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Lose the Scrooge!
by Buffy Basile

Since we covered a few physiological reasons to do good deeds and focus on kindness, it seems only fitting to cover some negatives that come from allowing anger and stress to rule your life.
  Anger: The physiological changes that occur during the fight or flight response are activated in order to give the body increased strength and speed in anticipation of fighting or running. A primal instinct designed for survival.  I have listed a few physiological responses:
• Increased blood flow to activated muscles by diverting blood flow from other parts of the body.
• Elevated blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugars, and fats in order to supply the body with extra energy.
• The blood clotting function of the body speeds up in order to prevent excessive blood loss in the event of an injury sustained during the response.
• Increased muscle tension in order to provide the body with extra speed and strength.
  So unless your life is in danger and the reflexes of a cheetah are required, walk away.
  Stress: The stress response temporarily suppresses various biological processes.  This allows the body to focus on the stressor situation. While the fight or flight response is an adaptive reaction, prolonged increases in stress can cause a variety of negative physiological effects such as:
• Muscle tension  
Chest pain
Upset stomach
Problems sleeping
• Lack of motivation or focus
Irritability or anger
Overeating or under eating
Drug or alcohol abuse
• Social withdrawal
  Prolonged stress responses may result in chronic suppression of the immune system, leaving the body open to infections. Unaddressed anger leads to prolonged stress. Both impact your vitality.  Anger by design is to be “fleeting” so let it go.
  Buffy is the Wellness Director at the Eastern Lycoming YMCA.

Retired Pastor Writes Children’s Christmas Book
By Lou Hunsinger Jr.

The Christmas story has been written from many perspectives but one retired, area pastor, the Rev. Robert Wallace, has written about this timeless story from the perspective of some of the animals involved in the story. He has written a trilogy of children’s books from this viewpoint, the first one released earlier this year, is from the perspective of the donkey that Joseph bought that carried Mary. It is called “Hadassah Finds Peace.”
  “A few years ago when planning the upcoming Advent and Christmas Services for the Church, I was looking for a new, meaningful way to share the story of Jesus' birth. I especially wanted to reach children of all ages who came to the services,” Wallace told Webb Weekly. “As I was praying about this and rereading the Christmas Story in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew, I was inspired by the animals and their part in the story.”
  Feeling they could bring a new perspective to the incredible story of Jesus's birth, he began working on sermons using the perspective of the donkey who carried Mary to Bethlehem, a lamb who came with the shepherds to the stable, and a camel who carried one of the Wise Men to see Jesus. Following these sermons, some people encouraged Pastor Wallace to make these stories into three children's books.
  “The Christmas season is epitomized by the themes of peace, love and joy,” Wallace said. “In the Hadassah book the concept of finding peace is celebrated and featured. In the next two books that I am doing, joy and love will be the themes of those books that will be out in 2015.”
Wallace believes his work on these books is a “gift from God to me.” He said he has felt the need to write books like this for a number of years.
  Though it took until he retired to get back to the stories, Pastor Wallace has been very excited to get the first of three stories finalized and in print. He finalized working on the text earlier this year but was stymied as he tried to find an illustrator to bring the words to life.
  Through the bride at a wedding he conducted this summer, Pastor Bob met a young woman from Williamsport who is a very talented artist. After talking to Emily Green about the story, she enthusiastically agreed to be the illustrator. By the end of September she had completed 12 remarkable illustrations. Then with the help of the bride referred to earlier, who is a computer whiz, the illustrations and text were put into the proper format for printing. The first copies were printed by the last day of October.
  “Emily did a great job with the illustrations and I think they really enhance the book. She graduated from Alfred University and is a very accomplished artist” Wallace said. “I self published this book through Create Space, a self publishing arm of Amazon. Initially, I had 510 of the books printed up.”
  The next book in this trilogy of children's stories will be the story of a lamb named Abel who was given to Jesus by the shepherd and how his life was so changed by this encounter. The final story will be told by Rigel, a camel belonging to one of the Wise Men. Upon meeting Jesus, he gives an exciting gift to Jesus and finds his heart is filled with joy.
  The three stories together look at the peace, the love and the joy that is offered to everyone through the gift of Jesus. It is the hope of Pastor Wallace that these children's stories written for families of all ages will touch the lives of those who read them with the real Christmas Story.
“Hadassah Finds Peace” is available at Otto's Bookstore and Christian Light Bookstore and online at, or you may contact Pastor Wallace at 570-326-1521.

The Pennsylvania Garden
By Jeffrey Allen Federowicz

The Bookworm Sez 

By Terri Schlichenmeyer



Thumbprint Reindeer

These Thumbprint Reindeer would make a great family Christmas card. You can set it up to include as many people as there are in your family. The kids will have a ball pointing out which thumb belongs to them.
• paper
• brown paint
• brown marker
• googly eyes
• black and red craft foam
• glue
• scissors
1. stamp everyone’s thumbs in brown paint and stamp on your paper. Allow to dry.
2. using your brown marker, draw antlers for the reindeer.
3. glue two googly eyes on each reindeer
4. cut small circles out of your craft foam for noses and glue on the reindeer.

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