BETHLEHEM ECLIPSED

December 21, 2010Read: Matthew 2

"...where is the one born King of the Jews. We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." --Matthew 2:2

It's been 372 years since the last lunar eclipse occurred on a solstice, so last night's celestial phenomenon was as rare as it was spectacular. But if you're like me, you missed it. Chances are we were all asleep, exhausted from work, school and Christmas shopping. Who has time for star gazing anyway?

It was 2000 years ago this week that God placed the star in the east to announce the birth of Jesus. But much like last night's midnight miracle, most everyone missed it. The calendar on Bethlehem's Blackberry was booked -- too busy, too stressed, too in control. Things had to get done and nobody else could do them. And yet, Jesus came to earth. Despite a limited live audience, life's main character was born.

Simply put, a lunar eclipse occurs when our world gets in the way of the sun. Lord, may we never let the same happen to us.

--J.P.

FIRST LADY: ADVOCATE FOR HEALTHY KIDS

Regardless of what side of the aisle you are on politically, there's reason to cheer one of the latest bills signed into law by President Obama. With his wife at his side on December 13, 2010, the president put his John Hancock to the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which reauthorizes the federal nutrition program, a $4.5-billion measure that expands free school meals for the needy. The biggest difference is that it sets nutritional standards for all food in schools, including what appears in vending machines, and is designed to fight the growing epidemic of child obesity.

Opponents of the bill claim that it is another example of America becoming a Nanny State, wherein citizens need their lifestyle choices made for them. But advocates of the legislation believe that simply making better choices available to our kids where they spend a great deal of their time each day is a good first step that can help stem the tide of a growing problem.

Urging people to depoliticize the issue, the First Lady said: "“We can agree that in the wealthiest nation on earth, all children should have the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow," she said. “Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children. Nothing."

>> For the full story from the L.A. Times, click here.