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A Vision of Heaven in Central Harlem: iHope Finds Beauty Amid Brokenness

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You might expect a school for children who’ve suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI) to be a sad or somber place, but I found a different reality when I visited the International Academy of Hope (a.k.a iHope) last week. In fact, this converted nightclub above a Conway’s department store on the corner of 116th Street and [Read More...]

VIDEO: Father Jonathan Morris on Scripture’s Power to Transform Our Lives

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Today, Father Jonathan Morris shares his insights on making Bible reading a part of our daily lives. It might seem to daunting a task to tackle the entire book right away, so he suggests starting with the Gospels in small doses. And it’s not enough just to read the words. Father Jonathan offers ideas on [Read More...]

Atticus Finch, Bizarro Atticus, & Anakin Skywalker: Brief Thoughts on “Go Set a Watchman”

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Atticus Finch’s change from “To Kill a Mockingbird’s” social justice/civil rights role model to “Go Set a Watchman’s” resident racist may be the most drastic character development since the Yippee-shouting young Anakin Skywalker became the throat-crushing Sith Lord Darth Vader. Readers who embraced Finch’s nobility – and who have even named their children after him [Read More...]

A Morning Prayer from St. Thomas More

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Blogging has been light lately because I’m working on The Christophers’ annual “Three Minutes a Day” book of daily stories and reflections (Pre-orders will start soon). Yesterday, I came across a prayer written by St. Thomas More that seems an appropriate way to start your morning, so I’m sharing it here (as well as in [Read More...]

New York City Church Replaces Retired Groundskeeper with Sheep

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The groundskeeper at Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral in downtown Manhattan told the pastor there, Monsignor Sakano, that he was thinking about retiring. How, he wondered, would the priest tend to the grass and bushes when that came to pass. “I’ll get sheep,” responded Msgr. Sakano. And so he did. They’re named Mulberry, Elizabeth, and Mott [Read More...]

Fairy Tales, Deeper Truths, & Illustrating God’s Love for Children (and the Young at Heart)

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(All photos and artwork property of Katy Betz Studio.) Like a lot of kids, Katy Betz grew up admiring the illustrations she saw in popular books like “Where the Wild Things Are” and “The Berenstain Bears,” but it wasn’t until a trip to Europe as an 18-year-old college student that she realized she wanted to [Read More...]

Appreciating Our Elders in a Stay-Young-At-All-Costs World

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The following is the text of the Christopher News Note “Appreciating Our Elders” (which was written by a freelancer). If you’d like a pdf or hard copy, see the end of this post: “A people that does not have care for [the elderly], that does not treat them well, has no future: such a people [Read More...]

How an Elderly Nun Brought Hope, Purpose and Joy to a Young Man at a Crossroads in Life

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At the age of 31, John Schlimm was at a crossroads. He had spent his 20s working in public relations for the White House, and then, for country music stars in Nashville. From a worldly perspective, he had it made. Yet, he felt restless and empty, as if there was something deeper that needed to [Read More...]

Christmas in June: Win DVD of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas”

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Hallmark Movies and Mysteries and Martha Williamson were kind enough to donate DVD copies of their Christopher Award-winning movie “Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas” for our gift bags at the awards ceremony last month. We have a few DVDs left so I wanted to give our blog readers and fans of the show the opportunity [Read More...]

How the Murders in Charleston Reflect Two Ways of Looking at the World

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(Photo of Rev. Clementa Pinckney from website of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.) The nine murders that took place at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charles, SC, on Wednesday shocked the country and the world. The fact that they occurred in a house of worship during an hour of prayer and Bible study just [Read More...]

Faith, Redemption, and Survival Highlighted in Trailer for Upcoming Movie “Captive”

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When I interviewed writer/producer Brian Bird a few months ago about his Hallmark Channel series “When Calls the Heart,” we also discussed his upcoming feature film “Captive.” Starring Kate Mara and David Oyelowo, it tells the true story of Ashley Smith, a young mother who was taken hostage by escaped murderer Brian Nichols in 2005 [Read More...]

Helping People Live and Die with Dignity: A Look at the Film “The American Nurse”

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Inside the Villa Loretto Nursing Home in Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin, Sister Stephen Bloesl gathers the staff in the room of a dying woman whose daughter sits by her side. Everyone, from nurses and administrators to those who mow the lawn and deliver food, circle around her bed and begin singing the hymn “How Great Thou [Read More...]


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