In light of the natural disasters that have taken place lately, here is a Christopher prayer for those who are suffering: “Lord, our world has been upended.  The forces of nature appear to be conspiring against us.  Our sense of hope has either burned up in flames, been washed away in a flood, crumbled with the earth, or been blown away by a fierce wind.  Your presence is virtually undetectable. “But then I remember that Your beloved Son suffered too…. Read more

On July 20, 2012, when a gunman opened fire on the crowd watching the premiere of the movie “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado, 12 people died and many more were hurt.  One of the wounded was 22-year-old Petra Anderson.   Three shotgun pellets hit her arm while one entered her brain.  Doctors feared her injuries could leave her with severe speech, motor and cognitive problems.  During surgery, they discovered otherwise. Anderson’s pastor, Brad Strait, wrote on his blog, “The… Read more

No matter our age, we’re never too young or old to learn from other cultures.  Ten teens from St. Joseph parish in Milford, Iowa, discovered this lesson when they took a service trip to the Lakota Reservation in Rosebud, South Dakota.  The annual mission trip was founded by parishioner Teresa Goehring and led by Father Tom Flanagan. “Our primary work [at the reservation] was to paint the inside walls of a small building that functioned as a church for the… Read more

No matter where she is, Mary Higgins Clark likes to read.  “I never go to a doctor or a dentist without a book in my bag,” says the best-selling suspense novelist.  She does have a favorite spot, however: a roomy wing chair with a footstool in her family room. And what does she read? “Fiction or nonfiction: honestly, both,” she said in an interview with The New York Times Book Review. Her earliest choices, which included Nancy Drew mysteries, pointed… Read more

“Teens want to feel in control of their lives,” explains Julie Morgenstern, who co-wrote Organizing From the Inside Out for Teens with her high-school-age daughter. Since most teens have innate organizational skills, here are their four tips for tapping into them: ▪ Talk the talk.  Avoid phrases like, “Your room is a pigsty.”  Would you help someone who was insulting you? ▪ Personalize your pitch.  Offer teens positive reasons to be more organized, especially the benefits they themselves will gain…. Read more

When syndicated Catholic News Service columnist Christina Capecchi took a sabbatical from checking or posting on the social media site Twitter, she had more time to work on writing and poetry.  She also enrolled in a class that taught her how to make stained-glass windows.  What began as a lesson in “artistry,” however, soon turned into one of deep spirituality. When Capecchi cut on the wrong side of the glass, she told her teacher she thought she “made a mistake.”… Read more

Swimmer Missy Franklin’s hard work and dedication led to her winning four gold medals and one bronze at the 2012 summer Olympics.  The teen also credits God with being by her side through it all. Though Franklin wasn’t brought up in a religious home, she started growing in her Christian faith because of her current high school, Regis Jesuit in Aurora, Colorado.  She told the website that she felt God’s presence upon first entering the school—and her experiences there… Read more

Violence from his abusive father was a regular part of Buck Brannaman’s life growing up on the rodeo circuit.  But loving concern from the foster family that took him in, along with his natural rapport with horses, transformed Brannaman into a gentle man now known as the real-life “horse whisperer.” The documentary film “Buck,” which earned a 2011 Christopher Award, follows Brannaman around the country as he holds clinics for people interested in learning to ride horses—and for those who… Read more

Inspired by movies like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, Hank Hughes grew up wanting to become a filmmaker.  His love of country, however, led him into the U.S. Army where he became a captain and a decorated platoon leader who served two tours in Afghanistan. Now retired from the Army, Hughes is hoping to pursue his original career path, but finds it difficult.  He told ABC News, “You return home in a bit of a time machine. … Read more

Christian pastor Charles Swindoll, who’s authored books like Encouragement for Life, once wrote the following about the importance of attitude in creating a successful life: “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness… Read more

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