Dec. 28: The Right to Believe

During the mid-1950’s, a group of atheists demanded that the words “under God” be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance.  New York State Supreme Court Judge Isadore Bookstein ruled against the atheists.He stated that while the First Amendment guaranteed a citizen’s “right to disbelieve,” it gave the disbeliever “no preference over those who do believe in God.”Judge Bookstein wrote that the atheists’ interpretation of the First Amendment was faulty.  He explained, “It was conceived to prev … [Read more...]

Dec. 27: Germs Like Worriers

“Worry is the interest we pay on trouble before it is due.”This is an old and true saying.  If all the time and energy spent on fruitless worry could be channeled into positive and productive work, the world would be far better off than it is today.People who are over-fearful, troubled or apprehensive bring much unnecessary misery into their own lives and the lives of those around them.Worry not only takes away peace of mind, heart and soul, it harms the body as well.  One doctor clai … [Read more...]

Dec. 26: A Little Thank-You

In today’s paper-less society, it’s no small wonder that the art of writing thank-you notes has fallen to the wayside. Yet according to CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman, those who do take the time to write notes of gratitude consequently wind up feeling more grateful themselves.It was ultimately 60 Minutes correspondent Byron Pitts who convinced Hartman to try his hand at writing the forgotten “thank you.”  Pitts constantly pens thank-you letters to this day and continues to believe in th … [Read more...]

Dec. 25: Finding God in Unexpected Places

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once shared these thoughts about Jesus’ birth:“[Joseph] searched for a place for the birth of him to whom heaven and earth belonged…Certainly, thought Joseph, there would be room in the village inn. There was room for the rich; there was room for everyone who had a tip to give to the innkeeper. But when finally the scrolls of history are completed…the saddest line of all will be: There was no room in the inn.“But there was room in the stable. The inn was the gat … [Read more...]

Dec 24: A Life Lesson for Christmas

Former American Idol contestant and Grammy-nominated gospel singer Mandisa remembers one Christmas when loneliness threatened to overcome her.She was attending Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and didn’t have enough money to fly home for the holiday.Instead of feeling depressed, the singer decided to spend Christmas day reading all the gospels so she could feel closer to Jesus.  Ever since then, she’s been able to focus on the religious significance of the holiday without getting … [Read more...]

Dec. 23: Christmas Keeps People Alive

When Elizabeth Scalia’s brother was dying in a hospice in December, 2004, he read an article by a columnist denouncing Christmas.  Despite his suffering, he responded to that article with a letter of his own that Scalia posted on her blog.Her brother praised the doctors and nurses who took care of dying patients like himself, noting that none of them were as sour as this particular columnist.He said, “Christmas, they will tell you, keeps people alive—even terribly, horrifically ill people … [Read more...]

Dec. 22: Divine Inspiration

George Frederick Handel lived to see his oratorio, The Messiah, become a cherished tradition.  First performed in Ireland in 1742, the work achieved fame eight years later in London.Few people realize, though, that this masterpiece was composed by Handel in 21 days during a desperate frenzy of inspiration.  Hounded by creditors, he struggled against failing eyesight to finish what he felt would be his greatest work.The composer’s own suffering gave vibrancy and depth to the Messiah’s them … [Read more...]

Dec. 21: Christmas for Forgotten Angels

Christmas for Forgotten Angels Though Clarence Adams didn’t know much about homelessness when he got a job as a counselor at a New Orleans, Louisiana, homeless shelter 17 years ago, he was especially moved by the plight of the children he saw there.As Christmas drew near, he felt even more sorry for them because all they would have to look forward to is Christmas dinner in the shelter with hundreds of strangers.  As reported by Voice of America news, Adams commented to a friend that if he ev … [Read more...]