‘Love has no borders’: Arizona man fulfills Christmas wish list for Mexican girl who sent it by balloon

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)

 

‘Love has no borders’: Arizona man fulfills Christmas wish list for Mexican girl who sent it by balloon

“It really touched my heart to find it,” said Randy Heiss, who spotted a balloon with the note attached.
By Janelle Griffith

It was a Christmas wish that crossed international borders. An Arizona man fulfilled the Christmas list of an 8-year-old girl in Mexico whose letter to Santa reached him by way of balloon.

Earlier this month, Randy Heiss was hiking in Patagonia, Arizona, when he saw the ragged remains of a balloon with a note attached.

One side of the note read: “Dayami.” On the other was a numbered list written in Spanish.

Heiss’ wife translated the list and the pair identified its likely sender as a girl named Dayami. The note was intended for Santa and asked for art supplies, slime, a doll and a dollhouse, among other things. No contact information was left on the note.

“It really touched my heart to find it and I said, ‘Well, how in the heck am I going to be able to figure out how to make contact with this little girl and make her wishes come true?’” Heiss told NBC affiliate KVOA in Tucson.

Heiss believed the winds carried Dayami’s Christmas wish list about 20 miles away from Nogales, Mexico.

He shared the letter on his Facebook account. After a few days with no leads, he enlisted the help of Radio XENY, a station in Nogales. The station posted Heiss’ story to its Facebook page.

Within an hour, they were able to find Dayami, who lives in Nogales.

The radio station told NBC News on Monday that it helped to arrange for Heiss and his wife to meet Dayami and her family at its offices late last week.

Heiss and his wife delivered the toys to Dayami and her sister younger sister, Ximena, during the meeting. It brought him “healing joy” to see the children’s happy faces, Heiss told the “Today” show.

“Love has no borders,” he said. “That wall melted away for the day.”

As it turns out, the experience was a gift for the couple, too.

“We lost our son nine years ago,” Heiss told KVOA. “So we don’t have grandchildren in our future and so really getting to share Christmas with kids was something that’s been missing in our lives.”

Brain Games: 12 Proverbs And Philosophy From My Old Mind: To Yours

Brain Games: 12 Proverbs And Philosophy From My Old Mind: To Yours

 

1) Here in the 21st century how many Christians still observe the day given as Christ’s Birthday, as His Birthday? Yet, it seems that so few choose to walk in His principles. So, is it easier to keep this Holiday, or His Birthday than it is to keep His Commandments? Or, in this modern age are His words of no matter because we judge ourselves by our own righteousness?

 

2) America, if we the people give up the Liberty of the Second Amendment believing that the Government will protect us in our times of peril then we will most certainly lose our freedom, our God-given rights, our Country, and our lives.

 

3) Where you have liberty and all of the basic human rights given to you by God Himself, then you have a Country worth fighting for. If you do not have these things then you do not have a Country, all you have is labor and death to leave to your children and their children.

 

4) We should all work each day as though we will grow old. Yet each night we should bow our knees and pray that we do not die on the morrow.

 

5) Does anyone really own the title to a piece of land? Remember, the Lord gives and if He wishes, the Lord has every right to take away. All things belong to the Lord for they were His before us and they will be His after even the thought of us is gone. Yet no free people can tolerate a Government that puts themselves upon God’s Throne. Governments do not give freedom to the people. It is the people who allow the Government to exist, not the other way around!

 

6) A free people’s rights come from the laws of God, not from inside the D.C. Beltway!

 

7) What will be the American History of 2018 that is left to the future generations, if indeed there be any? Is this generation truly nothing but Donkey dung or Elephant manure? For what good or what freedom can come from the mouth’s of two Domesticated Beasts who’s master is a Dragon?

 

8) If the people are allowed to have no freedom of choice by their Government then the people’s only free choice is to remove that Government!

 

9) We have all heard the old saying about their being too many Chiefs and not enough Indians. Yet if the labor of multitudes of Indians go only to behoove a small number of Chiefs, these few Chiefs will grow to consider the many who made them what they are as nothing but parasites not even worthy of their crumbs!

 

10) As death draws us near to our bed what is it that we hope for or believe? Did we leave God’s Light in the eyes of our children or the love of freedom upon their hearts? Or, will the memory of us be forgotten once the dirt is shoveled upon our face?

 

11) If “We The People” are so ignorant as to send Lawyers to be in “Our Congress” how can we expect anything except double talk as they fill their pockets at the people’s expense?

 

12) If a person in your country seeks a position of power and they request you have confidence in them, consider their request if you wish. Yet make sure of two things. Make sure that their feet are bound with chains to your country’s Constitution, and their heart to the Constitution of ‘The’ Creator. For if either one is not bound as such, the people will know only misery, poverty, and an early death!

 

(I hope that you liked at least some or even one of these and if not, I hope that they at least made you either smile, or think. Good night, and God bless.)

Brain Games: 12 Proverbs And Philosophy From My Old Mind: To Yours

 

1) Here in the 21st century how many Christians still observe the day given as Christ’s Birthday, as His Birthday? Yet, it seems that so few choose to walk in His principles. So, is it easier to keep this Holiday, or His Birthday than it is to keep His Commandments? Or, in this modern age are His words of no matter because we judge ourselves by our own righteousness?

 

2) America, if we the people give up the Liberty of the Second Amendment believing that the Government will protect us in our times of peril then we will most certainly lose our freedom, our God-given rights, our Country, and our lives.

 

3) Where you have liberty and all of the basic human rights given to you by God Himself, then you have a Country worth fighting for. If you do not have these things then you do not have a Country, all you have is labor and death to leave to your children and their children.

 

4) We should all work each day as though we will grow old. Yet each night we should bow our knees and pray that we do not die on the morrow.

 

5) Does anyone really own the title to a piece of land? Remember, the Lord gives and if He wishes, the Lord has every right to take away. All things belong to the Lord for they were His before us and they will be His after even the thought of us is gone. Yet no free people can tolerate a Government that puts themselves upon God’s Throne. Governments do not give freedom to the people. It is the people who allow the Government to exist, not the other way around!

 

6) A free people’s rights come from the laws of God, not from inside the D.C. Beltway!

 

7) What will be the American History of 2018 that is left to the future generations, if indeed there be any? Is this generation truly nothing but Donkey dung or Elephant manure? For what good or what freedom can come from the mouth’s of two Domesticated Beasts who’s master is a Dragon?

 

8) If the people are allowed to have no freedom of choice by their Government then the people’s only free choice is to remove that Government!

 

9) We have all heard the old saying about their being too many Chiefs and not enough Indians. Yet if the labor of multitudes of Indians go only to behoove a small number of Chiefs, these few Chiefs will grow to consider the many who made them what they are as nothing but parasites not even worthy of their crumbs!

 

10) As death draws us near to our bed what is it that we hope for or believe? Did we leave God’s Light in the eyes of our children or the love of freedom upon their hearts? Or, will the memory of us be forgotten once the dirt is shoveled upon our face?

 

11) If “We The People” are so ignorant as to send Lawyers to be in “Our Congress” how can we expect anything except double talk as they fill their pockets at the people’s expense?

 

12) If a person in your country seeks a position of power and they request you have confidence in them, consider their request if you wish. Yet make sure of two things. Make sure that their feet are bound with chains to your country’s Constitution, and their heart to the Constitution of ‘The’ Creator. For if either one is not bound as such, the people will know only misery, poverty, and an early death!

 

(I hope that you liked at least some or even one of these and if not, I hope that they at least made you either smile, or think. Good night, and God bless.)

Will Churches And Parents Ever Quit Lying To Children About Christmas?

Will Churches And Parents Ever Quit Lying To Children About Christmas?

 

This post today is about one main issue; Santa Clause. I am not saying that all parents, Christian or not, lie too their children and tell them that there is really a Santa and flying Reindeer. But at least here in America it does seem that this fantasy is one that is easy to go along with when your children are in the 3, 4, 5-year-old range. But, there reaches a point with every child where they find out that Mom and Dad have been lying to them all of their life. Why, why do so many parents ‘just go along with this’ until we reach a point where our kids are going to realize that Mom and Dad will lie to you because they have proven themselves to be liars. I have heard people a few times in my life say ‘not to ruin Christmas’ for the young kids by telling them that there is no Santa. What do they mean by ‘ruin Christmas’? If you take Santa out of Christmas what would the children have then? How about the truth? Tell your kids the Christmas birth of celebration of a baby child call Jesus. Even if you do not believe in the Christian faith letting your children know what the truth behind the question, why is there such a thing as Christmas? Even if you are Jewish, Islamic, Hindi, Buddhist, or of no faith at all, do you really want one of the first lessons your child learns about you is that you lie to them? Why can’t people just be truthful with each other, is it truly in our DNA to be liars?

 

In this paragraph I am calling out not just Christian parents but some of the Churches themselves. I have seen and heard first hand of community Churches where even the Pastor is the one who dresses up as Santa for plays inside the Church building. I may be old-fashioned in some of your eyes, but so be it. I know that no one can please everyone, even Jesus was/is hated, so I have learned to only concern myself with trying to please Jesus, then let all of life’s other cards just fall where ever they fall. I personally would like to know how telling our children the ‘Jesus story’ ‘ruins Christmas’? What is wrong with telling your kids that you took a part-time job this fall so that you could have the money to buy your kids a few things extra at Christmas school break? What is wrong with your kids seeing the correlation between how hard Mom and Dad are working so that their kids can have a good Christmas? Is it wrong if our small children learn of the ‘3 wise man’ whom brought gifts to the new-born child as a model for people giving gifts to their own children? Why do so many people whom call themselves Christians have Santa and crew on their front lawns? Why do some Churches do the same? Truth, what is truth? There is only one ‘Truth’, and it is not your version, or mine. We can make-up and say anything, we can call our stories ‘the truth’ if we want to but if we are not telling the actual truth, then the word for us is liars. Now, is Santa real, or is he a lie? What are we telling our children, the truth, or lies?

Ask a North Korean: What was your first Christmas in South Korea like?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NK (NORTH KOREAN) NEWS.ORG)(FROM SOUTH KOREA)

 

Ask a North Korean: What was your first Christmas in South Korea like?
“Just two years ago, the holiday known as Christmas felt awkward to me …”

December 25th, 2017

Every week or so, we ask a North Korean your questions, giving you the chance to learn more about the country we know so little about.

Got a question? Email it to [email protected] with your name and city. We’ll be publishing the best ones.

Today’s question: What was your first Christmas in South Korea like?

I hear Christmas carols all around me. My third Christmas is coming up. Now, I can hum to Christmas tunes, and from time to time, the thought of putting up a Christmas tree pops into my mind.

Just two years ago, the holiday known as Christmas felt awkward to me, and it was not easy to enjoy the Christmas mood. Perhaps this makes sense for someone who never waited for Santa Clause who brings gifts with Rudolf the reindeer.

In general, a holiday celebrates traditions and history that have become a part of society. It is hard to enjoy a holiday without understanding the cultural context. A Korean person would find it difficult to enjoy Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. just as an American would struggle to enjoy Korea’s Chuseok holiday.

Even though North Korea has walled itself off from the rest of the world, in the end, Christmas is not an unfamiliar holiday. Works of world literature like Hans Christian Anderson’s sad story “The Little Match Girl” and O. Henry’s heartwarming tale of Jim and Della in “The Gift of the Magi” have introduced Christmas to North Korea.

I will introduce how my first Christmas day went, but I must apologize: this is not the most delightful story

Still, for someone who has never waited for gifts from Santa prepared by devoted parents, or for someone who never spent his adolescence falling into romantic imaginations before the Christmas season, it takes some time to naturally and fully enjoy this holiday.

Then how was my first Christmas? I will introduce how my first Christmas day went, but I must apologize: this is not the most delightful story. Despite this, the reason I decided to tell this story is that I felt that maybe I could encourage people to feel a responsibility to make Christmas warm for others and for themselves.

In December 2015, I was turning the sixth page of my calendar in South Korea. Defection had done more than just change my physical location. I felt as though I had traveled to South Korea on a defection time machine, arriving in a world some thirty years ahead.

“And the time passed so fast!” | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

My humor was more effective with older people than people my age, and I mostly enjoyed old songs from the 70s and 80s. And how time passed so fast! Even after I sharply reduced the number of hours I slept each night by four to five hours, I was still always running through the subway.

South Korea’s “hurry hurry” (빨리빨리) culture seemed to fan into flame a spark of hastiness in my mind as I played catch up from thirty years behind. I had the marvelous experience of feeling the relativity of time, even though I had not actually traveled to another planet on a spaceship close to light speed.

A qualitative transformation occurred in my way of thinking from a socialist perspective toward a capitalist one. I would finish my day thinking that yesterday’s thoughts had been infinitely foolish while hoping that tomorrow I would laugh at my thoughts from today.

I felt with my whole body that six months living under capitalism was like my daily life under socialism. This was how much I felt that life in South Korea, at a physical level, demanded a lot.

I am sorry to people around the world who celebrate Christmas, but that day, I cursed Christmas

Amidst all this, I couldn’t decide how to accept everything, and I greeted Christmas abruptly, unready for its arrival.

It felt as if Christmas’s family atmosphere pushed against me ceaselessly. All this time, I had been busy and surrounded by numerous people, but suddenly, there was time to spare and I felt lonely. Paradoxically, I felt the same way as I had when I was desperate to leave North Korea.

To get rid of this feeling, I went to a movie theater alone. But with all the noise of people around me, my sense of alienation multiplied. I felt diminished as some couples around me secretively threw sharp glances.

In the end, I walked out in the middle of the movie – which I don’t even remember the name of – went home, and drank beer while watching soccer.

I am sorry to people around the world who celebrate Christmas, but that day, I cursed Christmas. Truthfully, it was probably deep down a curse at the North Korean regime, which pushes so many of its ordinary citizens out of the country and makes them refugees.

family photo

“We drank to the health of parents and siblings who were left in North Korea and to their happiness in the new year” | Photo by nknews_hq

I decided then: I would never foolishly spend holidays at home alone.

After that, I traveled whenever a holiday approached – alone or together with someone. It is one way to enjoy a holiday. But even the prescription of traveling was inadequate to completely fill the emptiness that was hidden deep inside of me.

One day, it occurred to me that there must be people other than myself who do not like Christmas or holidays. I asked friends who had come from North Korea like me. I was right. They felt the same pain that I felt, but they had simply not expressed it out loud.

Now I can shout “Merry Christmas!” and it does not feel awkward

We spent last Christmas together, and it was fun. We became family for one another. The toast we made while listening to Christmas bells together was not at all frivolous in meaning. We drank to the health of parents and siblings who were left in North Korea and to their happiness in the new year. We shared memories.

Then we promised that we would spend the next Christmas together.

This year, we have a new plan. This Christmas, we want to visit schools that defector children attend. Among these children, there are many who came to South Korea alone, without parents or relatives.

We want to go to these schools and give and receive comfort. We are going to sing Christmas carols and share delicious food together. If the snow has deeply piled up, we are going to make a snowman.

kids photo

“This Christmas, we want to visit schools that defector children attend” | Photo by nknews_hq

The friends with whom I spent last Christmas and their boyfriends or girlfriends will join. New friends will also be there. All these hearts will envelop and hold one another.

Now I can shout “Merry Christmas!” and it does not feel awkward. And I am looking forward to Christmas this year.

I am looking forward as well to the day when North Korean children can happily imagine Santa Claus riding a sleigh led by Rudolf and coming down the chimney carrying gifts.

Translation by Rose Kwak

Edited by Bryan Betts

Featured Image: Christmas #27 by kevin dooley on 2009-12-10 10:20:55

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Celebrating Hanukkah In The Holy Land

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE USA TODAY NEWSPAPER)

 

JERUSALEM (RNS) – Yael Horovitz, who immigrated to Israel from Australia, always loved the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, but the emphasis there on Christmas made her feel a little left out.

“In Australia, for two months out of the year I couldn’t escape Christmas carols,” said Horovitz, who is Jewish. “Being forced to listen to them in supermarkets, shopping centers, on the radio and TV bothered me.”

Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish festival of lights that commemorates the Maccabees’ victory over their Greek-Syrian oppressors in 167 B.C., as well as the re-dedication of the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, was barely acknowledged by most Australians, Horovitz said.

But Hanukkah, which begins at sundown Tuesday, is an altogether different experience for her now.

Ten years ago Horovitz moved to Israel, where Jews comprise roughly 75% of the population. Here, the holiday season “feels so right,” she said. “This is my religion, these are my songs, my decorations, my kids being educated to love their heritage, and being embraced by it from all sides.”

Hanukkah in the Holy Land gives Horovitz and other Jews who have immigrated to Israel from Western countries a sense of belonging they don’t feel anywhere else. In Israel, though Hanukkah is not a national holiday, most of the nation celebrates it.

That’s a big contrast to the way many American Jews feel at Christmastime, said Jonathan Sarna, a professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University.

“Christmas is the one day of the year when many American Jews experience a sense that they are outsiders in America” because Christmas, a religious holiday, is also a national holiday, Sarna said.

Although Hanukkah is a minor festival on the Jewish calendar, Sarna said, more than a century ago American Jews elevated the holiday “as a way to ensure that they were not left out of the holiday spirit.”

Their goal, Sarna said, was to ensure that Jewish children would be happy and proud of their own winter holiday and not want to celebrate the holiday of another religion.

Even so, if you live in the U.S., “it is impossible to avoid Santa and Christmas music and holiday lights. It’s the time of year when the differences between Jews and their neighbors seem most stark.”

That’s not the case in Israel, Sarna said, where Hanukkah and not Christmas is the dominant December holiday. Just 2.1 percent of Israelis are Christian; 17 percent are Muslim; 1.7 percent are Druze. The remaining 4 percent belong to other religious minorities or have no religion.

Although Hanukkah in Israel remains far less commercialized than it is in the U.S., with shopping malls hanging nary a holiday decoration, it has more recently taken on some of its American trappings.

This week, Osher Ad, a large Jerusalem supermarket, had two aisles’ worth of Hanukkah-related products, from elaborate faux-silver menorahs to imported paper Hanukkah plates and napkins and dreidel-shaped containers filled with chocolate candies.

And rather than sell only simple jelly doughnuts, a traditional Hanukkah treat, now bakeries around the country create fancy and expensive Western-style doughnuts.

Jewish children are on school break the week of Hanukkah, so movie theaters time their new releases to the vacation. Festigal, a live music and dance show for children, is an annual tradition.

Compared with the holiday season in the U.S., however, Hanukkah in Israel is low-key. Families gather to light the menorah – some have a separate one for each child – and eat doughnuts or potato pancakes fried in oil. (Oily foods are eaten on Hanukkah to commemorate the “miracle” of the holiday, when enough oil to light a lamp for just one night lasted for eight.)

Some parents give their children presents – though almost never more than a couple — or Hanukkah “gelt” – both money and chocolate coins.

Orthodox families like to light their menorahs outside, in glass containers, so everyone who passes can soak up their light.

Tsipi Amiri, whose family lived in the U.S. until she was 10, said she doesn’t miss the “commercialization” of the holiday season or the pressure to celebrate Hanukkah with lots of fanfare and gifts.

“There was this competition within the American Jewish community about who got what,” Amiri said. “Thankfully, I don’t see that here.”

More: When is Hanukkah and what does it celebrate?

Netanya Carmi said the first thing she noticed during her first Israeli Hanukkah 20 years ago was that many stores close early every night and evening classes at universities are canceled so all can go home and light candles with their families.

“Here in Israel, Hanukkah is all about tradition and family,” Carmi said.

ISIS Holiday Horror, ‘Christmas Blood’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CHRISTIAN POST)

 

ISIS Holiday Horror, ‘Christmas Blood’ Attack Warnings Must Be Taken Seriously: Security Expert

(PHOTO: REUTERS/FABRIZIO BENSCH)Police work at the site of an accident at a Christmas market on Breitscheidplatz square near the fashionable Kurfuerstendamm avenue in the west of Berlin, Germany, December 19, 2016. 

A security expert has warned that the Islamic State terror group’s warnings of violence and bloodshed over the Christmas holiday season need to be taken seriously, given the lone wolf attacks that continue rattling the world.

“The recent spate of threats to attack during the upcoming holiday are significant and should be taken seriously by law enforcement agenciesm,” said Jeffrey Treistman, an assistant professor of national security at the University of New Haven, according to The Hill. “It is essential that security experts remain vigilant during the upcoming Christmas holiday and closely scrutinize their list of radicalized individuals who are most likely to heed the Islamic State’s call for violence.”

Treistman, who previously worked for the U.S. Department of State as a policy advisor in Baghdad, Iraq, and was a consultant for the Department of Defense’s African Command, pointed to the slaughter in Berlin on a Christmas market last year, when 12 people were killed by an IS-backed truck driver.

“Similar mistakes must not be repeated this year,” he urged.

Though IS has lost much of its territory throughout Iraq and Syria following a series of major military defeats this year, the terror group continues claiming responsibility for lone wolf attacks around the world, including in America and Europe.

Earlier in November, the jihadists published a poster warning of “Christmas Blood” this season, seemingly targeting St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

As Epoch Times reported, IS also made specific threats against Christmas markets in the U.K., Germany and France.

Posters circulated by the group feature images of jihadists holding bloody knives and eyeing up landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, above a caption reading “soon on your holidays.”

Another image appears to show Santa Claus on his knees with his hands tied, with a jihadi dressed in black looming over him, which is reminiscent of many of the beheading videos IS has published.

The U.S. Department of State has issued a travel warning for Americans visiting Europe this holiday season, with Berlin and other major cities looking to bolster their security around public events.

“Holidays are an especially attractive time for terrorists to strike. First off, the multitude of crowded markets and religious gatherings increases the likelihood that an attack will yield a high casualty rate. Christmas festivities often draw large crowds that constitute a soft civilian target,” Treistman positioned.

“Islamist terrorists also seek to strike during the Christmas holiday because they recognize the emotional and symbolic impact that a terrorist attack would have on a public’s psyche. Indeed, in the aftermath of the failed Christmas day airline bombing in 2009 the Yemen-based al Qaeda cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, justified the attack on the American people by recognizing that Christmas is ‘the holiest and most sacred days to you.'”

The security expert noted that IS enjoys the media attention around holiday terror attacks, and is especially looking to strengthen its image after a year of heavy losses.

Treistman offered that IS’ reliance on lone-wolf operatives can be seen as a sign of weakening, as it signals the terrorists are unable to carry out large-scale attacks on their own.

“This is not to suggest, however, that ISIS does not constitute a viable threat. Indeed, law enforcement and counterterrorism agencies need to be on high alert this holiday season for a potential attack,” he warned.

“Lone-wolf attacks can be notoriously difficult for intelligence agencies to anticipate since some radicalized individuals rarely have direct contact with a terrorist group’s command structure.”

Follow Stoyan Zaimov on Facebook: CPSZaimov

Thousands of strangers gave a sick child an early Christmas. Days before Thanksgiving, he died.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

Thousands of strangers gave a sick child an early Christmas. Days before Thanksgiving, he died.

 November 20 at 2:28 PM

Jacob Thompson, 9, died Sunday after fighting a rare cancer for four years. (Family photo)

Jacob Thompson spent nearly half of his short life battling cancer.

The 9-year-old boy, who loved penguins, died Sunday, four years after he was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that affects mostly young children.

As his family had expected, Thompson didn’t live long enough for Christmas, a holiday he loves. But shortly before his death, countless friends, family members and complete strangers inspired by the terminally ill boy’s story brought an early Christmas to him. They decorated his hospital room with a tree, requested a special visit from Santa Claus, and sent him gifts and dozens of homemade holiday cards.

Jacob and his family celebrated Christmas on Nov. 12. He died a week later.

“Each and every person who sent Jacob a Christmas card, a gift, a Facebook message or video, or a prayer made a difference in the final days of his life,” his family, from Saco, Maine, wrote on a Facebook page they used to chronicle his journey. “You brought Jacob joy, and you brought us all optimism for the future. Thank you for taking the time, and taking an interest in our sweet boy’s journey. Sadly, there are many others like him that we hope you will continue to help.”

Jacob was admitted to the hospital “for the last time” Oct. 11, his mother, Michelle Thompson Simard, wrote on a GoFundMe page. The cancer had spread to his skull and to several bones in his inner ear. His hip was so covered with tumors that it looked like lace, Thompson Simard wrote. Chemotherapy and radiation had offered little signs of hope.

The boy’s family was “told that we should be spending as much time as possible with him and we should start making arrangements for his passing,” Thompson Simard wrote, adding later, “No one thinks about having to do this type of planning for their child and because of that we did not nor do not have life insurance on him.”

The GoFundMe campaign has raised nearly $160,000 as of Monday to pay for Jacob’s funeral.

Thompson Simard documented the response from people who sent Christmas cards and toys to make the early holiday memorable for Jacob. On Nov. 1, she posted a picture of Jacob with the first card he received. It featured a penguin, which his family, from Saco, Maine, says is his favorite animal.

For the next several days, Jacob was showered with presents. Pictures his mother shared on social media showed boxes of toys, games, books, cards and, of course, more penguins — including penguin socks.

He even received a video greeting from actor Rob Lowe and the cast of “Code Black.”

Merry Christmas, Jacob! http://dlvr.it/Pyx3zQ  Please send cards:
Jacob Thompson
Maine Medical Center
22 Bramhall St
Portland, ME 04102

Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland, Maine, where Jacob was being treated, saidthe response was “wonderfully overwhelming” but asked people to not personally deliver cards to the hospital because of safety concerns.

On Thursday, three days before Jacob died, his family shared a picture of him in his hospital bed wearing a blue Superman T-shirt. His dog, Piper, was lying near his feet.

Jacob had just gone through a round of radiation to help him with some pain in his leg, his family wrote.

“Jacob spends most of his time resting, but has had a few good hours to play and open all your cards and gifts,” his family wrote.

In the post announcing Jacob’s death, his family said they hope his story would help raise awareness about neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancerous tumor that affects mostly infants and young children, according to the American Cancer Society. There are about 700 new cases every year in the United States. The majority are diagnosed by age 5.

“We hope that donations will be made, and a cure will be discovered as a result,” Jacob’s family wrote.

Revelation Chapter #4

 

Revelation Chapter #4

Chapter #4 only has 11 verses in it. These 11 verses break down into three different sections, or categories. Verses one through three is about the Throne of God in Heaven. Verses four and five are about the 24 Elders that are around the Throne of God. Then verses six through eleven are about the four Creatures that are at the Throne of God. Remember, the person that is writing this material to us is the Apostle John the things he is being shown are via an Angel of God. I have been debating whether to type out these eleven verses or to just explain their meanings to folks but I have decided to type them out for you because I realize that there are some people who may be reading this who do not have access to a Bible, I realize that there are some places here on this planet where it is actually dangerous to be in possession of a Bible so for these reasons I will take the time to type these 11 verses out.

Starting with 4:1 “After this I looked and beheld a door opened in Heaven. And the first voice which I heard was as if it were a trumpet talking with me, which said, come up here and I will show you things which will be in the future.” “Then immediately I was in the Spirit and beheld a Throne which was set in Heaven and one sat on the Throne.” “He that sat on the Throne was like looking upon a jasper and a sardine stone. And there was a rainbow round about the Throne, the color was like looking onto and emerald.”

“Round about the Throne were four and twenty seats. Upon the seats I saw 24 Elders sitting. They were clothed in white raiment and upon their heads were crowns of gold.”

“Then out of the Throne proceeded lightning and thundering and voices. There were seven lamps of fire burning before the Throne, which are the Seven Spirits of God.”

“Before the Throne there was a sea of glass which was like unto crystal. In the midst of the Throne and round about the Throne were four Beasts full of eyes in front and behind.”

“The first Beast was like a Lion, the second Beast was like a Calf, the third Beast had the face of a Man, the fourth Beast was like a flying Eagle.”

“Each of the four Beasts had six wings about him, each of them were full of eyes within and they did not rest day of night. And they were saying Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, which is, and is to come.”

“And then the Beasts gave glory and honor and thanks to Him that sat on the Throne, who lives for ever and ever and ever.”

“And then the 24 Elders fell down before Him that sat on the Throne and worshiped Him that lives forever and ever, and they cast down their crowns before the Throne, saying thou art worthy O Lord to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created.”

Well folks, that is the 11 verses, now I will do my best to explain a few things within those verses to hopefully make them easier for some folks to understand. What John was shown was an actual open door into Heaven unlike with Jacob when he witnessed a stairway to Heaven (Bethel). Now Jacob did not go up to Heaven yet John was called up to Heaven. But notice, John was called up ‘in the Spirit’, the reason is simple, there is no flesh in Heaven, God, His Angels and all who are in Heaven are Spirits, flesh is unclean and will never be allowed in Heaven.

The Book of Revelation was written in the Greek language, in verse number one it starts off with the words ‘after this’, in the Greek it is written “meta tauta” this is written at the beginning of the verse and at the end of this verse. The meta tauta that John was speaking of was ‘after the Rapture’. The Rapture is the event where Christ comes back to Earth with His Angels. At that time the dead in Christ will rise first then those who are still alive that are and have remained faithful to Him will depart this Earth in the twinkling (blink) of the eye to be with Jesus. In the English Bible you will not find the word ‘rapture’, but then again, the Bible was not written in the English language 1,900 or so odd years ago, it was written in the Greek language. Disclaimer here, the New Testament was written in Greek, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew. Now back to the Greek, instead of the word rapture the Greek word was Harpazo which defines as  “caught up, raptured, or snatched up.” Well folks, I hope that this chapter was easy enough for everyone to understand, if you have any questions, go ahead and ask them. I will always do my best to answer them as simplistically as possible. I hope that everyone was able to have a good and a safe Christmas and for our Jewish friends I hope you had a great Hanukkah, good night, God bless.

Germany: After Berlin Murders: Chancellor Merkel Political Career Is In Jeopardy

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HUFFINGTON POST/WORLD POST)

THE WEEKEND ROUNDUP 

Europe was already reeling from major terror attacks in Brussels, Paris and Nice as well as Brexit and the defeat of the political establishment in the Italian referendum before this week. With anti-immigrant parties standing ambitiously in the wings waiting for events to further boost them into power, the worst thing that could have happened, the shoe waiting to drop, was a terror attack at Christmas time in Germany by an asylum-seeker linked to Islamist terror groups. It is just that which took place in Berlin this week.

That the inevitable has now occurred likely seals the political fate of Europe. Public opinion will surely turn decisively against the open-arms refugee policy of German Chancellor Angela Merkel — the most prominent defender of the troubled European project of integration and the free movement of people. Merkel’s coalition partner (yet mainstream opponent) Horst Seehofer of the Bavarian Christian Social Union, has already laid down the challenge. “We owe it to the victims, to those affected and to the whole population to rethink our immigration and security policy and to change it.” As Nick Robins-Early reports, the Alternative for Germany party and other anti-immigrant groups are already capitalizing on the incident. One AfD leader called those killed “Merkel’s dead.”

Alex Görlach hopes that Merkel’s considerable political skills can save the day by adjusting the Europe-wide refugee policy in the wake of this week’s tragedy. That she is also the only European leader who can stand up to the next American president, Görlach notes, could be a political asset.

Yet, even if the chancellor survives, the damage has already been done. The European idea, which has been losing luster for years, looks to be the latest and most consequential casualty of a world in turmoil that stretches from the rubble of Aleppo to the World War II memorial ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, near where the Christmas market attack took place in Berlin.

Writing from Germany, Stefan Schmidt argues that his fellow citizens should resist calls to blame anyone but the perpetrator while continuing to embrace the values of an open, but inevitably vulnerable, society. In a similar vein,Sebastian Christ writes from Berlin that, “We can’t give in to those who want to force their hate-filled world view on us. … On top of everything, we must continue to hold on to freedom for ourselves. I will definitely continue going to Christmas markets in Berlin.”

Picking up on the theme in the back of everyone’s mind about Muslims at Christmas, Dean Obeidallah fondly remembers his Muslim father, born near Jesus’ birthplace of Bethlehem, hanging Christmas lights on their home in New Jersey as a child. He also surveys other American Muslims who partake in the holiday, including Aasif Mandvi.

Unfortunately, the attack in Germany wasn’t the only attack we saw this week. Another act that shocked the world took place in Ankara, where the Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated. John Tures, who has studied the different motivations and effectiveness of “lone wolf” versus “wolf pack” terrorists linked to organized extremists, argues that preventing future attacks, whether of the kind in Berlin or Ankara, requires being able to distinguish between these two threats.

Details are still emerging about the attack in Ankara, but it appears to be an apparent act of revenge over the Kremlin’s key role in the brutal assault on Aleppo in recent weeks. As Alex Motyl writes, more such attacks can be expected due to Putin’s Syria policy. “Anti-Russian terrorism is the new normal,” he says. Turkish journalist Ilgin Yorulmaz ponders the timing of the assassination in Ankara, which came on the eve of a tripartite meeting of Russia, Turkey and Iran concerning Syria, and reports that some suspect a geopolitical aim. “A strong NATO member,” she writes, “Turkey may have found a new ally in Russia, and possibly even Iran, to become a game changer in the Middle East.”

This week also saw the last evacuations out of Aleppo. Dr. Ahmad Tarakji, whose organization has been working on the ground in the besieged city, offers a detailed account of the humanitarian catastrophe there, which he says is far from over after the forced relocations. “The world has failed the people of Aleppo time and time again,” he writes, “but it’s not too late to act now to help those seeking refuge somewhere else. The international community must do everything in its power to protect these most vulnerable of people. They continue to suffer while the world is standing idly by.”

Writing from Moscow before the Syrian regime claimed control over all of Aleppo,Vladimir Frolov proposes that the best course for the Kremlin now would be, “declaring victory in Aleppo, scaling down its military operations against the rebels, refocusing its air war on ISIS in a new collaborative effort with the U.S. and pressuring the Assad regime into a political settlement.”

Returning to the hot issue of Russian influence meddling in the affairs of democracies, Toomas Hendrik Ilves knows from whence he speaks. In 2007, the former president of Estonia experienced a Kremlin-led cyberattack on his government, banking and news media servers. He expects more such attacks in Europe as elections loom. “The conundrum that Europe will face in the coming year,” he writes from Tallinn, “is whether or not to use illiberal methods to safeguard the liberal state. … Because of cyberattacks and fake news, we can already imagine the problem all democratic societies will face in future elections: how to limit lies when they threaten democracy?”

In an exclusive interview, former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski claims Russian President Vladimir Putin was directly involved in the effort to tip the recent American election scales in Trump’s favor. “Yes. Russian intelligence was involved, no question,” he says, “Yes. Putin plays that kind of direct role. Russian intelligence is not some independent agency. It is an agency of the state organized for specific political purposes. Putin absolutely controls the state apparatus. No doubts there.” He also warns that “stupid irritations” over Taiwan risk derailing America’s most important foreign policy relationship with Beijing. “A world in which America and China are cooperating,” Brzezinski underscores, “is a world in which American influence is maximized.”

One of the hottest issues in the U.S. presidential campaign was Donald Trump’s pledge to build a wall with Mexico. Writing from Mexico City, Homero Aridjis and James Ramey offer a highly innovative proposal: Instead of Trump’s wall, they want to build a border of solar panels. “It would have a civilizing effect in a dangerous area,” they contend. “Since solar plants use security measures to keep intruders out, the solar border would serve as a de facto virtual fence, reducing porousness of the border while producing major economic, environmental and security benefits on both sides.” Such an installation, they continue, “would make trafficking drugs, arms and people all the more difficult for criminal cartels. In Mexico, the solar border would create a New Deal-like source of high-tech construction and technology jobs all along the border, which could absorb a significant number of would-be migrant workers on their way to cross into the U.S. illegally, at great physical risk.”

Rolling back globalization to stem joblessness and inequality was another prime issue in the recent presidential election campaign. Branko Milanovic takes up this challenge, arguing that reversing globalization would only reduce growth rates in both the advanced and emerging economies, to no one’s benefit. “A more promising avenue for dealing with inequality in rich countries for the 21st century,” he writes, “is to reduce inequality in human and financial capital endowments. This implies, first, reversing the currently extraordinary high concentration of capital assets by giving the middle classes fiscal and other incentives to invest and own assets and, second, equalizing access to high-quality education that is increasingly monopolized by the rich.” A special Highline investigative report we publish this week traces the corporations and criminals profiting handsomely from the refugee crisis.

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