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Auld Lang Syne . . . Times Long Past

A year from now 2013 will seem like a long time ago. Many of us will forget most of the news snippets from the famous or infamous stories. But I will always remember at least one because it affected me personally.

13 Top News Snippets from 2013

New York Mayor puts Super-Sized Sugary Drinks on the Naughty List

Child drinking a beverageCredit: morgueFile.com by sideshowmom

"Sugar and spice and everything nice . . ." right? Not according to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, he doesn't think sugar is so nice. The mayor pushed for a ban on super-sized sugary drinks. His regulation would have prevented restaurants, sports venues, movie theaters, and street carts from selling the large, sugary beverages. The Manhattan Supreme Court, however, blocked Bloomberg's ban. The ruling stated the regulations were "fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences," and "beyond the city's regulatory powers."

The mayor's office has appealed but Bloomberg will no longer be mayor when the appeal is heard. The Republican nominee for mayor has gone on record stating he would withdraw the city's appeal, while his Democratic opponent was ambiguous, stating he would review the status of the city’s litigation.

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Majestic Miniature: The Birth of the Royal Baby

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His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge aka George Alexander Louis made his debut on July 22, 2013 at 4:24 p.m. The royal tyke weighed-in at 8 pounds, 6 ounces. Unlike past royal births, social media spread the word within minutes. Over 25,300 tweets per minute saturated Twitter immediately following the birth announcement.

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A "Calling" Recall

The Vatican Vatican building miniature PopeCredit: Pixabay.com by sebo 106

Pope Benedict XVI became the first pope to step down in 600 years when he tendered his resignation in February. Initially, the former Pope said his strengths were no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the ministry due to his advanced age, but later claimed he was prompted by God during a mystical experience to resign.

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Duck Dynasty Patriarch Ruffles Feathers

Happy, Happy, Happy Mug - Phil Robertson/Duck DynastyCredit: Photo Credit: Copyright © 2013 Introspective Pics./DebW07. All Rights Reserved.

Duck Dynasty star and patriarch of the Robertson family, Phil Robinson, is either a hero or hatemonger depending on who you speak with or the websites you frequent. But instead of reading article snippets and commentaries from the left or the right regarding Robertson's blunt GQ magazine interview, why don't you read the entire piece and make-up your own mind?

Here is the GQ article titled "What the Duck?"

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Dude, Where's My Government? - The 2013 Government Shutdown

Government ShutdownCredit: debw07/introspective pics.

President Reagan once proclaimed "The best minds are not in government. . . ." The American public saw evidence of that statement during the first two weeks in October. Government services were shut down because the House and Senate could not agree on a bill to fund them. The 2013 shutdown lasted 16 days, making it the third longest in history, and the third government shutdown to occur during a democratic president’s reign, er, I mean term. The longest shutdown was 21 days in 1995/96, under President Clinton, and the second longest was 18 days in 1978, under President Jimmy Carter.  "Hope and change."

Paula Deen's Goose is Cooked after Allegations of Racism

PotCredit: Pixabay.com by OpenClips

Famous for her love of butter, boisterous laugh and Southern comfort food, Paula Deen, once the darling of The Food Network, was riding the wave of success and fame. But the tide turned when an employee from one of her restaurants filed a lawsuit charging Deen and her brother with racial and sexual discrimination. The television star's career collapsed quicker than a soufflé after a deposition transcript surfaced exposing a confirmation of racially charged language by Deen. The Food Network dropped Deen like a hot potato and she lost many endorsement deals. The lawsuit was dismissed but Deen’s career has not recovered.

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Miley Cyrus Irks with Her Twerks

Angry WomanCredit: Pixabay.com by Nemo

The former Hannah Montana star irked numerous mothers (and fathers) when she shook her "sweet niblets" in a raunchy VMA performance. Cyrus pranced around the stage barely clothed, sticking out her tongue, making inappropriate gestures with a foam finger, grabbing her crotch, and twerking up against singer Robin Thicke.

RIP Hannah Montana.

Healthcare Website in Need of a Physician

Broken ComputerCredit: Pixabay.com by OpenClips

"The ObamaCare website won't be accessible at night due to maintenance. And it won't be accessible during the day due to 'it sucking.'" –Conan O'Brien . . . nuff said.

Wait, I changed my mind, here’s one more; "For years President Obama has been saying that no one would lose their healthcare plan. Now the White House has admitted that in fact many people will lose their plans. But there is a way to keep the great coverage you have. Just become a member of Congress. Then the taxpayers pay for the whole thing." –Jay Leno . . . now, nuff said.

Bombing in Boston

MarathonCredit: morgueFile.com by mxruben

Patriots' Day 2013 began with the annual Boston Marathon. An estimated 23,000 participants made their way through historic Boston. A bombing was probably the furthest thing from the runner’s minds but at 2:49 pm two pressure cooker bombs exploded near the finish line killing three people and injuring 264 others. Two suspects were eventually tracked-down, one was killed and the second is awaiting trial.

Television Personality found Dead in Hotel Room

GleeCredit: debw07/introspective pics.

When Glee star Cory Monteith failed to check-out of his Vancouver hotel room on July 13 the hotel staff entered his room and discovered his body. The cause of death was listed as "mixed drug toxicity, involving intravenous heroin use combined with the ingestion of alcohol." He was 31.

Actor Dies in Auto Accident

toy car toys auto car automotive PorscheCredit: Pixabay.com by Markus60138

The news of the car accident that killed actor Paul Walker spread fast and no one wanted to believe that it was true, but it was. On November 30, 2013, the actor, famous for his role in the Fast and Furious movies, was a passenger in a Porsche that crashed into a tree and burst into flames. The death certificate attributed Walker's death to the "combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries," he was 40 years old.

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Death of Nelson Mandela

Nelson MandelaCredit: pixabay.com by OpenClips

Former South African President Nelson Mandela died "peacefully" at his home in Johannesburg on December 5th. Mandela was famous for his opposition to apartheid, spending 27 years in prison because of his stance. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for "the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa." He was 95.

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The "Father of the Jesus Movement" is now with his Father

Pastor Chuck Smith
Credit: Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa

*This final story was not widely reported in the media but it was significant and it is something that personally affected me.

Pastor Chuck Smith, senior pastor Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, has been referred to as "The father of the Jesus Movement," and "One of the most influential figures in modern American, " but the title he would have most preferred was the one mentioned at his memorial service, "servant of the Lord Jesus Christ." He died on October 3, 2013, after a long battle with lung cancer, he was 86.

In the weeks following the January 1, 2012 cancer announcement to his congregation, Pastor Chuck sat for an interview with Greg Laurie, Senior Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship. When asked whether he was afraid [of dying] he said; "Not really," then went on to say, "Never trade what you do know for what you don’t know . . . God is good and God loves me and God is working on His perfect plan in my life. So, I’m just content with that. . . ." Later, when asked if he would have done anything differently, Smith replied, "The Lord had charge of the whole thing and so I would not try and improve on His program."

After his passing, Smith's daughter posted the following on her Facebook account, "My dad is now everything he wanted to be and where he always wanted to be!"

The Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Golden Springs, Raul Reis, who often told the story of how Smith led him to Christ, said Smith was "one of the most loving servants who loved his God and served Him with all his heart. It was just a real blessing to see that he really loved the people . . . it doesn't matter who it was, he continued to love people, so he will be greatly missed."

Pastor Greg Laurie tweeted, "Pastor Chuck Smith has died. He is now in Heaven. He fought the good fight. He was a great man."

Christian author, journalist, apologist and pastor, Lee Strobel tweeted, "Chuck Smith lit Gospel fires all over the world. Countless people were inspired into action by his passion for evangelism."

And there were many, many more tributes to Pastor Chuck.

On a personal note, Pastor Chuck was very influential in my life.  It was his consistent teaching through the Bible that helped me solidify my foundation in Christ. In 2012 I was privileged to have had the opportunity to visit Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and listen to Pastor Chuck teach in person. I was also fortunate to attend, with over 13,000 other folks, Pastor Chuck’s memorial service.  I will miss him but I can't help but smile as I think about what he once said:

"And one of these days, should the Lord tarry, you no doubt will pick up your paper and read, 'Chuck Smith died last night. Pastor of Calvary Chapel, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.' Don't believe it. That's poor reporting. If they're going to tell the truth, they're going to have to say, 'Chuck Smith moved last night out of a decrepit old [holey] tent, leaky tent, into a beautiful new mansion.'"

And so he has . . . Godspeed, Pastor Chuck.

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