A Christmas story

A Christmas story.

I have had a milestone day.

Maybe it won't seem profound to you but it was to me.

I hesitate to share this with you because some will think that I am lifting myself up when indeed the opposite it true. I would not have felt what I felt today if I were the man I would want others to believe I am. (Which none of us are).

We are all flawed. Struggling and selfish. We strike out when we are afraid. We become ego maniacs when we fear we are not good enough. We become self righteous when we are far away from God. We become judgmental when we are the least likely to be asked to help judge others in the after life. When we close our minds to others it generally is because we are no longer curious (a bad sign) or when we are afraid that our point of view is right but we can't defend it.

I am many of those things and at times in my life I have been all of those things. Our job in life is to shed that natural man and become more Christlike.

Our next challenge in such a dark world is to SHARE our light. To not hide it under a bushel. Jesus didn't hide the healing. The apostles gave and healed and not only shared it, but wrote it down. Not for their glory but for His. To show others that joy, peace and comfort can be found.

Love will change the world. But it must be modeled. May I suggest you and I begin sharing our experiences?

I have promised The Lord, "show me miracles and I will proclaim them throughout the land." Not for my glory but for His.

Please, I beg you. Do the same thing. Let's reintroduce a good and great God to the world,

Our God is much bigger than we give Him credit for. We are worried about our jobs or our car payments. He cares and He will do those things, but let's let Him show is what He can do.

He is a God of grace, love, covenants and miracles.

This morning at six am, we got the kids up, dressed and ready to take on the snow covered mountains. We drove to a place two towns over. It was the local food bank. There, for a few hours, the kids, Tania and I, unloaded boxes, stocked shelves and helped bag groceries for those less fortunate than us.

It wasn't too long into our workday that I realized that if it wasn't for my ability to broadcast, my body would have given out and this would be the life I would be living with my children right now. There but for the grace of God go I.

About twenty minutes in, with people lined up out the door in the cold, a man looked up when I greeted him with Merry Christmas and with shock and disbelief he said to me:

"Are you ... Wait. You can't be. Are you Glenn beck?"

"Yes", I said feeling foolish. "Merry Christmas"

He looked down and said. "Wow, I never thought I would meet you here."

He paused and said perhaps to himself, "I never thought I would be here."

The gift of empathy. I felt him. I knew him. For a fraction of a second I was him and I loved him.

He had been successful and used to watch me on fox, but then lost his job and could no longer afford to watch, we caught up on things and he pushed his cart on through.

The newspaper came, looking for a Christmas story. I got down on bended knee and began to help my daughter restock shelves. It gave me a chance to bury my face until they left. I don't think they saw me. They will air the same story they air every year. In every town all over the world and no one will watch it.

I wasn't looking for a story. I was looking for a miracle. I found it. The kindness we saw. The moms with children. The gratitude. The great and powerful volunteers who treated us as if we really were making a difference on this one visit while they are there year round.

The people just like you and me, in situations they never thought possible. The people starving not for food but to no longer be invisible... Or maybe no longer wishing to be invisible.

Another man stopped me and simply said, "you are so much taller than I would have imagined. Why are you here?"

"My kids and you". I replied. He told me about how he was now raising his grand daughter as his own, this daughter just moved to New York City and left her baby. With a far away look in his eyes he pondered aloud, "how does a mother do that?"

It was a day full of heart felt questions and needed insight and answers. None of which provided by me.

It wasn't long before I truly understood: We may all be in that line someday. Sooner than we think and longer than we care to admit.

As I was restocking the chocolate syrup I heard a woman pick up a bag of 3 popcorn balls as if they were gold, frankincense or myrrh. I heard her ask herself with my back turned,

"The question is, can I keep these hidden until Christmas morning?" She had struck gold, an answered prayer, a simple gift for her Children which indeed was a profound gift to her from a Father who loves her.

I almost broke down and wept. I remember those days when I couldn't afford a simple gift from the shelves of cvs. I felt like a failure as a dad.

I wasn't. She isn't and if you are going through tough times, neither are you.

Hard times make us.

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This trip started out as service to others, as something I wanted my kids to do. They have so much and their life is unlike anyone else's that I know. I want them to understand what the rest of the world is like. I want to teach them compassion, charity, love and most importantly, empathy.

I want to teach myself those things as well.

I left richer than I was when I entered and as always, my kids asked if we could do that again. Yes. On the first and third Saturday of every month this happens. Not just at Christmas.

I heard a sermon from a friend of mine this am before the family was awake. It revolved around despair. How many are suffering? Rape, death, joblessness, war, hopelessness, drugs, loneliness.

How many times have we heard "where is God? How could he allow this happen? So much suffering.!"

Let me apologize. I am just finally beginning to get it. If you know me and still ask that question "where is God?" then I have failed my God and you.

If you know me and haven't seen compassion, hope, faith, and patience than I haven't been doing my part.

Where is God?

Acting through you if you will let him.

Brightening the world through you. If people don't see Him in us than we are not active enough. If we are taking credit than we are misguided.

I saw God today.

He was picking up a bag of popcorn balls, he was taking care of his daughters baby as his own and he was bringing joy to others who can't afford every meal, just like him, wearing a red shirt and red sweat pants and a home made Santa beard he had made from yarn.

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He is there every Saturday and has been for twelve years. He is a simple man who knows how to give away pallets of joy as if it just grew on trees.

Let's find our way to each other. Let's really look people in the eye when we say merry Christmas. Hold the gaze a little longer than normal to let the other person know "I see you" and that they are not invisible.

Tomorrow, I am going door to door as Santa. We have mapped out the route, checked it twice. My kids are elves. Let see who leaves with more gifts, us or those who we visit.

I am not a perfect guy. I was raised in a family that never tithed nor had enough money to give to charity. I am still learning how to be a better man, father, husband and neighbor. Perhaps you are too. May I suggest, you stop begging for answers and begin to seek miracles and as you prepare for those to happen, go be a miracle in someone else's life.

Today!

From the house over the river and through the woods, with the smoke billowing from the chimney and the brightest stars you have ever seen lighting the diamond snow in the front yard ... Goodnight America.

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.


It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.