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Heroes You Should Know: August Landmesser

 If a picture is worth a thousand words, this one is worth a million.  It’s 1936 and the Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg is hosting Adolf Hitler, who has come to witness the unveiling of a new ship for his Nazi war machine.  The German newspaper Die Zeit is there to capture the moment, and the adoring audience of laborers facing their Fuhrer---manufactured propaganda.  But then courage breaks through.  

Heroes You Should Know: Mary Bethune

 The fifteenth child born to former slaves, Mary McLeod Bethune was the only member of her family to go to school.  She eventually received a scholarship to Scotia seminary where she studied to be a missionary.  But instead of Africa, where she’d dreamed of serving, Bethune was to become a missionary of justice and equality in her own country—the United States of America. Bethune founded a school for African-American women in 1904 that what would become Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach. 

Heroes You Should Know: Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma

Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma were a farming couple living Markowa, Poland with their six children when the Nazis invaded in 1939.  At the time, Markowa was 90% Catholic, and 10% Jewish.  And in 1942 the Nazis began coming for the 10%.  The majority of the Jews were massacred, but a few survived because Catholic families gave them refuge.  From the beginning of the persecution, the Ulmas were one such family. Even giving a Jew a drink of water in occupied Poland was punishable by death, let alone hiding Jews.  

Freddie Gray’s Rough Ride: Why Virtue Matters

 I write a lot about virtue, and why it matters. And then life presents a story that is far more compelling and challenging than anything I could conjur up. The rough ride of Freddie Gray is the latest example of why we need virtue—and what happens when it is absent. 

Heroes You Should Know: Jennifer Bricker

Jennifer Bricker was raised with one rule, “Never say ‘can’t’!” But what if you’re left at the hospital by your parents the day of your birth because you have no legs?  And what if your dream is to be a gymnast, and play basketball and softball, and eventually be a star in Hollywood?  ‘Never say can’t’ doesn’t just sound unrealistic…it sounds cruel. But for this amazing young woman, who was adopted by amazing parents, it was the phrase that gave her life direction.     

Favorite Things

  "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." -Howard Thurman   

Heroes You Should Know: Mary Johnson

As a devout Christian Mary Johnson had heard a lot about forgiveness, and how followers of Jesus were called to “forgive as they had been forgiven.” And then in February of 1993, her only child was murdered…shot dead at a party.  He was 20, his killer was 16. 

BULLS-EYE!

 “Being popular is a dangerous thing.”  -Anonymous Honestly, I’ve always found it curious and more than a little disturbing that Christians celebrate so hardily Jesus’ “triumphal” entry into Jerusalem. As if we didn’t know how hollow, how fleeting, how painfully ironic this reception was.

Heroes You Should Know: Ruby Bridges

What’s the big deal about a six year-old going to school in New Orleans?  Maybe not much today, but in the fall of 1960, in a totally segregated school system, a certain girl attending a certain school was a very big deal. You see, Ruby Bridges was black, and William Frantz Elementary school was for white children only.  Her father didn’t want her to go, but Ruby’s mother knew some child would have to step up.  Ruby agreed. 

Eating Bread Religiously: Living in the Moment

 “Earth is crammed with heaven,and every common bush afire with God…”-E.B. Browning  

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