Hair

Here are some things you may not know about hair. If you are blonde (coloring doesn’t count), you were given about 150,000 hairs to work with. Brunettes must get by with 100,000 and redheads with just 60,000. So, if you’re a frustrated redhead, it’s okay to express your frustration in many ways, but don’t pull your hair out; you can’t afford to.

The average eyebrow has 550 hairs. (As an aside to all men, feel free to trim your eyebrows before you look like a poodle.)

Ten percent of men shave only with an electric razor, while 30 percent of women do. The average beard has 15,500 hairs. Half of Caucasian men go bald, compared to 18 percent of African Americans and almost no American Indians.

Fifty percent have gray hair by age 50 (more if you have more than two kids). Cutting your hair does not make it grow. The life span of one hair is five years.

And here’s one more truth. God has your hairs numbered. While that isn’t hard for the follicly challenged, it says something about how intimately you are known by your God. So get to know him. Life is short.

You’re hair today, gone tomorrow.

Huddles

I was insecure as a child. I think it goes back to my infant years. When Mom used to rock me, she used those big rocks. My insecurities carried over to my teen years. When I watched football games on television and the teams went into their huddles, I thought they were talking about me.

Actually, there was a day when they didn’t huddle up at all. The quarterback would tell each player what to do. Then it all changed at the powerhouse of college football: Gallaudet University. Located in Washington, D.C., Gallaudet is a school for the deaf. The quarterback calls the plays by sign language.

In the old days, one of their quarterbacks noticed that the defense was watching him call the plays. So he asked the players to “huddle up,” so he could call the plays without being seen by the opposition.

The custom continues today, on the football field and in the church. Yes, in the church! In most churches, we are more concerned with “holy huddles” (meetings, gatherings in our buildings) than we are with putting points on the board (ministry, service).

Church, it’s time to break the huddle and run some plays!

Birthdays

Today – December 12 – is a big day for birthdays! This is especially true for the entertainment industry, and for those who are, let’s say, among the older among us.

Born on December 12, 1893 – Edward G. Robinson

Born on December 12, 1900 – Sammy Davis

Born on December 12, 1915 – Frank Sinatra

That’s not a bad roster of births. But there’s another big day coming, just over a week away. We call it Christmas. On that day, December 25, we celebrate the birth of our Lord. And Jesus has something very different from the men mentioned above. Let me explain.

Died in 1973 – Edward G. Robinson

Died in 1988 – Sammy Davis

Died in 1998 – Frank Sinatra

See the difference? While Robinson, Davis, and Sinatra are no longer with us, Christ is. The one who was raised on the third day is with us today. So as you play your old Frank Sinatra Christmas album, rejoice that, while ol’ blue eyes is no longer with us, the One he is singing about is.

First Football Game

A man took his blonde girlfriend to her first football game. After the game, he asked her how she liked it.

“I loved the game,” she said. “But I can’t understand why everyone was killing each other over 25 cents.”

“Over 25 cents?” asked her boyfriend. “What do you mean – 25 cents?”

She explained, “All the fans kept screaming, every time they hiked the ball, ‘Get the quarter back! Get the quarter back!'”

That is what is known as a simple misunderstanding. Unfortunately, life is also full of huge misunderstandings. Such as good works get us into heaven. Or God only loves us when we “live right.” Or there are many roads to heaven.

Clear communication doesn’t matter so much when you are watching a football game. But when playing the game of life, it means everything.

The Rushmore Report – Think There Are No Dangerous Criminals Among Illegals? Guess Again!

I may gag if I hear it again. Democratic pundit Juan Williams, whom I really admire, is the latest example of a mind-numbing defense of illegal immigration. He recently said, on Fox News, “Undocumented immigrants commit crimes at a lesser rate than native born citizens.” This is an unbelievable statement for two reason – ANY crime is too much, and it’s simply not true.

Let’s start with the first argument. I don’t know why conservative on-air commentators virtually never point this out. Democrats essentially say that as long as “undocumented immigrants” (illegals) commit crimes less often than the rest of us, their crimes cannot be used to argue against the unmitigated flow of illegals. So, if it could be documented that – this is only a mathematical example – 5 percent of American citizens commit crimes, while “only” 4 percent of illegal immigrants do, the illegals must be welcomed in.

So Williams’ defense of the presence of illegals (who have already committed crimes by crossing the border in the first place) is that as long as they kill and rob fewer neighbors than other subsets of the population, we must look the other way. Their crimes are to be tolerated.

But the data actually does not stand in support of this argument, anyway. Let me give you an example.

Last week, the Associated Press reported that ICE arrested 58 illegal aliens during a five-day sweep of Massachusetts, Rhode island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire, from November 30 to December 4. Dozens of these individuals either were convicted or had pending charges against them.

“Thirty of the people have prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, and 33 have criminal charges pending. Nine had been previously deported, and 15 had been previously released by local authorities despite the agency’s request to hold them,” the AP reported.

Further, two of the illegal aliens arrested were wanted for murders in Brazil. One of these men in question was found in Lynn, Mass., while the other was found in Putnam, Conn.

According to ICE’s Boston Field Office, “Ultimately, efforts by local politicians have shielded removable criminal aliens from immigration enforcement and created another magnet for more illegal immigration, all at the expense of the safety and security of the very people it purports to protect.”

Similar raids throughout New England this year have yielded drug dealers and violent criminals using fake identities to conduct massive welfare fraud. As reported by Townhall in July, “The Department of Justice announced charges against 25 individuals who committed fraud using Puerto Rican identities in an effort to gain government benefits and in some cases even vote. Twenty-two of the 25 charged were illegal aliens, many with records of drug dealing, violent crimes, and some previously deported.”

The AP concluded that it is unclear how many of these illegal aliens arrested will actually be deported.

So what are we saying? Two things . . .

First, ANY crime is too much.

Second, life-threatening criminal behavior by undocumented immigrants is much worse than is being reported.

The Rushmore Report – Tick Tock: Senate Races Clock to Pass Key Measures

With just weeks left until the end of the year, a bipartisan group of senators is working hard to get a major criminal justice reform bill passed before the clock runs out. The goal of The First Step Act is to help prisoners return to society and to address excessive prison sentences. “We have the opportunity in front of us,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

Specifically, Grassley said, “We have the opportunity right now where the president’s for something and we have broad bipartisan support in the Senate for it.”

The bill has already passed the House, and Grassley believes more than 75 senators would vote ‘yes’ if it makes it to the Senate floor. He worries that if it’s delayed until next year, it’s over.

“If we don’t do this bill and Democrats come in and control the House, we’re not going to get the broad bipartisan support that we have for this now,” he warned.

In addition to prison reform, lawmakers are also wrestling with President Donald Trump’s demand of $25 billion for a border wall. Legislators must make a decision by Friday to prevent a partial government shutdown.

Grassley said he’s confident Congress can avoid that scenario simply because it costs a lot of money to open and close the government.

“I don’t think with the fiscal situation in our country we should do anything as stupid as shutting down the government,” the incoming Senate finance chairman told CBN News.

Meanwhile, a few senators, like James Lankford (R-OK), are working to permanently remove the threat of these shutdowns.

“When you’re constantly fighting about a government shutdown, then you’re always distracted over what the real issues are,” he said.

Lankford introduced a bill that would require the previous year’s funding to kick in until Congress passes a budget, and only penalizes lawmakers, not the American people, for missing their deadline.

“Let’s put the pressure where the pressure needs to be,” he said.

Congress has until December 21 to reach a spending deal to fund the rest of the government.

About the Author

Abigail Robertson serves as the congressional correspondent for the Christian Broadcasting Network.

The Rushmore Report – The Three Times I Met President Bush

Like much of America, I was glued to the television for much of last week. President George H.W. Bush was a special man. I always identified with him on a more personal level than most of my generation. Part of that was because he was born exactly one day before my dad – June 12, 1924. And like my dad, he served in the Pacific Theater of the Second World War. But there’s more. I will never forget the three times I met the former president.

Let me say up front, I didn’t actually “meet” the president, in the way some consider “meet.” Though we were in the same rooms (very large rooms), we never actually talked. I never shook his hand. In fact, I was never within 20 feet of the man.

But to observe George Bush up close was to meet him. He was everyone’s father, grandfather, or friend. Maybe that’s why I wept openly so many times last week – when George W. Bush gave the eulogy, when the train made its way from Houston to College Station, and when the Aggie Band played. Through all the speeches, images, and pageantry, Bush’s faith and patriotism were on full display.

But let’s get back to the three times I “met” George Bush.

1. On the tennis court

The year was 1982. I was invited by a close friend to play tennis at the Houstonian Club – a very exclusive country club. When Gary and I approached our court, we were held back for a few minutes. The two men playing on our court played beyond their scheduled time. So we waited – and watched. Who were these two players? One was Texas Democratic Senator Lloyd Bentsen. The other player? Vice President George H.W. Bush. And Bush had a pretty good game. But more impressively, he was playing with one of the leading Democrats in Washington. Bush had made friends with the “enemy.” For Bush, life was more than politics. He built relationships across the political aisle. That said a lot for the character of this very good man.

2. The vice presidential search

I was one of about 25 pastors in the Houston area who were summoned to meet with Vice President Bush. The year was 1988. He was running for president, and at the time of this meeting, his nomination was in the bag. Now, he was contemplating his vice presidential choice. To that end, he instructed his staff to assemble clergy in small groups around the country. He wanted to know who we thought he should name as his running mate. Mr. Bush was unable to attend this meeting. But his faith and priorities were there for all to see.

3. The Astros game

This is my favorite Bush story. The year was about 2012. Bush would have been about 88 at that time. Beth and I were given third-row seats to an Astros game. Our seats were one section removed from George and Barbara Bush. They were 20 feet and two secret servicemen away. But they were close enough for me to observe their every move with my eagle eye. And here’s what happened.

George Bush ordered a bag of candy from the employee assigned to them. He placed the candy on the ledge in front of him, just behind the backstop. Then a fan to his left called his name. He turned to wave. And when he turned back, his candy was missing. We saw what he missed. Barbara hid his candy. He looked around in exasperation. Finally, he turned back to his left to order another bag of candy. And when he turned to the right once again – poof! – his candy reappeared. George figured out what the rest of us sitting nearby had seen. Barbara took, then returned, his candy.

When he figured out what Barbara had done, they shared a laugh and a kiss. What’s my point? The man was human. He didn’t seem to care what anyone else thought. Being “presidential” mattered less to George Bush than supporting his beloved Astros with his best friend by his side.

Conclusion

No, I didn’t actually meet President Bush. I have met two presidents in my lifetime – both very briefly. And I love them both – Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush. But I feel like George H.W. Bush was the only president I ever knew.

Our loss is heaven’s gain. As President Bush’s minister said at the service in Washington, heaven just became a kinder, gentler place.

The Rushmore Report – Ten Ways to Keep Christ in Christmas

The number one way to keep Jesus Christ in your Christmas celebrations is to have him present in your daily life. If you’re not sure what it means to become a believer in Christ, check out this article on “How to Become a Christian.”

If you’ve already accepted Jesus as your Savior and made him the center of your life, keeping Christ in Christmas is more about the way you live your life than the things you say—such as “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holidays.”

Keeping Christ in Christmas means daily revealing the character, love and spirit of Christ that dwells in you, by allowing these traits to shine through your actions. Here are simple ways to keep Christ the central focus of your life this Christmas season.

1) Give God one very special gift just from you to him.

2) Set aside a special time to read the Christmas story in Luke 1:5-56 through 2:1-20.

3) Set up a Nativity scene in your home.

4) Plan a project of good will this Christmas.

5) Take a group Christmas caroling in a nursing home or a children’s hospital.

6) Give a surprise gift of service to each member of your family.

7) Set aside a time of family devotions on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning.

8) Attend a Christmas church service together with your family.
If you are alone this Christmas or don’t have family living near you, invite a friend or a neighbor to join you.

9) Send Christmas cards that convey a spiritual message.

10) Write a Christmas letter to a missionary.

About the Author

Mary Fairchild is a Christian writer, editor, and full-time minister. She writes on Christian issues for an organization called ThoughtCo.

The Rushmore Report – Odds on the Top 54 Presidential Contenders for 2020 (You’ll Love #54!)

It’s never too soon to predict the next presidential election. Just 698 days from the 2020 election, Kris Abbot has given us the latest “Sportsbook” odds on the dozens of potential candidates actually winning the race. For the sake of brevity, I am “only” going to list the top 54 contenders, in order. Why stop at 54? Because you will love who the odds makers have slotted into the 54th position. And before some of these names strike you as preposterous, remember that this time four years ago, a certain New York real estate tycoon may have been outside the top 54.

Before I give you the list, let’s note a few themes of the early polls.

First, while President Trump remains the individual favorite to win the race, the Democratic Party is favored to win the race. What does that mean? It means that while Trump has the highest individual chance of election, there is a greater chance that whoever emerges from the Democratic primaries will unseat him.

Second, Rep. Beto O’Rourke (TX) and Sen. Kamala Harris (CA) are co-favorites among Democrats, according to the current betting odds. O’Rourke helped inspire a shifting electorate in Texas that saw record numbers come out for the midterm elections, but at the end of the day, Ted Cruz won by a slim 51-48 percent margin. O’Rourke’s popularity, though, has thrust him into the national spotlight as he and Harris are now the two front-runners to represent the Democratic Party in 2020.

Third, celebrity candidate groundswell has slowed. With Trump emerging from the world of real estate and reality TV, there was early support for potential candidates such as Oprah Winfrey, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, or Mark Cuban. While they are still remote possibilities, the bet is that the pendulum has swung toward more traditional candidates going forward.

Let’s get started with the top ten. These are the most likely winners of the 2020 presidential election, in order from best odds to least. Again, you will love #54!

1. Donald Trump
2. Beto O’Rourke
3. Kamala Harris
4. Bernie Sanders
5. Joe Biden
6. Elizabeth Warren
7. Mike Pence
8. Cory Booker
9. Kirsten Gillibrand
10. Oprah Winfrey

Here are your next ten . . .

11. Michelle Obama
12. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
13. Michael Avenatti
14. Nikki Haley
15. Andrew Cuomo
16. John Kasich
17. Mitch Landrieu
18. Paul Ryan
19. Julian Castro
20. Chris Murphy

Now, we could continue this list all the way to #54, but you are probably already numb from reading the first 20. So I’ll just give you the highlights of 21-53. (You will love #54!)

28. Marco Rubio
29. Mitt Romney
30. Ben Shapiro
33. Joe Kennedy III
34. Hillary Clinton
35. Mark Zuckerberg
36. Mark Cuban
39. George Clooney
44. Jeb Bush
47. Leonardo DiCaprio
48. Bill Gates
49. Ivanka Trump
50. Kanye West

And now we unveil the man of the hour. He’s a Republican who has never held office. He graduated from the University of Michigan, and then went on to play a little football in the NFL. And he would probably make a better president than the vast majority of those ahead of him on this list.

Will he make it to the Oval Office? Probably not. But we can hope. Let’s start a national movement, because this guy – more than any other candidate – is a true Patriot. A New England Patriot.

54. TOM BRADY

The Remedy

A  man went to his doctor, who told him he had a bad illness, and had just one year to live. So the man decided to talk to his pastor. After he explained the situation, he asked what he should do.

His pastor had an answer. “What you need to do is to go out and buy a Dodge pick-up truck from the late 1970s. Then go marry the ugliest woman you can find and buy an old trailer house and put it halfway up a mountain.”

The man asked his pastor, “But I have a terminal illness. Will this help me live longer?”

His pastor replied, “No, but if you do the things I just said, it will be the longest year of your life?”

Life is about quality, not quantity. For some of us, this next year will actually be our last. Let’s treasure every moment, capture every memory, and take in every sunrise. In the process, may we lean on God more than ever; this is the great remedy for life.