Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, December 20, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page B:12



 Mountain Views-News Saturday, December 20, 2014 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder




Susan Henderson


Dean Lee 


Joan Schmidt


LaQuetta Shamblee


Richard Garcia


Patricia Colonello




John Aveny 


CoCo Lasalle

Chris Leclerc

Bob Eklund

Howard Hays

Paul Carpenter

Kim Clymer-Kelley

Christopher Nyerges

Peter Dills 

Dr. Tina Paul

Rich Johnson

Merri Jill Finstrom

Lori Koop

Rev. James Snyder

Tina Paul

Mary Carney

Katie Hopkins

Deanne Davis

Despina Arouzman

Greg Welborn

Renee Quenell

Ben Show

Sean Kayden

Marc Garlett

RICH Johnson



It is the time of the year when the Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage is busy doing 101 things in as many directions: cookies 
to bake, presents to buy, Christmas cards to address and send and a 
thousand other things I probably am not aware of. My job is to make 
her job easier by staying out of her way.

 Usually I am rather good at my job. It has taken many years 
to perfect my job and I am proud to say I have achieved somewhat perfection. But this 
week I was caught unawares.

 During this time of year, I make it a practice to stay away from the kitchen area as 
much as possible. This past week, I do not know what I was thinking, but I went into the 
kitchen to pour myself a cup of coffee. On the surface, it looked rather innocent.

 I finished pouring my coffee and turned to exit the kitchen area as quickly as possible 
when I ran into you know who.

 �I�m so busy I was wondering if you might do me just a little favor.� The seductive 
sound of her voice caught me off guard and I stopped and said the unthinkable. At the 
time I forgot that a �little favor� has nothing to do with �little.�

 �I will be glad to help anyway I can.� After those words tumbled out of my mouth, I 
could not believe that it was me actually saying those words. In my right mind, I would 
never respond in that fashion.

 �That�s wonderful. I knew I could count on you.�

 I knew I was in some serious trouble. I did not quite know what kind of trouble I was 
in but I was going to find out in very short order.

 �I don�t have time to go to the shopping mall and pick up a certain item. I was wondering 
if you might do it for me? It would help me out so much and I would be so grateful.�

 I do not know any politician that has anything on my wife. She can smooth talk 
better than anybody I know. The only problem is, all the smooth talk was directed in my 
direction. How in the world, and I say this from a husband�s perspective, can I turned 
down this kind of request?

 �You want me to go to the mall?� I said as carefully as I could, �you do know I don�t like 
the mall?�

 �I know. If I don�t get that item at the mall today, I�m going to be in serious trouble. You 
wouldn�t want me to be in serious trouble, would you?�

 In order for me to keep her out of serious trouble, I must put myself in serious trouble.

 �Okay,� I said as dryly as possible. �I guess I can go to the mall and pick up that item for 
you. Just give me the details and I will be off.� I was off, alright. Off my rocker and did not 
know when I would be able to get back on that rocker.

 Then a thought came to me.

 �This will necessitate four apple fritters to give me the energy to do this little favor of 

 She looked at me with one of those looks that penetrated deep into my soul.

 �Okay,� I said with a nervous quiver, �how about three apple fritters?�

 The stare intensified.

 I cleared my throat, picked up the keys to my vehicle and headed for the mall. A lot 
of things I do not like to do and this has to be at the top of that list. However, being the 
terrific husband that I am (I have no documentation proving this, just trust me) I put my 
life in harm�s way.

 I got to the mall and found the store where I was to pick up the aforementioned items. 
I paid for them, which I did not know was part of the bargain, but a guy�s got to do what a 
guy�s got to do. Then I set my face like a flint toward the exit door.

 Then I saw it. I had forgotten about this facet of the shopping mall at this time of the 
year. But there he was, Mr. Santa Claus in all of his ho, ho, ho-ness. It dawned on me at 
the time that he was the one responsible for knowing who is naughty or nice. This was my 

 The line to sit on Santa�s lap was finished and he was sitting there by himself. I took the 
opportunity to go up and greet him.

 �Do you know me?� I asked him with the broadest smile I could slap on my face.

 �No,� he said thoughtfully, �I don�t believe we�ve ever met.�

 �Well, do you know my wife?�

 �No,� he said, stroking his beard.

 I flipped him a �thanks,� as I turned around and headed toward a little bakery I knew 
had some apple fritters. Due to the sensitivity of the situation, the place will remain 

 Eating my apple fritters I thought about what Solomon said, �Whatsoever thy hand 
findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor 
wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goes� (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

 It is not naughty unless someone connected with my wife sees me. Because I firmly 
believe, one person�s naughty is another person�s apple fritter. No names revealed.

 Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, Florida. E-mail or website

Santa Claus does not get his due. I was reached by his Public 
Relations Department who asked me to help make the public 
aware of the sheer scope of his job. I am focusing on the tip 
of the iceberg so to speak. The days immediately surrounding 

 Though the data for this article was accumulated twenty years-four ago and 
should be adjusted for population growth, these 1990 numbers will give us a peek 
into Santa�s Herculean efforts.

 There are roughly 2 billion children under the age of 18 in the world. Fortunately 
for Santa, he need deal with only 15% of that number. He doesn�t have the franchise 
to deliver Christmas presents to Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist households. 
That leaves him responsible for roughly 378 million children or roughly 92 million 

 Traveling east to west and considering the time zones and rotation of the earth, 
Saint Nick has only 31 hours in which to deliver his gifts. Do the math and he 
has to visit 822.6 households per second (less if we discount the houses that have 
no children that have been good.) This gives Santa 1/1000th of a second to park, 
hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the 
presents, eat the snacks, back up the chimney, out and on his way. If the average 
distance between houses is .78 miles he has a total trip of 75.5 million miles. (I�m 
not counting the occasional rest stops for him and the reindeer.)

 Santa�s sleigh must be capable of moving 650 miles per second, or roughly 3,000 
times the speed of sound. That�s a mere 2,340,000 miles per hour. That�s fast.

 While we�re at it let�s consider the weight of the Christmas gifts and how 
it affects Santa�s trip. If each child gets a gift averaging 2 pounds, the sleigh is 
carrying 321,300 tons not counting our roly-poly driver. Now, if a typical reindeer 
were pulling a sled, that reindeer could pull ten times their weight. We would need 
214,200 reindeer to pull Santa�s sled. Thank God they�re not your average reindeer. 
Add the weight of the 214k reindeer to the overall weight and we have a whopping 
353,430 tons (more than two times the weight of the Queen Mary.)

 But wait! There�s more. 353,300 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates 
enormous air resistance. In other words�heat. The lead reindeer, if they were 
normal would absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy. They would burst into 
flames instantaneously creating deafening sonic booms in their wake. The rest 
of the reindeer team would be vaporized 4.26 thousandths of a second later. And 
Santa is not off the hook. He will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times 
greater than gravity. He would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 
pounds of force.

 All this to say we need to appreciate the effort Santa Claus puts into his job. If 
you run into him on Christmas Eve and he seems a bit rushed�well now maybe 
you�ll understand.

 Merry Christmas everyone!

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I'm writing one of my infrequent serious columns, because 
I realize there is more to Christmas than non-stop holly jolly 

There will be many freshly vacant spots at Christmas/holiday 
gatherings this year, whether because of death, hospitalization, 
relocation, work schedules, military service, estrangement or 

(My nuclear family remains intact; but in the past year, death has claimed my 
brother's mother-in-law, the preacher's wife, a co-worker, several classmates' loved 
ones and an alarming number of customers at my day job.)

I can't fill your stocking with any game-changing advice for coping with loss or 
distance at this festive/stressful time of year, but I'll rehash what others have said. 
Share warm or funny memories of the departed. Make a charitable donation in their 
name. Invite a widow or bachelor who has NOTHING BUT empty seats to share the 
holiday with your family. Stop being a technophobe and avail yourself of the tools 
for communicating with those who must be far away.

Mostly, I'd like to offer advice to see that YOU don't become one of those being 
mourned or missed. "Through the years we all will be together, if the fates allow," 
sang Judy Garland. But sometimes we go out of our way to tempt Fate.

More power to you if you can't meet an arbitrary December 25 deadline because 
you've traveled cross-country to improve yourself academically or professionally, 
if you're defending our great nation or if you're overseas performing humanitarian 
work. But a lot of reasons for being absent are less noble.

Put things in perspective before you let petty squabbles create a yuletide vacuum this 
year or in the future. Thinking about that babe in the manger should help us do away 
with some more of the frivolous reasons for being a "no-show" or barring the door. 
That babe grew up to ask forgiveness for those who sent him to his death. How can 
we refuse to associate with someone who voted for the wrong party?

That babe grew up to be infamous for associating with tax collectors and sinners. 
How does one justify writing off a friend or relative whose lifestyle is either too old-
fashioned or too ultra-modern?

That babe grew up to be an itinerant preacher who eschewed worldly possessions 
and had not even a place to lay his head. Isn't it silly to form a permanent family rift 
over how great-aunt Matilda's crochet bathroom plunger holders were divided up?

Yes, each and every one of us will SOMEDAY merit an empty place at the holiday 
table. But we don't have to rush the eventuality.

Get those brakes and tire treads inspected. Replace those smoke alarm batteries. 
Wean yourself from cigarettes. Find a doctor you can trust, have those checkups 
and heed the advice. Stop texting and driving, running red lights and trying to beat 
trains to the crossing. Spend a little time pondering whether those guys you hang 
out with are really your friends or just some bozos who will split once they've made 
you a candidate for a squad car or an ambulance. Learn to count to 10 before venting 
your righteous indignation on someone who just might be "packing" and itching for 
a chance to blow someone away.

The perfect holiday gathering is a myth; but before you Rest In Peace, take a few 
steps to maximize holiday peace and good will.

RON Carter



The National Football League (NFL) has a looming major problem 
and it is not domestic abuse. The NFL�s major issue in the coming 
years will be the massive amount of concussions the players 
sustained while playing this popular American sport. I have 
written about NFL�s players� issues with brain trauma in prior 
blogs, but recently I have been contemplating following up on my 
prior remarks. A few years ago, I intimated to a very good friend of mine that the 
NFL will probably be banned in the next 20 years. I am not a prophet, but the head 
injuries some of the game�s greatest players have sustained have been my beacon 
light. Too many of these talented men are suffering debilitated lives after playing in 
the NFL.

 Yesterday I was conversing with my colleague, Everett Glenn, an attorney and 
former Sports Agent who represented NFL players such as Hall Of Famers Richard 
Dent and Willie Gault, about NFL games. Everett has started a campaign to advocate 
for college students rights to receive pay for playing in the NCAA football program 
(I�ll blog on that topic in another post). I told him that whenever I look at NFL games, 
recently, and observed a player being injured from severe contact with another player, 
I often wondered what will happen to the players after their careers are over in the 
NFL. Mind you, this is no way to watch and enjoy this high contact sport. But, since 
there is no such thing as a �mild concussion,� there is no other way for me to surmise 
this issue while looking at NFL games on Sundays, Monday Nights and Thursday 

 Two weeks ago, I was chatting with two of my fraternity brothers, Anthony 
Samad and Lys Bovery, about NFL players� head injuries NFL. We all agreed that 
this was a major issue which is about to become front and center in the NFL, because 
too many NFL players in retirement are suffering from the injuries they sustained 
during their playing days in the NFL. Take for example Terry Tautolo, a former San 
Francisco 49ers linebacker, UCLA Bruin standout player and a 1981 49ers Superbowl 
Champion, his family has blamed his tragic decline and battle with substance abuse 
on the many concussion he sustained during his nine-year career in the NFL. Terry, 
one of the �first� Samoans recruited from college to play in the NFL, has spent a 
significant time of his retirement from the NFL in and out of homelessness. There are 
other players such as Ray Lucas of the New York Jets, Jim McMahon of the Chicago 
Bears and Lawrence Marshall of the New York Giants who have all been affected 
with head trauma from playing in the NFL.

 I am not certain what is going to happen in the immediate future in the NFL, but 
this I can assume with 250, 000 young athletes being injured, from some form of 
head injury, every year playing football in the United States, it is sure going to be a 
huge task for the NFL to curb the concussions which playing in the NFL predicates. 
The players are giving so much joy to NFL fans year after year. It is only fitting they 
deserve to have lives full of dignity and enjoyment after their playing days in the NFL 
are over.

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