On his farm, Doug Schmidgall created a unique display of appreciation for military veterans. Using a 20-foot-wide disc that he attached to the back of his tractor, he carved out the heartwarming words “Thank You Troops” on a hill near the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport serving Springfield, Illinois. According to Illinois’ State Journal-Register, the farmer’s grateful message stretched across a hill about seven football fields wide and 100 yards tall. Schmigdall, who has two sons in the military, says that… Read more

At the age of 14, Rosario Rodriguez narrowly escaped an attack by a serial rapist and murderer near her Grand Rapids, Michigan home.  During an interview on Christopher Closeup, Rodriguez said of the attack’s aftermath, “I experienced a lot of depression and anxiety.  The depression was the hardest thing—and trying to figure out my self-worth.  I felt like I was treated like trash, so therefore I must be trash.” Rodriguez started seeing a therapist who would pray with her at… Read more

One day, the devil decided to go out of business, so he put his tools up for sale.  Malice, Jealousy, and Pride were soon recognized by most of his prospective customers.  There was one worn, tiny, wedge-shaped tool bearing the highest price, however, which seemed difficult to identify. “What is that?” someone asked.  “I can’t place it.” Oh that!” Satan answered.  “That is Discouragement.  It’s my most valuable tool.  With it, I can open many hearts, since so few people… Read more

A lot of wisdom can often be conveyed in a few words.   Here are some examples from the book More Roadside Church Signs Across America by Mary and David Compton: ▪ Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned. ▪ If you feel far away from God, who moved? ▪ Swallowing your pride seldom leads to indigestion. ▪ Is God your steering wheel or your spare tire? ▪ The best exercise is stooping down and lifting up another. ▪… Read more

The late Maurice Sendak did not write and illustrate your typical children’s books.  His well-known Where the Wild Things Are presented super scary-looking monsters and children who were less perfect in appearance—more like “real kids,” he would say.  But it’s what was at the heart of his works that makes them stand out. “Children surviving childhood is my obsessive theme and my life’s concern,” he said in one interview.  He included those themes even in productions of opera, ballet and… Read more

Thirty-year-old Delroy Simmonds was on his way to a job interview when he saw a gust of wind blow a baby carriage holding nine-month-old David Zamara onto the train tracks at Brooklyn’s Van Siclen Avenue station.  Even worse, the train was approaching.  Without thinking, Simmonds jumped onto the tracks and lifted the injured boy and his stroller to safety. Though he was hailed a hero by the media, Simmonds’s rescue of Zamara prevented him from making it to his interview… Read more

Singer/songwriter Audrey Assad does her best to create music that’s beautiful because she herself is inspired by the beauty God put in this world.  Yet she also has to remind herself not to settle for mediocrity because beauty takes too much effort. On her blog, Assad wrote, “Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel is regarded as one of the world’s greatest works of art.  Even it, in all its beauty, falls short of God’s Beauty.  You cannot help but admit, though, that in… Read more

For many years, actress Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond, The Middle) had financially supported the volunteer work of her sons’ pediatrician, who traveled to poverty-stricken Sierra Leone, Africa, a few times a year on behalf of Lighthouse Medical Missions.  In partnership with several churches, the charity builds schools and takes medical supplies to the community there.   In 2009, he invited Heaton and her 15-year-old son to come along. She explained on Christopher Closeup, “I had been to an orphanage in… Read more

Military personnel and their families make a lot of sacrifices and need our attention.  Parade magazine offers 11 ways for us to help veterans on their day—November 11—and throughout the year.  (The article also offered relevant websites for further information.) ▪ Give shelter (homesforourtroops.org) ▪ Offer a ride (dav.org) ▪ Foster a pet (guardianangelsforsoldierspet.org) ▪ Record a war story (loc.gov/vets) ▪ Donate cell phones (cellphonesforsoldiers.com) ▪ Share used DVDs (dvds4vets.org) ▪ Contribute to holiday drives (operationgratitude.com) ▪ Send care packages… Read more

Chelsea Egan lives in the Bergen County, New Jersey, community of Haworth, goes to Northern Valley High School in Demarest, and shares many of her likes and dislikes with other girls her age.  Like many of them, too, she gets a lot of birthday presents each year, and with her 15th birthday rapidly approaching, she had an idea to bring to her parents: Why not skip the gifts this year and collect money for cancer instead? The idea didn’t pop… Read more

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