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Headlines (December 21)

News Trends of 2004 - James Jewell, author of the Rooftop Blog has compiled a list of what he considers to be the top news trends among Christians of this past year. It begins with and obvious and most-contentious one - The Passion of the Christ - and closes with another that has generated its share of controversy this year - the faith of George W Bush. Here is his complete list:

  1. The Passion of the Christ: The Movie
  2. Islam’s War on Christianity
  3. Evangelical Political Muscle
  4. Same-Sex Marriage Set-backs
  5. Crisis in Catholicism
  6. Mainstreaming of Christian Books
  7. New Media Sources for Conservative Christians
  8. DeChristmasizing of America
  9. The Ideological Alignment of the Church
  10. The Personal Faith and Integrity of President Bush

You can read about how he came up with this list as well as an explanation of each headline by reading the article.

Basilica Bar - St Peter’s Basilica now has its own rooftop coffee bar. Though it opened several months ago, its existence has only just become public. “Located on the terrace at the base of the cupola designed by Michelangelo, it commands a breathtaking view of St Peter’s Square all the way to the Tiber River and beyond. It is open to tourists who have already visited the top of Michelangelo’s dome and who want to stop for a coffee or soft drink on their way back down to earth.” And in other Vatican news, did you know that the pope has an email address? I am guessing he doesn’t check it all himself! I wonder if he gets those spam emails I get offering him a license to marry people in any state or country. This news prompted someone in a chatroom yesterday to suggest that the pope probably doesn’t type very quickly, but he mustn’t make any typos, at least when he is emailing ex cathedra!

Snuggling - Snuggling is not a word that is a consistent part of my vocabulary. I guess it just seems too iffeminate. However, today I will choke down my pride and post a link to a nice little article over at Crosswalk that talks about snuggling (with a baby, that is). My wife and I have often rejoiced in the fact that our children love to cuddle and I don’t quite know what I would do if I had some of those stand-offish children that would rather be on their own than on someone’s lap. “If there really is a best thing to snuggling, this would have to be it … revived by thoughts of long ago … a bundle wrapped together, two of us sharing the morning … the best thing of all surely being the promised assurance between human beings that what happens to you will happen to me … because I share your heartbeat.” I think when my days of parenting little ones is over, that is what I will miss most.

Christmas Music - Every year, right around this time, I start to think that I really ought to add some Christmas music to my collection. I have hundreds of albums but only one or two Christmas albums, and frankly they are so bad that I never listen to them. I do tend to put on The Messiah a few times, but that is about as far as I go. I have never enjoyed the standard Christmas carols and just haven’t found anything that strikes my fancy. Does anyone have some suggestions for some “different” Christmas music?