When Rachel Crow was born a “crack baby” due to prenatal cocaine exposure, few would have imagined she might become a 13-year-old singing sensation on TV’s The X-Factor. “She actually lived in a crack house and suffered a lot of abuse,” Rachel’s adoptive mother, Barbara Crow, told The New York Post.  Crow and her husband, Kelly, adopted Rachel at six months through Colorado Social Services.  The identity of her birth parents is unknown. Despite her troubling past, Rachel remains relatively… Read more

Author and blogger Julie Davis considers herself a “Happy Catholic” (also the title of her blog) not only because her spiritual journey has taken her from atheism to belief, but because it’s changed her attitude about life. Julie admitted on Christopher Closeup that she’d always been a negative, glass-is-half-empty person who was good with a stinging putdown of someone else.  A few years after she started blogging, she saw some people commenting about her, “I love Julie. She’s so happy,… Read more

Matt Bell will help the world’s poor by living and sleeping on the campus of McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, where he is a student. The “world village” that Bell and other classmates will live in as part of the school’s “One Week, One Mission, One World” fundraiser consists of tents and shanty-town style dwellings, all intended to highlight the conditions residents face in Haiti and India.  Visitors to the “village” are encouraged to contribute toward mission journeys students will… Read more

If you’ve seen movies like The Blind Side or TV series like Lost, you’ve been exposed to projects that have been worked on by alumni or faculty of the Act One program in Hollywood.  Originally a screenwriting school for Christians, it now includes a Producing and Entertainment Executive program as well. Since The Christophers have always been concerned with the quality of popular entertainment, Act One’s Programs Director, Vicki Peterson, appeared on Christopher Closeup to discuss effective storytelling from a… Read more

An 80-year-old man was planting a peach tree when his neighbor asked him, “Do you expect to eat peaches from that tree?” The elderly gentleman rested on his spade and answered, “No.  At my age I probably won’t.  But all my life I’ve enjoyed peaches—never from a tree I planted myself.  I wouldn’t have had peaches if other men hadn’t done what I’m doing now.  I’m just trying to pay back the other fellows who planted trees for me.” Those… Read more

In order to help you develop your natural leadership abilities, here are several “golden rules” for bosses that appeared in a magazine for supervisors: ▪ Be considerate.  Take into account the problems of your people. ▪ Be consistent.  People want a leader whose course is steady and whose actions are predictable. ▪ Be a good listener.  Lead people by knowing them; know them by listening to them. ▪ Show confidence in them.  People will repay your confidence in their ability… Read more

Jennifer Vasilakos of Santa Barbara, California, needed a kidney transplant, but didn’t qualify for one because of a bout with skin cancer earlier in her life.  As a result, she endured physically-draining kidney dialysis three times a week. Vasilakos continued researching her condition, and discovered that an adult stem cell treatment had an excellent chance of healing her.  The procedure wasn’t approved in the United States, however, so she set out to raise money to have it done in a… Read more

Many know Al Roker as a TV weatherman, writer and producer, but he’s also a husband and father who balances work and family life. Roker tells Parade magazine that he’s lucky to have a career that affords him some scheduling flexibility so he can be there for his kids’ special moments: “My dad was a bus driver, and he couldn’t take off to come see me in a school assembly.” On Sundays, the weatherman typically attends church, has brunch and… Read more

The Rev. Chuck Currie wrote the following prayer for Father’s Day: “We give our thanks, Creator God, for the fathers in our lives.  Fatherhood does not come with a manual, and reality teaches us that some fathers excel while others fail.  We ask for Your blessings for them all—and forgiveness where it is needed. “This Father’s Day we remember the many sacrifices fathers make for their children and families, and the ways—both big and small—they lift children to achieve dreams… Read more

On June 15, 2012, Nik Wallenda, age 33, showed just what it means to put oneself in the hands of God.  Continuing the stunt-performing legacy of the paternal side of his family, Wallenda walked across Niagara Falls, approximately 1,800 feet, on a two-inch wide high wire.  His death-defying journey ended in Canada, where, after presenting his passport to the customs official, he was asked: “What is the purpose of your visit?”  His simple, but poignant answer?  “To inspire people.” Inspire… Read more

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