Because so many people are outraged that other people are saying things like, “Happy Holidays,” or that stores have signs which say “Xmas", I asked myself: What would Jesus do?
Although not a Christian myself, I have read the New Testament several times. (Sound moral thinking is sound moral thinking, regardless of whether or not I agree with the direct divinity of the source.) So I tried to imagine someone going up to Him and expressing anger that others weren’t calling the day of His birth by the right name. I like to think of Him pausing while washing the feet of the poor or feeding the hungry or befriending the most despised people in society and looking at the person with His infinite patience, “Oh, that’s too bad. Excuse me, I have important work to do.” And with that he would get back to preventing a crowd from stoning a woman to death or comforting the sick or teaching about the importance of having no God before God or treating your fellow human as if you thought they were also humans.
Whenever I hear someone say, “There’s no X in Christmas,” I am always tempted to ask, “But is there any Christ in Christmas?” I do not, because to do so would be to give in to my own ego and not treat that person with the love and patience he or she deserves. There are many great places to learn that and, while my personal preference is Buddhist, it is also laid out very well in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Good texts, all.
Another fine take on this issue can be found at the website DefendChristmas.com:
We assert there is a war on Christmas. It is an old and unsettled debate. But it has nothing to do with television pundits, school grounds, city parks or Supreme Courts. The war on Christmas is fought in the home and in the heart.
The site’s mission is, “to referee the passionate-though-misguided combatants in the War on Christmas. If we have to discuss these things — and evidently we do — then we will be a voice of reason for both sides of the debate and serve to provide simple reminders of “peace on Earth, goodwill to all men”. Amen to that.
BTW, if you are interested in a very good and very well informed discussion about how Dec. 25th came to be the approved date for His birth, please see this fine article from The Catholic Encyclopedia.
Concerning the date of Christ’s birth the Gospels give no help; upon their data contradictory arguments are based. The censuswould have been impossible in winter: a whole population could not then be put in motion. Again, in winter it must have been; then only field labour was suspended. But Rome was not thus considerate. Authorities moreover differ as to whether shepherds could or would keep flocks exposed during the nights of the rainy season.
1) NBC GOES ALL LENO ALL THE TIME
Edsel … New Coke … Lenovision.
NBC has joined the immortals of marketing stupidity. This year the molting peacock network and president Jeff “Have They Fired Me Yet?” Zucker decided to turn five of the primest pieces of prime-time real estate — the hour between 10 and 11 PM from Monday through Friday — into the Jay Leno hour.
The result? A 28% drop in viewership (through mid-November). This has not only killed network revenues but done in affiliates who have no lead-in for their late news casts.
Despite this, Jeff “10% Of Americans Are Unemployed and I’m Not?” Zucker recently said that all is going according to plan. “Right now, in terms of its performance on the television network, at NBC, in terms of ratings it’s doing exactly what we thought it would do.” Comcast recently bought NBC in what must have been an attempt to copy the government’s cash for clunkers program. Comcast shareholders can now only hope they are being lied to. The worst case scenario is that Mr. Z believes what he is saying.
On the plus side:
- It is now possible to buy every ad slot during the Leno show for less than the cost of a house in Detroit.
- The federal witness protection program is using guest slots to hide people.
2) TIGER, TIGER BURNING BRIGHT
(Originally #9 — Who knew?)
Because I have a really limited imagination I thought the big celeb marketing mishap story of the year would be Michael Vick’s failed attempt to become a spokesperson for PETA. Then along came Tiger who prefers women with bad nose jobs to the Swedish bikini model he is actually married to. The story broke on Nov. 27th, when Mrs. Woods apparently decided to prove her own golfing expertise. This was unfortunate for Accenture which two days earlier had kicked off its annual Tiger campaign. A print ad which ran in the Nov. 30th Wall Street Journal featured Tiger Woods walking in the rough under the headline: “The road to high performance isn’t always paved.” And watch out for the trees and fire hydrants. Accenture has since declawed its Tiger connection.
UPDATE: File this under “Pull the other one, it’s made of wood.”
“We decided several months ago to discontinue Gatorade Tiger Focus, along with some other products to make room for our planned series of innovative products in 2010,” Gatorade spokeswoman Jennifer Schmit said in an e-mailed statement.
3) BANKERS CUT BONUSES, INCREASE SALARY & BLAME JESUS
First the banking industry made a big show of cutting the obscene bonuses it was paying itself for going on the dole. Meanwhile they hoped no one would notice the allegedly eliminated bonuses were now being paid as plain old salary.
But wait … that’s not all!
Apparently still feeling that their efforts to destroys the economy were still underappreciated, bankers started claiming Jesus wanted them to do it.
“The injunction of Jesus to love others as ourselves is an endorsement of self-interest,” Goldman’s [international adviser Brian] Griffiths said Oct. 20, his voice echoing around the gold-mosaic walls of St. Paul’s Cathedral, whose 365-feet-high dome towers over the City, London’s financial district. “We have to tolerate the inequality as a way to achieving greater prosperity and opportunity for all.”
How much LSD do you have to take to interpret Scripture this way? However much it is, it is certainly being passed out at all the best financial institutions. Two weeks later, Barclays CEO John Varley spoke at the venerable St. Martin-in-the-Fields and tried to wrap the Bible around his bonus.
“There is no conflict between doing business in an ethical and responsible way and making money. We make our biggest contribution to society by being good at what we do. Profit is not satanic.”
I guess it all depends on who gets to determine how we define ethical and responsible. Perhaps Varley could have gotten away with this specious argument had he not added this gloss to the text after the service: “Is Christianity and banking compatible? Yes. And is Christianity and fair reward compatible? Yes.” (Not a good sign when a banker can’t even get his verb and subject numbers to add up.) Hey John, can we parse the word “fair” for a moment?
I believe the renowned 20th century theologian Ray Price put it best when he asked, “Would Jesus wear a Rolex on His television show?”
4: GM EXPLAINS AWAY ITS “LITTLE PROBLEM”
In the face of the greatest single corporate collapse in the history of the world, GM rolled out an ad that inadvertently explains the company’s failure.
It is a veritable symphony of weasel words.
Let’s be completely honest, no company wants to go through this.
By the end of that first sentence it is clear this ad has no intention whatsoever of living up to that initial clause. You can tell because the final pronoun is never made specific. That “this” covers billions of sins. It implies we all know what has happened without saying what that was. It is everything to everyone and thus means nothing. Is “this” an utter failure of leadership? Or is it an inability to have even the vaguest understanding of the needs of the marketplace? Sadly, I suspect “this” is “an economic calamity no one could have foreseen” – the preferred phrase of everyone from Alan Greenspan to, well, the Detroit-based car makers. There is no taking responsibility anywhere in this ad just as there has been no taking responsibility at GM for decades. (Read more here)
5) VOGUE: BLACKFACE IS THE NEW BLACK
The October issue of French Vogue had a photo spread of the very Caucasian Lara Stone painted head to toe in dark make-up. Vogue went with the old “I’m sorry if you found my words insulting” defense and told the Daily Mail “it was unaware it had caused offence, but said it could not give any further comment.” (Worth noting: Italian Vogue’s issue for the same month was filled with actual Black women.) In a keeping up with the KKK move inflight magazine EasyJet ran a photo spread featuring brooding generic models dressed in black POSING IN FRONT OF BERLIN’S HOLOCAUST MONUMENT.
Fortunately for me marketers just can’t seem to figure out that Nazi = Bad. This years examples:
- A wax museum opening in Thailand put up posters of mass murder Hitler with a slogan that said: “Hitler is not dead.”
- Two German coffee companies ran (and then pulled) an ad campaign featuring a slogan almost identical to one used at Buchenwald.
- Red Bull marketing mag calls Werner von Braun a “hero”
“Somali fashion, do-it-yourself henna kits, children’s books that draw inspiration from the lives of Barack Obama and Sonia Sotomayor: it’s not hard to find gifts created for and by people of color this holiday season.” (emphasis added)
Why it’s almost like they’re real people!
6) CHOCOLATES SHAPED LIKE PRESIDENT OBAMA & MORE
CandyExpress said its commemorative Barack Obama heads would only be available for a limited time, unfortunately it wasn’t limited enough. Off the top of my head I would say there are three things Mr. Obama should not be used to advertise: Chocolate, fried chicken (a German company did it), watermelon (that’s a yet). However, the Russians came up with a bunch of things I’d never thought of. They used our President to advertise a tanning salon, a dental clinic and pre-packaged ice cream with the slogan “Everyone’s talking about it: dark inside white!” The bars have a chocolate-flavored center embedded in a layer of vanilla.
However these are just idiocy, the sheer stupidity award goes to Beanie Baby maker Ty. First they decided to sell two new dolls named Sweet Sasha and Marvelous Malia. Then they tried to deny they were named after America’s First Kids.
“[We] chose the dolls’ names because “they are beautiful names,” not because of any resemblance to President Obama’s daughters, said spokeswoman Tania Lundeen. “There’s nothing on the dolls that refers to the Obama girls,” Lundeen said. “It would not be fair to say they are exact replications of these girls. They are not.”
Sorry dear, but in order to get away with a lie like that you have to be a bank.
7) STUPIDITY? THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT
The word of the year really should have been app. The ubiquitous iPhone has spawned an industry of companies trying to market their wares by providing allegedly useful and/or humorous apps. To paraphrase Pogo, this confronted Pepsi with an insurmountable opportunity. The company released an app called Before You Score for its Mountain Dew AMP brand. The app gives you 24 different types of women (sorority girl, etc.) and offers “appropriate” pick-up lines for each type and other similar information.
Not to be outdone, LawFirms.com, a legal referral site, decided to get attention with a campaign featuring the (fictitious) app iCoyote. It “packs all of the features of a real immigrant smuggler into the iPhone. Using GPS, navigate through the patrol packed desert without worrying about that pesky Border Patrol.”
- iWife. It “will take care of finding marriage prospects for you. Aggregating and analyzing data from a variety of online sources [to] match you up with only the most promising US Citizen candidates.”
- iLawyer. “Homeland Security is Cracking down. Not to worry. With iLawyer, you can find an attorney to convince the immigration court to grant Asylum Protection. A Green Card is a finger swipe away.”
- Weather Monitors. “The desert can get hot, and trying to cross it when it’s 120 degrees is not fun. Get up-to-date weather forecasts to pick the right time and ensure your trip to the US is comfortable and fun-packed.”
- City Statistics. “San Antonio? Albuquerque? Tucson? San Diego? Not sure which is best? Get unemployment statistics, current average wages, cost of living expenses and more. Get the job you want, at the right wage, tax free!”
8 AMERICAN GIRL SELLS “HOMELESS GIRL” DOLL
Your child can learn that the homeless are just like real people once you spend $95 to buy her a “less fortunate” playmate for her other American Girl doll(s). The latest addition to the American Girl line of how-do-you-justify-it-ly expensive dolls is Gwen Thompson. Ms. Thompson
and her mother Janine fell on hard times when her father lost his job; they later lost the house as they were unable to keep up payments. Soon after, Gwen’s father left them and they became homeless the fall before the start of the book’s events. Initially, Gwen’s mother has them live in their car until the winter comes; she then takes them to Sunrise House, a place for homeless women and children. Sunrise House helps them get on their feet and eventually get a new apartment.
And should you also want to teach the kid that the disabled are people too, American Girl also sells a wheelchair for $30.
9) KFC UNDERESTIMATES OPRAH’S POPULARITY
Why would you pay to have Oprah endorse your product if you didn’t know what the result be? In May the chain formerly known as Kentucky Fried Chicken paid Ms. Winfrey to discuss its new grilled chicken on her show. (This is part of an ongoing effort to rebrand KFC as someplace that serves something besides FC. By the time it’s over KFC will be Rhode Island Clam Shack. But I digress.) In addition to giving product to her audience — and how pissed were they? Other folks got a new car and they get a food experiment – viewers could go to a website and download a coupon for up to four free two-piece chicken meals with two sides and a biscuit. If there’s one thing the US loves more than Oprah, it’s Oprah and free food.
You’ll never guess what happened. OK, so maybe you will.
Several bajillion people downloaded the coupon and sprinted to the nearest KFC. Well, the food disappeared faster than a dollar bill on the floor of the Senate. As a result somefranchisees started refusing to accept the coupon, some told people the promotion was over for the day, some quickly pointed to the “while supplies last” clause, the more creative said that coupons with barcode numbers ending in “1234” are not valid. Look closely at the barcode below to see what that meant.
All this brought new meaning to the chain’s horrible new tagline: “Unthink What You Thought About KFC.”
Another chain, El Pollo Loco, moved smart and fast and sent out a twitter saying they’d accept the coupons on Mother’s Day. Soon Oprah was having to apologize for the stupidity and KFC issued rain checks to the disgruntled.
All of which goes to prove that whatever you have to pay Oprah, the ROI is REAL!
10) (tie) BLACKWATER, NIGERIA & SWINE INDUSTRY LAUNCH REBRANDING EFFORTS
- In an attempt to change all the nasty connotations that go along with being mercenaries, Blackwater Worldwide changed its name to Xe. That’s pronounced zee, as in “zee idiots in marketing thought of it.”
Blackwater president Gary Jackson said in a memo to employees the new name reflects the change in company focus away from the business of providing private security. “The volume of changes over the past half-year have taken the company to an exciting place and we are now ready for two of the final, and most obvious changes,” Jackson said in the note.
That exciting place seems to include a lot of lawsuits.
- Tired of being thought of as the world’s foremost manufacturer of email con jobs, Nigeria decided to tackle it’s massive corruption problems with that most modern approach: Marketing. Its new slogan: At least we’re not AIG.
“At international airports, in trains, in shopping malls, and almost everywhere, every Nigerian is a marked person,” Dora Akunyili, information minister and self-styled chief image maker said at the launch of the re-branding campaign this week. “We are pulled aside for questioning. We are seen as potential drug pushers or fraudsters. We are unfortunately denied the benefit of the doubt.”
- Swine flu is no laughing matter. Especially if you’re the American Pork Association. They went into overdrive screaming about how it was hurting their sales and enlisted Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin who constantly referred to the “so-called swine flu.” Unfortunately humor trumps branding every time. Thus we got headlines like:
“We will call it Mexico flu. We won’t call it swine flu,” Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman, a black-garbed Orthodox Jew, told a news conference Monday, assuring the Israeli public that authorities were prepared to handle any cases.
CIO writer and friend Al Sacco came up with this: Swine flu isn’t a scary enough name. It needs a slogan, too: “Pork Plague, the (Other) White Death,” for example.
AMAZON DELISTS GAY AND LESBIAN BOOKS
The online retailer blamed an “employee in France” for a “software glitch” which oddly delisted gay and lesbian themed books from its search listings. (Example: Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Mountain vanished, but not her book The Shipping News in which all the sex is hetero.)
CRAIGSLIST CEO SAYS SITE HAS NO SEX RELATED ADS
“I would not describe any section of our site as ’sex related,’ ” [Craigslist CEO Jim] Buckmaster wrote in response to a series of e-mailed questions from the Globe. He acknowledged that Craigslist offers an “erotic services” section that should not include more than “legitimate escort services, sensual massage, exotic dancers, etc.,” but said that offers to exchange sexual favors for money are “strictly prohibited” and removed from the site.
SPECIAL PENGUIN OF IRONY CITATION:
THE WISCONSIN TOURISM FOUNDATION
had to change its name to the Tourism Federation of Wisconsin
BONUS: A few other totally wrong products from the year
- Hanah Montana brand Cherries,
- Linger, mints for your lady bits all but guaranteed to cause a yeast infection.
- Godfather-branded Italian organic vodka
- Starbucks instant coffee – the exact opposite of everything the brand stands for.
Chuck Ripka, one of the bank’s founders, once told the Star Tribune that God spoke to him and said, "Chuck, if you pastor the bank, I’ll take care of the bottom line." Ripka and his staff would pray with customers in the bank’s Otsego branch and even at the drive-up window. (A story I once heard about not mixing money lenders and temples suddenly comes to mind.)
Seems the Good Lord didn’t tip Mr. Ripka to the fact that home prices do not always head toward Heaven. The bank was an aggressive real estate lender and at one point had the fourth-highest concentration of real estate loans-to-capital of any community bank in the Minnesota. Riverview’s mistakes weren’t limited to bad loans it seems. Earlier this month it had reached an agreement with the Fed to cease paying dividends and correct violations of law spelled out in a May letter from the Fed. The order didn’t identify what laws were broken.
(And speaking of banks in need of divine intercession, check out: Citigroup’s "Hail Mary Pass": How To Know Citigroup Is In Serious Trouble)
The UK’s Adertising Standards Authority has been asked to rule on a campaign by an atheist group featuring signs that read, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” (Note: the action part of the message works just as well if you replace “no” with “a”.) The campaign from the British Humanist Association has been challenged by a group called Christian Voice on the grounds it breaks rules concerning substantiation and truthfulness.
Stephen Green, national director of Christian Voice, said: “There is plenty of evidence for God, from people’s personal experience, to the complexity, interdependence, beauty and design of the natural world. But there is scant evidence on the other side, so I think the advertisers are really going to struggle to show their claim is not an exaggeration or inaccurate, as the ASA code puts it.”
Hanne Stinson, chief executive of the British Humanist Association, said: “I am sure that Stephen Green really does think there is a great deal of evidence for a God (though presumably only the one that he believes in), but I pity the ASA if they are going to be expected to rule on the probability of God’s existence.”
Once it hands down this ruling I want the ASA to get to the bottom of the whole Mac or Windows thing.
Germany’s churches criticized a businessman for selling thousands of Jesus chocolates. Frank Oynhausen set up his “Sweet Lord” chocolate Jesus-making business saying he wanted to restore some traditional religious values to Christmas in Germany.
So remember: Representations of The Savior in bread or wine form are OK, just don’t serve Him as dessert. However, is it OK to eat a cookie with a picture of Jesus on it? There’s a woman in the UK for whom this is not a theoretical question.
You really owe it to yourself to checkout the website for The Original Chocolate GoldJesus®. Best line: “No Santa Claus, especially no chocolate Santa Claus, could ever substitute for Jesus.” I know someone who’s getting coal this in his stocking!
Worth noting that chocolate crosses and such have long been sold in many places (even Wal Mart!). They seem to have started as a Hispanic tradition and spread from there.
Just over a year ago Ernie Chambers, the longest serving — and maybe the most powerful — state senator in Nebraska history, sought a permanent injunction against God. He said the Almighty has made terroristic threats against the senator and his constituents in Omaha, inspired fear and caused “widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants.’’
In what may be the best legal argument I’ve ever encountered, Chambers said he has already found a flaw in the Judge’s reasoning: “The court itself acknowledges the existence of God. A consequence of that acknowledgment is a recognition of God’s omniscience. Therefore, God would have actual notice of that lawsuit. Since God knows everything, God has notice of this lawsuit.’’
Elsewhere in The Realm of the Unknowable … G-D is making His/Her/Its/Their presence known at this year’s Great American Beer Festival:
- The Lost Abbey brewery of San Marcos, Calif., has a full line of offerings, including one called Judgment Day. Even better, the company also makes a line of “non-denominational ales.”
- There is also Schmaltz Brewing, makers of “He’Brew … The Chosen Beer.” Brands include Genesis Ale (“our first creation”), Messiah Bold (“the one you’ve been waiting for”), Jewbelation (“L’Chaim!”) and the seasonally released Rejewvenator.
- Russian River Brewing Co. seems to offer everything you could want in a religion with brands called Damnation, Salvation, Perdition, Redemption, Sanctification, Deification and Benediction.
- St. Arnold Brewing Co. has Divine Reserve and for believers of any stripe don’t do the whole alcohol thing they make St. Arnold Root Beer as well. (Also have the best name of any beer I’ve ever seen: Saint Arnold Fancy Lawnmower)
While Mrs. Collateral Damage, who has all the details on the story, doubtless agrees with the learned cleric, I do believe it is an issue on which reasonable people may disagree. And still remain married.
Best quote from the story:
Sheikh Mohamed al-Munajid, a cleric who often appears on Saudi television and who is also a former Saudi diplomat in the United States, said last week that mice were “agents of Satan” and should be killed. “Sharia (Islamic law) calls for the extermination of all mice. That includes the rodents as well as ‘the famous cartoon mouse’,” he said. He blamed Mickey Mouse for causing people to become soft on mice.
New post about my latest strange habit. Click here for more details.
This site is the gateway to a whole new way of communicating what is deepest in your heart when you send a letter. As personal as a nameplate on your desk, custom license plate, or insignia on your personal checks and credit cards, Holy Postage is a way of sharing your faith with those with whom you communicate by mail.
As Richard Nixon would put it: Allow me to say this about that …
- “As personal as a nameplate on your desk”? Paul Fussell, in his wonderful book Class, wrote that nameplates are for people who aren’t sure they should have desks.
- What is deepest in my heart when I send a letter is generally, “Why can’t I do this by email?”
- Didn’t Robin use the phrase “Holy Postage” once?
We have structured the site such that you can get right to the specific area of particular interest to you. We offer a variety of images for those of the Christian faith. There is also beautiful artwork and imagery to inspire those across all faiths.
The meaning of “all” here is much the same as when it is used by Sam The Eagle in Muppetvison 3D:
And indeed there is some imagery that is Jewish and some that is “Arabic” — which in this case means Christian but with a message printed in Arabic. All people depicted are the palest Caucasian.
Note well that having The Alpha & The Omega, The Holy Undefinable Everything, The Dude, Big Guy (or Gal) and/or The Terrifying Void on your snail mail neither makes it more likely to arrive or even that your stamps will get to you in a timely manner. From the site’s FAQ:
How long will it take to receive my stamps once I place my order?
At this time, sheets of stamps are being custom printed by our printer once their minimums have been met. Your order will be shipped to you as soon as we receive it here at the offices of Holy Postage. We will do everything possible to minimize the delay between the time you place your order and the time you receive it. Please allow up to weeks following receipt of your order by us for your Holy Postage to arrive at your location.
The absence of a specific number of weeks is the most wonderful typo I’ve seen in a while.
Shouldn’t questions have a question mark at the end of them?
We too have a superhero that came to rescue us from evil and an eternity apart from Him. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. And our Superhero shows us that life is only found by using our great gifts and power to serve others and rescue the desperate. We need to become Robin to His Batman. We are part of the team and He’s counting on us to respond.
Lord, deliver us from your followers …
Some would argue that the only thing that goes on in a church is comedy, but that would be going for the cheap laugh and I would never do that.
Or how about: “Three comedians walk into a church. Only one of them knows he’s a comedian.”
Aren’t all comedians Immoral? (“deliberately violating accepted principles of right and wrong“) The basic job definition is holding up a fun-house mirror to society & letting people consider ideas that they would never think of otherwise.
It would be hard to come up with a bigger violation of currently accepted principles of right and wrong than humbly pursuing your faith, loving your God and your fellow man even over the pursuit of material gain. Thus Christianity can be pretty damn immoral. When the late Mr. Carlin went on about the seven dirty words that you can’t say on television he was making a point about the unpleasantness of swearing serving to distract us from the true obscenities of the world like poverty, war, bigotry. For me that’s a very Christian message.
I actually have a bunch of God related material in my act. “Two phrases I hate: ‘person of faith’ and ‘faith-based organization.’ Please do not insult my belief that way. Cubs fans are a people of faith and support a faith-based organization. Me, I believe in God.” (The way things are going I’m going to have another patsy organization. GM? The Knicks? The Fed?)
In case you were wondering what the hell: “Enter Ron Pearson, a Christian who is explicit about his faith yet is one of the top secular comics in the business. … Pearson’s latest project, Apostles of Comedy; The Movie, is a masterpiece that’s sure to set a new trend in both the Christian and secular comedy world. The film fuses 4 award – winning comedians that spotlights not only the quirks but explores their private lives as they share their journeys of love, faith, hope and forgiveness. You’ll see famed comedians Pearson, Anthony Griffith, Brad Stine and Jeff Allen as you’ve never seen them.”
“As you’ve never seen them?” Well, that’s setting the bar pretty low. How about as you’ve never heard of them?
And just FYI: Bob Newhart is GOD!
Speaking as a former headline writer — WHERE WAS THIS STORY WHEN I NEEDED IT?
TAMPA, Fla. – Police say a man named God was arrested near a Tampa church for selling cocaine. Authorities began investigating God Lucky Howard in April, and he was arrested on Saturday. Police say he sold the cocaine to undercover detectives in his neighborhood. When officers searched his home, they reported finding another 22 grams of cocaine and a scale.
Well, I think he wasn’t God and I know he wasn’t Lucky. He probably wasn’t Howard, either.
Runner up for headline of the day: Sports bra saves US hiker in German Alp
Berchtesgaden police officer Lorenz Rasp said that he helped lift 24-year-old Jessica Bruinsma of Colorado state to safety by helicopter on Thursday after she attracted the attention of lumberjacks by attaching her sports bra to a cable used to move timber down the mountain.
QUICK, someone get the brand of that bra!
Shortly after Mother’s Day I received the following letter from a lady in Florida who had purchased The Pope’s Cologne for gifts. I felt strangely and deeply touched by it and debated about sharing its’ content.* I decided that I should. I think that you will see what I mean. This is the letter:
Dear Dr. Hass,
I needed to give you the feedback I got from “The Pope’s Cologne”. I ordered two dozen (24) to give out as gifts on Mothers Day. I came up with the idea after your interview at the “Sunday Morning” show, since my mother is a devoted Roman Catholic, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate gift for her and the rest of the mothers. We all had brunch that Sunday, 6 mothers in total, and I placed the colognes on each one of the mothers place seating. My mother was speechless and very grateful for the cologne and immediately opened it and placed a few drops on her forehead (as she was making the sign of the cross) and behind her wrist. She said; “it has a delicious and peaceful fragrance to it, I love it, very unique” and she proceeded to rub the small bottle as if it had magical powers. Through out the Brunch she was inhaling the aroma from her wrist and you could see in her eyes how much she enjoyed it.
A few minutes before the brunch ended we got the bad news that a friend of my parents for over 50 years had just died. He was struggling with cancer but did not win the battle, he was 76 years old. The following morning we assisted the wake and as my mother hugged his widow she mentioned how pleasant her fragrance was. My mom proceeded to explain to her that it was a mother’s day gift given to her by one of her daughters. His widow expressed a feeling of peace and comfort as she was hugging my mom, and that it was the fragrance that made her feel this way.
My mom tells me with tears in her eyes the widows comment and if she only knew the cologne was going to have this effect on her, she would have brought hers to passed it on to the widow. I remembered I had extra colognes in my car and I gave my mom one to give to her.
What I experienced later will be a sight I will never forget!!! The widow used the cologne to “anoint” her husband EVERY 20 minutes. She would sprinkle it on his hands, his head, his forehead, and his neck. You could see in her eyes she had found a way of redemption through the cologne. Everyone was asking about the cologne and its origin. Everyone that came in to give her their condolences could not stop asking about the pleasant aroma they were experiencing. Everyone was quiet and in awe for hours. She also kept on rubbing the bottle as if it was some sort of amulet or charm.
My mother called her this morning to see how she was doing. She said: “I am at peace and calm because every time I smell the cologne I remember his life not his death….Thank you for such an amazing gesture of God….!!!”
I am sure you Never expected your cologne to touch so many people in soooooo many different ways.
At last we have an answer to What Would Jesus Spritz? $156 for a dozen 2 oz. bottles.
*Why do I have my doubts as to the length of the debate over using this letter?)
Tech support at any wireless phone company will tell you that the preferred set-up option to receive text messages is “Always On” rather than “When Needed.” Pastor Robert R. Cushman has found that our communication with God should be “Always On” too. In his new book, “What If You Pray? Experiencing the Reality of Prayer,” Pastor Cushman …
Putting the G in OMG.
Is God on Verizon or T-Mobile?
Also begs the weighty theological question: Who does God turn to for tech support?