An excerpt from 'Life on Christmas Eve' — a new novel by Nathan Nipper

The following is the opening chapter of my debut novel, Life on Christmas Eve. It's about a small-town woman who is baffled to find her life suddenly imitating It's a Wonderful Life and her quest to understand why leads to a life-changing encounter with a vulnerable stranger on Christmas Eve.

This story's themes of faith, grace, generosity, and the inherent value of each person's life form a timely message for our nation's current polarization.

Glenn says, "I love this book. It's funny, fast-paced, and whimsical — a joyful celebration of family and faith that sweeps you along to a surprising finale that will melt your heart. This is ideal Christmas-time reading, the kind of moving, life-affirming story the world needs right now."

Life on Christmas Eve is available now from booksellers nationwide.

You can listen to Glenn read the opening chapter here:

Chapter 1

As Julie discovered, Christmas Eve in her hometown of Cedar Springs was an ideal time to do something odd in a public setting. With most folks preoccupied with family celebrations at home, the likelihood of one's curious behavior garnering notice, let alone being questioned, drastically diminished. Julie counted on the streets being mostly deserted after dark because she could not adequately explain her current enterprise: sitting by herself in a collapsible camping chair at one end of the small town's iconic steel truss bridge.

It was 6:05 p.m., and snow descended in weighty clumps from the starless, black-matted sky. Julie knew she looked bizarre wrapped in a sleeping bag and blankets, a thermos of hot cocoa at her feet, like she was waiting for a parade to start or camping out in line for concert tickets. She felt entirely self-conscious and was the first to question her own sanity. She also felt inexplicably compelled to be there at that very moment, though the compulsion was not quite strong enough to chase away her potential embarrassment.

As a few cars traversed the narrow two-lane bridge at a leisurely holiday pace, Julie tried burrowing deeper into the canvas seat of her camping chair, as if it might help conceal her from the glow of the headlight beams. Some motorists noticed her; others did not, or at least pretended not to. She was rather hard to miss in her prominent seated position on the sidewalk that ran alongside the decades-old bridge railing. One car slowed as it approached, and she tensed with fear the driver would stop to ask questions. It was not an unfounded fear. Julie loved her salt-of-the-earth fellow Cedar Springs citizens, but one less desirable common trait in the community was a tendency toward nosiness. Sometimes a gal just wanted to be left well enough alone. And there was never a greater such instance than the one in which she placed herself that evening. Julie instantly prepared a contingent reply to any inquiries. She would say she was "just enjoying the snow," or something similarly lame, which would be truthful without divulging the actual reason for her visit to the bridge. She made a snap decision to smile and wave enthusiastically at the craned-neck driver, figuring that might better discourage questioning than if she sat motionless, hoping not to be noticed. Fortunately, the car continued on its way.

Julie did not want to be interrogated because no rational explanation existed for why she sat by herself on the bridge in the freezing Christmas Eve air. The truth was that she was waiting for something to happen. She had no idea what, just the most persistent hunch it would be something important. The only similarly strong intuition she recalled having in her life was the time in fifth grade when she was almost certain she was going to get a full-size backyard trampoline for Christmas. Alas, no trampoline materialized.

Just as she was about to laugh off her intuition incompetence and rejoin the sane world, something did happen.

While Julie contemplated packing up her solo bridge-watch party, she began dozing. With the hot cocoa, the abundance of fleecy layers, and the soothing lull of the icy river cascading over the boulders directly below the bridge, her surroundings soon faded into a wintry fog. She resisted the first couple of head-bobs but quickly gave up the fight and drifted off.

Julie was only asleep for a couple of minutes when a violent, metallic clatter jolted her awake, her left leg involuntarily flailing in the process. Her eyes fluttered open and she brushed the wet snowflakes from her face. She leaned forward in her chair, momentarily disoriented, and surprised to realize she had fallen asleep. Glancing cautiously back and forth, she hoped no further passersby had witnessed her conked out on the bridge like that, as it would be impossible to explain her way out of that one.

Having regained her bearings, she peered straight ahead, squinting through the thickly falling snow across the bridge. She could make out a dingy blue and white pickup truck with its right front fender crumpled against the dense trunk of a majestic cedar tree, one of several such trees just off the shoulder of the road near the start of the bridge.

Julie stood, trying to gather her senses and find her phone. She checked her coat pockets, the camping chair, and the snow-caked concrete around her to no avail. Perfect, she thought, figuring she left it at home. The unscathed driver's side door of the crashed pickup truck slowly opened with a rusty, drawn-out squeal, interrupting Julie's annoyance at forgetting her phone. As she watched, a haggard teenage girl tumbled out of the cab and fell to her knees in the snow. She lingered on the bitter cold ground for a moment, weeping loud enough for Julie to hear. The girl picked herself up and stumbled alongside the guardrail for several yards until she stepped onto the sidewalk of the bridge. Julie froze at the alarming scene unfolding in slow motion. In her sleepy stupor, Julie could not settle fast enough on the best course of action.

Oblivious to Julie's presence, the girl's deep, sorrowful crying persisted as she trudged aimlessly through the ankle-deep snow of the bridge's sidewalk. Julie noted the girl wore only a sweatshirt and jeans, which had to be scant protection against the night's biting cold. The teen stopped near the middle of the bridge and leaned over the railing, prompting Julie to shift forward uneasily in her chair. Beneath the bridge, the churning dark river surged over and around large, smooth boulders on its way toward the falls. The girl's shoulders convulsed with her breathless sobs. From Julie's vantage point, she assumed the girl must be feeling sick.

Julie looked around, suddenly hoping for a crowd. But the streets were empty and quiet, as if the town was taking a deep breath, finally about to allow itself a respite from all the frenetic Christmas preparations. Julie and the teenage girl remained the only two souls on the bridge.

Finally, Julie's habitual compassion overruled her hesitation. With a deep breath of her own, she stood, unfurled herself from the blankets, unzipped her sleeping bag, and piled them on the camping chair. Then, she cautiously approached the grieving stranger. Between the din of the rushing river and her own weeping, the girl did not hear the crunch of snow underfoot as Julie crossed the bridge toward her…

Nathan Nipper writes for television, radio, and online media at Mercury Radio Arts. He previously authored the nonfiction book Dallas 'Til I Cry, which won the 2014 MLS Book of the Year Reader's Choice Award from WorldSoccerTalk.com. He lives in North Texas with his phenomenal wife, daughter, and two sons. Life on Christmas Eve is his first novel.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a transgender activist called for a "Supreme Court Assassination Challenge" on Twitter, according to screenshots captured of the now-deleted tweet.

Activist Eli Erlick, a founding member of Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER) and creator of the controversial "gender identity" teaching tool for children called the "Gender Unicorn," tweeted and later deleted the disturbing remark on Friday, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) also caught a screenshot of the tweet before it was deleted.

"The unhinged radical left is calling for the assassination of our Supreme Court Justices. That's not the way to disagree with a decision in America. It is unacceptable, and Biden’s DOJ must immediately act," Blackburn responded on Twitter.

Erlich then tried to play off her call to assassinate Supreme Court justices as a hilarious joke only Gen Z and Millennials would understand, apparently not understanding the seriousness of the attempted assassination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh just three weeks ago.

Erlick isn't the only Left-winger to make incendiary calls since the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision. Here are just a few examples:

  • Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) called on people to “defy" the Supreme Court.
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called for people to get “into the streets” alongside radical communist leader who wants to 'overthrow' the American system.
  • Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) yelled "F*** Clarence Thomas" on a public stage for all to see and hear.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested that Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh lied to Congress.
  • And of course, "TheView" host Whoopi Goldberg issued a disgusting racist threat toward Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program, BlazeTV hosts Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere took a look at these and other stunning examples of leftist lunacy over the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Watch the video clip below. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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Many members of the far-left already are calling for a ‘Night of Rage’ after the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and the White House has been discussing plans to defy the ruling too. In fact, one idea floated by Biden Administration officials, according to the New York Times, includes providing abortions on military bases. So, will America experience another summer of riots? Are YOUR taxpayer dollars at risk? And what does this mean for deep-blue states? Josh Hammer, legal expert and opinion editor for Newsweek, joins Glenn to discuss what may come next...

Transcript

Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors

GLENN: Josh Hammer, he's the opinion editor of Newsweek. He's the host of the Josh Hammer show. He is really quite brilliant. One of the leading minds in the conservative movement, I think. Josh Hammer joins us now.

To tell us, what did you find in this decision?

JOSH: Glenn, great to be back with you, on such a momentous, and really such an emotional day, honestly. So, you know, look, as you said, this dropped recently. Funny enough, I was in the middle of getting a guest lecture from an organization on the advisory board as to when it drops. So I barely had any time to kind of skim through, let alone guess the concerning dissenting opinions. But it looks like this looks very similar, to the draft opinion that was leaked, by the Politico story, a month and a half ago, in early May. And I think those of us who were praying that the five justices from this leaked draft opinion, would have the fortitude to stiffen their spines against this unprecedented assault. Now knows that our prayers were answered, Glenn. That's really my takeaway right now.

This looks a lot like the leaked opinion. Justice Thomas and Justice Kavanaugh have some reconcurring opinions.

But unbelievable. And really just holding aside the constitutional law stuff for a second hear. Just speaking as pro-lifers, on a day like today, I think we really just need to pause. And I tweeted this out earlier. We need to just be grateful for our half century of pro-life activist forbearers. You know, this -- Glenn, this issue could have gone away after 1973. That was a long time ago. 1973. I mean, this issue could have just gone away. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the pro-life moral activist. Political activist. And, of course, yes. Legal activist. Who fought day in and day out, that makes sure this great injustice stayed front and center of our national, political conscience. And in many days, the culmination of a half century of fighting for truth and justice. But in many ways, it's also a new beginning for the pro-life fight as well, interestingly.

STU: How do you mean a new beginning for the fight? I just it's going to turn, I think we're going to see abortion turn even darker in those states that allow it. Is that -- is that what you're meaning by this?

JOSH: Well, look, for a half century now, Roe vs. Wade, and its project any, specifically, the Planned Parenthood versus Casey case of 1992.

They took away from the states obviously. They arrogated authority away from the states, the ability to attempt to nationally codify one view of the morality of abortion.

It happened to be a profoundly immoral view. So these -- the fight now shifts to the states. And the pro-life activists. And all the 50 states. Especially, obviously in red states. Purple states. I mean, admittedly some blue states like New York and California, probably won't be able to touch them there.

But we have to make sure that our side is well positioned in the state Capitols for every red, purplish, probably even light blue state, to make sure we fight for successful, cogent, and morally consistent pro-life legislation. The state of Oklahoma, actually, just north of Texas. Right where you are now, Glenn. They have been leading on this actually. Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law, a fantastic pro-life bill there in Oklahoma. A few weeks ago. Maybe a month ago or so at this point, that basically just bans abortion straightforward from conception. And there are some -- you know, obviously, likable the mother. So forth. But we really need to start thinking about trying to craft legislation now, at the state level. But to your point, I do fear that the blue states will only double down in their radicalism. Unfortunately within that will only lead to an ever greater divide, in our country, that we have today. But obviously, at the end of the day. We're going to save at the end of the day, millions and millions of unborn children. We are going to save human beings who can grow up to cure cancer, who can win Nobel prices.

I mean, this is just a tremendous win for the human species. I don't know how to say it other than that.

GLENN: I will tell you, I saw the stat, that I think it was last year or the year before. 20 percent of all pregnancies ended in abortion. 20 percent.

JOSH: Wow.

GLENN: That is -- that is a shocking number. And we do have our -- our work cut out for us. Because I -- I think that these states are going to double down. But I think, you know -- God doesn't waste anything. You know, there is no waste with God. Even the -- even the worst things that could possibly happen, turn out to be something good. You know what I mean? You're like, holy cow, how did that just happen.

And I think that evil is going to fully come unmasked. I'm telling you, Josh. I don't know how you feel about this. I think this could be the day of America's Kristallnacht. I can see these pro-life centers being burned to the ground today. They're calling for a night of rage around the country. I think evil is going to show itself. And that will scare the American people, hopefully.

JOSH: You know, I've been thinking about this a lot this week, actually. Because I've been bracing for a new kind of George Floyd summer of love, happening this summer. Coming to a city or suburb near you. Unfortunately, myself. Look, I live in Florida. I know, Glenn, you live in Texas. It is in moments like this, where I do think that where you live matters. And who your mayor is. Who your governor is, matters.

Because law and order and rioting and anarchy is not really a federal issue. It is to a limited extent. June 2020, Tom Cotton wrote this op-ed that was pretty controversial at the time.

I happen to agree with it. Where he said, quote, unquote, send in the troops. And there is some federal legislation from the reconstruction era that would justify that.

But most kind of quelling and quashing of anarchy does happen. Constitutionally speaking, at the state and local level. So at a moment like this, where I fear that you're probably not wrong. I take some solace. That Governor DeSantis is my governor. I think Texans should take some solace, that they are represented by -- by a Republican governor. The legislature there as well. So I -- I fear that you are right. I pray obviously, that no one -- it's hard.

I fear that it's something -- that something bad is happening. At the end of the day, of course. It does not mean that justices cannot do what they are supposed to do. So thank God they did that.

GLENN: So, Josh, have you looked into what the White House has been saying? The White House yesterday. In fact, do we have a clip of -- of this?

What the White House said yesterday, about the guns. And then they were turned to the -- the Scott us ruling, for Roe vs. Wade. Do we have that, please?

JOSH: Will the president accept this decision, even if he disagrees with it?

VOICE: I think it's going to come from the Supreme Court. So it's a decision we certainly are going to respond to. I'll leave it at that. Just like any other Supreme Court decision. Just like the one they did today on guns.

GLENN: So the White House won't say that they're going to accept it.

Which I don't think they will. They're talking now about taking doctors and moving them into places like Oklahoma or Texas, where abortions will be outlawed. And putting doctors on our military bases to perform abortions.

I mean, where does this go, when you have a government, that is in defiance of -- of one branch of the government?

JOSH: So there's a lot to unpack here. So we should start from first principles. The idea of judicial supremacy, and this is a peculiar thing, to say on a day like today, where such a pro-life victory has happened in Italy. But if we're going to be consistent here, the idea of judicial supremacy. The idea that the justices, have the sole and exclusive ability to interpret the Constitution for themselves. And no other Constitutional actor, in article one or article two, let alone the state. Has the ability to tentatively interpret it. That is erroneous. In fact, actually it was really Abraham Lincoln actually, who in the Dred Scott case, famously opposed judicial supremacy and flouted the Dred Scott ruling, at least as it pertains to everybody other than Dred Scott himself. I have actually argued, a former legal scholarship, in a law review article actually, that the Laconian view of how each branch of government should interpret the Constitution for itself, is correct.

Having said that. Having said that, there is a thing called prudence. And there is a thing called comedy. And in a moment like today, when it really does look like -- and I agree with you, that we are now bracing for riots through the streets. When the political rhetoric is at DEFCON one. When people are trying to assassinate Supreme Court justices. I think it would be -- at its bare minimum, a profoundly imprudent act. For the Biden administration, to try to undermine this ruling.

Now, what they might do, is they might try to kind of issue some kind of executive orders, or issue some regulations, that might try to kind of undermine it, at the edges here. But at the end of the day, the idea that this returns to the state. There's not really a whole lot they can do about that. Basically, at this point, throughout the country. Kentucky within West Virginia. Kansas. Whatever. If they want to go ahead and ban abortion, what can the Biden administration literally do about that? I mean, short of sending in the National Guard, to protect Planned Parenthood, if the state legislature of Kentucky goes ahead and bans it. There's not a whole lot they can do. And it's very difficult to envision a world, in which the Biden administration literally sends in troops to red states, to protect Planned Parenthood, if that state legislature goes ahead and bans it. So for practically speaking. This is a lot of tough talk and rhetoric. Obviously the campaign here in 2022. There's not really a whole lot that practically speaking, they can do to actually prevent red and purple states from enacting pro-life legislation.

GLENN: I'm glad to -- I'm glad to hear that. I know that they have been working on things. I mean, he has said, you know, there's executive orders, that I can employ. There are things that I can do. He's talked about a national public health emergency. Which I think is just -- is crazy. But I would hope, that the president would come out and say, we strongly disagree with this. And you're right. The court is not the end all. But the court did not end abortion. It just said, the people should decide. I think that's the best kind of court ruling, on any of it. The people should decide what this is. And send it back to the states. Josh, I thank you very much. Appreciate your time. Was there -- there was another ruling, that came out today. Was it important?

JOSH: Oh, no. In comparison to this. A total nothing burger. A 5-4 decision on Medicare reimbursement related. So nothing, honestly.

GLENN: Great. Thank you very much. Appreciate it, Josh. Josh Hammer, opinion editor for Newsweek. And the host of the Josh Hammer show.

GLENN: There are two things trending on twitter right now.

Number one is praise God.

Number two trend is Night of Rage.

Good verses evil.

Build up or tear down.

'Lord, we are SORRY it has taken us this long': BlazeTV hosts react to historic Roe v. Wade decision

Photo by Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Supreme Court of the United States officially overturned Roe V. Wade, and the debate over abortion rights has been given back to the states. On this historic day, BlazeTV hosts celebrate the Supreme Court's incredible decision and take a look at some of the insane reactions as the left comes completely undone.

Jason Whitlock: Today will forever stand as a pivotal moment in our nation’s history

The Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade. The decision and the reaction to it have already revealed a lot about our people and politics. Pro-life groups celebrate, pro-choice groups call for “a night of rage,” and Nancy Pelosi just seems completely confused by the United States Constitution.

Glenn Beck reacts LIVE to Roe v. Wade ruling: 'Lord, we are SORRY it has taken us this long'

I never thought that in my lifetime, I would see Roe v. Wade be overturned. But today, that day has come. The Supreme Court has voted 6 to 3 to return decisions about abortion to the states. But this fight isn't over. We are about to see good versus evil side by side. Many states will stand with the unborn. But others will become abortion mills. It's your turn to choose now, America!

Allie Beth Stuckey: 'Praise God, Roe v. Wade is overturned!'

I don't know about you, but I just had the most euphoric feelings. It almost seems too good to be true. I didn't think there was any way that this would actually happen, especially with all the backlash, intimidation, and violence toward the Supreme Court justices. And yet, here we are. Roe v. Wade has been overturned. This is an amazing day!

Dave Rubin: Big disagreement on what happens next now that Roe v. Wade is overturned

Dave Rubin, Libby Emmons, Jeffrey A. Tucker, and David Reaboi debate what will happen in the wake of the Supreme Court’s breaking decision on Roe v. Wade. Now that abortion rights have been pushed back to the states, will there be a summer of massive riots or not? Will the Roe v. Wade ruling make America’s political polarization significantly worse?

Stu Burguiere: Here are the reasons SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade

I never thought this would happen. I never thought I would see this day. I just never ever ever ever never ever believed that Roe v. Wade would actually be overturned. I really didn't. But let's take a look at the reasons this day has finally come ...

The Rick & Bubba Show: 'This is history! Unfortunately we're 60 million lives too late'

We were live on the air when news broke of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.