Holy Humor – Joke of the Day A minister told his congregation, “Next week I plan to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to read Mark 17.”
The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon, the minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many had read Mark 17. Every hand went up. The minister smiled and said, “Mark has only sixteen chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying.”
Spiritual Wellness Month – It is so easy to let ourselves get bogged down emotionally, spiritually and even physically, with all of the negative input all around us each day. The economy is in the tank, our freedoms and rights are being stripped – not in tiny increments, but by chunks that wear away at our hope and our security as we’ve known it. Each day we see another example of someone telling us that we cannot speak freely and openly about our faith in God, that the very mention of the name of Jesus is toxic to the ears of a few selfish individuals whose main goal is to shut us up. This isn’t new. It feels new to us, but it isn’t new. This has been going on since the beginning of time and most specifically since the time of Christ. People have been engaged in battle against our Lord and Savior and His message forever. This is a topic that could go on all day long and we’d never solve it, or come to any conclusions other than that it isn’t right, it isn’t fair and it makes us spiritually tired. This month is set aside to bolster our spirits, to focus on the wellness of our soul and get our focus on God and what we believe. When everything batters against us, when we begin to feel defeated, put yours eyes to Him, lift your heart and know that He’s with you every step of the way. A dear friend sent me a lovely little book the other day, a book focused on faith and God’s everlasting devotion to us when times are tough and we lose sight. She knew that I am feeling tired in my heart, that the devastation being wreaked on our nation is hurting deep inside, and that I have felt like just pulling within myself and hiding away. That’s the purpose I think of this year of celebrating – to try to find something good and positive in a world gone haywire. The Bible tells us that we will be persecuted for our faith, we will be called names, treated like we are worthless, told we cannot speak freely, and all around us will be people and organizations that say we cannot express our faith in God out loud. It’s happening all around us all of the time. Just look at the news! Christians are the newest target for bullying all around our nation. I will not be bullied. I will not be silenced. Most of you already know that I’m pretty forceful with my opinions, thoughts and actions. That isn’t going to change. I WILL speak the name of God in public, I will NOT be silenced from speaking my faith. I asked God for a verse that will help to bolster peace, to give us a feeling of the Spiritual healing and wellness that this month’s observance is about. That little book my friend sent to me was on the counter and I opened it up and there it was – the verse I was looking for:
John 15:33 NIV – “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulations; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Panic Day – From calm and peace, to PANIC! Take a deep breath, stay calm. . . . today is PANIC DAY! Can you handle what is coming your way today? Yes? Oh good! I was worried there or a moment. Hopefully everything is going great in your life and you have no need for this day, but if problems and troubles are looming, just try to hold off hitting the panic button until this day arrives. Don’t worry – don’t fret and most of all don’t panic! If there ever was a day to panic though – this would be it. As if getting through THIS day wasn’t enough though, there’s another one coming – International Panic Day is on the way . . . but we’ll deal with that one when it arrives. If panic DOES overwhelm you today, just see the Spiritual Wellness Month section again – at least the verse at the end. That should soothe the ruffled feathers and give you a chance to catch a breath.
Barbie Day – Happy Birthday Barbie! On this day in 1959 the first Barbie doll went on display at the American Toy Fair in New York City. Eleven inches tall, with a waterfall of blond hair, Barbie was the first mass-produced toy doll in the United States with adult features. The creator or Barbie was Ruth Handler, who co-founded Mattel, Inc. with her husband in 1945. She had watched her daughter ignore her baby dolls to play with the paper dolls of adult women, and thought that there was an important niche in the market for a toy that allowed little girls to imagine the future. Barbie’s appearance was modeled on a doll named Lilli, based on a German comic strip character. Lilli was originally marketed as a racy gag gift to adult men in tobacco shops, but became extremely popular with children. Mattel bought the rights to Lilli and made its own version, which Ruth Handler named after her daughter, Barbara. In 1955 Mattel became the first toy company to broadcast commercials to children on the Mickey Mouse Club TV program. By 1961 the enormous consumer demand for the doll led Mattel to release a boyfriend for Barbie, which they named Ken after Handler’s son. Barbie’s best friend Midge game out in 1963 and her little sister Skipper debuted the following year.
Over the years Barbie generated HUGE sales and a lot of controversy. On the positive side, many women saw Barbie as providing an alternative to the traditional 1950s gender roles. She has had many jobs over the years, from airline stewardess, doctor, pilot, and astronaut, to Olympic athlete and even a U.S. presidential candidate. Some people thought that Barbie’s never-ending supply of designer outfits, cars and dream houses encouraged kids to be materialistic. It was how Barbie looked that caused the most controversy. Her tiny waist and enormous breasts – it was estimated that if she were a real woman her measurements would be 36-18-38–led many to claim that Barbie provided little girls with an unrealistic and harmful example and fostered negative body image.
Despite the criticism, sales of Barbie-related merchandise continued to soar, topping 1 billion dollars annually by 1993. Since 1959, more than 800 million dolls in the Barbie family have been sold around the world and Barbie is now a bonafide global icon.
I had lots of Barbies growing up – I had many dolls with different outfits, hair colors and jobs. I had the jet airplane, the camper, the pink Corvette, the bathroom, a bicycle, and even a battery operated revolving house unit that had a kitchen on one side, a laundry facility on another, etc The drier actually turned when I pushed a button, the dishwasher turned on, etc. It was AWESOME! I wish I still had all of those things, but I lost them in a fire years ago, sadly enough, since now they would be worth quite a bit of money. I can honestly tell you that my sense of self esteem was neither boosted, nor reduced by Barbie’s body proportions, nor did I become materialistic because of all of the stuff that Barbie had over the years. My sense of imagination and play were stimulated by all that Barbie had to offer. My daughter loved Barbie as much as I did, and she even had a Barbie party for her 16th birthday. It was for girls only, and the theme was entirely Barbie. Prizes for games were Barbie dolls, color books, etc. And the person who came dressed the MOST like Barbie won a special prize. People who have an issue with Barbie, should move on to the NEXT thing we observe today . . . Read on!
GET OVER IT DAY™ – the idea for this day is that everyone has something to get over. For example, if you don’t like Barbie – GET OVER IT! She’s obviously here to stay. Don’t like her, don’t buy one! Duh! Sorry – I get irritated at stupidity and honestly I find stuff like that to be just plain stupid. Anyway, strategically the today is the exact midpoint between Valentine’s Day and April Fool’s Day, Get Over It Day (March 9) is the day to finally get over that ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend, those stressful school- or work-related issues, any fears, insecurities, embarrassing moments, bad relationships, etc. If you aren’t sure what you have to get over, or don’t think you actually have anything to get over – just ask an honest friend. I’m fairly certain that they’ll be glad to tell you what they are sick of hearing you gripe about!
National Crab Meat Day – Ah, just we all need – a day to get crabby and today is a fine time for that. National Crab meat Day celebrates our favorite crustacean and its place on the culinary popularity scale. And what a funny little creature! Not many other foods walk sideways and tote around an exoskeleton! I didn’t try crab until I was older – it wasn’t something we ate growing up since Mom’s not an adventurous eater, so we weren’t raised to be adventurous eaters. I did find after I was grown and well into being a parent myself, that I LOVE crab! I love it in salad, by itself, in crab cakes, with or without butter . . . YUM YUM YUM! We are pretty fortunate because around here crabbing happens just off our of our shorelines so the freshest of the fresh is available year round. The casino about 20 minutes from my house has all you can eat crab at their Friday and Saturday buffet, and it’s not just one kind of crab, it’s about 4 or 5 different kinds. Watching my son put away the crab at the buffet is a thing of awe and wonder. Each time he came home from deployment, that’s the place he wanted to go eat. For the most part he ignored the rest of the food and focused only on the crab . . . and that’s OK! That’s what we were there to eat! OK, now I’m hungry for crab . . .
National Meatball Day – Meatballs are a food that seems to be in every culture. There is your standard Italian meatballs, but there are also meatballs in Cambodian, Swedish, Mexican, Hungarian, Moroccan cuisine – and sliders which seem to be a cuisine unto themselves. There are even stuffed meatballs! Here is a very small list of some of the meatballs I found, and at some point would like to try to make. I had no idea there were so many different kinds!
Cheese Stuffed Meatballs, Paprika Lamb Meatballs, Mexican Meatball Soup, Meatball Sliders, Spicy Meatballs, Num Pang Veal Meatball Sandwich, Mediterranean Lamb Meatballs, Swedish Meatballs, Ketfa-Tomato-Egg Tagine, Cantonese Spiced Pork Meatball Soup . . . and list goes on and on! Well, geez, now I’m hungry for meatballs too!
Genealogy Day – Celebrated on the 2nd Saturday of March, it is National Genealogy day. Today is a day to give recognition of family history and a great time to look back into your heritage. There are many people that use researching their genealogy as a hobby.
As described in Wikipedia: ”Genealogy (from Greek: γενεά, genea, “generation”; and λόγος, logos, “knowledge”) is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members. The results are often displayed in charts or written as narratives. The pursuit of family history tends to be shaped by several motivations, including the desire to carve out a place for one’s family in the larger historical picture, a sense of responsibility to preserve the past for future generations, and a sense of self-satisfaction in accurate storytelling.”
I have some family members who have really gotten into digging for our roots – I’m not one of them. Oh sure, I’m interested and would love to have it in front of me with all of the background work all completed, but I just don’t have the patience or the time to devote to it. I really appreciate though, all the the people who do take the time because finding out where we come from often tells us where we might be going, or at least why we are the way we are.
International Fannie Pack Day – The fanny pack is an interesting and useful accessory. I honestly don’t know of anyone in my family who has ever used one – at least not in my presence, but I remember seeing fathers of some of my friends wearing one and I would find myself stifling a giggle. It was usually the dad with the very white legs in shorts that he obviously wasn’t used to wearing, tube socks pulled up high, with a ball cap and this silly pack enlarging his hips and backside by a LOT. Bad choice if you are trying to cut a svelte figure. And don’t get me started on why women shouldn’t EVER wear one if they are trying to look slim in the least. Even skinny women look like they have baboon butts with them. However, with that said, if you are traveling in an area where pickpockets are rampant, wearing a fanny pack with the pack turned towards the front is definitely a way to prevent someone from easily stealing your wallet or other valuables, while keeping everything at your fingertips yet keeping your hands free. If you don’t care about how you look, it’s a good way to go. I can honestly say that it should go on record as one of the world’s most hideous accessories. For people big on function and impressed with convenient design, this is something to wear without shame everywhere you go. Honestly there’s a bit of genius to the functionality of the fanny pack, and if you’re the parent of a teenager, it’s a sure fire way to cause them extreme embarrassment and excessive eye rolling while they try to pretend they don’t know who the dork in the fanny pack really is.
I’m sorry this is getting out so late today – I found myself falling asleep last night so figured it was best to go to sleep and be coherent today. It’s Saturday and that in itself is something to celebrate, but today we have been given two awesome foods to be thrilled about, this month we have been given Spiritual Wellness to focus on (though we should always focus on that one!), and been given the choice of fanny pack as an accessory to contemplate. We remember our childhood fun with Barbie, and try hard not to panic. So much going on, that I hope you find some fun in at least some of it. God bless you today, and every day, and I’ll see you tomorrow!