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Pic: Top ten signs you had a bad Christmas

Inside this issue

Heavy topics
• New look, new attitude
• Know your Palestinian players

Light touch
• Top ten signs you had a bad Christmas
• The 365 Days of Christmas
• My annual predictions for the new year
• Finely-aged believers
• And more!

New look, new attitude

JamesWatkins.com is sporting a new look and attitude! But don’t worry, the “heavy metal” look doesn’t involve piercings or tatoos; just a new graphic for “heavy topics” (weights) with a “light touch” (bright and shiny chrome).

My totally unscientific survey last month revealed that visitors come here looking for humor (28 percent), encouragement (20 percent) and porn (1 percent), so I’ll be sharing my own—and others—opinions on heavy topics as well as plenty of humor to provide that light touch. (You’ll need to find your porn elsewhere, although I have plenty of articles on sex.)

Hopefully, you’ll want to “book mark” this page and return each Monday for interesting issues and wholesome humor. “We waste our time surfing the ‘net so you don’t have to!”

So, here’s first issue of “Heavy Topics with a Light Touch”

Know your Palestinian players

Hamas rocket attacks into Israel have prompted the Israeli military to launch a wide-scale attack on Hamas locations in the Gaza Strip. So, who are the players in this dangerous game?

Founded in 1959, Fatah is an acromyn for “Palestinian National Liberation Movement.” It’s a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a multi-party confederation. It is mainly a political, nationalist group while Hamas is mainly Islamic. While it has maintained a number of militant groups, it is not labeled a “terrorist” organization by the West.

Hamas means “Islamic Resistance Movement” and is a Palestinian Sunni paramilitary organization and the majority political party in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Created in 1987, its charter calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. Over the years, it has endeared itself to the Palestinians by establishing hospitals, education systems, libraries and other social services.

There is no ancient history of a people known as Palestinians. In his 1997 book, Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness, historian Rashid Khalidi notes that Palestine as an area has been occupied by numerous people groups including Canaanites, Israelites, Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders and Ottomans to name just a few. Walid Khalidi stresses that Palestinian identity has never been an exclusive one. Palestinians in Ottoman times were “acutely aware of the distinctiveness of Palestinian history. . . . Although proud of their Arab heritage and ancestry, the Palestinians considered themselves to be descended not only from Arab conquerors of the seventh century but also from indigenous peoples who had lived in the country since time immemorial, including the ancient Hebrews and the Canaanites before them.” The 1834 revolt of the Arabs in Palestine is considered the first identity of a Palestinian people.

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)
Founded by a meeting of 422 Palestinian national figures in Jerusalem in May 1964, its goal was the liberation of Palestine through armed struggle. However, in 1993, PLO chairman Yasser Arafat recognized the State of Israel in an official letter to its prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin. In response to Arafat’s letter, Israel recognized the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Many still consider the PLO a terrorist organization that earns billions each year from extortion, payoffs, illegal arms dealing, drug trafficking, money laundering, fraud, etc.

Some thoughts . . .
Is Israel waging a “just war” against Hamas?
Whose side is God on? (American Christians often forget that are thousands of Palestinian Christians!)

Top ten signs you had a bad Christmas

I have in my right mitten from the home office in Corn Borer, Indiana, today’s category:
10. Instead of Christmas, you celebrated Festivus
9. Uncle Harold drank too much egg nogg
8. The Bumpuss’ dogs ate your turkey
7. You watched Ernest Saves Christmas
6. You received a gift certificate for Weight Watchers
5. Three words: Batteries not included
4. Two words: Chia pet
3. One word: Fruitcake
2. The letter carrier suffered a hernia delivering your credit card bill (See “Top ten signs you spent too much money on Christmas presents”)
1. You forgot the reason for the season
I hope and pray you had a great Christmas with family. If not, you may want to check out this advice . . .
How to avoid problems with in-laws

Holiday leftovers

The 365 Days of Christmas
Click here to celebrate the season all year round

My annual predictions for the New Year
• Click for my amazing prognostications

More light touches

Finely-aged believers
Great people of faith age like fine wine (except in my denomination where they age like fine unfermented grape juice.) These are the men and women who, as St. Paul writes, “comfort those with the comfort they themselves have received from the God of all comfort.”
• Click for brand new magazine column.

More encouragement for 2009
Some thoughts on life’s tough questions
The rest of the Bible story
When life gives you lemons . . . use as an all-natural, organic astringent

Church humor from Rev.
The Dredge Report (Humor page)
Top ten lists

And, finally, a thought for the week:

Some days you’re the pigeon; some days you’re the statue, Roger Anderson.

Click for more encouraging quips and quotes. And have a great week!

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