CHRISTIANS

DEMOCRATS PUT BOTH FEET IN THEIR MOUTH!

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US NAVY SAILOR’S “T’was The Night Before Christmas”

USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53)

USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53)

T’was the night before Christmas, the ship was out steaming,
Sailors stood watch while others were dreaming.
They lived in a crowd with racks tight and small,
In a 40-man berthing, cramped one and all.

I had come down the stack with presents to give,
And to see inside just who might perhaps live.
I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stockings were hung, shined boots close at hand,
On the bulkhead hung pictures of a far distant land.
They had medals and badges and awards of all kind,
And a sober thought came into my mind.

For this place was different, so dark and so dreary,
I had found the house of a Sailor, once I saw clearly.
A Sailor lay sleeping, silent and alone,
Curled up in a rack and dreaming of home.

The face was so gentle, the room squared away,
This was the United States Sailor today.
This was the hero we saw on TV,
Defending our country so we could be free.

I realized the families that I would visit this night,
Owed their lives to these Sailors lay willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on Christmas Day.

They all enjoyed freedom each day of the year,
Because of the Sailor, like the one lying here.
I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve on a sea, far from home.

The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The Sailor awakened and I heard a calm voice,
“Santa, don’t cry, this life is my choice.”

“Defending the seas all days of the year,
So others may live and be free with no fear.”
I thought for a moment, what a difficult road,
To live a life guided by honor and code.

After all it’s Christmas Eve and the ship’s underway!
But freedom isn’t free and it’s sailors who pay.
The Sailor say’s to our country “be free and sleep tight,
No harm will come, not on my watch and not on this night.”

The Sailor rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent, so still,
I watched as the Sailor shivered from the night’s cold chill.

I didn’t want to leave on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.
The Sailor rolled over and with a voice strong and sure,
Commanded, “Carry on Santa, It’s Christmas, and All is Secure!”

Merry Christmas to all my brothers & sisters currently serving on active duty, in the reserves, retired or veterans (like me). Fair Winds & Following Seas!  Never Forget; WE OWN THE SEAS!~ JGT

DoriNavy1stClass (4)

USN 1979 – 1990

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A SAILOR’S CHRISTMAS AT SEA

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)

The sea is cold, the night is dark… the blowing wind is crisp,
I stare across the ship’s huge deck… I did not get my wish.
I wanted so, to be at home… this year on Christmas Eve,
But this will be the year that I… did not get Christmas leave.

I stand and think about my family… gathered by the tree,
I know that one will say my name… and then they’ll think of me.
I am not there to share their joy… my country needs me here,
But I am not the only one… who won’t get home this year.

I miss my family but I am… on guard for my country,
Protecting those who can have Christmas… is my first duty.
Many men have given all… for us to have that right,
And I feel honored just to sacrifice… a Christmas night.

But still I’m feeling so alone… as many of us are,
As I just stand here on the deck… and watch a Christmas star.
I guess it is a Christmas star… it shines for all it’s worth,
And I think back to when a star… foretold His peace on earth.’

If only people felt this calm… as on this Christmas Eve,
And not create hostilities… that make their brothers grieve.
Then we could have a peaceful world… as it was meant to be,
But until then we must stand guard… and this night it is me.

Once again my thoughts turn home… my family safe and sound,
Because this ship and other men… are ready to stand ground.
The Navy and the other branches… keep us safe and strong,
So those at home can celebrate… and sing their Christmas song.

But knowing that I must do this… I can’t hold back a tear,
Wishing I was home this Christmas… sharing in the cheer.
Seeing all my families faces… lights and Christmas trim,
Now the night is getting darker… as I think of them.

Trying now to fight this feeling… of such loneliness,
Softly speaking to myself… a lonely Christmas wish.
Actually my Christmas wish… is now a Christmas prayer,
Thank you for the men who serve… our country everywhere.

Thank you for our families… who enjoy this Christmas free,
Thank you for the other men… who serve this ship with me.
Thank you for allowing me… to make this sacrifice,
A joyous Christmas for our families… makes it worth the price.

May there be peace within you today.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
I believe that friends are quiet angels who lift us to our feet when our
Wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

~Author Unknown~

This former “WIN” (Such was the PC term for ‘Women in the Navy’ during the over 11 years I served on active duty) salutes ALL of my brothers & sisters currently serving in the Navy, Marine Corps. Air Force, Army & Coast Guard throughout the World Today~ Yesterday & Tomorrow! I salute ALL U.S. Military Veterans who have or ever have taken the following oath & most especially, those that have Given Their Last Full Measure of Devotion to the Citizens & People of the United States of America.

 ‘I, (state name of enlistee), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.’ 

Who am I? I am a Christian! I am an American! I am a U.S. Navy Veteran. I am a Woman & Proud Wife of a Retired U.S. Navy Chief. We are so much more than this but we owe our lives to our God & the Country we each served for over 32 years combined. To that end, I’d like to wish you ALL a Very MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR! And~ God Bless Us~ Every One! -JGT

IS HILLARY DISQUALIFIED FOR THE PRESIDENCY?

Hillary Clinton at senate hearingAmerican Democrat presidential candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton cannot, by U.S. law, hold any office — presidency included.

According to 18 U.S. Code § 2071: PART I- CRIMES,  Chapter  101- Records & Reports; Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally.

(A) Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

(B) Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three year’s or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term ‘office’ does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.”

Clinton willfully violated this law!Hillary-Mean-Big

source: US 18 USC 2071: Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally Text contains those laws in effect on June 25, 2016  Title 18-CRIMES  & CRIMINAL PROCEDURE 

So, after reading this; what do you think?  `JGT

 

 

A JERSEY GIRL’S HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME 2016

 

Someone I once knew used to always say, “If I didn’t have bad luck~ I wouldn’t have luck at all!”.

Well~ that’s almost the way I felt yesterday morning, even though I’d hoped~ several weeks earlier, that the 24th would at least be a pretty-good day (all things considered). So, what happened? My doctor’s office had scheduled me to undergo a battery of tests at the hospital yesterday morning at 10 AM. And so it was, the fasting & no water orders from midnight the previous evening.

I tossed & turned all night and when I woke up at 5:30 in the morning with cotton-mouth and a rumbling stomach, I felt absolutely miserable! If that didn’t beat all, my husband greeted me with a cheerful, “Good Morning, Hap..” I cut him off mid-sentence & snapped back, “What’s so good about it!?” (Poor guy. Too bad. He should know me better after over 31 years!)

Regardless of the fact that I couldn’t even have my customary one & only cup of coffee of the day, I managed, albeit reluctantly~ to keep my appointment with the doctor at the hospital. Irritated, I was in rare form yesterday morning and even managed to ask my doctor why he grew a beard and insult him by telling him he looked like a Terrorist! (Obviously, this was not a great idea, but what the hell!)

Indeed, just before drifting off to sleep, I remember mumbling something like, “Don’t shave my hair off while I’m sleeping. I had a haircut on Tuesday!”, or words to that effect. Thankfully, I eventually woke up with all my hair intact and an hour later was allowed to have some apple juice & crackers. My doctor gave me a thumbs up, but reminded me that he’d be in touch after my MRI scheduled for this coming Monday. Oh, and by the way, he said, “No driving & NO Alcohol for the next few days!”.

Yikes!

On the way home, I pointed out the White Castle on Route 9 in Freehold and demanded my husband, Luke to  pull in there! It was the one thing that had happened that day thus far that I had been in control of! “I ordered two Murder-Burgers and some Fatal Fries”! They were absolutely delicious!

A HEARTFELT THANK-YOU TO ALL MY FAMILY & FRIENDS for Your Happy Birthday Wishes. Yesterday (June 24, 2016) was the 33rd anniversary of my 29th Birthday! Your greetings & wishes ALL made my day because at the end of the day~ it was the brightest part of the day! Thanks again & God Bless You ALL!

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My brother Ross & me circa 1956

Port Authority NY with Ross circa 1979

Lest I forget~ Happy birthday to my brother, Ross… thankfully exactly TWO years older than me! Ha-Ha!

D.F. Howard ©June 2016

Postscript: Next year, GOD Willing~ I’m spending my Birthday in Las Vegas! ~ Hopefully & GOD Willing! ~ JGT

 

EASTER SUNDAY

easter-cross-daybreakEaster is the holiday that celebrates and commemorates the central event of the Christian faith: the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his death by crucifixion. All major branches of Christianity observe the holiday. Today, other than church attendance, the holiday often involves Easter Eggs for toys and candy as well as the imagery of bunnies and rabbits (see more below). Easter occurs the Sunday after Good Friday.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of the Christian faith, according to the Apostle Paul, who even says that if Jesus Christ has not been resurrected then the Christian faith is worthless and futile (1 Cor. 15:14-17). Therefore, without Easter there is no Christianity.

Easter is the oldest Christian holiday and the most important day of the church year. All the Christian movable feasts and the entire liturgical year of worship are arranged around Easter. Easter is preceded by the season of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting and repentance culminating in Holy Week, and followed by a 50-day Easter Season that stretches from Easter to Pentecost.

There is evidence that Christians originally celebrated the resurrection of Christ every Sunday, with observances such as Scripture readings, psalms, the Eucharist, and a prohibition against kneeling in prayer. {6} At some point in the first two centuries, however, it became customary to celebrate the resurrection specially on one day each year. Many of the religious observances of this celebration were taken from the Jewish Passover.

The specific day on which the resurrection should be celebrated became a major point of contention within the church. First, should it be on Jewish Passover no matter on what day that falls, or should it always fall on a Sunday? It seems Christians in Asia took the former position, while those everywhere else insisted on the latter. The eminent church fathers Irenaeus and Polycarp were among the Asiatic Christians, and they claimed the authority of St. John the Apostle for their position. Nevertheless, the church majority officially decided that Easter should always be celebrated on a Sunday. Eusebius of Caesarea, our only source on this topic, reports the affair as follows:

A question of no small importance arose at that time [c. 190 AD]. The dioceses of all Asia, as from an older tradition, held that the fourteenth day of the moon, on which day the Jews were commanded to sacrifice the lamb, should always be observed as the feast of the life-giving pasch, contending that the fast ought to end on that day, whatever day of the week it might happen to be. However it was not the custom of the churches in the rest of the world to end it at this point, as they observed the practice, which from Apostolic tradition has prevailed to the present time, of terminating the fast on no other day than on that of the Resurrection of our Saviour. Synods and assemblies of bishops were held on this account, and all with one consent through mutual correspondence drew up an ecclesiastical decree that the mystery of the Resurrection of the Lord should be celebrated on no other day but the Sunday and that we should observe the close of the paschal fast on that day only. {7} With this issue resolved, the next problem was to determine which Sunday to celebrate the resurrection. The Christians in Syria and Mesopotamia held their festival on the Sunday after the Jewish Passover (which itself varied a great deal), but those in Alexandria and other regions held it on the first Sunday after the spring equinox, without regard to the Passover.

This second issue was decided at the Council of Nicea in 325, which decreed that Easter should be celebrated by all on the same Sunday, which Sunday shall be the first following the paschal moon (and the paschal moon must not precede the spring equinox), and that a particular church should determine the date of Easter and communicate it throughout the empire (probably Alexandria, with their skill in astronomical calculations).

The policy was adopted throughout the empire, but Rome adopted an 84-year lunar cycle for determining the date, whereas Alexandria used a 19-year cycle. {8} Use of these different “paschal cycles” persists to this day and contributes to the disparity between the eastern and western dates of Easter.

Common elements found in most Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant religious Easter celebrations include baptism, the Eucharist, feasting, and greetings of “Christ is risen!” and “He is risen indeed!”

In Roman Catholicism, and some Lutheran and Anglican churches, Easter is celebrated with a vigil that consists of “the blessing of the new fire (a practice introduced during the early Middle Ages); the lighting of the paschal candle; a service of lessons, called the prophecies; followed by the blessing of the font and baptisms and then the mass of Easter.” {9} The traditional customs of the Catholic church are described in detail in the online Catholic Encyclopedia {10}.

In Orthodox churches, the vigil service is preceded by a procession outside the church. When the procession leaves the church, there are no lights on. The procession conducts a symbolic fruitless search for Christ’s body, then joyfully announces, “Christ is risen!” When the procession returns to the church, hundreds of candles and lamps are lit to symbolize the splendor of Christ’s resurrection, and the Easter Eucharist is taken. {11}

Protestant observances also include baptism and the Eucharist (or Lord’s Supper), and often a sunrise service (to commemorate Mary Magdalene’s arrival at the empty tomb “early, while it was still dark”) and special hymns and songs.

Easter Eggs and Christianity

12717977_1025836324177545_6398181941345550489_nWhat do eggs have to do with Easter? Over the centuries, Easter Sunday has been supplemented by popular customs, many of were incorporated from springtime fertility celebrations of European and Middle Eastern pagan religion. Rabbits and eggs, for example, are widely-used pagan symbols for fertility.

Some Christians disassociate themselves entirely from Easter eggs because of their pagan connotations. Other Christians view Easter eggs, or other candies and treats, as symbols of joy and celebration (as they were forbidden during the fast of Lent) and as a “taste” of new life and resurrection that they have in Jesus Christ. A common custom is to hide brightly colored eggs for children to find.

ORIGNAL ARTICLE COURTESY OF RELIGION FACTS

I Remember My America © d.f. howard

Liberty and Justice for AllI love America! I love MY country! I love what our Constitution stands for and I love it for the dream that our founding fathers imagined for us. I would give my life for my country!

Indeed, I’d give my life for the country that I grew up in and the country that I served while on active duty in the United States Navy from 1979 to 1990. THAT is the country I love! That America~ is the country I pledged to support & defend against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic! My pledges (two pledges taken during my 11 years in the U.S. Navy ) not only bound me with my fellow sailors, soldiers and American citizens but it also bound me to specifically support the Commander(s) in Chief of the United States Armed Forces, no matter what my political preferences were at the time. I Took An Oath! Under God! Twice!

I can attest that during my first year on active duty serving under then President Jimmy Carter, the military was pitiful & morale was at an all-time low. Iran had held 52 American hostages captive after sacking the American Embassy in Tehran 14 months earlier at the time & President Carter’s failure to secure their release through diplomatic means eventually led to the fatal “Operation Eagle Claw” mission that resulted in the deaths of 8 members of the Army’s 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (popularly known as the Delta Force) & Naval Special Warfare Development Group (more popularly known as Seal Team Six) when their helicopter crashed on the night of April 24, 1980. I can tell you first hand that the entire U.S. Navy & our sister services mourned this horrendous tragedy!

Under President Ronald Reagan, we were proud, united and eager to serve! During THE GULF OF SIDRA INCIDENT on Aug. 19, 1981 two U.S. Navy F-14 jets shot down two Soviet-built Libyan SU-22’s about 60 miles from the Libyan coast after being fired on by one of the Libyan aircraft. While stationed overseas, I can tell you that we all went wild when we heard that! Tee-shirts, ball caps, pins etc., were printed up so fast and every Sailor or Marine I ran into on base (including me) had one on that read “USA=1 Libya=0”. What a kick!

Bush 41 carried Reagan’s legacy into the 1990’s but by then, I was a military wife & I observed much of this through my husband’s career which finally ended with his retirement (after serving 21 years) at the end of the Clinton Administration in 1999.

My father, uncles & father-in law all served in World War II. My grandfather(s) served in World War I. I have direct grandfathers, great grandfathers & direct ancestors that served in the American Civil War, the War of 1812  & the American Revolutionary War.  I have served and my husband has served in the U. S. Navy. Hey, I’m a Jersey Girl and I was born in the middle of the “baby boom”!

Over the years, I have watched our country’s military decline. I barely recognize this country anymore and am terribly afraid of where this country is going. Many people I talk to about this are afraid as well. I spit on the leadership (if you can call it that) and the politicians who are currently running this country! And I don’t care what color they are or what race they are or what nationality they are or what religion they are. They are ALL to blame!

Sadly, we have a president and his staff continually peddling bullshit to the American people. Our unemployment numbers are NOT approximately 5% because the underemployment rate is approximately 15% as of February 2016. I’m no financial genius but I’d say if we added those two figures together we’re at about 20% unemployment rate in the U.S. And since when do we include part-time employment in the weekly jobs report? Oh, I forgot~ it’s the hope & change Obama’s Administration & OUR White House has been peddling since 2008! And tell me, please~ what is this so-called “recovery” the White House is still babbling about? What recovery? I don’t see it. Do you? Indeed, once the Affordable Care Act (aka) Obamacare went into effect it’s costing hard-working American families thousands of dollars more every year all the while government employees, Congress, the Senate and ALL their staff(s) get the “Cadillac” plans that many of us once had & paid to have. (Take it from someone who actually pays for health care through employment & has seen her premiums go up over $3000 a year as well as co-pays & out of pocket costs since Obamacare took effect in 2009!)

Regrettably, most insurance companies no longer carry those plans because of Obamacare & due to the high federal taxes being imposed on it! Why can’t insurance companies compete across state lines anyway? Answer: Because Americans were suckered into voting for politicians promising to serve them in Washington but are now being ignored in favor of  big-money donors & lobbyists giving them perks & promising  to get them reelected! Therefore~ the American voter who elected them in the first place is then brushed aside because we’re not needed anymore! Did you know that insurance companies have pulled coverage out of so many states that many states are left with just one? How’s that for a monopoly? I thought monopolies were illegal in this country? Nonetheless, Obama- the Hope & Change Monarch of America- has decreed it is not! (What a creep!) And, Ditto~ for those slimy politicians WE voted for! 

We Americans have been shrouded in darkness by our government. We have been lied to and violated. We have been surreptitiously and methodically stripped of our rights as Americans by the politicians with whom we have voted for and placed our trust in for years! Our politicians are “in” the top 1% of the American “elite” who get rich while the rest of us get poorer. We, the working class (working poor in most cases) are left to eke out an honest living by working hard, paying our bills AND paying federal, state & local taxes in order to provide for our families every single day. It never stops! Have you ever heard the saying; “Death & Taxes”? I have~ and I know that in our country, even our heirs must pay taxes even after our deaths! But there again, it’s double jeopardy because the deceased has already paid taxes on the very money or property that their heir(s) have inherited. It’s mindboggling!

How about voting? Do you believe that as an American, voting should be sacrosanct? Isn’t it supposed to be one vote for each LEGAL and LIVING American citizen? I always believed that. Additionally many people have voted several times in several states! Did you know that thousands of dead people, convicted felons as well as dogs & cats actually voted for Obama in the last two election cycles? Amazing!!! How did they do this? It is “Houdiniesque” (my word). Meanwhile, there are several states that want to protect our right to vote under the Constitution by requiring that each voter (ONE vote per person) provide a photo ID and have passed bills into law in their respective state legislatures that require this. Indeed, don’t we have to show an ID to someone almost every single day? Ever try to rent a hotel room or a car without one? How about buying a beer a pack of cigarettes; using a credit card and being asked for a photo ID or cashing a check ANYWHERE without an accompanying photo ID? Ah, what to say about those airlines, huh? Try getting on a plane going anywhere without showing several IDs along with the added (dis)pleasure of a possible cavity search! Yikes!

Regardless, the federal government is currently in the process of spending taxpayer dollars in an effort to sue those states. Now I ask you; what is wrong with that picture? And why are WE AMERICANS allowing the FEDS to spend taxpayer dollars to do so? I believe it’s because they (the feds) figure that very few Americans (accept the state being sued) are actually paying attention. So what happens when we, Americans and the states try to correct this or any imbalance or uphold the constitutional rights promised to us in our constitution? We are sued and called racists. This, my fellow Americans is BULLSHIT!!!

A final thought. Now~ we are in an election year but I’ll reserve my opinions on the candidates of both parties until after the primary is held in my state of New Jersey on Tuesday June 7, 2016. Heaven help us all after it’s all over. Until then, I remain hopeful that America~ the country & land I love, will once again become the country I had always been proud of & that I once unswervingly served. 

For now, I can only remember~ My America!

 

 

 

JASPER

Jasper Howard *2000-2015 ( My Sweet Boy~ My Valentine!)

 

Combo 2010 020JasparIt took my husband Luke 4 months to trap Jasper & his brother (Buster) after my mother had scooped their small sister (Misty) up in her arms in June of 2000. Once we had him & brought him to our house to join Misty he disappeared somewhere into the house (we never found out where) but came out to eat & use the litter box. Indeed; he was like a little ghost! After looking up the name ‘Casper’ in a baby names book, I discovered that it was interchangeable with the name ‘Jasper’ & thus he was named!

Jasper soon discovered that he had been rescued by humans who had not only ensnared him but whom also lived with four dogs! (He had no idea that those dogs had recently lost the last of three elderly cats that they had lived with & suffered through all their losses.) Those wonderful dogs welcomed him into our home as if he were one of them. Our dogs, Marcus, Willow, Christian & Emmet all welcomed him into the “pack” & it wasn’t long before he became a member of the Howard family!Combo 2010 046

Jasper discovered that he adored ALL dogs! Indeed, we have always believed that he preferred them over us! Over the past 15 years we have rescued & lost dogs & cats and lost family members and friends that he had been accustomed to receiving affection from. Jasper had lived through it all including the losses of his litter mates Misty & Buster who left us in 2011 & 2012. We know that he mourned the losses of the four dogs that he met in 2000 as well as our adopted dogs Bear & Heidi who he welcomed years later but subsequently mourned their losses as well in 2011 & 2012.

Duffy came to us in mid-2012 & boxed with Jasper until just a few days ago. We knew he was ready to leave us & move on to meet up with his old playmates in Heaven. I truly do believe that there are Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates~~ and my faith in God through Jesus Christ has convinced me that our beloved Jasper who passed on today will be meeting up with all of his Howard family sibling cats & dogs who have gone on before him over the years.

Thank you, Jasper for sharing your life with all of us these 15 years.  We will miss you, Jasper and we pray that you will give our love to the “gang” when you meet them at the Rainbow Bridge & let them ALL know that we still miss & love them all & we know that they are happy for you to join up with them at last.

“Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.” ~ Matthew 10:29.

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A Brief History of Valentine’s Day

220px-St-Valentine-Kneeling-In-SupplicationEach year on February 14th we celebrate Valentine’s Day. It is a time for romance, love and for many a great excuse to play kissy-face with a chosen sweetheart!  But the origins of the day are actually dark, bloody — and a bit muddled.

Though no one has pinpointed the exact origin of the holiday, one good place to start is ancient Rome, where men hit on women by, well~ by hitting them!

On February 14 around the year 278 A.D., Valentine, a holy Christian priest in Rome back in the days of Emperor Claudius II, was executed for performing too many Christian marriages. Indeed, Emperor Claudius II actually executed two men — both named Valentine — on Feb. 14, each in different years in the 3rd century A.D. and their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church with Valentine (Valentinus in latin) the priest’s canonization and the eventual celebration of St. Valentine’s Day. Ironic; huh?  Celebrating a day devoted to romance and love on the anniversary date of the poor man’s execution!

From February 13 to 15, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain. Those silly Roman romantics got drunk & naked and young women would actually line up for the men to hit them, because they believed this would make them fertile. (Oh, those wild and crazy Romans!) The brutal party included a matchmaking lottery, where young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be coupled up for the extent of the festival — or longer, if the match was right.

In the 5th century sometime between 492 – 496 A.D., Pope Gelasius I, mixed things up a bit by combining St. Valentine’s Day with Lupercalia in order to banish the pagan rituals. But the festival became more of a theatrical interpretation of what it had once been. Regardless, the holiday was still celebrated as a day of fertility and love.

Legend has it that while in jail awaiting execution for preaching Christianity~ St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and he signed it, “From Your Valentine”. So there you have it in a nutshell! ~ JGT

My Valentine’s Day Story

While serving in the U.S. Navy during the mid-1980’s, I met & married my husband, Luke. We had met a little more than a year earlier, on a Friday  afternoon, while I was reporting for duty at NRC Fort Wadsworth (later NAVSTA), Staten Island, NY. During the check-in process, it was customary for the sponsor, in my case, the Chief Petty Office on duty, to introduce incoming personnel to department heads. When we reached the “Library” I was greeted by an empty desk but introduced to a sailor wearing blue coveralls who was obviously busy rummaging through stacks of paperwork beneath the counter.  A few seconds passed before I heard a loud ‘thump’ and Luke stood up and muttered, “Welcome aboard” while rubbing his throbbing scalp where it had just collided with the countertop.

As required, I had reported in full dress uniform and Luke confessed to me a few years later that he had been so distracted by staring at my legs, that he didn’t realize the distance between his head and the countertop was as close as it was! How romantic was that? Oh, and by the way; did I forget to mention that it was also Valentine’s Day?!?

Happy Valentine’s Day, Bear! “I never knew what I always wanted, until I met you!”  ~ As Ever, D~~

Me & Luke Christmastime 198720110824163248723

White House Calling Christmas Trees, Holiday Trees!

I ran across this on the internet today and felt the need to post it to my blog.  Apparently the White House referred to Christmas Trees as Holiday Trees for the first time this year, which prompted Ben Stein, to say, on the CBS Sunday Morning Show, the following:

My confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.

Ben SteinIt doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger  scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a nativity scene, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her, ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (Regarding Hurricane Katrina). Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’

In light of recent events… terrorist attacks, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’sson committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said okay.

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell.

Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.

Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.

Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it…. no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what a bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully ~ Ben Stein

Merry Christmas, Ben and have a Wonderful & Happy New Year! ~JGT