 26 thru January 1st: Kwanzaa
Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday which celebrates family, community and culture. Celebrated from 26 December thru 1 January, its origins are in the first harvest celebrations of Africa from which it takes its name. The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits" in Swahili, a Pan-African language which is the most widely spoken African language.

The first-fruits celebrations are recorded in African history as far back as ancient Egypt and Nubia and appear in ancient and modern times in other classical African civilizations such as Ashantiland and Yorubaland. These celebrations are also found in ancient and modern times among societies as large as empires (the Zulu or kingdoms (Swaziland) or smaller societies and groups like the Matabele, Thonga and Lovedu, all of southeastern Africa. Kwanzaa builds on the five fundamental activities of Continental African "first fruit" celebrations: ingathering; reverence; commemoration; re-commitment; and celebration.

Rooted in this ancient history and culture, Kwanzaa develops as a flourishing branch of the African American life and struggle as a recreated and expanded ancient tradition. Thus, it bears special characteristics only an African American holiday but also a Pan-African one, For it draws from the cultures of various African peoples, and is celebrated by millions of Africans throughout the world African community. Moreover, these various African peoples celebrate Kwanzaa because it speaks not only to African Americans in a special way, but also to Africans as a whole, in its stress on history, values, family, community and culture.

Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing family, community and culture among African American people as well as Africans throughout the world African community.
These values are called the Nguzo Saba which in Swahili means the Seven Principles.

1-(UNITY) --To Strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
2-KUJICHAGULIA (SELF DETERMINATION) --To define ourselves, names ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves rather than to allow others to do these things for us.
3-UJIMA (COLLECTIVE WORK AND RESPONSIBILITY) --To build and maintain our community together to make our sister and brothers' problems our problems and to solve them together.
4-UJAMAA (COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS) --To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
5-NIA (PURPOSE) --To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
6- KUUMBA (CREATIVITY) --To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than when we inherited it.
7- IMANI (FAITH) --To believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
While Kwanza has foundations and roots in culture and history back to ancient Egypt its origins as an African-American celebration originate in 1966 during the civil rights movement.
Kwanza emphasizes the giving of hand made crafted gifts. Gifts are given mainly to children, but must always include a book and a heritage symbol. The book is to emphasize the African value and tradition of learning stressed since ancient Egypt, and the heritage symbol to reaffirm and reinforce the African commitment to tradition and history.
$1.2 billion worth of candles, used in both Kwanzaa and Hanukkah celebrations, were shipped in 2008, according to the U.S. Census' Annual Survey of Manufacturers.

Dec. 26-29th:

26th – National Candy Cane Day
28th – National Chocolate Day
29th – National Chocolate Day

Dec. 26, National Whiner's Day
Didn't get what you wanted for Christmas? Did you eat one too many sugar cookies? Are there gifts overtaking your living space? Go ahead and complain. No, really, you can actually whine today; cheese is optional. The holiday is meant to be tongue-in-cheek.
Suggestions for Celebrating National Whiner's Day:

*Visit a shopping mall or retail store and watch people "whine" as they return and exchange their holiday
gifts (remember, it's not only the customers who whine).
*Invite friends over, or plan a party, and call it a "Whine and Geeze" party! Serve non-alcholic wine and
cheese!
*Again, invite friends to a National Whiner's Day party. In order to get in, your friends need to bring one
unwanted gift, wrapped, for a white elephant exchange.

Famous Celebrity Whiners over the last 20 years:

Kanye West
Chris Brown
Zsa Zsa Gabor
"Baghdad Bob," former Iraqi Information Minister, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf.
Sen. Jesse Helms, R. N.C.
Tammy Faye Bakker (Messner)
Dennis Rodman
Mike Tyson
Jerry Springer
Martha Stewart
Terrorist Osama bin Laden-The Taliban/al-Qaida
John Rocker-Atlanta Braves Pitcher

The Most Famous Celebrity Whiner's of the 20th Century:

Stan Laurel
Curly Joe
Jerry Lewis
Lucy Ball
Pee Wee Herman
Olive Oyle
Squiggy
Major Frank Burns
S.N.L. Whiner Family (Doug and Wendy Whiner)

Suggested/unproven origin:image

Actually, the day was set aside for the opposite purpose, to encourage people to be grateful for what they have:
“In 1986 Rev. Kevin Zaborney designated December 26 as National Whiner’s Day. Zaborney founded the holiday in hopes of encouraging people to be thankful for what they have rather than unhappy about what they don’t have. Suggestions for celebrating National Whiner’s Day include visiting a mall or store to watch people whine as they return or exchange unwanted gifts, inviting friends over for a ‘Whine and Geeze’ party, and holding a whining contest with family and friends.’

Dec 26, National Thank You Note Day
While you're being grateful, be thankful. Skip the text messages and the Facebook posting, send a real thank you card in the mail. Thank friends and family members for gifts, whether you liked them or not. At the very least, the U.S. Postal Service will thank you.
Emily Post's etiquette tips on thank you notes:

* Handwritten notes are more personal than phone calls or emails
* Write thank you notes for holiday gifts within two or three days of receiving them
*While you’re being grateful, send a thank-you note to folks who gave you gifts this year. It’s also Thank-You Note Day.

According to Oprah’s website, "Experts say not to underestimate the power of a thank you... People really appreciate getting mail that's not a bill, for one thing, and just taking that extra bit of time to write a thank you note really means everything."
If you have children, there's no better time than now to get them into the habit of writing thank you notes to send out for the gifts they received for the holidays. It's a great way for them to express their thankfulness in a gracious manner.

Dec. 27, 2nd Day of Kwanza

Dec. 28, Holy Innocents Day:
The Massacre of the Innocents is the biblical narrative of infanticide and gendercide by Herod the Great, the Roman appointed King of the Jews. The historicity of the incident is "an open question that probably can never be definitively decided", but according to the Gospel of Matthew, Herod ordered the execution of all young male children in the village of Bethlehem, so as to avoid the loss of his throne to a newborn King of the Jews whose birth had been announced to him by the Magi. In typical Matthean style it is understood as the fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy:

"Then was fulfilled that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet, saying, A voice was heard in Ramah, Weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children.

The number of infants killed is not stated, however the Holy Innocents have been claimed as the first Christian martyrs.

In Matthew's account, magi from the east go to Judea in search of the newborn king of the Jews, having "seen his star in the east". The King, Herod the Great, directs them to Bethlehem, and asks them to let him know who this king is when they find him. They find Jesus and honor him, but an angel tells them not to alert Herod, and they return home by another way.

The Massacre of the Innocents is at Matthew 2:16–18, although the preceding verses form the context:

When [the Magi] had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. Get up, he said, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him. So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son." When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."

Dec. 29, 3rd Day of Kwanza

Dec. 30, 4th Day of Kwanza

Dec 31, Leap Second Time Adjustment Day:
What are leap seconds?

imageThey last only a heartbeat and go unnoticed by most - but without leap seconds our clocks would run too fast.
About every one and a half years, one extra second is added to Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) and clocks around the world. This leap second accounts for the fact that the Earth's rotation around its own axis, which determines the length of a day, slows down over time while the atomic clocks we use to measure time tick away at almost the same speed over millions of years.

So, leap seconds are a means to adjust our clocks to the Earth's slowing rotation.

There is no adjustment currently schedule for today (Dec 31, 2012) or June 30, 2013. gdl

Dec 31, World Peace and Meditation Day:
At noon Greenwich time, December 31, 1986, men, women, and children around the world gather to participate in the most comprehensive prayer activity in the history-- a planetary affirmation of peace, and love, forgiveness and understanding involving millions of people in a simultaneous global mind link. the purpose: to reverse the polarity of the negative force field in the race of mind, achieve a critical mass of spiritual consciousness, and usher in a new era of Peace on Earth.

It was called World Healing Day, the World Instant of Cooperation, World Peace Day-- a moment of Oneness to dissolve the sense of separation and return human kind to Godkind. Whatever the term or label, it was the New Beginning in restoring this world to sanity.

The majority of individuals and organizations participating were operating under the umbrella of the Planetary Commission, a world wide non-denominational, non-political movement functioning as an extension of The Quartus Foundation. It was a grass roots cooperative effort to unite people in a common bond of love and bringing our planet back into balance.


Intro   December 1

The Holidays: An 8 part Series

This list will be updated with a link to each Part the day it is uploaded.

10 Things Christians Shouldn’t Do At Christmas

28

Monday, December 5, 2016

Happy Holidays: Pre-Christmas Day Celebrations

part 4 of 8 by Glenn Littrell

Dec. 23 Festivus

…was conceived by writer Dan O'Keefe and was celebrated by his family as early as 1966. The holiday was later introduced into popular culture by O'Keefe's screenwriter son Daniel on an episode of Seinfeld. The holiday's celebration, as it was shown on Seinfeld, included a Festivus dinner, an unadorned aluminum "Festivus pole," practices such as the "Airing of Grievances" and "Feats of Strength"," and the labeling of easily explainable events as "Festivus miracles."

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Celebrants of the holiday sometimes refer to it as "a Festivus for the rest of us," a saying taken from the O'Keefe family traditions and popularized in the Seinfeld episode to describe Festivus' non-commercial aspect. It has also been described as a parody and as playful consumer resistance.

Dec. 24: Posadas Day:
Las Posadas is a nine-day celebration with origins in Spain, now celebrated chiefly in Mexico, Guatemala and parts of the Southwestern United States, beginning December 16 and ending December 24, on evenings (about 8 or 10 PM).

Posada is Spanish for "lodging", or "accommodation"; it is said in plural because it is celebrated more than one day in that period. The nine-day novena represents the nine months of pregnancy, specifically the pregnancy of Mary carrying Jesus.

The procedure has been a tradition in Mexico for 400 years. While its roots are in Catholicism, even Protestant Latinos follow the tradition. It may have been started in the 16th century by St. Ignatius of Loyola or Friar Pedro de Gant in Mexico. It may have been started by early friars who combined Spanish Catholicism with the December Aztec celebration of the birth of Huitzilopochtli.

In Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco the Vallarta Botanical Gardens hosts a Las Posadas celebration on December 20. During workshops in the daytime, participants make their own nativity scenes with local natural materials including Spanish moss. In the evening, carolers proceed to nativities that are placed among important plants including poinsettias and native Mexican pines. A bonfire and more singing rounds out the celebrations.

In Wisconsin, the procession may occur within a home, rather than outside, because of the weather.

An event in Portland, Oregon terminates with Santa Claus and donated Christmas gifts for needy children.

In New York, worshippers may drink Atole, a corn-sugar drink traditional during Christmas.

A large procession occurs along the San Antonio River Walk and has been held since 1966. It is held across large landmarks in San Antonio, Texas, including the Arneson River Theater, Museo Alameda, and the Spanish Governor's Palace, ending at the Cathedral of San Fernando.

Dec. 24, Christmas Eve:
Christmas Eve is the evening or entire day before Christmas Day, the widely celebrated annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. It occurs on December 24 in the Western Christian Church, and is considered one of the most culturally significant celebrations in Christendom and the Western world, where it is widely observed as a full or partial holiday in anticipation of Christmas Day.xmasKAL (2)

One reason celebrations occur on Christmas Eve is that the traditional Christian liturgical day starts at sunset, an inheritance from Jewish tradition. This practice is based on the story of Creation in the Book of Genesis: "And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day." This structure for the liturgical day is followed for all feast days throughout the year in the Eastern rite and is retained for Christmas (as well as for Sundays and other major festivals) in the West, where the liturgical day ordinarily begins at midnight. Many churches still ring their church bells and hold prayers in the evening before holidays; for example, the Nordic Lutheran churches. In some languages, such as the Scandinavian, Christmas Eve is simply referred to as "Christmas Evening".

Since Christian tradition holds that Jesus was born at night (based in Luke 2:6-8), Midnight Mass is celebrated on Christmas Eve, traditionally at midnight, in commemoration of his birthSanta Cake

In the Philippines, this custom lasts for nine days, starting on December 16 and continuing daily up to December 24, during which Filipinos attend dawn Masses, usually starting at around 4:00–5:00 am In 2009 Vatican officials scheduled the Midnight Mass to start at 10 pm so the 82 year old Pope Benedict XVI would not have too late a night.

Whilst not performing any kind of Mass per se, the Church of Scotland has a Watchnight (similar to the one on Hogmanay) service beginning just before midnight, wherein carols are sung.

On Christmas Eve, the Christ Candle in the center of the Advent wreath is traditionally lit in many church services. In candlelight services, while singing Silent Night, each member of the congregation receives a candle and passes along their flame which is first received from the Christ Candle.

Lutherans traditionally practice Christmas Eve Eucharistic traditions typical of Germany and Scandinavia.

Methodists celebrate the evening in different ways. Some, in the early evening, come to their church to celebrate Holy Communion with their families. The mood is very solemn, and the only visible light is the Advent Wreath, and the candles upon the Lord's Table. Others celebrate the evening with services of light, which include singing the song "Silent Night" as a variety of candles (including personal candles) are lit. Other churches have late evening services at 11 pm, so the church can celebrate Christmas Day together with the ringing of bells at 12 am Others offer Christmas Day services, as well.

The annual "Nine Lessons and Carols" broadcast from King's College, Cambridge, on Christmas Eve, has established itself as one of the signs that Christmas has begun in the United Kingdom.[ It is broadcast outside the UK via the BBC World Service, and is also bought by broadcasters around the world.

In The Washington Post the first reference to a “Christmas Candlelight Service” is December 22, 1929, 4 pm at the YWCA.

A 1931 Post newspaper article includes this description of a church service: “From the rear of the church the vested choir approaches, each bearing a tall candle. The whole church is then lighted only by the rays of the candles in the candelabra on the alter, those in each window and the ones carried by the choir.” Sometime after this date it became common in protestant worship services for everyone to hold and light a candle on Christmas eve.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Christmas Eve is referred to as Paramony ("preparation"). It is the concluding day of the Nativity Fast and is celebrated as a day of strict fasting by those devout Orthodox Christians who are physically capable of doing so. In some traditions, nothing is eaten until the first star appears in the evening sky, in commemoration of the Star of Bethlehem.

On Christmas Eve in 1914 and 1915, unofficial Christmas truces began in the World War I fighting. German soldiers lit candles and sung Christmas carols. On the other side, British troops responded by singing English carols. Soldiers from both sides shouted greeting and visited each other, sometimes exchanging small gifts. On Christmas Eve in 1968, the astronauts of Apollo 8 read from the creation story in the Book of Genesis. This was widely broadcast on television.xmasKAL (4)

Christmas in most homes begins on the evening of December 24th, where excited young children are encouraged to go to bed early so as not to miss out on gifts from Santa Claus.

Christmas Eve in the United States is a combination of a lot of traditions. Some families open presents Christmas Eve night, many go to church, or have different dinners, like ham, goose, etc.

Traditions in other parts of the world include;

The idea that animals have the power of speech at midnight on Christmas Eve. This superstition exists in various parts of Europe, and no one can hear the beasts talk with impunity.

There is also a French belief that on Christmas Eve, while the genealogy of Christ is being chanted at the Midnight Mass, hidden treasures are revealed.

In Russia all sorts of buried treasures are supposed to be revealed on the evenings between Christmas and the Epiphany, and on the eves of these festivals the heavens are opened, and the waters of springs and rivers turn into wine.

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INTRO        December 1

The Holidays: An 8 part Series

This list will be updated with a link to each Part the day it is uploaded.

10 Things Christians Shouldn’t Do At Christmas

18

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Happy Holidays: The Winter Solstice’s Influence on Christmas

part 3 of 8 by Glenn Littrell

The Winter Solstice, Solstice’s influence on Christmas
December Solstice Customs: (Dec., 22 this year(2015))

"...In modern times Christians all over the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas, which falls on December 25. However, it is believed that this date was chosen to offset pagan celebrations of Saturnalia and Natalis Invicti. Some believe that celebrating the birth of the “true light of the world” was set in synchronization with the December solstice because from that point onwards, the days began to have more daylight in the northern hemisphere..."

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December 21, The Winter Solstice:
"...The winter solstice is celebrated by many people around the world as the beginning of the return of the sun, and darkness turning into light. The Talmud recognizes the winter solstice as "Tekufat Tevet." In China, the "Dongzhi" Festival is celebrated on the Winter Solstice by families getting together and eating special festive food. ..."
Tekufot (Hebrew: תקופות, singular: tekufa) are the four seasons of the year recognized by Talmud writers. The four tekufot are:

Tekufat Nisan, the vernal equinox (March 21), when the sun enters Aries; this is the beginning of spring, or "eit hazera" (seed-time), when day and night are equal.
Tekufat Tammuz, the summer solstice (June 21), when the sun enters Cancer; this is the summer season, or "et ha-katsir" (harvest-time), when the day is the longest in the year.
Tekufat Tishrei, the autumnal equinox (Sept. 23), when the sun enters Libra, and autumn, or "et ha-batsir" (vintage-time), begins, and when the day again equals the night.
Tekufat Tevet, the winter solstice (Dec. 22), when the sun enters Capricornus; this is the beginning of winter, or "et ha-ḥoref" (winter-time),[1] when the night is the longest during the year.

Each tekufa, according to Samuel Yarḥinai, marks the beginning of a period of 91 days and 7½ hours. It will be noticed that the tekufot fall from fourteen to eighteen days later than the true solar equinox or solstice; this, however, does not interfere with the calendar, which follows the figures of R. Ada.

The Dōngzhì Festival or Winter Solstice Festival
(Chinese: 冬至; pinyin: Dōngzhì; literally "the Arrival of Winter") is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Chinese and other East Asians during the Dongzhi solar term (winter solstice) on or around December 22 when sunshine is weakest and daylight shortest. It occurs on Friday, December 21, 2012.
The origins of this festival can be traced back to the yin and yang philosophy of balance and harmony in the cosmos. After this celebration, there will be days with longer daylight hours and therefore an increase in positive energy flowing in. The philosophical significance of this is symbolized by the I Ching hexagram fù (復, "Returning").

December 21, Yule, Yule Festival, Yuletide:
In pre-Christian Scandinavia, the Feast of Juul, or Yule, lasted for 12 days celebrating the rebirth of the sun god and giving rise to the custom of burning a Yule log. (Hence the twelve Days of Christmas ?)

Dec 22. A day to celebrate the popular Japanese poetry form called haiku.
Public libraries, literary groups, school libraries, etc, can observe the day with haiku readings, artwork and other events. Haiku are traditionally about the seasons, so this day is celebrated annually on the winter solstice.


Intro            December 1

The Holidays: An 8 part Series

This list will be updated with a link to each Part the day it is uploaded.

10 Things Christians Shouldn’t Do At Christmas

19

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Happy Holidays: The first 20 days of December

part 2 of 8 by Glenn Littrell

From Thanksgiving to New Years has been the traditional Holiday Season. The commercial holiday season continues to creep closer and closer to Halloween which for the most part currently includes all of November. During the month of December there are over 80 holidays alone. Some are ill defined, others are commercially motivated, some are of questionable origin, some are frivolous (National -Cookie, Dice, Ninja, Bathtub, & Cat Herders- Day).snow_305x445

Some are civic in nature (Rosa Parks Day, World Aids Day,International Anti Corruption Day, Human Rights Day, Nobel Prize Day, Abolition of Slavery Day).

Some are of a patriotic nature (Civil Air Patrol Day, National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, International Civil Aviation Day, Bill of Rights Day, Forefathers Day, Pledge of Allegiance Day).

Some are religious: National Christmas Tree Lighting Day, St. Nicholas Day, St. Stephans' Day, Boxing Day, (12-25), Santa Lucia Day, Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Three Kings Day/Epiphany (some Christian Churches celebrate this Holiday in January, also as the day of Christ birth).

Also Advent Sunday is the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day. This is equivalent to the Sunday nearest to St. Andrew's Day, 30 November, and the Sunday following the Feast of Christ the King. It can fall on any date between 27 November and 3 December. When Christmas Day is a Monday, Advent Sunday will fall on its latest possible date. Note that it is also possible to compute the date of Advent Sunday by adding three days to the date of the last Thursday of November.

Some religious holidays are shared and/or celebrated by Christian and non-Christian: Hanukkah, Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr, Eid'ul-Adha, Asarah B'Tevet (the Tenth of Tevet) is a fast day (observed from sunrise to sunset) that marks the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon (in 587 BC) and the beginning of the battle that ultimately would destroy the Temple and send the Jews into the 70-year Babylonian Exile.

Some are secular or Pagan in origin: Kwanza, New Years and Yule (Yuletide festivals were pagan winter festivals that were adopted into the Christian practices related to Christmas).

Some 'Holidays' thru Dec 20th:

Advent
Bifocals at the Monitor Liberation Day
Civil Air Patrol Day
Day With(out) Art Day
Rosa Parks Day
XTERRA Championships
World Aids Day
Cyber Monday
International Day for the Abolition of Slavery Day
National Mutt Day
Special Education Day
International Day of Persons With Disabilities
Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting
National Cookie Day
National Dice Day
Special Kids Day
AFL-CIO Day
Bathtub Party Day
International Ninja Day
International Volunteer Day for Economic & Social Development
Miners' Day
National Pawnbrokers Day
National Salesperson Day
St. Nicholas Day
Faux Fur Friday
Earmuff Day or Chester Greenwood Day
National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
International Civil Aviation Day
National Cotton Candy Day
Skywarn Recognition Day
Pretend To Be A Time Traveler Day
Worldwide Candle Lighting Day (The Compassionate Friends)
World Choral Day
International Anti-corruption Day
Weary Willie Day
Dewey Decimal System Day
Human Rights Day
Nobel Prize Day
International Mountain Day
UNICEF Birthday
Gingerbread House Day
National 12-hour Fresh Breath Day
Poinsettia Day
Asarah B'Tevet
Pick A Pathologist Pal Day
Day Of The Horse
International Shareware Day
Monkey Day
Bill of Rights Day
Cat Herders Day
Barbie and Barney Backlash Day
Free Shipping Day
National Chocolate-covered Anything Day
Zionism Day
Free Shipping Day
Wright Brothers Day
Answer The Telephone Like Buddy The Elf Day
International Migrants Day
National Re-gifting Day
International Human Solidarity Day
Mudd Day
Underdog Day


INTRO          December 1

The Holidays: An 8 part Series

This list will be updated with a link to each Part the day it is uploaded.

clip_image001

10 Things Christians Shouldn’t Do At Christmas

58

Friday, December 2, 2016

Happy Holidays, for me

Part 1 of 8 by Glenn Littrell
Why I Will Be Saying ‘Happy Holidays’ This Year:

In the past it has been my practice to extend best wishes during November and December in one of three ways:

  1. If I don’t know a persons religion, or depth of religion, opinions or views on religion I would say ‘Happy Holidays’ or ‘have a nice holiday.’ I did this out of courtesy, a thing called ‘good manners’, a desire to not offend. Now if you want to call that ‘political correctness’ go ahead, I don’t care.*
  2. Whenever someone extended a holiday greeting to me I responded in kind. Whether it was Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah or Merry Christmas.
  3. Occasionally, with friends and in light hearted moments, when someone extended a greeting I might respond with ‘same to you’ or ‘back at you’. For anyone who finds that offensive then lets be sure not to discuss how I pray. You might have a stroke.

In 2011 and Beyond

This year and in the future my practice will be to extend best wishes during November and December in one of three ways:

  1. Happy Holidays
  2. Happy Holidays (except from the 20th of December to Christmas Day, when I might say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or respond in kind if a different greeting is extended to me).
  3. Occasionally, with friends and in light hearted moments, when someone extended a greeting I might respond with ‘same to you’ or ‘back at you’.

…here’s why:

I’ve had it, yes I have had it. The commercialization of Christmas by corporate America, the lack of tolerance and compassion by so-called Christians, the exploitation of Christmas by so-called religious leaders, their mega-churches, political war chest and TV empires.  It baffles me that people seek to define the presence of God in symbols, the presence or absence of Christ in a word, the proof of devotion in tithes, and the identification of worthiness by the choice of political party.
I have no problem with boycotting a corporations product or services based on their practices or policies, but to identify a company as worthy because they prominently portray the word Christmas and unfavorable because they don’t, while at the same time ignoring their policies that encourage third world wages, unsafe working conditions, the use of child labor, and the export of jobs to COMMUNIST nations is so far from responsible it is mind boggling.

The so-called “War on Christmas” is a political hoax:

clip_image001Let me start by saying that if you believe that someone with different political view than yours is evil, or un-American then you probably don’t want to read on.
If you believe that because 86% of the country claims to be Christian that makes us a Christian nation, but at the same time you believe that the remaining 13% are oppressing Christians in this country, then you probably don’t want to read on.

…but, you might want to look at how Christian churches in China have to operate “…within the narrow boundaries of theology and church life dictated by the State Administration for Religious Affairs,…”, or how Christians have been persecuted, oppressed, tortured and killed in the former Soviet Union, modern North Korea, and the middle east. These are places where Christianity is persecuted and oppressed, in America what passes for oppression is little more than differences of opinion about religious choice, the right to practice and the right to refrain.

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If your not outraged by the commercialization of Christ and Christmas how can you be upset about someone choosing between “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas”?

War On Christmas 2015

image_thumb[2]This year the first shot of the 2015 was fired before Thanksgiving. Ironically, or maybe not so ironically, the ‘war’, like the commercialization of Christmas is starting earlier each year. The following comes from a Facebook discussion:·

WAR ON CHRISTMAS?

clip_image001[4]I was reading this morning about how the new Starbucks holiday cups are the first strike in this years' war on Christmas.

May I say something as a Christian pastor? The message of Christmas is already lost on much of the church whether or not the season has "Merry Christmas" stamped on it. At this point, the birth of a poor child in the cold darkness is celebrated by lights, glaring music and by the biggest shopping season of the year. Nothing could silence the message of Christmas more than how it is already celebrated.

Let's be clear, if the spirit of Christmas is under attack this year, it is by capitalism which has turned the holiday into a commodity like it does everything else; and by selfish Christians who refuse to to obey Jesus' command to be a good neighbor to those who walk different paths.

As we wander through the mockeries of this holiday season, this Christian is lifting a holiday cup to honor my atheist, Jewish, Muslim, pagan as well as Christian neighbors who share the same hope of "peace on earth and goodwill to all."

Jim Rigby    https://www.facebook.com/jim.rigby.12/about


Intro       December 1

The Holidays: An 8 part Series

This list will be updated with a link to each Part the day it is uploaded.

10 Things Christians Shouldn’t Do At Christmas

142