Erin’s life was so different from that of most 8-year-olds. While other kids were running and playing and eating ice cream, Erin was lying in a bed being fed through a tube—able to see only the brightest lights and hear only the loudest sounds. Her life consisted of needles and nurses and hospital visits as she battled ongoing illnesses and profound disabilities.
Francis Chan, in his book Crazy Love, tells of a family with an interesting Christmas tradition. On Christmas morning, the Robynson family doesn’t focus on opening presents under the Christmas tree. Instead, they make pancakes and coffee, and serve the breakfast to the homeless. This is a small but creative way to show God’s love and generosity to the poor.
While making his landmark documentary about World War II, filmmaker Ken Burns and his colleagues watched thousands of hours of military footage. Scenes of the devastating Battle of Peleliu often invaded their dreams at night. Burns told Sacramento Bee reporter Rick Kushman, “You’re listening to the ghosts and echoes from an almost inexpressible past. If you do that, you put yourself into the emotional maelstrom.”
There was a time when a certain West Coast city may have been one of the most hostile places to the gospel in America. Posters in coffee shops advertised witchcraft meetings where you could learn to cast a spell on your enemies.
People tend to remember negative images more than they do positive ones, according to an experiment conducted at the University of Chicago. While people claim that they want to turn away from the barrage of bad news in the media—reports on tragedies, diseases, economic downturns—this study suggests that their minds are drawn to the stories.
Last week I had several opportunities to show grace. I wasn’t perfect, but I was pleased with the way I handled one situation in particular. Instead of getting angry, I said, “I understand how that could have happened. I’ve certainly made my share of mistakes,” and I left it at that.
Corporal Desmond Doss was the first conscientious objector to earn the Congressional Medal of Honor, the United States’ highest military award. A devout follower of Christ, Doss believed that it was not right for him to kill others, but he wanted to serve his country so he volunteered as a medic. During boot camp, his fellow soldiers ridiculed him for refusing to fire a rifle. They mocked him when he read his Bible and knelt beside his bunk at night to pray. But in combat, it was a different story.
When the horrors of war visited the civilians of Nanjing, China, women were not spared in the mounting violence and many were assaulted and killed. In this threatening environment, Minnie Vautrin took heroic measures to protect Chinese women from harm. Serving as a missionary teacher at Ginling College in Nanjing, Minnie cooperated with Chinese nationals, missionaries, surgeons, and business people and turned the college into a “safety zone,” a place of refuge for thousands of women and girls.