Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Year Paradigm: Simon Peter

"2010 offers us a chance to shed our old skin, to look at others and ourselves with clearer lenses. We can do no better in this regard than to return to the rich example the New Testament gives us in the disciples, particularly Peter."

Click here for more on lessons from Simon Peter.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How angry young man turned his life around

"For better and worse, Sam Vega couldn't stop looking back.

Let down by a mother with destructive habits, a father he never knew and the grandmother who moved him to Chicago, Vega struck out on his own at age 18.

But bitter memories of neglect combined with concern for his four siblings kept him from moving on. His failure to forgive undercut his will to succeed, as did a fear that he was echoing the mistakes of his elders by walking away."

Click here for more on this amazing young man.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dickens vs. Darwin: A Question of Worldview

"Two of the most famous books in the Western canon turned 150 years old in 2009—On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

But these anniversaries were celebrated in vastly different ways. While Darwin’s book was honored around the globe with films and websites and much more, relatively few people took notice that Dickens’s book had reached the same milestone."

Click here for more of Chuck Colson's commentary.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Blind woman learning to be a chef

"A kitchen is a spiritual place for Laura Martinez, a space that arouses her senses, excites her imagination. It's not where she imagined herself finding such satisfaction. When she was too young to understand that she was blind, she dreamed of being a surgeon. She grew up and out of such fantasies and studied briefly to be a psychologist.

But the kitchen beckoned. It lured her away from her family in Moline, Ill., to the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu culinary program at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago."

For more on this amazing woman's experiences, click here.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Transit Archeology: Tour of abandoned subway network offers a glimpse of how the T was built

"Boston’s bars have poured their last drinks. Stragglers are stumbling home. But beneath the modern metropolis, in the bowels of the city, a group of six men wanders abandoned tunnels with heavy coats and flashlights, dodging the occasional rodent, to uncover the lost relics of America’s first subway system."

Click here for a look at Boston's transit past.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Greater Love

"At Christmastime, we’re reminded that our God is the God of great reversals. As we set out humble nativity scenes, we may forget how unthinkable it is that the King of Kings lowered himself not just to be born in human flesh, but in a lowly stable amidst the braying of animals and the smell of manure."

Click here for more on Mark Earley's commentary.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How not to overdo it during the holidays

"Tis the season of temptation -- food temptation, that is. If your office is anything like ours, you've been inundated by sweets galore. At our holiday potluck breakfast, my dear coworkers actually had the nerve to bring super-rich brownies, sugary danishes and the most decadent chocolate cake I've ever tasted. Sigh."

For a healthy dose of good advice, click here.

The Problem of Pain: The Intolerable Compliment

"Why would a good God allow pain and suffering? It’s the age-old question. When we’re experiencing pain ourselves, or watching someone we love experience pain, no answer seems adequate, and our faith faces its severest test.

That’s why, as Ken Boa says on his latest Great Books Audio CD, it was a daring and risky project for C. S. Lewis to write the book The Problem of Pain."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Art for Government’s Sake: Why Art with an Agenda Fails as Art

"Philip Kennicott is uneasy.

As art critic for the Washington Post, it was Kennicott’s job to review a new book called Art for Obama. Now, this art critic is no conservative—on the contrary, he’s about as liberal as they come. And yet, this particular book of art has got him down."

Click here for more on Chuck Colson's commentary.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Good Works: Showing frail women they can still do beauty

"While many garden clubs work to shed the dusty image of white-gloved flower-arrangers for a more modern one of community service, the members of the Glen Arm Garden Club are busy helping others, well, arrange flowers.

On this morning in December, members of the club are making their regular visit to Morningside House assisted living in Parkville, where they help a dozen or so residents create flower arrangements for the dining room and another one each can take to her own room."

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sacred Heart’s goal is family involvement

"The entrance of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church has an Angel Christmas Tree and a Jesse Tree that looks a lot like a colorful paper wind chime.

The Jesse tree has symbols from the Old and New testaments. Each ornament consists of a symbol that represents a story from the Old Testament."

For more on this heartwarming story, click here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Human Sacrifice for Gaia: Environmentalism at Its Worst

"Regular BreakPoint listeners know about the inhumane lengths some environmentalists are prepared to go to 'save the planet.'

Some have proposed taxing the parents of newborns several thousand dollars to discourage child-bearing, and thereby reducing CO2 emissions. Others have spoken of 'culling' the human herd."

Click here for more of Chuck Colson's commentary.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Two-legged dog gives hope to disabled Army vets

"For several years, Jude Stringfellow and her Lab-chow mix have toured the country with a simple message: Faith walks."

Click here for more on this amazing canine role model.

The Night Before Christmas from The Baltimore Sun

"Baltimoreans read lines from Clement Clarke Moore's poem, 'A Visit from St. Nicholas,' also known as 'The Night Before Christmas.'"

To enjoy this delightful video, click here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Religious Freedom Sunday

"Are you concerned about religious freedom in this country? Well, here’s something you can do about it.

Just before Thanksgiving, I was able to participate in a truly amazing moment—the release of the Manhattan Declaration. I truly believe that the Manhattan Declaration will galvanize Christians across denominational lines to stand up for the sanctity of human life, traditional marriage, and for religious freedom."

Click here for more on this important event.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Celebrate the Holiday Season with Self-Sustaining Gifts

"Self-sustaining living is becoming more and more popular in the U.S. as families seek to save money and reduce their carbon footprint by growing their own vegetables, raising their own livestock and cooking from scratch. This trend reflects how the majority of people around the world already live. Help improve worldwide sustainability by giving a gift from the 2009 World Vision Gift Catalog. The catalog features more than 100 gifts that truly make a difference for families in need – including gifts that encourage more sustainable living in communities around the world."

Click here for more on how to give gifts that make a lasting difference.

Bright Jewels: Restoring Victims of Sexual Trafficking

"They sell necklaces with a story. But the story this jewelry tells isn’t about blood diamonds; it represents freedom from a far more subtle, but equally destructive, practice.

It’s a practice that entraps women and children in a hell from which they can’t get away. Kelly Besedick and Ginnie Wagner started Wonderfully Made Jewelry about four years ago to address one of the great injustices—heinous crimes, in fact—of this era: the sex trade."

For more on the story, click here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hosting a children's cookie decorating party

"An afternoon of cookie decorating can be a big hit with children, especially if the grown-ups in charge plan ahead and keep the focus on fun.

Here are some tips from Cindy Mushet, author of 'Baking Kids Love' (Andrews McMeel, $20), part of the cookbook line from kitchenware company Sur La Table ( We've added some of our own advice, too, from the front lines."

Click here for some sweet tips!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Designing in the Dark: The DesCours Design Exhibit

"Attention aesthetic adventure-seekers. Take my advice: Put the DesCours 2009 design exhibition on your weekend not-to-miss list. It’s a self-guided nocturnal tour that will take you into shadowy French Quarter courtyards, a mysterious empty bank lobby, the fourth-floor roof of the old D.H. Holmes building, even a shipping container parked beside an abandoned warehouse. In 13 such locations, you will find a series of glowing sculptures and installations by an international cast of 3-D design teams, cut loose from their usual home and business building projects to think outside the box."

Click here for more on the story, including an intriguing video.

Costco brings back Coke: The companies settle their price dispute

Coca-Cola drinkers will find their beverage of choice at Costco Wholesale again soon.

For more on the resolution of this dispute between corporate entities, click here.

Why You Think the Way You Do: God’s Truth Through the Ages

"has been the most powerful force in shaping Western civilization. The problem is, most Christians don’t know about it. But I’ve got a solution."

Click here for Chuck Colson's solution.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Program encourages girls to consider engineering

"Forty area middle-school girls gathered Saturday for a novel engineering program called 'Ready Set Design!' encouraging women into a field where they have been underrepresented.

'You graduate from engineering school and go on to improve an aspect of human life, and make a difference in the world,' a poster on the wall encouraged the young students gathered inside Levering Hall on Johns Hopkins University's Homewood campus."

For more on this program, click here.

South Side beaches going back to nature: Chicago begins 2 South Side restoration projects

"In the late 1990s, the Chicago Park District stopped grooming 11 acres of the man-made Montrose Beach -- and something incredible began to happen.

A dune was formed naturally, and six state-listed rare plant species suddenly began to grow. Migrating birds began flocking to the site, and over time, more than 150 species have been observed, including the federally endangered piping plover."

Click here for more on how mankind and nature can coexist.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Game Plan for Life: Joe Gibbs’ Playbook for Success

"What better Christmas gift to give to a rabid football fan than a book by Coach Joe Gibbs? Especially since the gift Gibbs writes about is an eternal one.

There aren’t many American men do not know the name Joe Gibbs. He’s a member of the NFL Hall of Fame, and former head coach of the Washington Redskins who led the team to three Super Bowl championships. He’s also a three-time NASCAR champion."

Click here for more on Coach Gibbs and his 'Game Plan for Life.'

Friday, December 4, 2009

Interfaith Youth Core founder will be 1st Muslim to deliver keynote address at Greater Chicago Leadership Breakfast

"Eboo Patel's earliest opportunity to find common ground with people of other faiths involved hot dogs.

Embarrassed at age 6 that he had to haul halal hot dogs to a friend's party, he sneaked into the kitchen to hand his kosher franks to the hostess. There, he discovered the Jewish kids doing the same."

Click here to read more of this story.

Participate in a Miracle: Prisoners’ Children Need You Now

"'I want to tell you about a Christmas miracle. And how you can be part of one through Angel Tree.'

The speaker is Mark Earley, president and CEO of Prison Fellowship. This organization ministers to the families of prisoners, in the name of Jesus.

Read about the Christmas miracle he references and how Prison Fellowship is working to make a difference in the lives of the unmentioned victims of crime, the families of the perpetrators."

To learn more about this ministry, click here.

BookTrends: Advent Conspiracy: Can Christmas Still Change the World?

"Rick McKinley, Chris Seay, and Greg Holder have written a book looking at the meaning of Christ's coming to that manger in Bethlehem and the world in general. Take a look at an excerpt from this powerful book."

Click here to learn more.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Achievement program looks to keep kids from getting lost in middle school

"At first the idea of regularly staying after school until 8 in the evening seemed 'cool' to 11-year-old Kaelah Williams, but then the reality sank in that she would have to give up her afternoons to read and do math problems for hours longer than her friends.

But the thin, spirited girl signed up for Higher Achievement anyway and in just two months she has made an exciting discovery while taking part in the after-school program at Collington Square Elementary/Middle School."

Click here for more on how students are discovering that learning can be fun and rewarding.