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RightNation.US: Once upon a Christmas Eve December 24th, 1968 - RightNation.US

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Once upon a time, not too long ago, there were three very brave men. These brave men were asked to do a mission. To circle the moon. The sleigh was crafted with love, hope, and fear. This night, many prayers from many religions held their breath praying for the safety of this enormous and miraculous task. Christmas Eve, December 24, 1968. That evening, the astronauts; Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders were blasted into the birth of a new task---to circle the moon. They decided to take the people from Earth with them on this night of all nights and share what they would see---and Earth rose above a very cold and desolate place.

Cramped in a capsule, they read something that people on Earth forget these days. With them, they took the spirit of Christmas and God.

Many people on Earth watched this miraculous sight so many of us this day hold for granted. The people of Earth sat with baited breath. Families gathered in front of television screens. Babies held to the screen with a mother's or father's whisper to not forget this night.

Spirits soared as the rocket took off. People clapped and cheered on facing this new and unknown horizon. People, for just a brief moment, forgot the world outside their door with all the bad things happening at that time. Race, equal rights, sadness. They stood in front of places selling televisions looking in the Christmas decorated windows side by side. Pride for what these men and their Nation was about to accomplish.

They shared pictures of the moon and the Earth rising to the people million of miles from them.

They didn't forget God and His gift to us. While circling the moon, they read...

Lovell said, "The vast loneliness is awe-inspiring and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth."

And then, as the broadcast was ending on this most Holy of nights, they pulled out a book. A very powerful book with very powerful words.
Then, they didn't forget God and His gift to us. While circling the moon, they read...:

William Anders:

"For all the people on Earth the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you".

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness."


Jim Lovell:

"And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day."


Frank Borman:

"And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good."


Borman then added, "And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you - all of you on the good Earth."

http://apod.nasa.gov...ise_apollo8.gif

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and to all the religions celebrating this time--my peace.
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12 Comments On This Entry

That was great, Dublin! Boy, how things have changed in 40 years. Thanks for posting this!
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:shrug: :D :D
Outstanding reminder of days gone by.
And hoped for again.
Merry Christmas Dublin, may yours be one of warm and wonderful memories.
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Wow, thank you.

Merry Christmas to both of you and everyone else reading this.
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Thank you for the reminder! I'm all about recalling the earlier days when this country was more or less together. The animosity of today from BOTH sides would not have been tolerated then. This reminder Brings back good memories of what a special time the Apollo program was, and all those many friends made.

Merry Christmas, and Happy Hanukkah for our other members of the Judeo/Christan faiths.
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Lovely blog, Annie. Beautiful and sad. (Because I don't think it would be done today.)
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That was beautiful and so touching. Your words conveyed the true spirit of what those 3 brave men did on that day and what He did in the beginning.

The odd thing is a friend of mine today was surprised to learn that I believe in Creationism. I think he was surprised to learn that even though I can believe in things of science that I would also still believe that God created the Heavens and the Earth. Your story is the perfect mixture of of how these things can both be true.

God bless you, Annie and Merry Christmas to you and yours. :shrug: Your father must have made you sorely proud as I'm sure he is of you.
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It does bring back hope---doesn't it? And amazing how much we take for granted. The Shuttle taking off is just a blurb now. People are so caught up in "things" that they don't look around to remember anything---past or present. I saw this tonight on the news and was so touched. I remember my mother telling me the story of how she held me up to the television and whispered,"Don't forget this." to alot of the following missions. All those people with all those dreams and they did it. We were all so proud then for just that little moment before we had to go back to how horrible the outside world was and still is.
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Thank you, Ilja. I'm so proud of him being a part of it. We had baby reels of us and then it would switch to one of the capsules being pulled out of the waters. Wag--it is a bit melancoly (sp?) isn't it? And Atilla--I do agree.

Ilja--I didn't think of the Science and Creationism being mixed in that. Excellent point.
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Very nice posting. I was an avid NASA fan and budding astronaut back then and I remember that time in our history with deep fondness.

It was a time when our world seemed to be coming apart at the seams. War (ya know John Kerry was sent into Cambodia at that same time by President Nixon), civil unrest here at home, etc. and it was more than appropriate for those 3 men to make that particular broadcast.
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ilja, on Dec 21 2008, 09:09 PM, said:

That was beautiful and so touching. Your words conveyed the true spirit of what those 3 brave men did on that day and what He did in the beginning.

The odd thing is a friend of mine today was surprised to learn that I believe in Creationism. I think he was surprised to learn that even though I can believe in things of science that I would also still believe that God created the Heavens and the Earth. Your story is the perfect mixture of of how these things can both be true.

God bless you, Annie and Merry Christmas to you and yours. :unsure: Your father must have made you sorely proud as I'm sure he is of you.

I ran across this related article this evening that recounts the same story Annie was so kind to share with us and it focuses on faith & reason.
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For Christmas week, we asked some eminent scientists if it's possible to reconcile reason with religious faith
By Jonathan Margolis
Last updated at 3:22 AM on 20th December 2008


EXCERPT:

Even by the appalling standards of 2008, 1968 was a dreadful year. War raged in Vietnam. Northern Ireland was in turmoil. Czechoslovakia was invaded by the Soviet Union.
Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. There was an anti-war demonstration of unprecedented violence in London's Grosvenor Square, and much of the Left Bank in Paris had been in flames.

To add to all this misery, Enoch Powell had made his inflammatory 'rivers of blood' speech in Birmingham, igniting a race relations crisis. Meanwhile, in the U.S., Richard Nixon, already presciently regarded by many as a crook, was elected president.

But then, in the early hours of Christmas Day 1968, 40 years ago, something almost magical happened that all but cancelled out the horror of the previous 12 months.

<SNIP>

Aged 13, and a huge fan of the Apollo astronauts, I lapped it all up - apart from the Bible bit. The Sixties were a scientific age. Religion was dead, wasn't it? What, I wondered, were my astronaut heroes doing with all that God stuff?

Believing in God seemed, to a Sixties child like me, as childish as believing in Santa Claus. Astronauts were test pilots, scientists at heart. How could they, of all people, believe in unproven, superstitious fairy tales about God?

I wasn't to know then that a lot of the astronauts were religious men, and plenty who weren't before they went to the Moon quietly became so after. Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, secretly took Communion there using a kit given to him by the pastor at his Presbyterian Church. He admitted the fact only several years later.

And in the 40 years since Christmas Day 1968, I've learned that a significant number of scientists are also deeply religious.

It seems supremely paradoxical that people trained to accept nothing without the strictest evidence can believe in God without any proof apart from a few old writings to go on. But believe they do.
In the past, the physicist Isaac Newton, the electricity pioneer Michael Faraday and the mathematician Baron Kelvin were among many religious men of science. Indeed, it was faith in God that drove the rise of science in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Albert Einstein didn't quite believe in God, but didn't denigrate those who do. 'What separates me from most so-called atheists is a feeling of utter humility toward the unattainable secrets of the harmony of the cosmos,' he wrote. Yet, at the same time as many scientists have quietly maintained a belief in God, atheism has continued to be in fashion for educated people around the world.

<Entire Article>
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Be Yourself. Everyone is already taken.

http://img.photobuck.../Dsc00535-1.jpgI know when the Spirit of God is there, animals are the first ones to mellow out."If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers, 1897-1935"The poor dog, in life the firmest friend,The first to welcome, foremost to defend,Whose honest heart is still the master's own,Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth,Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth,While man, vain insect hopes to be forgiven,And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven."Lord Byron Inscription on the monument of his Newfoundland dog, 1808" He is your friend, your partner,your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He willbe yours, faithful and true, to the last beatof his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy ofsuch devotion." Unknown

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays